Folders with embossed designs on both side of a transparent, hard plastic folder are embossed folders. It is important to know how to use embossing folders creatively to avoid mistakes since they can be quite expensive.

You simply place your cardstock between the folder of your choice and emboss it. You can now sandwich it between your embossing machine’s cutting boards and roll it to embed the design.

Depending on your embossing folders, you can experiment with different designs to find what works for you.

EMBOSSING FOLDERS: WHAT TO DO

Instructions in detail

  1. Put your embossing folder on your cardstock. 
  2. Between your cutting boards, sandwich your embossing folder. 
  3. Your embossing machine will do the rest.

An embossing folder is demonstrated in this video:

EMBOSSING FOLDERS IN CREATIVE MANNER

1. TECHNIQUE OF TONE ON TONE ON DRY EMBOSSMENT

TECHNIQUE OF TONE ON TONE ON DRY EMBOSSMENT

The easiest method is to use an embossing folder. Almost any occasion can also be used with this technique. Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, and even Christmas are suitable occasions to use this card background. 

Instructions

  1. Make sure that your embossing folder and cardstock are dry by using your embossing buddy.
  2. Embellish the embossing folder with clear embossing ink.
  3. The embossing machine’s user guide should tell you how to emboss your cardstock. 
  4. To emboss the cardstock, add clear embossing powder, tap off any excess powder, and brush off any excess powder.
  5. Let the clear embossing powder set with heat.

2. EMBOSSING ON DRY EMBOSSING TECHNIQUES: CLEAR DETAILS

Instructions

  1. Use your usual embossing technique to emboss your cardstock.
  2. Apply pigment ink to the embossed cardstock raised parts with an ink blending tool.
  3. Make some parts of the embossed cardstock stand out by adding darker shades of the same colour.
  4. Apply the clear embossing ink gently to the embossed card, paying attention to highlight only a few points.
  5. Using clear embossing ink, apply the powder to the card and remove with your fingers. To remove stubborn flecks, use a dry paintbrush.
  6. Clear embossing powder should be heat set. A holographic embossing powder can also be used for added effect. 

3. LETTERPRESS FAUX TECHNIQUE

You should ink the side where the depressed parts of the embossing folder end up when the card is finished. If you’re looking for a color that fits your mood, we recommend a 15-color ink pad bundle.

The embossed flowers in this example remain white, while the background is colored. To highlight the colored background, this technique works best with embossing folders that have wide spaces.

Directions

  1. Your white flowers will stand out against the background if you choose a colour that contrasts well with them. So you have thick ink later, add 2-3 layers of ink. 
  2. If the embossing folder ends up depressed on the finished card, lightly rub the ink pad across that side.
  3. Run the cardstock through your embossing machine after placing it inside the folder carefully.   

4. EMBOSSING IN KINDERGARTEN WITH DRY INK

Let’s add some character to our card by using blind embossed cardstock. A blending tool will be used to add a touch of colour. The ink should remain on the embossed pattern and not on the background, so make sure to use one with a flat surface. 

There are 24 one-inch replacement foams that come with the blending tool we used here, so you have one for each colour. 

Instructions

  1. Use a folder of your choice to emboss your cardstock. 
  2. You can use your ink blending tool to add a soft, light color to your design by rubbing it on the embossed part of the cardstock. 

5. A TWO-TONE EMBLESSING TECHNIQUE

A TWO-TONE EMBLESSING TECHNIQUE

Were you satisfied with tutorials 2 and 3? What about combining them into one beautiful card background? On a piece of paper, arrange two contrasting colors to see how they work together before beginning your design.

Instructions

  1. To give the embossing folder it’s background, choose a bold color and apply it there. Get some ink into the embossing folder by rubbing it two to three times. 
  2. Using your embossing machine, run the cardstock through the folder as usual. 
  3. Rub the embossed parts with a contrasting ink blending tool. Do not rub into the background.

6. INKING TECHNIQUES DISTRESS

The background of this card is embossed card overlaid with distress ink. Depending on your card, you can emboss it with different folders, colors, or patterns. 

A washable ink blending tool with ergonomic handles was used instead of a flat blending tool. A slightly curved brush is used to ensure the distress ink is applied evenly. 

Instructions

  1. Do the usual embossing on white cardstock.
  2. Apply your distress ink using an ink blending tool, following the pattern you prefer. Avoid the appearance of harsh lines by using different brushes for each color and blending the colors where the inks meet. 
  3. Water should be sprayed over the cardstock, then excess water should be blotted away with tissue paper. The cardstock should then be allowed to dry completely before use.

