It’s easy to emboss your own paper, stationary, and gift cards. Simply follow the steps below and use your imagination! Click here to see examples of some finished cards in our Art Gallery, click here for our Tools, Paper, & Coloring, or Return to the Previous Page.
To Emboss Paper
1. Find a good light source and place your template on top of the light source. The light source could be a light box, window, computer screen, glass table, or any other source of light that will make it possible to see through your paper. (Click here to see our selection of light boxes.)
2. Put the finished side of your paper down on top of your embossing template.
3. Using an embossing tool, trace the shape by applying pressure and moving the tool along the cutout edges of the template. You do not have to rub the whole opening. Your embossing tool will push the paper through the opening in the template and that will create the raised (embossed) design on the paper. For dots, just push the ball end of the tool into the dot; for lines, run your tool across the line. (Click here for an embossing tool.)
4. Now turn your paper over. The embossed design is now finished. Try combining several different templates on one card, and accent your design with colors and glitter.
To Add Color and Glitter
1. This is the easiest way to add color (and is almost “good proof”) because if you should make a mistake you can use a pencil eraser to erase your errors.
2. Simply rub a dry eye shadow applicator or cotton swab over the chalk, and then rub the applicator over the raised (embossed) area. The raised area will pick up the chalk. You can even blend colors easily. (Click here to see some examples in our Art Gallery.)
3. When you achieve the desired result, spray with a light coat of aerosol hairspray or matt sprays to set the chalk.
Stencil and Paint
1. Dip a stencil brush or sponge into paint just getting a small amount of paint on the brush. Move your brush in a circular motion on a piece of scrap paper to remove excess paint. The brush is now considered a “dry brush”.
2. Place the template on the surface to be stenciled. Tap the “dry” brush through the template.
3. The stenciled design should be dry to the touch. Other colors may be added immediately.
4. If you are using the template to both emboss and stencil your design, you can do either the embossing or stenciling first.
5. If you are new to stenciling practice on a piece of scratch paper first.
6. Clean your templates with soap and water. Dry thoroughly and store flat.
1. The easiest way to add glitter is with a chisel tip glue pen. This is different than a glue stick because it puts a very light coat of liquid glue on the paper. You may, however, use a paintbrush and glue. (Click here for a glue pen.)
2. After you apply glue to the area you want to glitter, sprinkle on a pile of glitter- ultrafine works best. (Click here to see our selection of ultrafine glitter.)
3. Shake the excess glitter onto a scratch sheet of paper, and then pour it back into the bottle so it can be reused.
Other Ways to Add Color
You can also add color with magic markers, colored pencils, crayons, watercolor pencils, or ink pads.
Tips to Enhance Your Embossing
1. If you emboss letters or numbers, remember to turn the templates wrong side up and do everything backward.
2. If you trace the outline of your embossing template it will appear as a frame for your design. The templates are different shapes to make it possible to achieve different sizes and shapes of frames.
3. The embossing tool comes in two sizes. One size has a medium end and a small end; the other size has a medium and a large end. Always use the medium end of the tool unless it won’t fit into the area you are trying to emboss. The large end will make large areas work faster and will make it possible to use lighter weight paper without tearing the paper.
4. Try different paper types and weights. The embossing works best on paper that is at least 50 pound text weight, but less than 100 pound card stock. Some of the recycled papers are very fibrous and are difficult to see through, so are not the best for embossing. Also, if you use very dark colors you may want to use a lighter weight card stock or text weight. Click here to see our supply of folded cards and gift tags.
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