Learn how to emboss.

It's no doubt that calligraphy and hand-lettered artworks have resurfaced in the scene for the last 3 years and it's amazing how there are a multitude of tools that can be utilized to create such works of art. I have been experimenting and shuffling different techniques in calligraphy from nibs, ink, brushes, paint - down to embossing. But what exactly is embossing? My former intern, Maki, and I will give you a quick rundown on our take on heat embossing.

Heat embossing is the process of creating a raised image on a surface, usually paper, using heat. Heat embossing is easy (but could be a little messy). Ideally, you can emboss on any paper surface but based on experience, I found that smoother paper yields a better embossed effect. Based on multiple attempts, porous materials, such as canvasses and cloth, absorb the ink and powder when heated so the output becomes flat. Oiled leather prevents the ink and powder from adhering so the output gets peeled off easily. Applying heat to paper makes the paper curl. Hence, it's best to use a thicker gsm for your paper embossing projects. 

Here are some tips on how you can get started on your embossing projects:



1. Embossing pens / Embossing ink pads

2. Embossing powders

3. Heat gun

4. Pencil / Eraser

5. Paper



1.       First, think of the layout that you want, and then lightly draw it onto the surface.

2.       Using an embossing pen, trace your design. Write fast or trace your design segment by segment since the embossing pen can dry up after a while.

3.       Sprinkle some embossing powder on the traced design.

4.       Tap excess powder on separate container. You can see that the powder has stuck and will be ready for the next step.

5.       Tip: use tiny soft round brush to clear the smaller details of the layout.

6.       Use the heat gun to melt the powder until it has a shiny raised embossed effect.

7.       Let it cool down for a few seconds to prevent the molten powder from spreading.




1.       Do store the embossing pens with dual tips horizontally to avoid one tip drying up.

2.       Do return the excess embossing powder on the original container.

3.       Do have a different paper bin for each color of the powder that you use. Don’t mix them so that it will be easier for you to return them back to their respective containers.

4.       Don’t use hair blower as it will literally blow the embossing powder away. Use the appropriate embossing heat gun for your project.

5.       Don’t expose embossing powder under direct sunlight since it melts upon too much contact or exposure with heat.

6.       Don't touch the tip of the heat gun. You don't want to burn your finger. 

7.       Do let the heat gun rest after every 2-3 embossing projects to prevent it from overheating. 

8.      Do have fun. You can use stamps and embossing ink pads to add decor to your project.

9.      Do keep the heat gun about 2-3inches away from the paper while heating the powder.

10.     For children, don’t emboss without adult supervision.




National Bookstore, Scribe Writing Essentials, Craft Carrot, Craft Central



1.       ZIG Emboss Scroll & Brush Pen  – Php 95

2.       ZIG Emboss Fine & Chisel Marker – Php 75

3.       ZIG Emboss Writer Marker – Php 75

4.       ZIG Emboss Calligraphy Marker – Php 75 

5.       Tsukineko Embossing Powder – Php 199.75 

6.       Kuretake Embossing Heat Gun – Php 1,654.75 


Here's a timelapse video of one artwork I made using embossing tools. Now it's your turn to try, experiment, and have lots of fun! Enjoy xoxo


P.S. If you have other tips to share, drop a comment!

Stories of the heART

Have you ever felt the need to express your emotions but you don't know where to start? Did you ever feel frustrated about life? Do you want to absorb positivity and live in peace?

On most days, with the multitude of ideas that I want to do and implement all at the same time, I get frustrated. I am pissed off. Instead of lashing out that negative energy out where people absorb it and affect them, I paint. I paint, and paint, and paint. The strokes will always tell stories. Might as well convert that negativity into something beautiful, right? This is what I painted a couple of days ago as a result of that stress and frustration:


Kimi Lu (life coach), Geli Balcruz (calligrapher and mandala artist), and I have prepared a half day art retreat for people who want to express stories of their hearts through art. There will be guided abstract painting sessions, mandala making and calligraphy writing, and temperament life coaching. Together, let's start pushing for a more positive form of art!

If you want to join, check out the event page link here

Journey through art

2015. I set up my brush calligraphy classes to incorporate watercolor. I was relatively new in the watercolor industry but somehow, the people who enrolled in my classes trusted me and my capabilities to help them learn the craft too. People started signing up and Ice Idanan was one of them. She cancelled on her first class because her mom has cancer. I actually thought she wouldn't attend anymore but then she booked for the next class. That was March 29, 2015. The final artwork I asked them to do was to write a movie to add to my #TypeYourMovie series in Instagram. She wrote "Sakaling Hindi Makarating" and said that will be her movie, someday. I just looked at her in awe. Somehow, our souls connected.

A few months later, she contacted me. She said she's finally making the film that she has been writing for so long and that the film will require postcards, just like how the Griffin and Sabine book is. I didn't really think about it, to be honest. Favorite book ko kasi yon. I just said "GAME" immediately. That was August.

The rest of 2015 seemed like a  blur to me. I never would have thought that the movie she wrote during our watercolor calligraphy workshop back in March is actually happening, and oh boy, it was happening fast. I was submerged in unknown waters. I had zero knowledge on film making! I was juggling so many things: a broken self, an art career, a lerler and complicated relationship that was nothing but uncertain, a stint in a new industry I never thought I'd really be in. Akala ko masisiraan na ako ng bait, especialy during those LERLER days! I just kept telling myself: Tiwala lang. Repeat. 1 million times. 1 billion times more.

If you must know, back then, I had zero experience in painting landscapes but being my normal risk-taker self, I just said, Game kaya ko yan. So I did it. I remember I was in Dipolog for a series of workshops. Every night, at the hotel, I would paint the postcards for the film. Sabay-sabay, malapit na ang deadilne eh. It was my first time to paint landscapes, and even though I've seen the film a million times, I still feel giddy when I see my artworks to be part of this beautiful love letter to the Philippines. I want to cry, seriously. I guess, when you trust yourself that you can do it, you really can. And of course, if people around you trust and believe in you as well, then the more you will succeed. So thank you, Ice, for letting me be part of this wonderful story of yours. I am forever grateful!

Every time I think about 2015, I smile. That year might have been both the best and worst I've had so far but now I understand that there is a purpose for everything and that the universe brings people together for a reason. This is the reason.

Fast forward to 2017. We finally made it! What a journey this has been. Hindi pa tapos! Today we are screening in 26 cinemas. Tomorrow, I pray, it will multiply by a million!  

You can check all the other updates here.

Thank you for watching, thank you because I know you will watch :)