Embossing 101 | Peggy Dean | Skillshare

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Introduction to Embossing


    • 2.

      What You'll Need to Begin


    • 3.

      Paper (and common errors)


    • 4.

      Paper Embossing (cont...)


    • 5.



    • 6.

      Sticker Labels


    • 7.



    • 8.

      The 5 Minute Greeting Card


    • 9.

      60 Second Notecard


    • 10.

      Paper Craft Hardware


    • 11.

      Terracotta Pots


    • 12.

      Ceramic Mug


    • 13.



    • 14.

      Journal Covers


    • 15.



    • 16.



    • 17.

      Plastic - Bad Idea?


    • 18.

      Thank you!


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About This Class

Embossing has once again surfaced as one of the most go-to essential crafter's technique for so many different projects. It's an adaptable skill that brings texture, shine, and pops of color to your finished product. I'll warn you: This is an addicting craft.

In this class, not only will you learn the basics of embossing, but you'll learn tricks to improve your end result, along with all sorts of different surfaces that can be embossed!

For additional tips, tricks and Q&A regarding processes, visit my blog!


Meet Your Teacher

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Peggy Dean

Top Teacher | The Pigeon Letters

Top Teacher


 Snag your free 50-page workbook right here!


Hey hey! I'm Peggy.

I'm native to the Pacific Northwest and I love all things creative. From a young age I was dipping everything I could into the arts. I've dabbled in quite an abundance of varieties, such as ballet, fire dancing, crafting, graphic design, traditional calligraphy, hand lettering, painting with acrylics and watercolors, illustrating, creative writing, jazz, you name it. If it's something involving being artistic, I've probably cycled through it a time or two (or 700). I'm thrilled to be sharing them with you!

Visit my Instagram for daily inspiration: @thepigeonletters, and head over to my blog for more goodies curated just for youuuu.

