Heat Embossing Workout Tank

by Chan Vu, Feb 19 2018

Winter had me all cooped up in the gym and I can't wait until spring is here so I can take my workout outside. I'm getting ready! New tanks can be pricey. I'm whipping up a DIY heat embossing technique to re-purpose my old workout tanks. What better way to customize my own workout motivation than to create my own message! I work out so I can eat more cookies. This is my motivation.

Heat embossing is a fun and magically technique that uses invisible ink to hold fine metallic powered and melted in using a heat dryer. The melted powder adds texture and dimension to cards and posters. But did you know you can heat emboss fabric too? Let the magic begin.


white tank

fine embossing powder in gold

heat embossing dryer

watermark pen (Versa Marker)

cut-out of message using paper cutting machine

4 clips

1 sheet of heavy cardstock

1 sheet of paper

washi tape

clean soft paint brush


1. Cut out your motivation message by using a paper cutting machine. If you don't have a machine, use a store-bought stencil.

2. Insert the heavy cardstock inside the tank. Clip each corner of the paper to the tank. Use the washi tape to tape down the stencil. 

3. Use the watermark pen to brush on the invisible ink inside the letter. Press down the paper to make sure the ink doesn't bleed under the stencil. You want the embossing powder to stay within the line in the next step.

4. Sprinkle the gold embossing powder over the first letter. Use the paint brush to spread the powder within the letter.

5. Continue filling in the letter with the watermark pen and embossing powder. Use the brush to spread the excess powder to the next letter. Dump the extra powder on to the white sheet of paper to use again on the next letter.

6. Gently remove the tape and stencil. The embossing powder should stay in place. If you have excess powder on the tank then use the brush to clean off the fabric.

7. Turn on the heat embossing dryer and hover over each letter watching the powder melt into solid letters. It's magical! Do this for each letter.

8. Continue the next row of words using the same method above until you are done.

I wore this shirt to my Orange Theory class over the weekend and the group not only loved the message, I realized they all lived by it! I machined washed this shirt with like colors in warm water and it came out good as new.

Now you see how easy that was to make your own heat embossing work out tank. Your message is your own motivation. You can make as many as you want and even give it to a friend as a gift! Now you and your friend can take that workout outside in the spring sunshine. 

For more awesome craft ideas, visit my personal blog at The Crafting Board. Follow me on InstagramFacebookTwitter  and YouTube too!

Chan V.

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