My goal was to develop a process for easily creating embossed gilded letters for use on business style name cards. These cards consist of two layers of laser cut paper laminated together with a composite gold leaf in the middle.

I made this at TechShop.

Only use tools that you have had the appropriate training for. Always wear appropriate protection for environment and tools in use. Understand and accept the inherent risks associated with any operation.

Tools Used
Laser Cutter
Xacto (brand) Knife
Straight Edge (chunk of CLEAN aluminium)

Materials Used
Arches Hot Press Watercolour Paper
Strathmore Coal Black Drawing Paper
Glad Press'n Seal or Scotch Artist Mount (any laserable low tack mask)
Wax Paper
3M Super 77 Spray Adhesive
Spray Adhesive for Metal Leaf
Composite Metal Leaf

Step 1: Design

Ensure that your design has no islands. The card should stick together on its own. If the bridges are worked into the design they are hardly noticeable. Also, since the cut is centered on the line, adjust spacing of important elements to take this into account.

The aspect ratio was chosen to match US standard business cards, but shrunk a bit so the longest dimension is that of a credit card. This is to allow the finished product to reside in a wallet without damage. 

Make sure your design has cut marks and fit as many into one sheet as reasonably fit. I calculated that on my first production run each card took 6 minutes of my time to create- That is I completed four sheets of ten in four hours. If the sheets fit 12 I would have reduced that time per card by 20%.

technically, this is neither embossed nor debossed; but the apparent look is a debossed look, not an embossed look (embossed would be raised up, not sunken in). <br> <br>still, picked nits aside, great project!
Thank you. I appreciate the comment, correct terminology is important.
Perhaps <strong>&quot;Gold foil embossed-look stencil cut&quot;</strong> cards would be accurate.<br> <br> Is there a more slick way to say it though?<br> Mine took <em>6 words</em> and did not convey the dedication to craftsmanship implied by all the hand work.<br> <br> Great job on the look, well done!
Well, as I admitted in the post above, it was picking at nits to bring it up at all.<br><br>But the nit I was picking wasn't really the fact it was a stencil instead of a debossing, but the fact it is debossed, not embossed.<br><br>Apparently you missed that point, because your 6 word description was still wrong on that count. ;)
Thank you for clarifying. It's the inverse of embossed. I like it!
Phil, <br> Looks like the laser was out of focus. I cut 300gsm aquarelle paper often with no scorching or even smoke marks. If cutting thin materials like paper the focus has to be good.
Thanks for the tip. I was doing great with origami paper, but I have not had much luck with this thicker paper. I'll try experimenting more, because I would LOVE to have cleaner edges.
I think &quot;engraved&quot; would be a better term than &quot;embossed&quot;. The definition of &quot;engraved&quot; certainly defines what you have done.
Beautiful. I wonder if it would be possible to use a QR code generator to create a code that contains no islands. <br> <br>If so, you could burn it onto the &quot;back&quot; card.
Thank you. That is an interesting idea. The laser can do raster scanning too, I have been trying to work up a process where I raster through a mask so I can apply an ink or paint to the cuts- like the painted letters in a carved wood sign. So far I have had issues with the ink bleeding too much. I think a sealant applied either before to the whole sheet, or over the mask before the ink could help.
Very cool look :D

About This Instructable




Bio: I'm Phil, a recent graduate from San Jose State University. Although I studied Electrical Engineering there that is not all I am interested in ... More »
More by Phil Cyr:Embossed Foil Name Cards Simple Coasters Simple Shelf for a Closet - TechShop 
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