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Level: All Levels

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1. Introduction to Embossing: Hi guys. My name is Peggy. I have a couples of classes here on skill share on hand lettering. I'm really excited to go into embossing with you. This class is nothing but embossing, embossing 101. You'll learn about some different pen types, you will learn about ink, you will learn about different ways that you can incorporate embossing onto different types of materials. Everything that you can think of, we're going to be going over it with embossing. I'm really excited, I think that this class is going to be a lot of fun. I can't wait to see the projects that you guys come up with. I highly encourage you to go through my last class on adding flair to your hand lettering. There are some doodles in there that will really incorporate well into embossing, creating some gold accents and whatnot. I'm really excited you guys, I can't wait to get started. 2. What You'll Need to Begin: Welcome you guys. I'm excited that you've enrolled in the class, I can't wait to go over some things with you. Beforehand though, I do want to go over some tools and materials you will need. Unfortunately, this is not something you can grab around the house, you do need these specific tools. Number one, you need ink that will work with embossing. You're welcome to grab a versa marker ink pad. If you have stamps that you'd like to use, we will go over a little bit of stamping, but this class will be more targeted toward hand lettering. So the pens that I'll be using that you will see I've used this in a previous class as well, the versa marker. It's a good pen. It's got the dual tip, it has the more flexible end and then it has the hard tip end. This one, I find dries out pretty quickly, so it's not my favorite although it is fun to incorporate the rush lettering. On that note, I have these ranger pens. This one is clear and then they also have a black ones so you can really see what it is that you are writing. Note, with embossing, you can do any color ink. It can be black, it can be a color, anything, and it will not show because the only thing that's going to show up is the embossing powder, the color that you put down there. If you really want to have a better idea of what it is that you're writing, if it's a lighter piece of paper and that clear just isn't cutting it, these ranger black pens, they'll work great. The tips here, they're just medium felt-tip. They're hard so for calligraphy works really well with these guys. Then one of my favorites because I love doing the fine small lettering is, this quickie glue pen point ruler. It's actually a glue pen, it's really, really fine but you can get down to the smallest writing and embossing it without it looking like it's blowing out or like it's too thick. So these are some things to pick up, they're all something that you can find on Amazon, probably in your local craft store. Then in bossing powder of different brands you can try. There's a recollections brand, this is the party pink, it's a matte finish. I am more partial to the shiny sparkly finishes. They have one called Zing, that's very glittery otherwise the Ranger also has some great and embossing powders. This one's gold. I'm going to grab a couple more colors for us to try. Lastly, the most important thing that you're going to need is the embarrassing heat tool. This one is Nicole. You can find the bossing heat tools on Amazon for under 20 bucks. Hairdryers won't work, they don't get hot enough. This will get up to over 600 degrees, so you want to stay clear of this area with your fingers when you're in embossing and you'll feel the heat radiating and your skin will be very upset with you if you do not. So, grab a heat tool, and grab the embossing powder, some of the ink pens, ink pad if you're going to be doing stamping and some cardstock paper. You guys, I'm excited. Let's start. 3. Paper (and common errors): To get started, I am using my ranger embossing pen. It's just clear ink, and I'm going to hand letter a phrase. You can see the areas that this is wet on the paper. It's a little more difficult to see, but clear is the standard embossing pen color that you'll find, although there are blacks, which we'll go into next. But once I lay one word down, I'm going to cover it with embossing powder. This is copper. A lot of these colors will look a lot different coming out than they do when they're cured. This looks like a dark brown, but it will be a shiny copper when we're finished, almost a bronze color. I'm adding words above, but I want you to notice that I just rubbed the e with my hand. If this happens to you, it is an easy fix. First I'm going to make sure that my other words are covered so that I don't have to worry about them drying out because once the embossing powder has been laid down, I have nothing to worry about. So what I did there was just go over the e and the areas that lifted with the embossing pen again. I'm just putting embossing powder back down over it and then shaking that off. I made sure that the tip of my pen was also clear of that powder so that it wouldn't interfere with what I'm writing. I am just finishing my phrase. You can see it right there on the paper underneath. Then covering that with embossing powder. Completely taking it, putting it over my catch paper, which I will use as a funnel to put back in, and then I'm going to emboss from here. I sped this up because I wanted to show you the end result. You want to make sure that your embossing tool is a good inch-and-a-half away from the paper all times. Let's say that you did it too close, I'll do one right here. So you see that darker mark right above the h? That is what will happen if you hold your embossing tool too closer to the paper. So you want to avoid that. But otherwise, it's a real pretty copper, easy technique to make a wall art piece. 