15 Best Embossing Pens for Professional-Looking Emboss Crafts In 2023

Best Embossing Pens for Professional-Looking Emboss Crafts

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Even with faster communication thanks to social media and emails, cardmaking companies such as Hallmark continue to thrive. It means that greeting cards have not lost their allure over the years. But sometimes, these store-bought cards do not express the sentiments of your heart. 

To make professional-looking cards, the right supplies allow you to create embossed freehand designs. All you need is an embossing pen.

We rounded up the best embossing pens to help you pick the right tool for your specific need. We also included a buying guide and a FAQ section to answer some of your questions.

Our Top Picks

Ranger Perfect Embossing Pens
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Best for Freehand and Cricut Designs - Ranger Perfect Embossing Pens

• Works on porous and non-porous surfaces
• Acid-free and non-toxic ink
• Makes crisp Cricut designs

Best for Distressed Embossing - Tim Holtz Ranger Clear Embossing Pen 

• Acid-free and non-toxic
• Best for intricate designs and calligraphy art
• Stays tacky longer than other brands

Best Dual-Ended - Tsukineko VersaMarker Embossing Pen

• Two tips in one pen
• Works for calligraphy and highlighting jobs
• Useful for various paper, leather, and resin crafts

1. WOW! Embossing Pen (Clear)

Wow! Clear embossing pen 
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 Pros Cons
  • Bullet-tipped pen
  • Acid-free and non-toxic
  • Ink stays wet longer
  • Adheres on both porous and non-porous surfaces
  • Does not work well on ribbon


What Customers Have To Say 

Many users prefer using the Wow embossing pen when working with small areas and touching up spots left blank when using stamps. It stays tacky for a while, giving you enough time to work on your designs. The embossing powders also stick well on it. 

Another crafter tried using it on his Cricut maker. The resulting design is very excellent with crisp lines, given the intricate design he made.

Why We Think It’s Great

The Wow Embossing Pen (Clear) comes encased in a white body and a black cap. It looks like any ordinary pen and has the same size, too, so you can easily do calligraphy and outline your stamped images on your cards. Be careful when stashing this pen since it can easily pass up as any felt tip pen. 

You can use it in several ways: write, outline, fill in, and highlight your scrapbooks, journals, and other all-occasion invitations and greeting cards. With the transparent ink on this embossing pen, you must be careful since an untrained eye cannot readily see the image.

To fill in stamped images, you need to add the image in colored ink, then fill in the parts you want to pop out. Use the same process when adding highlights to your designs. The Wow embossing pen has a slightly soft bullet tip, so it is straightforward to use.  

The pen can last for weeks, depending on use. The felt tip doesn’t easily get frayed, so it stays in its tip-top condition until you use up the ink. It is not refillable but gives you good value for your money.  It also fits perfectly into the Cricut maker and makes consistently good design.   

Who Should Buy It

The Wow Embossing Pen is perfect for every crafter who loves working with porous and non-porous surfaces. It is the best embossing pen for such crafts because it adheres beautifully on these surfaces, remaining tacky for a considerable time. 

2. Ranger Inkssentials Emboss It Pens (Black/Clear)

2 packs of Emboss It Embossing Pens in clear and black ink
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 Pros Cons
  • Bullet tip pens in clear and black ink
  • Acid-free and non-toxic
  • Fits in the Cricut maker
  • Stays wet for a reasonable period
  • Versatile use
  • The nibs are prone to damage



What Customers Have To Say 

One cardmaker from the US uses these embossing pens for her craft cards, giving her more artistic freedom as she works. A delighted bride said that she embossed 100 wedding invitations, and she loved the results so much that she went on and embossed the table numbers as well.

Some crafters used this embossing pen on their Cricut maker, and while they work well, it does not give an intricate finish because of the bulky tip. Always try your designs before using this pen on Cricut, another crafter advised.

