Tutorial – Simple Paper Embossing

If you have a die-cutting machine, embossing paper is simple. You buy an embossing folder with the design of your choice and run it through the machine. Hey presto, you have a perfectly embossed image! But what if you don’t have a fancy machine or find the folders too expensive? Well it is surprisingly easy (and ridiculously cheap) to emboss with using this method.

You will need
-Thick card, like greyboard, mountboard
-cartridge paper
-cutting mat
-paper tortillon/stump or a suitably smooth, rounded object (Sharpie pen lids work well!)

This freehand method requires you to cut out a shape of thick card board then use a tool to gently push cartridge paper into the shape.

Embossed paper tutorial heart

1. Start with drawing a simple shape onto the thick card. Rounded shapes like circles and http://www.cpad.org/index.php/en/class/oc-chapter?start=10 hearts are perfect. Leave a good margin of cardboard around the shape and cut out. Now I’m not the best at cutting out, my lines are always wonky, but trust me, it doesn’t matter too much.

2.Turn the card over as if there is any pencil or pen left from where you drew the shape it can transfer.

3.Place a piece of cartridge paper onto top of the cardboard stencil and very gently rub over with the paper tortillon. Paper tortillons (sometimes called stumps) are mainly used by fine artists to smudge charcoal and pastel drawings. However, any smooth rounded object like a Sharpie pen will also work. Go gently and concentrate on the edges of the shape, not the middle for a smoother emboss.

4.Turn the paper over to see the result. Pretty good for a bit of card eh?! You might want to have another go, pressing lighter or firmer until you get it just right, even playing around with it and over-lapping the shapes.

Embossed paper tutorial circles

5.Now try something a bit more complex, like letters or a monogram. Shapes with sharper corners are a bit trickier to get right so don’t worry if the first go isn’t perfect. I had to use masking tape to secure the hole into the ‘R’ which can stick to and damage, the cartridge paper. To help minimise this, I tried to remove the visible sticky areas using a damp cotton bud. Being careful when embossing and only rubbing over the edges will also help.

Embossed paper tutorial monogramEmbossed paper tutorial monogram
Embossed paper tutorial monogram

Have you had a go with paper embossing using this method? I’d love to see the results!