Makeshift Letterpress With a Cuttlebug - Part One

Introduction: Makeshift Letterpress With a Cuttlebug - Part One

How to alter your cuttlebug embossing folders and machine for an easy, at home, letterpress.

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Step 1: Gather Your Supplies

You will need

1. Cuttlebug
2. Embossing folder
3. tape
4. scissors
5. paper
6. stamp pad
7. brayer (rubber paint roller.)

Step 2: Prepare Your Folder

Cut the embossing folder in half. discard the female side, keep the male (the side with the raised plastic.)

Trim closely around the design. If you skip this step, the square part of the folder will leave marks on your print.

Step 3: Prepare Your Print Surface.

Place one of your B plates that come with the cuttlebug over the green base. Secure it to the base with tape so it won't slide. Any type of tape will do. I used masking tape.

For best results, take at least 2 or 3 pieces of the paper you are going to print on (I used paper source A2 cards) and tape them to the B plate. This provides a cushion and a deeper impression.

Step 4: Prepare Your Print Plate

Use double sided tape or ATG to secure your cut out embossing folder to your remaining B plate that come with the cuttlebug. Position it appropriately.

Step 5: Ink Your Plate

I used a pigment stamp pad and speedball brayer to ink the design. You will get the hang of it after a few tries. Wipe off any ink that goes astray.

Step 6: Print!

Place the base (it should have your B plate with your paper cushion attached to it) into the opening of the cuttlebug.

Put the paper you are going to print on on top of the paper cushion.

Place your inked design face down on the paper.

Run the stack through the cuttlebug. It should roll easily. If it doesn't you might have too much paper stacked underneath.


1. Place plastic photo hinges on the bottom B plate to hold your paper and ensure you are placing it in the same place each time.

2. Make a make shift hinge out of tape so that your top plate will close on top of your bottom plate like a book. This will ensure that the top plate is placed in the same spot with each print.

Step 7: Admire Your Work

you are finished! You can achieve clean crisp impressions in about 30 seconds with this method.

I've ordered some photopolymer plates to see if I can create custom designs instead of being limited to hideous cuttlebug designs. I'll post a new instructable when I give it a go!

: )

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    2 Discussions


    3 years ago

    I can see why you trimmed round the image to avoid an impression of the surround - letterpress images in books don't have impression marks around them. But individual block Prints on art paper do have such impressions and it adds to the Printy feel of the medium. Clearly the folder still needs trimming aesthetically, but four straight lines does the trick :-)

    Good luck with the photosensitive plates - my local print workshops both sell them and make excellent use of them in their work.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    You should enter this in the card-making contest.