Why We Think It’s Great

The Ranger Inkssentials Emboss It Pen (Black/Clear) allows you to add personalized touches on your cards, scrapbooks, and other paper crafts that may need embossing. Not everyone can afford to buy all those sentiments, and stamps do not have the patterns you need, so having an embossing pen that you can use to add designs and calligraphy is incredible. 

The pack comes with two pens in black and clear ink, and we love that the clear ink has a white housing, so you don’t get confused with your embossing pens. The pens are not refillable, but you can use them for a long time, especially if you’re working with just highlights, touchups, and occasional custom art.

Once applied on paper, the Ranger Inkssentials Emboss It Pen stays tacky for a while, allowing you to finish doing your designs before adding your embossing powder. The manufacturer says that the pens work well for rubber stamping, but it is awkward to ink a stamp because of the bullet tips. It would have been easier for brush tip pens to ink a stamp. 

Aside from embossing, the clear pen is also great for resist ink and watermark projects. It also allows you to work with various embossing powders, whether transparent, translucent, or opaque, because the base doesn’t clash with the color of the embossing powder. 

On the other hand, the black pen is easier to work with because you can readily see your designs. It works best with dark inks, though, since the black ink may affect the finish of translucent and light opaque colors. 

Who Should Buy It

If you love adding custom designs to your cards, scrapbooks, journals, and other papercrafts, the Inkssentials Embossing Pens are your best bet. 

3. Ranger Perfect Medium In Embossing Pens - Best for Freehand and Cricut Designs

 Ranger Perfect embossing bullet and brush tip pens in clear ink 
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 Pros Cons
  • Works on various surfaces, including glass
  • Fits in the Cricut maker
  • Acid-free and non-toxic
  • Bullet and brush tip 
  • Available only in clear ink


What Customers Have To Say 

Some embossing pens work only on semi-porous and porous surfaces, but Perfect Medium works with glass as well. But since it is a medium, it works more than embossing pens do. According to some crafters who tried adding mica to glass, it works perfectly fine.

Customers also said that the nibs do not dry out after weeks of use, and the pens are excellent for adding custom art to their journals.

Ranger Perfect Medium In Embossing Pens review

Why We Think It’s Great

The Perfect Medium Embossing Pens come in a pack of two: one pen has a brush tip, and the other has a bullet tip. It is acid-free and non-toxic. It also passed the ASTM D-4236 certification, which means it lists all ingredients for potentially hazardous components. 

You can apply this embossing pen to various surfaces, including glass. It also fits in Cricut Explore, and the result is pleasing even if the designs are intricate. Because it is a medium, its mark has a tackier feel than other embossing pens. 

To resist emboss, make your design on glossy or coated paper, spray or paint water-based dye ink over the design. You can also apply a sponge over distress ink over the whole paper.  The area with the design remains white, while the surrounding paper absorbs the dye ink to highlight the resist design. 

Freehand your design, then leave it to darken over the paper to add watermark emboss using the Perfect Medium Pen.

Who Should Buy It

Crafters who love working with colored cardstock, resist ink embossing, and watermark embossing will appreciate having these pens. They are the best embossing pens to work with Perfect Pearls Embossing Powders. These pearlescent embossing powders have a resin finish, so there’s no need to add glaze to your work.

4. Tsukineko Clear Embossing Pen

Tsukineko Embossing Pen with bullet and brush tip in translucent blue ink
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 Pros Cons
  • Dual-tip
  • Non-toxic and acid-free
  • Safe for child use
  • Translucent blue ink dries clear 
  • Flexible application
  • Quick-drying ink



What Customers Have To Say 

The ink is translucent blue, which disappointed some of the users. It also dries quickly, so you have to write the letters individually if you’re doing calligraphy. The same goes for highlighting your dry embossed projects

But overall, many users found this embossing pen satisfactory for their projects. 

Tsukineko Clear Embossing Pen review

Why We Think It’s Great

The Tsukineko Clear Embossing Pen has translucent blue ink, making it easier to use when working on white paper. The blue ink dries clear with a very slight hint of blue, so it does not drastically affect the quality of the finish. 