4. Paper Embossing (cont...): In this video, I am going to introduce to you the Ranger embossing pen in black ink. It's really easy to see what you're writing. It does not matter what color your ink will be in. It can be bright red or orange, it can be black, it can be clear. It doesn't matter because the only color that will show up when you're embossing is the color of the powder that you lay on top of the ink. I am just going to do some full calligraphy here and if you haven't watched a previous class on hand lettering for how to do full calligraphy, just to give you a quick overview, it just means that I'm adding weight to my down strokes of the letters that I write and then I take my embossing powder and I completely saturate the word. Grab a paper to catch the embossing powder. If anything is sticking, I just give it a tap and it comes right off. I'm going to move that out of the way and before I emboss, I'm actually going to be adding some additional lettering here. Once I have powder on a word, I don't have to worry whether it's going to dry or not because the powder is saturating it. That is what's going to keep it sticking to it. These letters, however, the ones that I've just recently added, I do want to go a little bit quickly so that I can ensure that it does not dry out by the time I lay powder on top of it. This is a good technique also if you want to use two different colors before you start embossing. You can avoid getting powder on the other word and then you can have two different colors. Tap that off, I'm actually going to keep going. Now I can feel free to not worry about anything I've already written becoming dry. Then these ones, I'll have to watch pretty carefully so I want to move quickly. If you want to do something that is a little bit longer, like this longer claw, I highly suggest penciling. Sketch out with what you're wanting to do first so that you know what your composition will look like and that way you're not wasting time and accidentally having something dry before it's ready to be covered with the embossing powder. I created a band in this, the paper to catch, just because this particular container for embossing powder has more of a narrow opening. This is just helpful and getting it all back in. Like I just talked about, I'm actually going to add a couple of birds in a different color. Before I cure it, I am going to draw these in and then put a little blue. It's a light blue. It's going to show up almost in white once it's cured. I'm going to take my embossing tool, hold it just about an inch and a half away from the paper. I don't want it too close because it can create burn marks, but I also don't want to hold it too far away because then it'll just take too long to cure. I'm just going to hover over and almost chase the melting powder which begins to raise and shine. Once that's finished, it will look like this and there's nothing else that needs to be done. 5. Vellum: Here we're going to use the VersaMarker to do a quick brush lettering on a piece of vellum. Vellum can be a lot of fun to work with, if you're making a card and you want an overlay, you can use it for scrapbooking. It tears really cool. If you want the edges to be a bit jagged, it'll look really neat if you do a tear. There's a lot of things that you can do with this vellum paper, right now I want to show you what it will look like when you do quick brush lettering. Vellum is more of a non porous material, the ink will stay wet a little bit longer, so you don't have to worry about it drying as fast. Then once you lay on your powder on, just pour it back into your container. Vellum is pretty flexible, so you're able to pour most of it right off of the original paper, not the catch. Then make sure to tap away or brush away any of the excess because these types of materials can hold onto the powder a little bit more, and once you heat some of them will stick. Sometimes I will use my dry paint brush to hold the paper in place if it's a smaller piece of paper and I don't want to get my fingers in there, so that can be helpful. Then you're all set and you have an awesome, transparent, shiny piece of vellum. 6. Sticker Labels: All right. Another fun idea is to make some labels. Let's say you have a product and you want to put a label with just a couple of initials or a design on and you don't want to have them produced but you'd rather hand-make them. I just did the letters TPL for the pigeon letters which is what my social media and Etsy handle is. Going to get all of this embossing powder after I do the letters and cover them, tap off any excess and then I'm going to do one more above x. I'm going to try two different colors here but I'm writing the same thing. Just TPL. Make sure that the entire design is covered by the embossing powder here. Then knockoff any of the excess. Get that back into its container. Then from here I'm going to heat set what I have just created. These are stickers. You want to be careful because it can mess with the integrity of how sticky it is on the back but it isn't too bad especially if you're going to apply them right away. I actually like both of these how they turned out. For the first one that I will use, it's a little more rustic. So I'm going to grab this copper color and just stick it right on the back, bottom and middle area and finish. 7. Envelopes: So I love the idea of getting some snail mail with a beautiful design on the envelope. So I'm going to do a real simple banner. One of them I covered in a previous class on hand lettering embellishments. I'm going to emboss the banner and then I'm going to write inside of it with one of my souffle pens. So there's my banner and going to pour some embossing powder over it then use this copper color. Just to make sure the whole thing is covered. Then shake that off, tap off any excess regular paper. It's pretty easy to get that to come off and then funnel that right back into its container. Now I'm going to emboss. I could easily do this on a regular piece of paper and make a banner with some design around it but since this is an envelope, I am just going to write out the name and address. In case you're wondering, I do have these videos sped up so that we can get through the instruction without having to yawn through it. So if you're wondering, these souffle pens are pretty neat because they are a gel pen. They are opaque on dark paper so they take a second to show up, but once they do, they have some pretty vibrant colors. Then I'm going to add some weight to this lettering up here so that it is more of a calligraphic design. Then I am all set and so you'd get something like this and the mail, pretty easy. 8. The 5 Minute Greeting Card: All right, so I am going to show you guys a very quick card that you can make in under five minutes. I'm using my Quickie Glue Pinpoint Roller Pen. It's best for the smaller writing and will dry a little bit slower. I'm just going to write Happy Birthday, and I'm using a faux calligraphy style, so I'm going to be adding weight, so it may take just a bit longer. I have sped this video up just a bit so that we can get through to the points that we actually are going to need to know to create or reproduce this card or something even more similar to it. I'm going to pass embossing powder over the first word before I move on to the next, just so that it does not dry before I'm ready for it to. Knockoff loose powder. Then I'm going to tap off any extra. I'm going to write birthday. I love lettering cards and envelopes because the simplicity along with it can really create a completed look in a much more minimal type of way, which I think is a really beautiful design. You can find a lot of