7. A DRY EMBOSSING TECHNIQUE USING WHITE PIGMENT INK

Want to know how to creatively use embossing folders without forgetting colored cardstock? No worries. You can improve your embossing results with this easy hack. 

Here are two hacks you can try. Both of them look lovely. The difficult part is deciding which one to choose.

Instructions

  1. The first hack takes advantage of white pigment ink on dry embossing as follows:
  2. Follow the instructions on your embossing machine to emboss your colored cardstock.
  3. Blend your white pigment ink with an ink blending tool and gently rub it over the embossed patterns. 
  4. Your embossing folder can also be inked with diamond patterns. 
  5. Make the cardstock contrast with the one you choose.
  6. As usual, emboss. 

8. HOW TO USE A GLITZER GEL

With this simple technique, your white cardstock will have a new look and texture. Give your cards a bit of depth and personality with glitter gel. 

With a jar like this, you’ll get a lot of value for your money. If possible, choose a heavier weight paper.

Instructions

  1. Your cardstock should be embossed as usual.
  2. Spray your work table with a little low-tack adhesive so your cards won’t move while the gel is applied.
  3. Spread the glitter gel evenly over your cardstock using a palette knife after adding the glitter gel to your stencil pal.
  4. Overnight, allow it to dry on a flat surface. A heat gun can be used if you’re in a hurry, but your cardstock may curl a bit. 

9. VELLUM TECHNIQUE WITH EMBOSSING

VELLUM TECHNIQUE WITH EMBOSSING

Translucent vellum can also be used to add new dimensions to your card. To give your card an understated look, stack it on top of colored cardstock. To add some sparkle, add a few blings. 

Instructions

  1. Use the same embossing method you use for cardstock to emboss the translucent vellum.
  2. Mount it on colored cardstock after cutting it to size. 
  3. Crafters’ tweezers can be used to add self-adhesive bling to their cards. 
  4. If you don’t need colored cardstock, you can skip it. Your card should be backed with white cardstock, then decorated with colorful rhinestone stickers.

10. ADVANCED ACETATE TECHNIQUE EMBOSSING

Try using acetate on your embossing folders and see what possibilities you can create. The card can be used entirely as a cover, backed with solid colored cardstock, similar to the vellum technique in the photo, or as a window effect. 

Instructions

  1. Use an embossing machine to emboss your acetate film.
  2. Place your embossed acetate film behind the rectangle cut from your colored cardstock. Create a frame from a different piece of cardstock. 
  3. Depending on how you feel inspired, you can incorporate other designs into your card. 

11. TECHNIQUES FOR EMBOSSING FLOCKS OF SHEETS

Flocked paper is also an option for embossing folders. You can add dimension without going overboard with embellishments with the velvety look. Alternatively, you can try an embossing folder with overlapping circles if you prefer a simple design. 

12. RESIST EMBOSSING TECHNIQUES

RESIST EMBOSSING TECHNIQUES

Embossing twice is better than embossing once. The resist embossing technique is another name for this technique. Adding ink to the embossed areas of clear embossing powder results in a vintage effect as it stays white regardless of how hard you press on it.

Instructions

  1. Remove moisture and static from the cardstock by running the embossing buddy over it.
  2. Put the cardstock in the folder after applying the clear embossing ink to the embossing part.
  3. As always, emboss.
  4. Then, use the glitter pen to highlight some parts of the cardstock after applying pigment ink with an ink blender. If you want to add more highlights, you can also use two or more pigment inks and a contrasting gel pen.

13. STENCILS EMBEDDING TECHNIQUE

Have you ever heard of stencil embossing? Instead of embossing folders, you can use stencils on your card stock. You may need an extra shim. 

It does not produce the same effect as embossing but still works. You can highlight your design using pigment inks in this technique. To beautify your card, emboss the focal point with clear embossing powder.

Instructions

  1. Your cutting board and embossing mat should be placed on your machine’s platform.  
  2. You can then add the stencil on top of the cardstock. Cover it with a second cutting board and place 4-5 pieces of cardstock on top to serve as shims. 
  3. Use an ink blending tool to blend a few coordinated colored inks on the cardstock. This cardstock can now be used as the background for your cards.  

14. CARDSTOCK FOILED WITH HEAT EMBLESSING

Add some metallic embossing powder to the foil cardstock after it has been dry embossed. In this way, a beautiful finish is achieved. If you use an embossing folder, you can make any card you want out of it.