The embossing pen has bullet and brush tips, but the brush tip easily gets frayed, which can be annoying if you’re a serious crafter.

Who Should Buy It

If you have a younger kid interested in embossing crafts, you can try the Tsukineko Clear Embossing Pen because it is safe for child use. Besides, the translucent blue ink makes it easier for your child to practice with it. 

5. Tsukineko Versamarker Embossing Pen - Best Dual-Ended


Versamarker dual-ended embossing pen for watermark and stamp embossing


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 Pros Cons
  • Dual-ended pen
  • Clear and tacky
  • Works for various applications
  • Sticks to semi-porous and porous surfaces
  • Great for calligraphy
  • The brush pen easily gets frayed



What Customers Have To Say 

Many of the users were into calligraphy, and they appreciated how well this embossing pen works in making thin and broad strokes. The brush tip is soft enough for lettering, and the embossed effect is excellent.

Another crafter made lovely journal art by edging her journal with the VersaMarker pen and adding embossing powder to it. It also works excellent on foiling projects.

Tsukineko Versamarker Embossing Pen review

Why We Think It’s Great

The Tsukineko Dual-Ended VersaMarker Pen is a 2-in-1 embossing pen. One end is bullet-tipped, while the other end is brush-tipped. A black casing protects this clear ink pen, and you can easily differentiate the brush tip because it has a broader cap than the bullet tip. 

The pen is a low-tack base for embossing powders, so you have to work fast or in batches. The coverage is excellent, though. The upstroke differs from the downstroke ink release, but the powders still stick well to it. Heat immediately after applying the embossing powder for best results. 

After numerous uses, the brush pen tip starts to fray, affecting ink release. You can see the difference in the result of the embossed powder since it is not as smooth as when the pen is new. If the brush tip is too frayed for calligraphy, you can use it to apply ink to small stamps.

Who Should Buy It

We highly recommend the VersaMarker embossing pen to crafters who work with porous and semi-porous surfaces. You can use it on leather, faux leather, acrylic surfaces, and even manicured nails.

6. Zig Dual-Tip Emboss Pen Set

 three Zig dual-tip embossing pens in clear ink
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 Pros Cons
  • 4 pens, 8 tips
  • Clear ink
  • Versatile use
  • Acid-free and non-toxic
  • Water-based ink
  • Pen dries up quickly



What Customers Have To Say 

Customers like the Zig Dual-Tip Emboss Pens for the possibilities you can do with them, but unfortunately, it does not have enough ink to make it work for a long time. But users still love the double pen effect of the scroll, which works for calligraphy, adorning, or adding borders to your journals and cards.

Why We Think It’s Great

This embossing pen set comes in 4 different colored pen bodies with clear ink. The brown pen has calligraphy tips of different widths (2mm and 3.5mm). The blush pen has a scroll tip for making embellishments and a brush tip for calligraphy. The lilac pen has a 0.5mm bullet tip and a 3.5mm chisel tip, while the green pen has a 0.5 bullet tip and a 1.2mm medium bullet tip. 

The set is a lot more affordable than other embossing pens. However, it dries up pretty quickly, and the pens are not refillable. You get a very versatile style from this set, allowing you to add decorative letters and designs on your scrapbooks, journals, calligraphy art, and craft borders. 

The embossing powder settles well on this embossing pen and gives it a fine finish. The brush pen doesn’t get frayed easily, making it an excellent embossing tool if only the ink allows you to work with it longer.

Who Should Buy It

If you can overlook the ink issue, this embossing pen set is an excellent addition to your art supplies. And you can still dip the nibs on embossing ink for your calligraphy once dried up.