things like that in print work, so to handmake your own is very special. Once this is done I'm just adding some of my weight lines for my calligraphic lettering, I'm going to pour my embossing powder over, make sure it's completely covering all of the letters, then I'm going to brush off any of this extra powder. For the little that's remaining into the container by creating a little bend in the paper to file it in and then I will emboss the entire design. Just go over that pretty quickly chasing the cutter as its melting. If I wanted to, I could actually use this as my final design. It doesn't need anything else. I can just write a little note on the inside. But I also want to show you a couple other steps that you can take to create a little more embellishment into the card. I'm actually going to take some cut outs that I just cut with scissors from a piece of vellum paper. Then I'm going to put little dots on the top of the balloons with my glue pen. Because the glue takes a while to dry, I am going to wait until I finish all three before I lay down my powder. I'm just basically just pressing it down to create little dots. Then I'm going to take more sparkly embossing glitter and lay that on top of the glue and then shake off any of that excess powder although this would look pretty just as is but I'm just going to tap that off, then I'm going to cure that powder with the embossing tool. This one you want to be careful with because it is such a small little section so you might want to use something else to hold it in place because it can get pretty hot next to your finger, tweezers or something like that would work as well. I'll use the back of this pencil on this guy. Then it turns out to be these small little shiny dots at the top of these balloons. Those can look pretty fun. They're very simple and I'm going to use just one of these [inaudible] I like their dot adhesives because I feel like the texture creates more of a grip. But they're really easy to apply adhesive to, they are just a quick roll left. Just applying a little bit of pressure. They work pretty great. Then I want to show you too. If I was to push this down, you can actually just take it right back up and the adhesive doesn't leave any residue on the paper whatsoever and then you can move it somewhere else you'd like and then it sticks just as well. Just going to draw some little balloon strings with my Souffle Gelly Roll pen. That's it. There is a five minute birthday card. Pretty easy. Then let's say you want to make a tag, I want to show you what that would look like too. A quick tag with a quickie glue pen, I'm just going to write to in regular capital letters and then I'm just going to write Erin. Then lay some embossing powder, knock off any excess, get it back in its original container. Then emboss that, does pretty quickly. Let's see it start to get shiny and that's it. That creates an intricate tag for some gift wrap which can just polish off your gift. 9. 60 Second Notecard: Let's say you want to make a note card, you don't have anything but blank paper, I'm going to give you two words. I'm going to write, "Hey you". Just in the bottom right corner here, I'm not going to even use for calligraphy, I'm just going to write it in cursive with my quickie, glue, pinpoint roller pen. This is all I'm going to do, then cover that with embossing powder. Make sure that all of that goes back into the container to preserve for next time. Then that's what that looks like, and I'm just going to cure it with embossing heat tool, and it will take no time at all, it's already exerting. Then you're finished and that is as quick as it needs to be. It's the most simple little note card that you can then write and side off, match it with a cute envelope and then you're all set to give that away. 10. Paper Craft Hardware: So if you guys are paper crafts like I am, you have these brads or eyelets that often are silver or gold and you combine them with color, but what if you wanted to change the color? I'm taking my versa marker, the brush part, you can dip this in ink pad as well, just make sure it's saturated with the ink on the tip. You can actually just dip this inside of your embossing powder once it's wet. Then use tweezers to make sure that it's not near your fingers and then curate with some heat. Then once you curate eyelets and you have a totally different color without having to buy a whole pack. 11. Terracotta Pots: Terracotta is one of the easiest to emboss. I love it. It's so easy to write on because you can see everything that you're doing. This is the ranger clear ink embossing pen. I'm just going to create a pot for time. That is what I am going to write. I'll make sure to add my weight in for sewn and for calligraphy because this is not a brush pen, but it is my favorite embossing pen. As I go I can see any areas that I might want to make any adjustments, but really just get that written on, make sure that it's still what these ones do stay wet a little bit longer so it makes it a little easier as well. Which is one of the reasons that I love writing on these pots. I'm sure that you've probably, if you follow any letters on Instagram, you've probably seen a lot of people use these for some embossing. Again, just make sure that your embossing powder is completely covering your design, whatever you choose to put on there, and keep your catch paper underneath, it just makes things easier for when you do want to put it back in its container. But checking and it seemed saturated, so I'm going to pour this back in, make a little funnel here, and then it is time to cure it. Just watch it as it raises and gets shinier. Let's move on, the pot may get a little bit hot, so be careful with your fingers, but otherwise, that is the end result. Embossing looks amazing on this material. I can't get enough of it. So definitely grab one of these pots and have fan. 12. Ceramic Mug: Let's say you have a blank white mug and you want to emboss on it. I'm here to tell you, you can. So all you're going to do is just take your embossing pen, this is the ranger black ink. I'm going to write directly onto the mug just the word brewtiful. Similar to beautiful, but with coffee connotation and then pour my embossing powder directly on that while it's still wet. Just make sure it's completely saturated, knock it off. This is also one of those materials you're going to want to get those excess granules off because they will stick, and then once you cure the powder, it's likely that it will also bond, which we do not want. Once you get all that off, then you are free to apply heat. It may take a bit to warm up and start actually embossing, so give it a second and be patient. I've sped this up so that we can see the end result a bit quicker. On this one, I didn't do the best job getting off all