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Example cards with embossing
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Tutorial #7

Embossed Cards

What we will be making:

In this tutorial, learn how to add embossing to your greeting cards without making a large investment in special tools. Embossing, a raised surface design, adds a subtle finishing touch that makes your handmade card truly unique. An embossed card is bound to be appreciated for its elegance.

This greeting card tutorial builds on previous tutorials, especially #1: Four Patch Cards and #2: Matted Clip-art and Photo Cards. If you are new to card making, review these tutorials before starting this one.

Refer to Tutorial #1: Four Patch Cards for how to make card blanks and envelopes.

Here's what you need:
  • White card blank: 4¼″ by 5½″
  • Coordinating cardstock and paper
  • Scissors or craft knife
  • Cardboard—cereal box or poster board
  • Ruler or paper trimmer
  • Pencil
  • Craft stick or embossing tool
  • Glue
  • White computer paper for envelopes
  • Optional: Tape, paper punches, rubber stamps, embossing templates or brasses

This tutorial is 7th of twelve card making tutorials and is rated AVERAGE to do.

Making Embossed Greeting Cards

Read through the tutorial before starting.
Step 1: Select Cardstock and Paper

To make the card in this tutorial, select a solid color of cardstock and a coordinating decorative paper. The embossing will be done on the cardstock. A sure bet is to select cardstock and paper in the same basic color. For more dynamic color combinations refer to the color wheel concepts in the Paper Weaving Card Tutorial.

Embossing templates cut or punched from cardboard Step 2: Make Embossing Template

Cut a 4" square of cardboard—cardboard from an empty cereal box or poster board works well. Draw a 3" heart in the center of the cardboard square and cut it out using scissors or a craft knife.

Tip: Embossing templates can also be made with a paper punch. Be sure that the cardboard isn't too heavy to be punched.

Cut cardstock and paper for greeting card Step 3: Cut Cardstock and Paper

Cut a 5¼" by 4" piece of decorative paper to use as the card's background.

Cut a 3½" square from the solid color cardstock to emboss.

Step 4: Align Template and Cardstock Align embossing template and plain cardstock

Center the embossing template over the the cardstock square, front side up. While holding firmly, flip the two over.

Tip: Hold the template and cardstock in front of a light to check that the paper is centered on the heart.

Step 5: Emboss Cardstock Use craft stick to trace along the edge of the heart template

We are doing a type of dry embossing called blind embossing. It's called blind because the embossing template is hidden from view. Hold the cardstock and template firmly with one hand and the craft stick in the other hand. With a couple of fingers from the hand holding the craft stick, gently feel for the edge of the heart. Run the tip of the craft stick along the edge, all the way around. Flatten the craft stick and retrace the edge, pushing firmly to get a sharp impression. You may first want to practice the embossing on some scrap cardstock.

Tip: The cardstock can easily slip out of place. You may want to lightly tape it to prevent slipping.

Turn the cardstock over to reveal the embossed heart. If there are any gaps in the embossing, carefully realign the template and repeat the embossing.

Tip: It is possible on some types of cardstock to correct problems. Use the flat of the craft stick to press out problems in the embossing and redo the embossing.

Step 6: Assemble Card Glue background to card and glue embossed square on top

Glue the decorative paper background to the card and glue the embossed cardstock square on top. Embossing is a very subtle design element best viewed close-up.

To enhance the card for viewing across a room, add more embellishments with colored pencils or rubber stamps.

That's it! Your card is done!
Example embossed card

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Before you start a tutorial:
  • Make a place to work.
  • Read through the tutorial.
  • Think about what you plan to make. Imagine how you can add your own creative touch.
  • Gather the materials you will need.
Get ready, and get started!!!

Embossing Tool Idea

DIY scoring and embossing board

Tip: It's easy to add embossed lines, borders and grids to your greeting cards with a DIY Scoring and Embossing Board. Make one for yourself or to give as a gift. It can be customized with scoring grooves spaced to exactly fit your need.

ePaper Extra

Two coordinating birthday ePapers on blue

Tip: Use Aunt Annie's coordinating Happy Birthday and Balloons and Gifts ePapers to make embossed greeting cards or other card.

Embossed greeting card made using Happy Birthday ePaper

Tip: Cards made with a paper punch embossing template can be further enhanced by adding paper punches in similar and contrasting colors.

This card uses Aunt Annie's Balloons and Gifts on Blue ePaper.

Tip: An embossed card will have more impact with some additional elements. This card has a heart traced in colored pencil and a stamped image in the center of the embossing.

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