I have been scrapbooking for years and just started to get into stamping/card making. I love it. I would like to start heat embossing but can not decide what would be my best option. I get alot of my stuff from Stampin Up. I know they have a heating tool but do not know what else is out there. Also, what is the best embossing powers to use? Thanks so much for the help.
get a good size pad of Versamark, this is kinda like a glue to hold the embossing powder in place. You can stamp basically any stamp with the Versamark but you could also use a q-tip to make like tiny dots or smears. Just dip your q-tip onto the versamark pad and then on the area where you'd want the embossing done. Once you done stamping, pour the embossing powder onto the stamped areas. DO NOT rub the excessive powder on the stamp off with your fingers. It'll ruin the image. You can gently tap on the wrong side above a blank paper to get the excessive powder off. Then use the Heat tool. Am sure shops like Jo-Ann's Fabrics, Michael's, Walmart or any other shop that sells craft stuff, have heat tools. Most work the same, but some take quicker to get hot. I have a Dutch store brand Heat tool and it works like a charm. As for the embossing powders, you have the very fine powder and the bigger grain kind. It all depends what end result you want but also how thick you want it. For detailed images, the fine powder ones are best. There are different brands out there. Again I have the Dutch brand and am pleased with it. I also had a different brand that didnt melt at all. The Ranger brand is good and great for distressing. Me fave colours are white, black, bronze, gold, silver, glitter white (great for winter frost), Clear and pastel pink. There are different ways to use this and there are great vids on You Tube. Also tutorals...
The heat tool from Stampin' Up! is on the Retiring Products List. If you want to get it through Stampin' Up!, it will only be available until May 31st (or while supplies last). However, there are several different heat tools available. It's mainly a matter of which one feels the most comfortable for you. I've actually had 4 different heat tools before finally settling on Stampin' Up!'s heat tool. Each one heats up a little differently, many are shaped just slightly different, and some have different average temperatures.
As for embossing powders, I tend to stick with the neutral shades as they are more versatile for my work. However, you can get embossing powder in almost any color. Unless you are trying to emboss a large area or very bold, thick letters, I'd stick with the fine powders.
My last heat tool broke and I haven't replaced it yet. I'm shopping around to see which one I want to purchase. When I first bought a heat tool, I purchased a big assorted pack of embossing powders to go with it. After some trial and error time, I found that I really liked sticking with the neutral shades for embossing. My absolute favorite is embossing with clear powder. I stamp my image in colored ink, then stamp over it with Versamark and emboss with clear powder. The colors from the stamp show through the "gloss". It has been much more economical than trying to keep all of the different colors on hand.
Melissa, while it is true that the heat tool from the old catalog at SU! is retiring, we have a new, improved one in the new catalog starting 6/1. It has two heat settings, one for embossing and the other I believe is for drying things you've wet with inks, water, etc. Not exactly sure on the last thing so don't quote me on it but I'm checking it out soon so I'll let you know.