7. Tim Holtz Ranger Clear Embossing Pen - Best for Distressed Embossing


Tim Holtz-Ranger Clear Embossing Pen in a two-pen (bullet tip and brush tip) pack


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 Pros Cons
  • Acid-free and non-toxic
  • Bullet pen works with Cricut Explore
  • Makes intricate designs and calligraphy art
  • One bullet tip and one brush tip pen
  • Stays wet for a considerable time on most surfaces 
  • Recommended for adult use only




What Customers Have To Say 

Many customers claimed that this pen is a must-have in every embosser’s arsenal. Another crafter loves using them for touch-ups because both can do specific work on projects. It also lets you emboss areas in small spaces because the pens are easy to manipulate. 

Another crafter attested how the Tim Holtz-Ranger Clear Pens helped her make intricate embossing on her cards without any issues.

Why We Think It’s Great

The Tim Holtz-Ranger Clear Set comes with two clear embossing pens, one in bullet tip and another in brush tip. They prime even if you use them for the first time, and it helps store them upright with the nibs down, so they don’t dry out.

The embossing pens pairs well with Distress Embossing Glaze, but they still work with regular embossing powders. They are not refillable, but they last for a considerable time, depending on the projects you usually do. They also stay moist for a significant period, allowing you to complete your design before applying embossing powder.

With two pen tips in the back, the embossing pen gives you enough freedom to work with almost any embossing project because the pens complement each other. The bullet pen can go in tight and small spaces, and you can use it for transferring your designs using Cricut Explore. Just push your pen into the penholder on your Cricut Explore, and the machine will do the work for you.

On the other hand, the brush pen can cover larger areas that are awkward to reach by stamping pads or even ink dabbers. You can do calligraphy with both the bullet tip and brush tip but for more intricate designs, go for the bullet pen. Its tip doesn’t fray easily and keeps its form even after some time.

Who Should Buy It

We recommend this best embossing pen set for crafters who are comfortable working on their designs by hand or using a Cricut machine. 

8. Mofa Embossing Pen (Clear)

Mofa dual-tipped pen in clear ink, encased in black body
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 Pros Cons
  • Dual-tipped pen
  • Acid-free
  • Non-toxic 
  • Flexible use
  • Retains embossing powder on design
  • Pen dries up quickly
  • Unmarked body


What Customers Have To Say 

Many customers who have tried it say that Mofa is a good embossing pen. The embossing effect is excellent, so they reported getting good results when using it.

Why We Think It’s Great

The Mofa embossing pen is good for scrapbooking, journal art, and stamping using the brush tip. Its body is black, making it a bit difficult just to pick it when it’s with a bunch of other pens.  

It is acid-free, so your designs last for a long time, primarily if used on acid-free paper. Otherwise, it defeats the purpose of an acid-free embossing pen. However, the ink dries quickly. Hence, requiring you to work fast on your design.

Who Should Buy It

Compared with other embossing pens, the Mofa clear ink is more detectable even on white paper for better calligraphy and design. Thus, we recommend it to newbies in heat embossing. 

9. Ranger Letter It Medium Embossing Pens (Clear)


2 packs of Ranger Letter It Medium Pens in clear ink


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 Pros Cons
  • 4 different nibs
  • Stays tacky
  • Acid-free and non-toxic
  • Ideal for various surfaces
  • Pen dries up fast
  • Misleading pen case


What Customers Have To Say 

According to most users, the pens are very easy to use and work great for their heat embossing projects. However, some complained that the pens dry up quicker than they liked, but the ink stays tacky on paper. Enough to let you work on your design first before adding your embossing powder.

Why We Think It’s Great

The Ranger Letter It Medium Embossing Pen Set comes in 2 packs for a total of 4 pens. One pack has a brush tip and a bullet tip, while the second has a broad tip and fine tip. The bullet and fine tips are very similar, so in essence, you only get three nib styles from this set.

You can also use these embossing pens on porous and non-porous surfaces so you can add more embossed designs to your resin coasters, tumblers, and even jewelry. Since the medium stays tacky longer than most embossing pens, you can add intricate designs without needing to stop adding embossing powder before moving on to the next part of the design. 

