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What is an Embossing Gun?

By Josie Myers
Updated: May 16, 2024

An embossing gun is a small heating device that is used for creating raised pictures, usually on paper. These tools are used most often with rubber stamping. A stamp is placed on paper, embossing powder sprinkled over the wet stamp, and the gun heats the powder — melting it and leaving behind a raised image of the stamp.

An embossing gun is similar to a hairdryer in that it is a hand-held device that provides a stream of heat, but has a straight shape. Unlike a hairdryer, the air is put out at a low speed, so as not to blow the embossing powder off of the image. The heat is concentrated and generally blows hotter than a hair dryer as well. These craft guns are usually electric, although there are some multi-function tools that are powered by butane.

To create an embossed image with an embossing gun, first choose a stamp, ink color, and embossing powder. Stamp the paper using the ink pad and immediately pour embossing powder on the image while the ink is wet. Shake the excess powder off of the image, and return it to the container for later use. Plug in the embossing gun and turn it on. Hold it a couple inches above the image and run the gun slowly back and forth over the image, until the powder melts, then turn the gun off.

The temperature of the air flow is enough to melt the powder, which usually melts at about 200° Fahrenheit (93° Celsius). Since the air flow is concentrated, an embossing gun is designed to avoid scorching the paper. It is also designed to handle repeated switching on and off, a function that some other types of heating tools cannot do.

When using an embossing gun, it is important not to block the vents on the back of the gun. These vents are essential to prevent overheating and subsequent fire hazards. The nozzle of the gun can get quite hot, even with short term use, so no one should not touch this area after use. Most embossing guns come with a stand to hold them after use, to prevent the nozzle from touching a table or other surface. Some also have a shield to protect the user from the nozzle, and this should not be removed for safety purposes.

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