An embossed card can be cut diagonally to allow room for the sentiment stamp on this card. In addition to using the embossed cardstock, you can also add a die-cut cardstock for your sentiments, so there are endless possibilities. 

Instructions

  1. Embellish the foil cardstock and embossing folder with your embossing buddy.
  2. To emboss your cardstock, apply clear embossing ink to the background side of the embossing folder. 
  3. Emboss your card with metallic embossing powder, but make sure the color contrasts with your foil. Heat emboss the piece after removing all excess ink.

15. POP-UP FOLDER EMBOSSING

We achieved the distressed, scuffed appearance of this cardstock by rubbing a sanding tool over the raised areas. Both cards use the same embossing folder, but they use both sides to showcase the different effects each can create. Geometric 3D embossing folders are best suited for use with this method.

Instructions

  1. Add 2-3 distress ink colors using your mini blending tool, then emboss it with your embossing machine as usual. 
  2. The white core of the cardstock can be revealed by rubbing a fine sanding block over the embossed side. Don’t rub too hard or you may damage your cardstock. 
  3. Remove any paper crumbs from the sanding. 
  4. An ink pad can be lightly rubbed over the sanded areas instead of leaving them white.

16. EMBOSSING WAX PAPER TECHNIQUE

It is recommended that you use wax paper that is a bit larger than your embossing folder when using this technique. This will ensure that the paper is not embossed. The wax paper will be used to transfer the embossed pattern to the cardstock.

Apart from the embossing machine and folders, this method allows you to use other supplies and tools in your home.

Instructions

  1. Follow the instructions on your embossing machine when embossing wax paper. 
  2. Wrap the embossed wax paper in a folded bond paper and sandwich it between two cards. To prevent shifting during ironing, tape the cardstock together with washi tape.  
  3. On the cardstock, iron the wax off the wax paper and turn it over several times to remove all the wax. 
  4. Rub the waxed cardstock with a mini ink blending tool dipped in a distress ink pad. Rub a clean paper towel over the cardstock to remove the excess ink. 

17. A CARD TECHNIQUE THAT EMBOSSES TWO FOLDERS

You can add more texture to one card by using two embossing folders. You can use other embossing folders that might go well with argyle and polka dots, but this method makes use of argyle and polka dots. Alternatively, try embossing one side of the paper with a different pattern using the dots embossing folder. 

Instructions

  1. Depending on the design you want, stamp on the center of your card. If you want to skip this step you can stamp later.
  2. Using your mental division, put the lower third of the cardstock on an embossing folder, then emboss.
  3. The upper third of the card should also be embossed in the same way.
  4. Make a score line just below the embossing just below the top third of the card so that it stands out.
  5. Personalize your card according to your preferences.

18. DISTRESSED PAPER EMBOSSED TECHNIQUE

The embossing folder gets a new dimension using distress ink on the cardstock. You can use a variety of combinations of distressed inks to achieve your desired effect with this technique.

Instructions

  1. Distress ink pads should be used as follows:
  2. You can apply distress ink directly to your cardstock, or you can use a blending tool. 
  3. Water will help blend the inks on the cardstock. 
  4. A distress reinker should be used as follows:
  5. Distress ink can be applied to an acrylic block or anywhere that won’t absorb ink. 
  6. Spray the inks with water after adding a few dabs of ink to the cardstock.  
  7. On a flat surface, let the card dry overnight.
  8. Your cardstock should be embossed as usual.
  9. Rub the black pigment ink on a blending tool, then rub it slowly across the embossed pattern.
  10. Leave only the lace pattern on the cardstock. The cardstock is ready to be used.  

19. EMBOSSING WITH GOLD

There’s more to glittering than gold; it can also be gilded cardstock! Since embossing folders have no limits, crafters can go crazy with them. 

Try gilding flakes instead of powder glitters. The shimmer is still present without the sandiness of glitter.

Instructions

  1. On your cardstock, stick a double-sided adhesive sheet. 
  2. An adhesive sheet can be used to apply gilding flakes over your cardstock. A foam block can be used to spread out the flakes. 
  3. Lay the flakes flat on the paper by pushing them down.
  4. You should run the embossed paper through the embossing machine after putting the gilded paper into the embossing folder. 

20. METALLIC EMBOSSING FAUX

Adding a faux metallic look to plain colored cardstock will give it a stylish look. With this technique, you can make the most of gold and silver embossing powders, which are the most common supplies any crafter has.

