Heat Embossing with IOD Stamps: Emboss Like a Boss!

Do you have an empty hutch that’s just begging for some one-of-a-kind dishes to display? 

Or do you want to add some personal flair to your dinner parties without spending a fortune?

If you answered, “Heck, yeah!” then read on to learn how to emboss like a boss Dollar Store tableware with your favorite IOD stamps!

No time now? You can pin this project for later.

Dollar Store mugs and plates embossed with Iron Orchid Designs Butterfly Decor Stamp

What Is Heat Embossing?

Embossing is an easy way to finish a stamped image by adding a shiny, raised effect on the stamp design. The technique is versatile and can be used on paper, fabric, wood, glass, or ceramic surfaces. And that’s probably not all – so let your creativity go wild!

The basic process is to cover a stamp in embossing ink and then sprinkle embossing powder quickly over the wet stamped image. Then, you shake the excess powder from around the stamped image. 

The last step is to use an embossing heat gun to melt the powder. And with that, you’ve taken your Dollar Store cups and plates and turned them into fancy-pants, display-worthy tableware. 

If butterflies aren’t your jam, check out some of our other IOD Decor Stamps to find a design that makes your heart sing.

Embossing Tools and Other Supplies

Here’s the list of supplies you’ll need to complete this project.

(Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. That means if you make a purchase using the link, IOD may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.)

Step by Step Embossing Guide (or you can scroll down to watch the 10-minute video tutorial)

Step 1: Wash the plates and mugs to make sure they’re free of any dusty bits, and then dry completely.

Heat embossing supplies

Step 2: Rub the surface of the mug or plate you’re starting on with the anti-static pad to remove excess static. This will help the powder stay exactly where you want it and help capture all the lovely details of the IOD stamps.

anti-static pad on project surface for heat embossing

Step 3: If you’re stamping a curved surface like a mug, apply a piece of masking tape across the back of the stamp so that there are long pieces extending from each side of the stamp. No need to do this step for a flat surface like a plate.

stamping on curved heat embossing surface

Step 4: Turn the embossing stamp face-up so that the design surface is facing toward you. Apply the Watermark stamp pad to the face-up Butterfly Decor Stamp.

Embossing stamp pad

If you’re embossing a plate: Hold the stamp over the center of the plate and target where you want the design. Place the stamp and gently press it down making sure to run your fingers over all the stamp details, taking care not to smear the design. 

If you’re embossing a mug: While holding the mug, hover the stamp in the position you want it on the mug. Then press the stamp down and wrap the tails of the masking tape around sticking them to the mug. This will help keep the stamp in one spot on the curved surface without smearing.

Step 5: Press the stamp onto the mug or plate making sure you’ve got the entire design on the surface. Gently run your fingers over the entire backside of the stamps so that you don’t miss any of the lovely design details!

Step 6: Now carefully lift the stamp straight off the plate surface without shifting it. For a mug or cup, peel off the ends of the masking tape and then gently lift the stamp off. 

Step 7: Apply your embossing powder, onto the stamped area by using a spoon to pour it onto the surface of the design. Make sure you have covered the entire surface. (For a plate, shake the surface and slide the powder around to make sure it covers the design.) 

Sprinkle embossing powder on design

Step 8: Pour the excess powder from the design onto a piece of scrap paper and pour it back into its container to reuse. Then check if the design has the color intensity you want. Repeat the process of scooping on and pouring off the embossing powder until you’re satisfied the color is dark enough across the stamped area.

Whoops! Did you accidentally smear your design? No worries. You’ll know the design smeared once you put the embossing powder on and shake off the excess. You can easily start over by washing off the powder, drying the surface completely and wiping it with the Embossing Buddy. Now you’re good to try again!

Step 9: Check to see if little spots of embossing powder are clinging to areas that aren’t part of the design and use a small, dry soft-bristled brush to gently remove those bits.

brush to dust off extra heat embossing powder

Step 10: Time to apply the heat gun over the embossing powder. Hold the heat gun at a 45-degree angle approximately one inch above the surface and gradually move it across. Make sure to not get too close to the design and take short breaks if the plate or mug gets too hot to handle. Watch for the powder to transform into shiny plastic (only takes a minute or so). If you’re not sure if it needs more heat – go over it with the heat gun again.

Embossing heat gun on white dollar store mug

Now you just need to let the cup or plate you worked on cool before showing off your beautiful work.

Please note the embossed designs are for decorative purposes only and are not food safe. They would be fantastic as chargers using a clear glass plate on top to add a touch of whimsy to your table or you can put your artistry on display in a hutch.

If you want to keep your design looking sharp, only hand wash the plates and cups. The dishwasher might remove some or all of the embossing.

Want to see how easy heat embossing is for yourself?

Check out this short step-by-step video tutorial on embossing with IOD stamps by Carmen of Carmen’s Curiosity Shop. 

We never stop being amazed at all the clever creations and uses for our products. Carmen came up with this project and kindly let us share it with you. She’s a Colorado-based stockist who hosts make-and-take workshops and she carries the complete line of IOD products. To find an IOD stockist near you, click here.

If you decide to emboss like a boss, we want to see! Please share a picture of your project on social media and tag Iron Orchid Designs.

Check out these posts for more IOD Decor Stamp project inspiration:

How to make Cheap Tile Look Expensive

New Product Release – IOD Decor Stamps for Fall 2019

DIY Gallery Wall Art with the Cubano and the Birds, Branches and Blossoms Decor Stamps

DIY Gallery Wall Art with the Rose Toile and Queen Bee Decor Stamps

Roundup of DIY project ideas all using IOD Decor Stamps – from tea towels to pillow covers to chalk paint furniture!

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  1. Lori on February 1, 2020 at 11:20 am

    Thanks for sharing this technique

    • Jenny on March 27, 2020 at 11:29 pm

      I’ve seen all of these videos or fb lives previously but I absolutely LOVE having them all in one place to refer customers interested in this stamp/product! Thank you!

  2. Janelle on February 23, 2020 at 7:57 am

    Is this dishwasher safe or hand wash only

    • Abigail on February 23, 2020 at 12:17 pm

      Hand wash per video.

  3. Agnes on March 6, 2020 at 10:29 am

    Another great project !! Thanks

  4. Keith Sullens on March 6, 2020 at 12:11 pm

    Always looking for something new to add to my bag of ideas. Thank you.

  5. Sandra Malbrough on July 15, 2020 at 10:45 am

    Great video tutorials. So many ideas for beginners. Thanks for sharing.

    • IOD Customer Service IOD Customer Service on July 16, 2020 at 6:30 am

      Hi Sandra! Thank you for the kind words. We are so glad you are enjoying. 😍

  6. JankG on October 8, 2020 at 3:44 pm

    Love this idea! I was looking to see if I can use adhesive size so I can use it for a silver leaf touch. Anyone know if size is safe with the stamps and how would I clean it afterwards? Rubbing Alcohol? I will be taking a chance with it in a couple of days so IOD I would love your input. 🙂

    • carmens curiosity shop on October 14, 2020 at 6:07 am

      I talked to Mara, she says to wash them right away and use soap and warm water. I hope this helps.

  7. carmens curiosity shop on October 13, 2020 at 7:21 am

    Mara from Vintage retail therapy has used the stamped with foil and used the adhesive on the stamps. . I will look and see how she cleaned them get back to you.

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