CB21-012 - how to use embossing folders without a machine

How to use embossing folders without a machine

How do you use embossing folders without a machine?

To use embossing folders without a machine, find another tool like a rolling pin to use as a press. It’s even possible to use an embossing folder by hand with an embossing stylus. Simply find a hard flat surface to use to press against the folders without a machine.

Imagine, not having your embossing machine and wanting to finish your project. Nothing is more frustrating than not having the right tool for the job.

However, you don’t need an embossing machine to use an embossing folder.

Luckily for you, I’ll show you how to use an embossing folder without a machine. I’ll show you different ways to improvise and get your project done on time.

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What is an embossing folder?

Embossing folders are plastic folders with a design embedded into them. When you place a piece of paper between the pages of the folder and press, the image is copied onto your paper. Embossing folders were designed to be used with an embossing machine that applies pressure to the folder and paper. 

You can use embossing folders on greeting cards, for scrapbooking, in journals, and on envelopes. Don’t stop with paper projects, though. Embossing folders can also be used on metal and foam. 

Traditionally, embossing folders are placed between two pages and pressed on an embossing machine. Since the process is the transfer of ink to your material by force, they are simple to use even if you don’t have an embossing machine. 

How to use embossing folders without a machine

You will have to press the embossing folder by hand or with a hard flat surface, like a rolling pin, if you don’t have a machine. Other tools, like an embossing stylus, will help you get the job done just as quickly and easily as with a machine. 

Here are some different methods of using embossing folders without a machine:

With a rolling pin

Take a rolling pin and press as hard as you can. The harder you press the deeper the emboss you will get. This method is the most popular because people often have this tool on hand. 

Using a rolling pin doesn’t take that much force to get a beautiful design. Just keep rolling back and forth to get the impression deep into your paper. 

Be careful not to roll too long without checking your folder. Your embossing folder may begin to curl up with the pressure if you continue to roll too long.

A heavy bottle

Similar to using a rolling pin you can use other items that are similar in shape. A heavy water bottle, wine bottle, etc, can be used to press and roll if you can’t get your hands on a rolling pin. 

An Embossing Stylus

You can use an embossing stylus across your embossing folder or a texture plate to transfer your design. Simply take the pen-like tool and start to rub across the paper like you are drawing or coloring. As you press, your design will begin to take shape. If you use a texture plate, tape your paper to the plate to keep it in place. 

You can also emboss using a stencil by tracing the design with the large end of the embossing stylus. 

There are three different kinds of stylus options. They range from the size of a pen to a wider tool. You’ll be able to cover more ground with a wider tool, but a small traditional stylus will help you get more detail. 

In fact, embossing by hand may give you better and more detailed results than you would’ve gotten with a machine. At least when the machines take over we’ll be able to emboss better than them. Machines: 0 Humans: 1. 

Fiskars plates

Fiskars plates were designed to be used specifically without an embossing machine. The idea is to get a detailed design by embossing it by hand with a stylus. Embossing plates are very similar to embossing folders. 

The main difference between plates and folders is plates don’t fold. That’s why when using embossing plates it’s best to use tape to keep your paper or cardstock in place while you emboss. 

As an embossing folder stamp

Add ink to your embossing folder to use the design as a stamped image. Once you add ink, place your paper in the folder and close. 

The ink will transfer with a simple press of the hand. If you use an embossing method, you will get a raised design that is also covered in ink. 

You can also add ink to an embossed design after you’ve pressed the image into your paper. Take an ink pad and brush across the paper to give your embossed design some color. For more interest use different colors to give your design depth and layers. 

With a printing press

If you don’t have an embossing machine, maybe you have a few other machines you can roll or press your embossing folders with. 

Crafters have found ways to create homemade printing presses out of pasta machines and panini presses. If you’re that creative you can find a use for your embossing folder with no problem. 

To use a printing press, start by adding a damp piece of paper to your embossing folder. The damp paper will fold a little easier and emboss a little deeper. Take your paper and embossing folder and set a tight pressure and press. 

For Other Art Techniques

Embossing folders don’t have to be used for embossing at all. Use them for other projects so they don’t go to waste. You can use embossing folders for several techniques for different art projects.  

Here are a few techniques to try 

  • Emboss then add glitter, paint, ink, or gilding wax to your image
  • Use to carve designs in candles or other wax projects
  • Make impressions with powder to heat emboss
  • Make a stamp out of your folder or use it as a stamp by placing directly in the folder
  • Sand your embossed image for a distressed look 
  • Make wax envelope seals by pressing the design into melted wax

Embossing folders can be used in place of stamps, embossing, and embedding plates. Think of how you use some of your other crafts and see how folders can work as stand-ins. The key is to use your folder to transfer the design to multiple any craft your heart desires.

Summary: How to use embossing folders without a machine

To use embossing folders without a machine, all you need to find is something to press the folder together with a little force. Rolling pins are quick and easy tools for getting the job done. 

If you have a bottle or glass in the shape of a rolling pin it will work too. Simply roll over your folder and paper with pressure and you’ll get a beautiful print. 

You don’t need to use your embossing folder for embossing to get use out of them. You can also add ink and press gently and precisely to turn your embossing folders into stamps. 

So if you don’t have a machine, no problem you can put your embossing folders to good use if you’re a little creative and crafty.