However, the embossing pens all have a black body and a white cap, misleading first-time users. 

Who Should Buy It

The Ranger Letter It Medium is the best embossing pen for crafters who want more freedom and choices when doing their calligraphy, designing, and highlighting their greeting and invitation cards, scrapbooks, and journals.

10. Versamark Embossing Pen Set

Watermark stamp pad, embossing powder tool, and embossing pen included in the VersaMark embossing set 
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 Pros Cons
  • Includes basic embossing tools
  • Dual-tipped pen in clear ink
  • Perfect for embossing, chalking, and pearlescent applications
  • Non-toxic stamp pad and ink
  • Low-tack ink on the pen


What Customers Have To Say 

Those who have tried this embossing pen set love the value for money it offers. You get a lot of savings from it instead of buying each item separately.

Why We Think It’s Great

The Versamark embossing pen set comes with a dual-tip embossing pen, a watermark embossing ink pad, and an anti-static tool. Each of them complements one another to get your embossing projects underway.

The embossing pen is easy to use and is a great tool to use when adding calligraphy art, highlighting your dry embossed projects, or adding designs to the edges of your journal or scrapbook. However, the brush tip can get frayed easily. You can also highlight and touch up since you have the stamping pad to do most of the work. 

The VersaMark watermark stamp pad is the standard 2x3-inch inkpad with clear ink. You can use the acid-free to create watermark, chalking, and large stamping projects. 

The anti-static pad is the standard 1 ½ x 2 1.2-inch rectangle in knitted cloth. Always remember to rub your paper, finish resin projects, glass, or any surface you want to emboss with an anti-static tool, or sprinkle a bit of baby powder to remove the static and moisture from the surface.

Who Should Buy It

It is the best embossing pen and toolset for every newbie embosser. You’ll love the savings and the convenience of getting these essential tools in one purchase.

11. American Crafts Embossing Pens

American Crafts 3-piece embossing pens (brush, medium, and broad tip) in clear ink
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Pros Cons
  • Set of 3
  • Acid-free
  • Non-toxic 
  • Pink translucent ink that dries clear
  • Sticks on different surfaces
  • May leave a lumpy finish



 What Customers Have To Say 

The American Crafts Embossing Pens write smoothly even on textured paper, one crafter said. The translucent pink ink is beneficial to see when working on designs and doesn’t dry up fast. One customer even claimed it lasted longer than the other brands she had tried before.

Why We Think It’s Great

The American Crafts Embossing Pen Set comes with three pens in a white body and cap with hot pink tips in the brush, medium, and broad types. A pop of black at the base of the pen nib differentiates it from the broad-tipped pen. Each embossing pen is also correctly labeled, so you don’t get confused about which one to pick.

The pens have translucent pink ink that dries clear, making it easier to work on white paper since you can see your designs more clearly. It also writes smoothly even on textured paper, although we do not recommend it since this paper type causes the brush tip to fray quickly. 

The brush pen can ink a small stamp, work on calligraphy, and add flourishes to your designs. It also works perfectly in touching up small missed parts during the embossing process.

The broad pen works for broader fonts and thick designs, while the medium tip pen is best for fine fonts and small highlights. Both the wide and medium pens also work on foil, so even if you’re not into embossing, you can still add custom designs that look very professional, whether on cards or leather items.

Who Should Buy It

Every crafter will surely love the hot pink tips of these embossing pens. It works on different surfaces, including leather and PU leather, so it’s a great addition to your toolset if you’re into customizing wallets, wristlets, and other small leather items.

12. Emboss It! Embossing Pen & Powder

 Emboss It embossing pens (black and clear ink) and embossing powders in metallic gold, metallic silver, and black
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 Pros Cons
  • Two bullet pens in one set (black and clear)
  • Fits in the Cricut maker
  • Ink dries slowly
  • Acid-free and non-toxic ink
  • Sticks on most porous and non-porous surfaces
  • Bullet tip pens only
  • Pens dry up fast



What Customers Have To Say 

This Embossing Pen and Powder Kit are excellent for beginners, according to one user. She even got this for her friend who wanted to start doing calligraphy. The pens work as they should, and the embossing powders are superfine, leaving a good finish. However, some customers wish that one of the pens had a brush tip to do more calligraphy work. 