of those extra granules. I'm not too worried about it on this mug. I think it's going to have a neat effect, but you probably will want to get those all off. But once it's all set, it looks pretty neat. 13. Stamps: If you're a stamper, we are just going to do a really simple front of a card with one simple stamp. I'm just going to show you a quick version here. I want to make sure that my stamp is completely saturated. I'm going to rub it on here, different angles, lots of dabs. Check the back, make sure that it's nice and black. The ink color doesn't matter because whatever embossing powder you put over that's what's going to show. I'm going to press it hard and consistently on all the edges on the card. Make sure that my stamp pad is closed. You don't want that drying out and then just lay my embossing powder over this stamp while it's still wet. From there, I'm going to catch all of this loose powder on a separate piece of paper so I can pour that back into my container to save for later, just make a little funnel. Now, I'm going to heat up this heart. Sometimes, it takes a minute for the embossing tool to heat up and once it does, just make sure you go around until the stamp is completely raised and this one will get shinier. Some of them are more of an opaque finish. This one has some shimmer to it in the gold and then you are all set. You can add a little design if you want to, but otherwise, it's just a real simple card. 14. Journal Covers: You guys have probably seen or have owned or have gifted those small skin journals. They are blank on the outside typically. What I'm going to do is take my clear ranger embossing pen and just jot a word down here real quick, and then lay some embossing powder over that. The clear shows up a bit better on these than it does on paper just because the surface is a little less porous. I'm showing you what it would look like clear, but then I also am going to show you what black ink on one of these all look like next. You do want to be careful because these journals will melt if you hold it in the same place too long. Behind it, you can see it happening here, but I'm trying to move pretty quickly and keeping a good safe distance from melting the ink. But if you can see behind the lettering, it can blow out a bit, so definitely be careful. Moving into the other pen that it definitely shows up much easier for you to see. Remember that it does not matter what color the ink is, whether it be a stamp pad or an embossing pen, because the only color that will actually show up is the powder color that you choose. I'm going to move pretty quickly, make sure that my heat tool is not in the same area for too long. I don't want to burn behind here because I definitely don't want to change the texture of the surface of this journal. Once that's done, I actually am going to add a couple smaller words under here. It's going to say "Grow every day" and throw some embossing powder on that. When you do them in separate sections like this, you can choose a different color if you want to. I'm just going to have all of this being gold. This is just a fun finishing touch for a journal you have, or perhaps even in gifts that you might want to get somebody. 15. Wood: Wood is one of the easiest materials to use when you want to emboss. This is again, my ranger, clear ink embossing pen. I'm just going to emboss here on my pen holder. I'm just writing pens so it's going to be pretty straight forward but it really transforms what this very plain pen holder looks like into something that's a little more modern and has a little more of a polished look to it. Before the ink dries, I am making sure that my embossing powder covers the word completely. It's over my paper to catch any loose granules, get that off and to [inaudible]. It doesn't take very long with wood. It sets very nicely and then it comes out very shiny. That's it, really simple, awesome pen holder that you can create out of a simple wood container. 16. EmbossGlass: Moving on to glass, is something that I don't think many people realize that you can emboss on. This is a thicker chunk of glass here, so it's not going to break as easily under heat. I would be careful with that and move relatively quickly. Because you do want to be careful with the glass and the heat but yeah, the glass does take a little longer to heat with the embossing tool, so I have sped that part up so that you guys can see the end result faster. But yes, a glass is something that you can definitely emboss. I'm just doing what I would normally do on paper. I just make sure that my powder completely is covering my design. Then I find that plastic and glass is the hardest to get the excess powder knocked off. As long as you know that the ink was really wet when you laid it down, you can do these light sweeping motions with a dry paint brush to get it off and I will actually touch it to the design just very lightly so I can make sure that it's not going to warp the letters when I do cure it. That worked pretty well, I'm going to go ahead and cure now. Keep in mind that the heat on the glass does take a minute longer. I have sped this up but we can see that embossing is working and it's looking beautiful, so the end result will be really fun. As soon as I actually see the powder melting and it's embossing, I am moving my heat tool right away. Just like that. It looks awesome and then I'm just going to throw some of my tambow pens in here and then I am all set. 17. Plastic - Bad Idea?: Although I'm excited to show you what this will be like to emboss a plastic container, you guys need to be so careful because this is going to melt it. I'm doing it on purpose because I actually want to have the dip in this jar. I'm just in embossing on the outside with my ranger black ink, hard tip font pen. I'm going to just be very careful as I'm going. I don't want to hold any heat over one area for too long. So I'll show you what that's going to look like in just a second. These types of surfaces also collect extra powder that you don't necessarily want to set so make sure you brush that off as well. Then when working here with heat and we want to be again really, really careful. So you're going to start to notice that this is melting inward as I am in embossing. It can create a really cool texture to the jar and creates more of like a label than just a word. 18. Thank you!: Alright, you guys we're all done. That's all I have for you. I hope that you learned a lot in this Embossing class. I hope that there's something that you can take away as far as incorporating different creative methods. I really can't wait to see what you guys all come up with and the colors you choose and what not. I'd love to hear your thoughts, I'd love to hear your progress. Thank you so much for joining me and we'll see you next time.