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General Techniques

Embossing Powders with Alcohol Markers

By Julie Zippel

     Alcohol and solvent-based markers (such as Copics, ShinHan, Spectrum Noir, Prismacolor are a favorite coloring medium for many artists.  Have you been told that you shouldn’t use alcohol markers with embossing powder?  Well - let’s set the record straight!  Alcohol Markers can react with embossing powders – often making it look like the heated power has melted further or even disappeared where the alcohol marker has touched it.  But if you love the look of your alcohol markers and you love embossing powders as much as we do, have no fear – You CAN still use the two together for an awesome look! 

A stamp positioner is needed for this technique.  You can use a “table top” type model like shown here; where your paper is taped to the small table surface (this will give you the best result and works best for detailed images).  But, you can also use the handheld type where you have a small plastic or acrylic “L” shaped piece and a coordinating clear sheet to position your image.  You will just need to take a little more care in lining up your final image.

Here are the step by step instructions:

1. Stamp your image with the ink you typically use with alcohol markers (Memento ink was used here).  If you have a lighter color of that brand of ink, you may want to use that so there’s less of a chance of it showing in the next step (tans, greys, pastels, etc. work well).  The lighter ink is not necessary though.

2. Color your image as usual using your alcohol markers.

3. Give the colored image a little time to dry completely, particularly if you’ve done a lot of shading.  Then, rub an antistatic bag all over the image.

4. Ink your stamp with Versamark or pigment ink. Using your stamp positioner to guide, stamp over top of the original image.

5. Pour on embossing powder and tap off excess.  Heat to melt and see your image pop! (This embossed image on top of the light-colored image, "covers up" the original outlines of the stamp image).

The amazing difference between the unembossed image and the embossed image is that the latter becomes bold, dimensional, and in this case – sparkly!  With a broad range of embossing powders to choose from, a variety of looks can be achieved with your alcohol markers & embossing powders. Check out the final card:


Here are some other examples of images that combine alcohol markers and embossing powder (click on the thumbnails at the bottom of this tutorial for card instructions)


More examples:


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