Why We Think It’s Great

This pen and embossing powder combo is a great starter kit for those who are just learning about embossing. The black and clear pens are the best embossing pens for newbie crafters at a very affordable price.

The metallic gold, metallic silver, and black superfine are some of the essential embossing powders you should have since they work on light and dark paper, cardstock, leather, and even epoxy resin projects. 

If you want more, you can also try this embossing starter kit with six embossing powders, two clear embossing pens, an anti-static tool, and a clear embossing ink pad.

Who Should Buy It

We recommend this as the best embossing pen and powder set for those thinking about getting it for their crafter friends. It’s also a beautiful addition to a Mother’s Day gift basket for craftsy moms. 

13. Ranger Embossing Pen & Ink Pad Set

Ranger embossing pens in clear and black ink and embossing ink pad combo
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 Pros Cons
  • Bullet-tipped pens in clear and black ink
  • Acid-free ink
  • Slow-drying ink
  • Flexible application
  • Clean finish
  • More expensive than buying the items individually


What Customers Have To Say 

Customers love the embossing pens in this pack because of their crisp and perfect lines. Coupled with the tacky print that keeps the embossing powders in, these pens are close to perfection. They’re just what most crafters were looking for, another user added. 

Why We Think It’s Great

The Ranger Embossing Pen & Ink Pad Set comes with one black and one clear bullet-tipped embossing pen. Like most Ranger Embossing Pens, they are non-toxic and acid-free. What we like most about them is their consistent result because the bullet tip stays true to form.

You can add your complete design while the ink retains its tackiness, so your embossing powder sticks well for a refined and crisp finish. Prettify your journals, scrapbooks, stamps, and even dry embossed and die-cut designs with the pens.

The inkpad has the same tacky quality to it and is acid and lignin-free. It keeps your designs crisp and free from discoloration after some time. 

Who Should Buy It

It is the best embossing pen and ink pad combo for crafters who need to replace or update their art supplies.

14. Ranger Heat Embossing Pen & Ink Pad Bundle

A combo of Ranger Perfect Medium in pens (bullet and brush tips) and embossing ink pad 
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 Pros Cons
  • Two clear pens with brush and bullet tips
  • Stays tacky for a reasonable time
  • Suitable on various surfaces
  • Acid-free and non-toxic
  • Available only in clear ink


What Customers Have To Say 

One crafter said that the Perfect Medium Embossing Pens leave a tackier mark on the paper or any porous and non-porous surface compared with other brands. According to another crafter, the edges of the designs are also precise, with a consistently fine finish. 

It’s better than most embossing pens that other users buy from craft shops and other online stores. One dedicated scrapbook maker swears the “ink” made the difference for this embossing medium. They just wish it also comes in black.

Why We Think It’s Great

We prefer the Ranger Heat Embossing Pen because it stays tackier than most brands. The set comes with two pens, and one pen has a brush tip that does not easily fray, while the other has a bullet tip that stays fine for consistent results. 

The pen adheres well even on non-porous surfaces such as glass and epoxy resin projects. It also makes lovely highlights on finished epoxy resin art. If you’re into Cricut, the bullet-tipped medium in pen fits nicely into the pen holder of Cricut explore. Since it stays fine, the resulting design is crisp, even when working with intricate patterns.

Aside from the usual powder embossing, you can also use these embossing pens to do watermark and resist embossing techniques. Because they are clear, you can use any powder color without fear of the ink clashing with its color. 

The medium is acid-free and non-toxic. Although it passed the ASTM D-4236 standards in labeling, the manufacturers recommend it for adult use only, mainly because the clear ink is not the best choice for kids and younger crafters to use. 

