Rubber Stamps and Heat Embossing Tools

Rubber stamping has been around for a long time but in the last couple decades it has evolved into a large industry well-entrenched in the arts and crafts areas.

Rubber stamps (fig. 1) consist of a sheet rubber that has an image or pattern on it. The pattern can be applied to the rubber by carving or by laser engraving, or the rubber can have the image molded in it. The rubber usually is mounted to a block of wood in order to make it much easier to use.

rubber stampsInk is applied to the rubber and transferred onto the medium, which in the case of greeting cards is usually paper. See Rubber Stamping

heat gun You can take the process further by spreading embossing powder on the wet ink and heating the powder with a heat gun (fig. 2). This creates a raised image and is one type of embossing. If you're thinking about using a hair dryer instead - nope. Hair dryers don't get hot enough and blow too hard.

embossing pensAnother approach to heat embossing is to create an image with embossing pens (fig. 3) and apply the powder as above. Regular felt-tip pens don't work because the ink dries too quickly. The embossing pens come in a wide variety of colors as well as clear. Many are double-tipped - one end has a fine point and the other end is a brush point.

Another way to use embossing pens is to apply ink to a rubber stamp and then stamping the image onto the medium, allowing for more creative color control.

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