A lot of places like to claim they have the best heat embossing tool but I have to say that after using the one from Stampin' Up! for so long, I can tell you I really do think this one is the best.
Heat embossing is one of the most magical techniques in paper crafting. You stamp your image with a “sticky” ink – I use Versamark because it gives the crispest rendering of the art work on the stamp – sprinkle with embossing powder and heat with a heat tool and the embossing powder melts into a glossy finish with no other effort.
INSIDER TIP: If you want to create custom colored “embossing powder”, ink up your stamp with Versamark, then with any of the 58 Stampin' Up! ink pads and stamp. Sprinkle with CLEAR embossing powder and the color will show through! The Versamark does NOT harm you ink pads. You're welcome!
Here's a pic of a project I made using white embossing powder on dark card stock. I LOVE using white embossing powder in these cases because it's one of the best ways to get a solid, crisp, unified image on a darker surface.
I happened to use “Season's Greetings” but you can see how this super cute little gift bag could be used for anything AND for a guy (maybe if you took off the little bow). That black and white “flannel” paper just BEGGED for a black tag and the black tag DEMANDED the white script.
So, what about this best heat embossing tool claim? Well, most tools come with only one heat setting. And with the cheaper ones, that heat setting is HIGH!!!! I have seen many a scorched project caused by those inferior tools and, frankly, they aren't so much less that it ever makes it worth it. The reason I say the one from Stampin' Up! is the best heat embossing tool is that it has TWO heat settings – a high and a low. Why is this important?
First, you need a heat tool rather than just using a blow dryer because the blow dryer BLOWS. And it will blow ALL the embossing powder right off your project. You need just the heat. And, yes, this is HOT heat folks. We need to melt those teeny tiny pieces of thermoplastic polymer. But at the same time we don't want to burn our paper, right? So the best heat embossing tool will give you a way to melt the embossing powder on thicker materials like card stock, chipboard, glass, etc. AND give you a way to do this on lighter weight things like vellum, Designer Series Paper and acetate, for example.
Using high heat on those lighter weight materials can and often does scorch the material or, if you manage not to burn it, can warp it such that it buckles or wrinkles when you finish your project. NO GOOD! Using the lower setting does take a little bit longer, but the gentler setting allows you to get the same gorgeous effect without any of the pesky detriments of burning the heck out of your project!
INSIDER TIP: Get the Embossing Buddy. Seriously, it's just $6.00, it will last you FOREVER and it's one of the niftiest little helpers. Here's what it does – it leaves a very fine layer of powder on your project so when you stamp and then sprinkle, the embossing powder does not stick anywhere you DON'T want it to stick. No more speckles!!
Now about that little gift bag. I made this with the Stampin' Up! Gift Bag Punch Board and even though I have had this for a while, I am SO loving making so many cute little gift bags which I will be sharing with you in upcoming posts. Honestly, it's so fast and you can make them with any card stock or paper you have on hand. And you can make them in so many different sizes with the super easy instructions.
Here are the things I used to make this bag – you absolutely will want this punch board AND the best heat embossing tool!
If you haven't tried heat embossing you really are missing out on something super fun and gorgeous. And now Stampin' Up! has a beautiful collection of metallics which for the holidays are just perfect. And since you know you will be getting the best heat embossing tool there is, you are good to go!