Before I learned how to emboss, it was intimidating. Little did I know that as long as you have the correct tools, it's incredibly easy. Furthermore, it's very versatile in what you can do with it—the possibilities are endless! Each year around the holidays, I think of another way to incorporate embossing into my crafting and gift preparation. The best thing about it is that the end result of the process makes things look so fancy and impressive! But, in reality it is very quick, easy, and inexpensive to do.
Cost of embossing supplies: $27
Before I get into the different crafts you can do for Christmas, let’s discuss the tools you need. First, you need a heat gun. Additionally, you will need a VersaMark pad, which allows you to create a watermark with your stamps. To pour onto the watermarks, you will need embossing powder, which comes in so many different colors and varieties from metallic to sparkly. This powder is just finely crushed plastic that melts once the heat from the gun is applied to it, and then quickly hardens. The powder may seem a bit pricey for the small containers, but they last a long time as each embossment takes only a small amount of powder. I have had the same bottles of powder for several years now and I use them quite a bit.
The most fun supply needed for embossing is a rubber stamp. Any will work—it all depends on what look, design, or theme you are going for. Another supply I like to have on hand when embossing is a large piece of cardstock to put underneath whatever item I am working on to catch any overflow of powder. You can use any kind of paper, but I prefer something sturdier instead of flexible paper like newspaper as that makes it easier to get the extra powder back into its container. Finally, I use a paintbrush to gently remove any stray powder that may stick around the watermark. Now that you know all the necessary supplies, which can all be bought at mostly any craft store, let’s get to the fun part—the crafts!
A Mason Jar Top
There are so many great mason jar gift ideas out there, from those filled with candy to cake mix. A fun way to add some flair to the gift is to do some embossing on the lid. Here are the steps to complete this craft and emboss the top of the jar.
Time: 5 minutes || Cost: $6
Step 1 - Use a pencil to trace the size of the top onto a piece of paper. I used regular paper and wrapping paper, as I wasn’t sure how much the embossing would stand out on a pattern.
Step 2 - Place the paper or object you want to emboss on top of the paper you laid down to catch the extra powder.
Step 3 - Take whichever stamp you would like to use and firmly stamp it onto the VersaMark pad, carefully making sure that each piece of the stamp touches the pad. If the stamp you’re working with is larger than the pad itself, hold the stamp rubber side up in your nondominant hand and then put the VersaMark pad in the other, moving the pad around the area of the stamp to ensure it is all covered (as opposed to leaving the pad on the table and stamping it around there).
Step 4 - Carefully stamp the paper or object that you're working with where you would like the embossment to be.
Step 5 - Pour a liberal amount of embossing powder over the watermark and ensure that it is completely covered. I usually pour at least a quarter to half of the bottle of powder onto the mark, knowing that 95% of it will end up back in the bottle. Remember that it's better to pour too much than not enough!
Step 6 - Pour the excess back into the capsule and use your little paintbrush to touch up the design as needed.
Step 7- Use the heat tool to solidify the design. Note that the heat tool gets extremely hot and should be about five inches from the paper or object when you are using it. Keep the tool focused on the stamp design until you see it glaze over. This should not take more than 15-20 seconds to happen.
Step 8 - Wait about two minutes for the embossing powder to dry completely before touching it.
Step 9 - Use a glue stick to affix the paper to the flat part of the mason jar, and then screw the round part over it.
I like to make my own stationery, particularly for the holidays! I use these cards myself or like to give them as a gift. For this particular piece of stationery, I used a neutral tan flat card that was slightly textured with raised snowflakes. I also used a fun patterned washi tape. Here are the steps to making stationery.
Time: 5 minutes || Cost: $8
Step 1 - Place the washi tape along the bottom of the card.
Step 2 - Use a stamp to go through the embossing process, as described above for the mason jar top craft.
Once it's dry, you will have an adorable card! When I give these as gifts, I like to tie the stack of them in a pretty ribbon rather than wrapping them.
Another fun way to enhance your stationery through embossing is to emboss the envelopes. I do this each year with Christmas cards on the back flap as well as on the "from" next to the address. This is a fun way to make your cards stand out in the bunch that everyone gets year after year!
Especially if you are hosting a party or dinner this holiday season, you can enhance your tablescape with personalized place cards. You can easily buy the blank folded ones at a craft store, or get more creative with what paper and shape you use for them.
Time: 5 minutes || Cost: $6
Since I had these pre-cut mitten shapes on hand, I used those, a stamp, and a Sharpie to make my place cards by simply going through the embossing process. Since they lay flat, they look cute on a festive plate next to a napkin and silverware. If you have great penmanship or know how to hand letter, you can get a VersaMark pen rather than using a stamp, too!
For the holidays, there are endless opportunities to enhance or create gifts and decor through embossing. While the results are quite fancy and impressive, you will see how easy and fun they are to create, as well as cost effective. Happy embossing!