Picture of Paper Embossing
This is a very easy technique that everybody can use at home with very simple tools, you can use it for your greeting cards!
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Step 1: Tools

Picture of Tools
You need:
  • Exacto knife;
  • Stylus with round point or anything with a round point (actually my knife becomes a stylus chaging its point);
  • Cutting mat (optional, you can use an old newspaper);
  • Light table (optional, you can use a window).
Super easy to find tools!

Step 2: Material

Picture of Material
You need:
  • Paper;
  • Cardboard paper;
  • Tape or glue.

Step 3: Design the image

Picture of Design the image
Schermata 2012-11-01 a 15.43.45.png
If you are an artist you could draw your design by hand on a piece of paper, if you are not you can use the computer.
I decided to try with a simple word "Friend" and the beautiful font Zapfino.

Since the Zapfino has many variants for its glyphs I exploited this feature using different variants of the letters. A software that I have that can show variants is XeTeX, that is free and open-source. Using the fontspec package of XeTeX I created an image with all the variants of the glyphs in the word "Friend," then I chose the best combination, for my taste.

I then modified a little bit the design with Inkscape, that is free and open-source, to avoid enclosed areas. Enclosed areas in the design will be detached when the cardboard will be cut and that is a bit annoying for me. I also thickened the drawing to make the cutting easier.

Step 4: Cutting

Picture of Cutting
I printed the design and sticked the piece of paper on the cardboard with the tape.

Holding the paper firmly on the cardboard with my hand, I started to cut along the boundary of the black regions. The hardest parts are the ones with the higher curvature, you may need to help yourself cutting also from behind. When cutting around a thin part you may break the sheet so hold it firmly with a finger.

You are very generous with your education and creativity, thank you!! nat

VaibhavS29 months ago

It was a really nice tutorial. What other alternative do I have for the stylus? Will a ear-cleaner with a soft cotton plugged on its tip work for this?

Any other precautions?

Peg16210 months ago
nicely done
ChrysN2 years ago
Cool, my utility knife has one of those stylus thingies now I know what to do with it!
The end result looks great, and so easy to do. I wonder, would it work do to more "layers?" I don't know whether I can express what I mean properly, but imagine embossing a large square, then empossing some text inside the square.
Caffeinomane (author)  Dominic Bender2 years ago
Thank you! I thought about that and I wanted to try but have not had the time to do it yet. I was actually thinking of making also the letters in two layers somehow. I will try and let you know!