Punch Basics: Embossing

  • Difficulty Rating: Beginner
Punch Basics: Embossing

This is the second how-to in a series focused on getting the most out of your basic paper punches.

The simple technique I will share is embossing with your punches. I am a bit obsessed with adding texture to my projects, and you can create simple embossing templates from your punches.

Faux Embossed Letters
The first way to emboss with punches is actually faux embossing, and it’s very simple! You want to use a non-textured, solid cardstock for this technique. I started this letter project by first covering paper mache letters with white cardstock.

Punch a bunch of butterflies from cardstock and adhere to letter

Next, punch a bunch (say that five times fast!) of butterflies from the same background cardstock. Cover the back of each punch fully with a good quality glue stick and adhere punches evenly onto the background. Be sure to have some of the punches overlapping the edges to give a full design. Press down each punch very well for a flat, solid adhesion. Once the glue dries, turn letter over and use a craft knife to trim off excess punches.

Finish the sides of the letters, I added a crimped border for even more fun texture

To finish the sides of the letters, I added a crimped border for even more fun texture. Adhere several strips of cardstock (the width of letter sides) together and run through a paper crimper. Adhere around perimeter of letter with a low-temperature hot glue gun.

Embossed Cards

Punch Basics Embossing Card Samples

Begin by punching a shape from thick cardstock. We will be using the negative punched shape.

Begin by punching a shape from thick cardstock

Working on a craft mat, place your negative punched shape down first, followed by the cardstock to be embossed. Be sure the front of the cardstock (if it makes a difference) is facing down onto the template. The technique works best when you have a light source coming from the side (such as sitting by a window) so you can see the impressions better while embossing.

Working on a craft mat, place your negative punched shape down first, followed by the cardstock to be embossed.

For large shapes like the cloud sample, rub your finger firmly around the cardstock over the template to get a basic shape to emboss. (For smaller punches like the stars shown, run the thick side of the stylus around the design to find the impression.) Using the thicker side of a stylus, rub around the edge of the shape and follow up with the smaller side of the stylus for more detail. Remove the cardstock and your embossed shape will be shown on the front.

Embossing adds fun texture to your projects, and it’s very convenient to use your punch stash for great embossing options. Be sure to keep an eye out for the next technique in the Punch Basics series!

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Supply List

Cardstock

Adhesive

Corrigated letters (or canvas)