Who Should Buy It

The Ranger Heat Embossing Pen & Ink Pad Bundle is an excellent replacement when you’ve used up your embossing pens or damaged your embossing ink pad. It’s also very affordable.

15. Close To My Heart Embossing Pen Set

 Close To My Heart embossing pens and sample embossed font done in gold embossing powder
 Pros Cons
  • Three kinds of tips
  • Pink translucent ink dries clear
  • Properly labeled pens
  • Slow drying
  • Sticks on various surfaces
  • Only works well on smooth paper


What Customers Have To Say 

Customers who have tried the Close To My Heart Embossing Pens swear by their impeccably clean and crisp finish. The ink stays wet for a fair length of time, allowing users to add their embossing powder after finishing the design. 

The different tips also do their job, according to another crafter. The medium tip remains fine for a long time, while the brush tip makes lovely calligraphy. The broad end is intermediate between the two other tips and is excellent for filling up designs.

Why We Think It’s Great

We find the Close To My Heart embossing pens an excellent choice when making embossed patterns on almost any surface, such as paper, resin epoxy projects, leather, faux leather, glass, etc.

This set includes three embossing pens, each has a different tip and adequately labeled, so there are no guessing games when it comes to which pen you’re picking. The font type used for the brand name is artful, and its black font contrasts perfectly against the white casing.   

Each of the pens has specific purposes: a medium pen for highlights and thin fonts, a brush pen for calligraphy and inking small stamps, and a broad pen for filling up large areas. 

The translucent pink ink of these embossing inks makes it easier to do your intricate designs as you can see where you’re going. It also dries clear, so you won’t have issues of clashing colors when you add transparent or other light-colored embossing powders.

Who Should Buy It

We recommend the Close To My Heart embossing pen to all crafters who work with Cameo 4 and Cricut Explore. 

Best Embossing Pen Buying Guide

Consider these factors when buying an embossing pen to ensure that you get only the best results for your cards, scrapbooks, journals, epoxy resin crafts, etc.

  • Pen Type

There are three essential tips with specific uses - bullet, brush, and medium. The bullet pen is best for highlighting and filling up small areas and hard-to-reach spaces.

The brush tip pen works best for calligraphy, inking small stamps, and other freehand designs. On the other hand, the broad tip is best for broad and rounded fonts.

  • Ink Color

Embossing pens come in many colors, but the most popular are black and clear. Some brands carry specific colors, usually sold separately. While these are excellent to use, they are not the most practical. 

We recommend getting yourself one bullet tip and one brush tip pen in black and clear ink for best results. You can use clear ink for all colors of embossing powders and even make tone-on-tone stamps. It works for light and dark-colored paper. 

Back embossing pens also work well on light and dark colors, giving more dimension and character to your embossing. Using a black pen under colored embossing powder results in a deeper hue.

  • Stickiness / Tackiness

Tackiness ensures that the embossing powder sticks well to the paper after tapping out the excess powder. The ink used in embossing pens also acts as a catalyst for the process. The embossing powder initially reacts with the ink to leave an even finish after heating. 

  • Drying time

Drying time is another factor and probably, the most important one to consider. Having to sprinkle the embossing powder after a few letters if you’re doing calligraphy is annoying and time-consuming. 

Crafters love it when they can add the whole design without fearing that the ink has already dried out on the paper. A one-minute drying time is good enough to make a considerable size of design on your card.

Embossing Pen FAQ

1. What is an embossing pen?

An embossing pen is used for embossing filled with tacky ink. This tacky ink allows the embossing powder to stick on the paper or any surface you want to emboss. It is also easier to manipulate than using a brush when adding designs to your cards. 

Embossing pens usually come in bullet, brush, or broad tips. Each of these tips has specific purposes that you should familiarize yourself with before using.

