How to Emboss Paper at Home: Tips & Tricks

October 09, 2023

How to Emboss Paper at Home: Tips & Tricks

Embossing paper is a fantastic way to add texture and dimension to yourmixed media paper crafts.  Whether you’re creating DIY greeting cards, scrapbook pages or elegant invitations, embossed paper can level up any crafter’s project.

In this step-by-step guide, we’ll show you how to emboss paper using two different types of embossing techniques. We’ll also share some tips and tricks along the way.

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What is Embossing?

Before we dive into the steps for embossing paper, let’s first explain the technique. 

Embossing is a technique that creates a raised pattern or design on paper, creating a three-dimensional, textured effect. Embossing involves applying pressure to create the raised or indented embossed patterns. The embossing process is achieved using tools such as embossing folders, stencils, embossing machines, or an embossing stylus.

The result transforms your piece of paper with elegant designs, adding depth and texture to your craft projects.

How to Emboss Paper With a Sizzix Machine: Step-by-Step Tutorial

Step 1:

When using a die cutting machine such as a Sizzix to emboss, you will need to use anembossing folder.  Embossing folders come in many different designs and different sizes. The pressure applied by the rollers of the machine creates the raised effect.  To get started, select the embossing folder that you would like to use. 

Step 2:

Next choose the paper that you would like to use. It is recommended that you use a quality paper orcardstock that is sturdy enough to hold the embossed design, something between 220gsm and 300gsm will work well. Once you have selected your paper trim it to the desired size, just slightly larger than the embossing folder. We also have a blog ongsm for paper to help you choose.


Step 3:

Open the embossing folder and place the paper inside.

Step 4:

Sandwich the embossing folder between the two acrylic pads of your embossing machine and pass it through the machine by turning the crank handle.  

Step 5:
Remove the embossing folder and open to reveal your beautifully embossed image.

How to Emboss Paper by Hand

If you don’t have a Sizzix machine or equivalent, you can still achieve an embossed look by hand. This method is often also referred to as dry embossing or relief embossing.

Simply follow these steps to hand emboss paper at home:

Step 1:

When hand embossing you will use astencil so select the stencil that you would like to use. Ensure that the spaces of the stencil are large enough to fit your embossing tool.

Step 2:
Choose the paper that you would like to use. It is advisable to use a light to medium with paper or cardstock. Trim your paper to the desired size, ensuring that it is larger than the stencil. 

Step 3:

Secure the stencil to your paper using tape. 

Step 4:

Place the stencil and paper onto a soft surface such as a craft mat or rubber mat or you can place it on a lightbox if you have one.

Step 5:

Using an embossing tool or stylus, trace the design of the stencil with firm even pressure.  Be careful not to press too hard as that may result in tearing the paper.

Step 6:

Remove the stencil to reveal your embossed paper. 

How to Emboss Vellum Paper

Vellum paper is a translucent material which can produce very elegant results when embossed. Historically, it was produced from calf skin, but modern-day vellum is made from the fibres of plants and trees.

You can emboss vellum using either of the embossing techniques detailed above. It is a good idea to practice on scraps of vellum to perfect your technique before working on your final project.


How to Emboss Parchment Paper

Parchment paper is a semi-translucent paper that can be embossed to create decorative effects. Originally, parchment paper was made from animal skins, but it is now made with wood pulp and the manufacturing process involves bleaching and treating the pulp to create a strong paper.

You can emboss parchment paper using either of the methods detailed above. You could also trace an image onto your parchment paper and then emboss freehand with your embossing tool by running the tool over the edges of the image.

Embossing is a simple technique that transforms plain paper into creative masterpieces that can be used to create elegant handmade cards, breathtaking wedding invitations personalised gift tags and so much more.

Embossing projects are great for scrapbooking, card making and anything in between. The grand reveal of your embossed sheet of paper is always so mesmerising, you will want to add an embossed element to everything you create!


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