3 Heat Embossing Techniques for Card Making and Bible Journaling

Embossing is so much fun, y’all! And there are so many cool ways to use it! Check out these three heat embossing techniques, which you can use for card making, Bible journaling, or any sort of papercrafting you like.

3 heat embossing techniques for card making and Bible journaling

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What is heat embossing? If you haven’t discovered it yet, it’s this magical process by which powder gets melted onto the paper, to produce a lovely raised design that elevates your papercrafting by, like, 1000%!

The funny thing is, I used to walk past the embossing section in Michael’s or Hobby Lobby, and think “Oh goodness, I don’t need to get into that… I’d have to buy a heat embossing tool, plus all the pretty colored powders, and where would I put them all? Yikes!”

But then one day, I watched a tutorial from Tim Holtz, and discovered that I already had most of the tools I needed… I had pigment ink pads, and I had the Ranger Heat It tool. All I needed to get was clear heat embossing powder, and then I could emboss with the colored inks I already had!

So, that’s how it all started… 🤣

…and of course, I fell in love with heat embossing, and now I use it in nearly every card I make! And just recently, I started experimenting with it in Bible journaling as well. So, I’m excited to share some fun embossing techniques with you!

heat embossing supplies, cards, and Bible journaling

But first, if you’re new to embossing, I’d like to start with a few embossing for beginners tips…

  • There are two ways to heat emboss, and thus two main types of embossing powder you might need: The first being, to start with your existing pigment (slow-drying) ink pads, and just use CLEAR embossing powder, so your pigment color shows through. Or, the second being to start with clear embossing ink, and add COLORED embossing powders.
  • The next thing to consider, is whether to buy regular powder, or fine/super-fine powder. The finer the embossing powder, the better it will be for very detailed images. (You’ll notice in these examples, that I use a lot of glitter ‘tinsel’ powders, which are unfortunately not very fine and thus not good for detailed things like small letters or intricate designs.)
  • ALSO! One more tip, is to use an anti-static pad, to prevent the embossing powder from sticking to parts of the paper you don’t want it to. You’ll see me use it (and forget to use it!) in the video below.
  • heat embossing powders and inks

    3 Heat Embossing Techniques

    Now, onto the real reason you’re here! These heat embossing techniques are so much fun, I hope you enjoy using them in your card making and/or Bible journaling as much as I do.

    By the way, the coolest heat embossing tool I’ve come across, is the ‘handle it’ tool from Ranger, which you’ll see me use in the video. Literally, it’s cool because it prevents your hand from getting overheated due to being too close to your heat source while the embossing powder is melting. I can’t believe I ever got by without it!

    EMBOSSING SUPPLIES (inks, powders, tools, and stamps):

    1) Multi-color embossing

    This has got to be the simplest of embossing powder ideas! When I first started learning heat embossing techniques, I thought embossing had to be only one color. I also mistakenly thought that once I’d embossed something on that page in one color, that I couldn’t go back and add another color next to the first. Somehow, I thought the extra heat required to melt the second color would somehow ruin the first one. Thankfully, I was wrong!

    multi-color heat embossing techniques

    You can see in this example, how cool the purple tinsel + black sparkle embossing powders look when combined in the firework stamp. And, what endless possibilities you could have when combining colors side-by-side, like the purple and gold tinsel fireworks!

    (By the way, you’ll notice in the video how I lamented that you can’t see the beautiful sparkle or the wonderful texture of the embossing… so when I took these photos, I angled them perfectly towards the sunlight coming through my window, so you CAN see that fantastic sparkle and texture that just didn’t come across on the video!)

    2) Reverse embossing/emboss resist

    Oh my gosh, y’all! This is my favorite of all embossing powder techniques! I call it ‘reverse embossing’, but I think the official term I’ve heard is ‘emboss resist’. But no matter what you call it, it’s super awesome!

    emboss resist cards and embossing tools

    Basically, you’re just embossing with WHITE powder on a WHITE page, and then painting over it with some kind of water-based medium like watercolors or Gelatos. Since water only absorbs into the paper itself and not the embossing, you can just wipe it off the embossed parts, and then you get an amazing reverse image! Like I said, it’s definitely my favorite of all these heat embossing techniques.

    3) Embossing pens

    Ever wondered how to use embossing powder without a stamp? Now you know! Just get these embossing pens, and go to town drawing your own images to be embossed. Since they come with both a brush tip pen and a bullet tip pen, I’m sure you could come up with lots of awesome heat embossing ideas to use these pens for!

    embossing pens

    (I know, I know, my little heart and ‘luv u’ are not a very creative use of the pens… that’s just all I could think of on the fly… 🙃)

    Matthew 5:16 let your light shine Bible journaling with embossing

    Using Heat Embossing in Your Journaling Bible

    Did you know it’s actually possible to incorporate heat embossing techniques into your Bible journaling? I hadn’t even thought to try it until recently, and I was surprised at how well it works… and it didn’t matter whether the Bible page was bare, or had gesso applied to it—it worked fine either way.

    The only caveat to embossing in your Bible, is that it might leave a dark silhouette on the back of the page, depending on the thickness of your Bible paper, and how dark your embossing color is. But of course, that’s the case with nearly all art mediums in Bible journaling… some things may show through more than others.

    Matthew 5:16 let your light shine - with black sparkle embossing

    Ephesians 4:23 Holy Spirit Bible journaling with embossed dove

    I think embossing is great for giving extra emphasis on a particular word or image, like the word “shine” in Matthew 5:16, or the dove that represents the Holy Spirit on the Ephesians 4:23 page. As I always say, the point of Bible journaling is to enhance your understanding and application of God’s Word in your life… so, do whatever helps you in that goal!

    So, which of these heat embossing techniques are you most excited to try? Like I said before, #2 is my favorite… it just makes such a beautiful contrast with the white embossed design and colorful background. 😍

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