2. How do you use an embossing pen?

Besides adding calligraphy or some sentiments to your cards, journals, and scrapbooks, you can also use your embossing pen to highlight your dry embossing, resist embossing, and fill in your designs.

To highlight dry embossed designs, pick up some focal points on your card, then mark it as you would use a marker. Sprinkle with the embossing powder, tap off the excess powder, then emboss it with your heat gun. For this technique, you can use colored or clear embossing pens. 

Fill in your stamp design in your card with a clear embossing pen as if you’re coloring it and powder emboss it as usual. You can add 2-3 colors, depending on what you fancy. 

For the resist embossing method, make your designs on a distress cardstock using your clear embossing pen. Add clear embossing powder, tap out the excess, and heat. You can now add watercolor over the embossed design. The embossed design remains white, adding definition and structure to your card.

You can also use an embossing pen to add ombre highlights to your intricate die cuts since you can control the areas you want to highlight. Just choose the portion you want to pop out from your design and sprinkle with embossing powder. Tap off the excess embossing powder, then add a second color. Emboss it together to achieve the ombre effect. 

3. What can I use instead of an embossing pen?

If you don’t have an embossing pen, you can use any ordinary pen as long as it doesn’t dry quickly. However, since these pens are not for embossing, you have to work quicker. Add your text or design, then sprinkle embossing powder over it. You can finish doing your design before heating the embossing powder. 

To know if your pen works for embossing, try using it on a piece of cardstock you usually use and touch it as soon as you’ve written something. If it creates smudges, you can use it to emboss.

Also, regular pens do not sport clear ink, so your best bet is to find white or light-colored pens like these Milky Pop Pastel Gel Pens. With them, you can’t use clear embossing powder or make watermark embossing.

Another hack is to use an empty but clean glue pen barrel and fill it with watermark ink. Use as you would an embossing pen. Sprinkle your design with embossing powder, then melt it as usual. Make sure to clean the nib well with a paper towel to remove excess ink between uses. 

If you don’t have embossing ink, try a glue pen instead. Add your designs, as usual, sprinkle embossing powder, then melt it. For this hack, you can use clear embossing powder and make tone-on-tone embossing.

4. What are embossing markers?

Embossing markers are just another name for embossing pens, but let us refer to two-tipped embossing pens for this tutorial. Not many brands carry an extensive collection of these markers, but they are worth trying if you want to add flair to your powder embossing projects.

Each pen has two tips, usually complementing the other. For example, a marker can have a smaller chisel tip on one end and a wider chisel tip. Another marker can have a scroll tip for adding flairs and making shadowed lettering, while the other end has a brush tip.

These markers give you more convenience since you can have two styles in one pen. However, since two tips use one ink source, it can get dry sooner. These markers aren’t refillable, but you can use the used-up pen and dip the tip into the embossing ink for a recycled calligraphy pen.

5. How do you use embossing pens on Cricut?

To make embossed designs using your Cricut Explore 4, insert your bullet tip embossing pen into the penholder and press it down. Add your design you want to emboss on your Cricut machine, then let it do its magic. Once done, add your embossing powder and tap off excess powder, then heat it. 

If your embossing pen is too small for the Cricut holder, use a Cricut pen adapter


For professional-looking designs, you need the best embossing pens. We recommend the Ranger Perfect Medium In Pens as the best for freehand and Cricut designs. Each pack has two pens in a transparent medium. It is also tackier than embossing pens, and you can use it for both porous and non-porous surfaces.

Tim Holtz Ranger Clear Embossing Pen gets our vote for the best embossing pen for distressed embossing. It has acid-free and non-toxic ink and can make intricate designs and calligraphy art with its bullet tip and brush tip pens.

Lastly, the best dual-ended pen is the Tsukineko Versamarker Embossing Pen. The clear and sticky ink adheres to almost any surface and is excellent for adding designs to papercrafts, epoxy resin projects, wooden coasters, and other such projects. 

Which best embossing pen piqued your interest the most? Let us know in the comments.

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