Introduction: Embossing Clay With Paper

About: I am an Industrial Designer, who obviously loves to create. Now that I am a mom, most of my creations are inspired by my daughers. I believe that if more parents were making stuff with their kids, the world wo…

Today I'm going to show you how to give a beautiful subtle texture to air dry clay or polymer clay using only paper.

Even though we'll be making a photo holder, with this technique you'll be able to personalize anything made from clay.

If you are a proud owner of an electronic cutting machine (Cricut, Cameo), it'll be way easier. But I´ll make this photo holder cutting everything by hand, just to demonstrate that even without fancy tools you can get awesome results.

Step 1: ​Gather Your Materials

Polymer clay or air dry clay



X-acto knife


Roller (or other cylindrical object)


Paper or cardstock

Strong glue

Step 2: Sketch

Begin by sketching what you want to emboss. Depending on how skilled you are with the x-acto knife, you could make more intrincate or simple designs.

The thickness of the paper will determine how deep the embossing will be, if it's thin it will be easier to cut but the texture will be very subtle.

Step 3: Cut

Once you are happy with the shape, cut it out. You could use scissors o an x-acto knife, I used both. Just make sure the knife is very sharp.

Step 4: Embossing

Now roll out the clay, use the x-acto knife to shape the clay.

Put the paper on top and press with the roller.

You could take the paper out of the clay and bake it or bake it with the paper.

I decided to bake it with the paper facing down, because I've seen that when baking clay against a metallic surface it takes a glossy finish. I wanted to give more texture to my clay so the part with paper is matte and everything else is shiny.

Step 5: Make the Photo Holder

I made a cube with another piece of clay and inserted the wire.

Step 6: Bake and Peel Off the Paper

I baked everything and once it was ready and cold, I peeled off the paper. Then I shaped the top of the wire.

Step 7: Glue

Finally I took out the wire and glued it back in place, and glued the two pieces of clay together.

Makerspace Contest 2017

Participated in the
Makerspace Contest 2017