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Heat Embossing In 4 Easy Steps (tutorial + Pro Tips!)


Heat Embossing Tutorial + Tips and Tricks by Vial Designs


If you haven’t seen heat embossing yet, I think you are missing out on some fantastic magic to turn up your lettering. Heat embossing is one of the best ways to enhance a hand lettering, card making, or any DIY projects.

It might seem complicated to do at first, but once you get the hang of it, it’s actually pretty easy. In this blog post, I will show you how to heat emboss the right way, so you can try it yourself using a few tools and following 4 easy steps. I will also share with you some Pro Tips to get the best out of your heat embossing.

For this project, I will be going Faux Calligraphy, which you can learn how to do in this blog post. Plus get access to my resource library. I have tons of FREE lettering practice worksheets to help you. You can fill out the form at the bottom of this blog post to get access.

When I first saw heat embossing on Instagram videos, and I was immediately hooked! Seeing the heat turn the embossing powder into something magical and have it bloom before your eyes.

It’s mesmerizing, and I had to try it. As it turns out, it wasn’t as easy as the videos made it seem (of course, is it ever that easy?), but after some trial and error, I was able to get the hang of it. And now I want to share the magic of heat embossing with you.

What is Heat Embossing?

Heat embossing is a craft technique that easily creates raised texture, while it gives dimension, shine, and more interest in your crafting or lettering project. The raised, shiny plastic coating that heat embossing creates adds a whole new dimension to your lettering, and you will have everybody wondering how you’ve achieved such professional look! It is super fun to make and even more fun to watch!

This step-by-step video tutorial shows you how to get started with heat embossing by following 4 easy steps!


I’m excited to show you this heat embossing technique! This post may contain some affiliate links for your convenience (which means if you purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission, but it won’t cost you a penny more)! Read my full disclosure policy here.

Heat Embossing Must-Have Tools:

So now that you know what heat embossing is, let’s get the right tools to make it happen. You can get these tools individually as listed below or in a kit, like this starter kit.

  • Embossing Markers. You can get a brush-tipped pen or a regular tip embossing pen, which comes in a set of black and clear markers.
  • Embossing Powder. I’m using gold embossing powder for this tutorial, but you can use whichever color you like!
  • Heat Tool
  • A surface to emboss (cardstock, paper, notebook cover, etc.)
  • A tool to remove static or residue from the surface you will be embossing. I have an anti-static pad. I’ve seen people used other tools like this powder tool. Or something simple as a used dryer sheet!
  • Small brush.
  • Your lettering. If you don’t already have some lettering experience. I recommend you start practicing using lettering practice worksheets. You can download mine from my free resource library – request the password at the bottom of this post.

Now, on to the steps…


STEP 1: Prep your surface and write out your desired word or phrase using an embossing marker.

To make your embossing project look its best, you need to prep the surface by cleaning it or using a tool to remove any static or residue. Use a prepping tool like the anti-static pad, the anti-static powder tool, or a used dryer sheet.  Pass it over the surface you will be embossing before doing your lettering.

Step 1 of the Heat Embossing Tutorial by Vial Designs_Preping the surface

Preparing the surface to emboss is essential! It will help you get the embossing powder only where you want it to. Paper can have static. This annoying static can make some of the embossing powder stick in non-inked places, which leaves little specks of embossing powder everywhere on the paper. You will need to be on the lookout for those little rebels.

For this heat embossing tutorial, I choose to write the word “Believe.” This word is part of a lettering challenge I’m currently hosting over on Instagram called lettering challenge. It was the perfect excuse for me to make sure I had my entry for the challenge and use it to create this tutorial.

Step 1 of the Heat Embossing Tutorial letter your word by Vial Designs

STEP 2: Cover your word or letters with embossing powder while the ink is still wet.

Pour the embossing powder over your lettering. Don’t worry about the amount of embossing powder you are putting into the letters because you will get the excess off later. You want to make sure your design is saturated with embossing powder.

Step 2 of the Heat Embossing Tutorial by Vial Designs_Cover the lettering with Embossing powder

STEP 3: Remove the excess of embossing powder.

Tap the back of your paper to remove the excess of powder. Make sure you have something to catch the excess of powder so you can put it back to its original container and reuse it later. You can use a piece of scrap paper I folded in half beforehand.

I recently got a tray similar to this one to pick up the excess of embossing powder. While this tray is not necessary, it’s kind of a game-changer. You can use it for other things like glitter or small materials you want to put back into containers to reuse later. Another thing you can use is a coffee filter!

Step 3 of the Heat Embossing Tutorial_Remove the excess of embossign powder by Vial Designs

If there is still stray powder you don’t want on your design, you can use a small brush to remove it.

Now, on to the magic part!!!

STEP 4: Use the heat tool over the embossed letters to watch the magic happen!

Before you use the heat tool, make sure all your hand lettering is completely covered with the embossing powder, and you have removed any embossing powder you don’t want.

Let the heat gun run for a little bit until it has heated up and before exposing it to the embossing powder.

Hold the heat tool about 6″ away from your paper. Start further away and then get closer if necessary.  Make sure not to be too close, because the heat can burn the paper. (I learn this the hard way!). As the heat goes through the embossing powder, it will melt. This leaves a piece of magic! A shiny raised lettering design.

Step 4 of the Heat Embossing Tutorial by Vial Designs Magic Happens

Let the paper cool down for a little bit before doing anything else with it.

Final lettering project done with Heat Embossing by Vial Designs


  • If you are doing a long quote or phrase, make sure you don’t do it all at once. Follow these steps by doing a few words at a time. This will ensure the ink of the marker doesn’t dry up too quickly and most of the embossing powder sticks.
  • Sketch your design beforehand. I always like to sketch my designs because it gives me a better idea of how I can use the space properly. This is especially true for long quotes and more unique or elaborate designs.
  • If there are any areas where the embossing powder didn’t hold properly, don’t panic! Just go over it with the embossing pen, powder then the heat tool again.
  • Sometimes your cardstock or paper can curl a little. This is normal because of the heat reaction with the paper. You can either turn it around and heat the back of it or let it cool down and put it between a heavy book on a flat surface.

Ready to get adventurous with heat embossing?

Try black embossing on black cardstock, or even different embossing colors for the same piece! There is just something about experimenting with embossing. Let me know what surfaces you have tried this technique on!

Here are some other lettering tutorials. I think you will find them helpful:

I hope you found this tutorial useful and are ready to give heat embossing a try. I’d love to see your projects on social media. Tag @VialDesigns on Instagram and use the hashtag #vd_tutorials or #vialdesigns_blog


Maira Vial Signature


How to Heat Embossing in 4 easy steps by Vial Designs

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  1. Really helpful article! Heat embossing is a great way to add dimensions to a card. The use of slow drying inks is great for embossing,as it makes your embossing powder adhere more evenly.

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