You can’t beat the look and feel of an embossed or letterpress card really. There’s something so old school and tactile about it that’s hard not to love, especially when it’s printed on nice quality stock. I’ve started sending thank you cards more often these days because I think it’s such a lovely, unexpected thing to receive in the mail and I usually have a box full of spare cards for random occasions but the ole’ box seems to be running dry so over the weekend I had a go at crafting up some of my own with a makeshift embossing template.. and it actually worked pretty well!
- 2 pieces of firm cardboard (like a cereal box or back or cover of an old notepad)
- 1 piece of white paper for your card. I’d recommend no thicker than 180gsm – the thinner it is the easier and crisper your embossed shape will be
- Piece of plain paper for testing
- X-acto knife
- Sticky tape
- Glue stick (if you have floating pieces)
- Something with a small rounded tip for the embossing – I used the end of a small wood paintbrush
- Watercolours and paint brush (got mine in a cheap kit from Ikea)
Step 1 – Cut your card to size and paint the front piece with watercolour. There’s no rule to watercolour and that’s what I love about it so much – even the messiest slop of paint can look awesome. No need to go out and purchase an expensive set either, I just picked up a set of watercolours which came with brushes from Ikea in the kids area!
Step 2 – Sketch out your word onto the card. I just did this simple font design freehand but you could print out some cool font from your computer and trace it onto your card too. Cut it out with an Xacto knife and ruler. Be sure to keep any loose middle bits like the A below – you’ll need them later
Step 3 – Tape your cut out card facing down onto a 2nd piece of cardboard. Glue your centre pieces down to the card like my A below
Step 4 – Do a test run on a thin piece of paper so you can see how it turns out and use it as a template
Step 5 – Once your watercolour is dry, tape your card down on top of this stencil- with your watercolour design facing down
Step 6 – Gently start pressing down on your first letter – this is where it gets much simpler if you have thin paper as you can see and feel the edges of the stencil easily, but if like me you’re using a thicker card like 180gsm, carefully trace your first letter then put your scrap piece of test paper from earlier over the top to help you feel out the rest of the letters
Quick tips –
- Be sure to pay attention to the corners as this will make your embossed shape really stand out
- Also if your letter or shape is quite large, only press around the edge of the design, don’t press the middle areas – this will make sure your embossed shape really pops.
Done and done!
I’m loving it. Really want to try a shape next – thinking an anchor or pineapple would look super cute