Instructions

  1. Remove static from your cardstock and embossing folder by dabbing an embossing buddy over them. 
  2. On the background of the embossing folder, apply clear embossing ink. Brayers make even application easier. To emboss, simply apply the clear embossing ink to the brayer and apply the embossing folder. 
  3. Use the embossing machine to run a green cardstock through the folder.
  4. Tap the cardstock on a piece of paper to catch all the excess metallic gold powder after applying the embossing powder.
  5. Using a dry paintbrush, remove all the unnecessary embossing powder. 
  6. An embossing heat gun is used to heat set the powder. 

21. A SMOOTH TECHNIQUE FOR EMBOSSING FOLDER INK

With this embossing folder technique, ink is transferred smoothly onto the paper using a brayer. A smooth transition from one color to another is achieved by the ombre finish.

Instructions

  1. Dot two or three coordinating ink pads on a silicone sheet, close enough to one another for your brayer to grab.
  2. Ink your brayer and roll it over the embossing folder background. Make sure you apply the ink 2-3 times so you can get enough ink on your cardstock later.
  3. As always, emboss. 

22. VELLUM EMBOSSED WITH TORN MATERIAL

VELLUM EMBOSSED WITH TORN MATERIAL

To use this method, use a detailed embossing folder and a heavyweight translucent vellum (65lbs). Use fussy cut scissors to add more detail. You can tear off the patterns or cut them out using a pair of scissors. The embossed cardstock looks great with this design.

Instructions

  1. If you want a deeper impression, emboss the vellum twice or three times.
  2. Along the outlines of the design, rip the patterns. Detail scissors can also be used for a cleaner finish. Rustic cards look best with torn edges. 
  3. To decorate your cards, use torn vellum patterns. 

FILE EMBOSSING ISSUES COMMONLY EXPERIENCED

During the process of making this tutorial, we encountered some difficulties. Here are some tips we hope will be helpful for you.

My cards have missed embossing powder, how can I touch it up?

After heat embossing the embossing powder, you’ll see any missed parts better. You can use your clear embossing pen to touch up any parts of your cards. Touch up in the same way as if you were colouring, then add more embossing powder to the area and heat it up. 

Whenever I emboss my card in my 3D folder, it cracks or tears.

Your embossed cards may crack if you use too much pressure or recycled paper. It may not be a solution that fits all papers and embossing machines. You must be wondering how embossing folders can be used without wasting your precious cardstock. 

Easing the pressure when embossing can help prevent cracking or tearing. Cardstock is sometimes passed twice through the embossing machine to have deeper impressions, but if you observe any cracking or tearing, then you should stop doing it. The cardstock itself is less stressed due to the piece of print paper placed between it and your folder. 

Another trick is to use a spritz of water to dampen the cardstock without soaking it. You can use a heat embossing gun or leave your cardstock on the counter to dry well after you emboss. As a result, if you’re using several cards, the drying process will not be necessary.

Recycled paper, however, has shorter fibers, so when embossed with an embossing folder, it tends to break more easily. Consider using the spritzing method to emboss recycled paper and reducing the pressure. 

Keep away from embossing folders with too close designs and stick to standard embossing folders instead of using a 3D one. It is also helpful to run your thumb and index finger over the cardstock to soften it. 

My embossing folder doesn’t produce crisp designs.

Paper and time are wasted if your embossing does not produce perfect results. A close pattern causes this imperfect embossing. You can prevent this from happening by covering the embossing folder with translucent vellum on both sides and taping it to prevent it from loving.

Cardstock should be sandwiched between these vellum pieces and embossed as usual. Due to the vellum between the two sides of the folder, your cardstock will have a perfect, crisp design. Alternatively, you can use regular printer paper if you don’t have vellum. Cardstock should be put between folded print paper and embossed as usual. 

Compared to my older embossing folders, my new one is longer. 

Crafters prefer to use multiple embossing folders that fit both ways on 6-inch embossing machines, such as a 4 14″ x 5 14″ or a 6″ square. Some companies started making embossing folders that were 6 11.2 inches long. When embossing on a card base rather than on a face, this new dimension becomes problematic if you hate having to glue a face on a card base. 

A portion of the embossing folder can be cut off to produce an embossing folder 5 11.2 inches long. The method works best for patterns that repeat. As an alternative, you have to cut and emboss a card background, then glue it to the card base. 

Summary

Have you enjoyed learning how to use embossing folders in different ways? The embossing folders we mentioned can be used to make intricate designs, so try them all out.

How did you become interested in embossing folders? Do you have any thoughts to share?

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