By Christina VanGinkel
Some time ago, I discovered the craft of embossing with a Fiskars ScrapBoss Embossing System. I fell in love with the many crafts and projects that could be enhanced by using embossed embellishments with them, from scrapbook layouts, to handcrafted cards, to bookmarks and more. At the same time, I became interested in the craft of heat embossing but had yet to purchase a heat gun, the main tool required when creating heat embossed pieces. Along with the heat gun, embossing powders and an embossing ink in a pen or pad are also needed.
As much as I enjoy dry embossing, the technique that the Fiskars ScrapBoss Embossing System enabled me to do, I loved the look that heat embossing produced too. Depending on the powder you used with the heat gun and ink, the results I had seen were varied and unique. Some of the powders portrayed a look that could be compared to a plastic sheen even. While both dry and heat embossing produce a raised area of design, the dry embossing is best described as subdued, while heat embossing can be downright flashy when it comes to the finished results.
The hold up for me trying heat embossing was the purchase of the heat tool itself, more commonly referred to as a heat gun or embossing heat tool. After shopping for one at all my usual craft supply haunts, checking out different models and asking others who had used them how much they liked them, I did find one I thought I would like. First, I questioned anyone who would listen if the one they had was comfortable to hold while using, and if they had any issues with the heat emanating from them, such as the gun not heating up quick enough, or being so overheated that they worried about damage to their surrounding work area. Almost everyone I did ask, had a different heat tool or gun, yet one kept coming up in conversation as the one everyone wished they had purchased or if they had it, they loved it, so I ended up going with that particular heat gun, the EK Colorizer Heat Tool.
The EK Colorizer heat Tool has two different heat settings, so it makes it much more versatile than one would imagine, even doubling as a heat gun for stripping and removing old paint. While this was not what I wanted it for, when craft tools such as this cost as much as they do, knowing that they can be used for more than one application is nice. With the proper set up, the EK Colorizer Heat Tool can even be used to heat shrink plastic that is popular
I ordered mine from Joann.com online, using a forty percent off coupon, so I also ended up getting a bargain on the price. The EK Colorizer heat Tool retails for between thirty and forty dollars, but you can find it for less if you shop around. I have since heard that Joann. Com no longer carries this particular product, but I have seen it in several other online stores, so finding one should not be an issue.
Another topic that came up with those I questioned about which heat tool to go with, was a reminder from almost all to be sure to have a clear spot, away from anything flammable to use the Colorizer or any heat tool for that matter. This is definitely not a crafting tool you will want to let your young children borrow, or use around them even. The temperatures of the heat is high enough to easily burn skin, fabric, and ignite paper if left in contact long enough, so caution is mandatory.
The results you can achieve with such a tool though are so fun and can be used in so many ways that once you have the tool and a few powders, you will constantly be looking for more ways to use them. I have made card and scrapbook embellishments, decorated bookmarks, even added enamel embossing to chipboard letters and to the cover of an altered journal I created from an old book.
If you enjoy trying new crafting techniques, and have yet to try heat embossing, be sure to check out this versatile craft and its assorted tools, as you will be sure to find some craft application to use it with!