Embossing Powders:

Tips, Tricks and Recipes

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Links to recipes:

Rubber Stamps Club
Artistic Enhancements

Sellers of cool EPs:

Think Ink
ERA Graphics
Appaloosa Art Stamps
Creations Unlimited
Embossing Arts
Wally's World
Sara's Expressions
Ranger (check out the frosted crystal, when melted, it doesn't become completely clear but frosted, cool!!!)

There are many other vendors which carry their own line of EPs but most of them you can find in your local stamp or craft store. Judikins has a great line of powders, Comotion has a new line of powders available (you can find their powders on the Addicted to Rubber Stamps site) and PSX. Ranger EPs (Adirondack and Antiquities labels you can find locally also). Stampendous has also introduced a new line called Pearl Luster EPs which are gemstone colored EPs with a pearl finish. Very pretty.

My thoughts on EPs:

Embossing has potential for lots of experimentation. You can make some of your own awesome combinations by adding colored glitters, mixing colors and even using single colors over a colored ink that you wouldn't normally think to use together. I would suggest that you experiment on scrap paper before applying to a project in the works.

When adding glitter to EPs, be sure not to add too much since you need more EP vs. glitter so the glitter will mix in and melt into the EP. Too much glitter and when you're done embossing, the glitter will flake off. Shake glitter EPs well before using to mix the glitter with the EP. 

I like to stamp an image, color it and then apply clear embossing fluid (using a paintbrush) to specific areas I want embossed. Here's a card in which I embossed only specific areas -- CLICK HERE!!! I colored the image with watercolor pencils, added highlights with Pearl Ex and then embossed the dresses with various holographic and glitter EPs. It's a little difficult to see the embossing since it doesn't always scan well but it's there.

EPs are also essential for doing the Joseph's Coat technique -- CLICK HERE!!! For this card front, I stamped various images using clear embossing ink and powder on a colored cardstock. I then applied various colors of Ancient Page inks and then black pigment ink (Colorbox black) over the entire piece of cardstock. Next I applied clear EP and embossed again. This effect can look neat if you use a glitter or holographic EP for the final embossing after applying the black pigment ink. Try using this technique with a blue pigment ink pad instead of black for ocean scenes, etc. Way neato!!!

Try stamping an image with a simple outline. Cut it out and cover completely with black pigment ink then sprinkle on various colors of embossing pearls (Ranger, Wally's World, Embossing Arts, Stampendous all carry various colors of embossing pearls). Here's an example using a bear fetish stamp -- CLICK HERE!!! I stamped the bear on chipboard, cut out, covered with black ink and then sprinkled on embossing pearls in various colors.

Lighter color pearl EPs look very pretty on dark pigment inks. Try using a pearl blue/purple over dark blue ink or red over burgundy/dark red ink. You can achieve some very elegant looks using embossing pearls.

For images you wish to have a black outline, the recommendation is to stamp in black, emboss in clear. That way if you have any stray particles you didn't get rid of, you won't see them whereas black EP would leave little black specs around your image. 

Storing EPs: 
I use baby food jars or small jewelry bags to hold EPs I have made myself. My house stays fairly dry so I don't have a lot of problem with static or the EPs becoming clumpy. You can add packets of silica gel (found in shoeboxes, etc) to your EPs to keep the moisture low. You can also buy silica gel (found in the floral sections of craft stores) and make your own little packets. I would think though that if you shake your EPs well before using, this would break up any clumps that may have formed. Also, storing EPs in plastic containers would work too.


Types of Embossing Powders:
(Chart Courtesy of The Stampin' Place)

Color Powders:

A variety of rich colors which will completely cover the ink on which they are applied, showing only the color of the embossing powder.
Metallic Powders:
A variety of opaque colors with a metallic shine. These colors will completely cover the ink on which they are applied, showing only the color of the embossing powder.
Detail Powders:
A variety of opaque colors which are a finer grind of powder, allowing these powders to be a better choice for stamped images which have greater detail. These colors will completely cover the ink on which they are applied, showing only the color of the embossing powder.
Glitter Powders:
A variety of clear powders with glitter added. They will show the color of ink beneath, adding a glittered look to the effects of clear powder.
Glitter Powders:
A variety of opaque powders containing glitter. These powders will completely cover the ink on which they are applied, showing only the color of the embossing powder. The "tinsel" powders contain a greater amount of glitter.
Glow in the Dark:
A translucent powder which is applied over light colored ink. The color of ink will show through, and the treated area will glow in the dark.
Pearls Powders:
A variety of delicate color powders which can be applied over any ink color and will show the color of the ink beneath while adding a pearlized highlight in the color indicated.
Clear Powders:
A variety of clear powders, which will show the color of the ink beneath while adding a raised shine. Clear and Clear Detail are finer ground powders, while Clear Enamel (Super Gloss) and Enamelware are a coarser grind which allows the powder to build up quicker for a heavy, thick application.



(The following instructions are from Enchanted Ink)

Sharper Colored in Images

Often when you color in an embossed image with markers, some of the marker color will get on the raised embossing, coloring it as well. Next time this happens, reheat the embossed image slightly with your heat source. As the powder remelts, the color on top of it disappears.

Emboss in ANY Color

Want to emboss that pumpkin in orange, but you don't have orange ink OR orange powder?? No problemo! Simply tap your stamp lightly on a clear embossing pad and color the stamp with a Marvey marker! The embossing ink keeps the Marvey color moist long enough to emboss it with clear powder. You can even use multi-colors on your stamp. The embossing ink will last through several re-inkings before you have to clean it off and start over.

Incomplete Images

We've all done this! Finish embossing only to find that part of the image did not get inked and not embossed. If this is just a small area, it can easily be fixed. Using an erasable ball point pen, simply draw in the missing part. Sprinkle embossing powder over the ink and emboss as normal. The erasable ball point pen stays wet long enough to hold the embossing powder. You can also use it to write on or sign a card and then emboss.

Emboss a Rainbow

Try this. Stamp a leaf image with clear embossing ink. Then, holding the paper vertically, first pour a bit of gold powder on one section of the image. Tap off the excess. Using a different folder to catch the powder, sprinkle on some silver powder and tap off the excess. Follow this in another part of the image with bronze powder or repeat layers of silver and gold. When the image has been completely covered with embossing powders, reclaim the excess powder and emboss. You have a lovely "autumn" leaf!

Embossed Panels and Backgrounds

To make a panel, simply cut a circle, oval, rectangle or square out of a piece of paper, creating a stencil. (See more on this under Masking and Other Cool Tricks) Lay this stencil or reverse mask on your paper and using a sponge, fill in the open area with either embossing or colored ink. Coat liberally with embossing powder and emboss. To do the whole background, use a sponge or brayer to apply the ink. This works very well with clear or pearl powders and makes a lovely filler around or behind a single image.