You Can Make Your Own Embossing Folders! WOW!

Yes you read correctly. You can make your own embossing folders with your Cricut! I was blown away when I saw this in the Card Makers Success Summit. And you can do it for pennies with stuff you already own and I’m sure have plenty of!  These are so easy to make it is a wonderful beginner project.

I used an ink pad to color them (badly, sorry) so you could see the raised parts.  I usually won’t buy an embossing folder unless is is general enough to use all year.  At $4 or more each, that gets expensive fast.  But now I can make my own for pennies!  And you can save it and use it over and over again.

You will need:
        • Chipboard for the folder shape
        • Any cardstock
        • Die cutting machine
        • Painters tape or Masking tape
        • Scissors
        • Glue 
        • Download File 
Paper Selection for Making Your Own Embossing Folder

The main folder is made from chip board.  I have tons of this stuff because every paper pack I buy has some in it so I know you have plenty.  Any paper will do to cut the images from.  It doesn’t matter the pattern or weight, although thicker and heavier work better.  The cardstock you want to emboss needs to be under 120 lb. wt. for the image to show up well but if you have ever embossed before, you know what works.

Cutting your Own Embossing Folders

In all the download files the black rectangles are cut from chipboard with the knife blade.  If you don’t have the knife blade you can fussy cut it with scissors.  The bunny folder uses two 5 X 7 rectangles and the egg folder uses two  4 X 6 rectangles. 

If you are using the Design Space File, there are 4 copies of all the little images stacked on top of each other.  They will all cut.  I just wanted to save space.  In the SVG file they are separate. 

If you are using the SVG files, make sure you read the instruction document to see the proper size for the project.  I really wish Cricut would fix this glitch!

There are some intricate cuts on both folders so be careful removing them from the mat.

Assembling the Embossing Folders
As I said before, there are four copies of each of the little images.  Start by sorting them into stacks of four.  Once they are all sorted, glue the four copies on top of each other with liquid glue.  A glue gun does not work.  Be sure to line them up perfectly.  This is very important.
Once all the stacks are made, then arrange them on one of the pieces of chipboard.  Try to keep them inside the edges.  But if you can’t or don’t want to, just cut them off at the edge with scissors after you glue them down.  Next, once all the parts are where you want them, glue them down to the chipboard.  Let the glue dry completely.
Sandwich the other piece of chipboard on top with the stacks in the middle.  Tape the top with painters tape or any semi heavy tape.  Scotch tape won’t hold it right.  Be sure not to squish one end and that both pieces of chipboard lie flat.  This will create a slight gap with the tape exposed when you open the folder.  That is fine.
Using your New Embossing Folder
For this you will need a die cutting machine big enough for your folder to pass through.  Place a piece of cardstock between the two covers and feed it into your machine.  You will have to experiment a little to get the right sandwich thickness depending on your machine and the thickness of the folder.  I ran mine through twice because I always do that when embossing.  You will notice w hen you remove the embossed paper that the blank part of the folder begins to take on the embossed image.  This is normal.  Use the embossed image just like any other embossed image.  

And your Homemade Embossing Folder is done!  Enjoy!  Make sure you label your folder so you can tell immediately what it is when you go to re-use it.  

Tips For Designing Your Own Folders

You can use my folders or make your own.  There are a few things I learned

  1.  The small intricate cuts don’t emboss as well.  The bunny folder did not work as well as the egg folder.
  2.  The more intricate cuts are also harder to line up when making your stacks.  Some of the bunnies are cut all the way to the edge.  This makes them harder because you have to line up a free end.
  3. Make sure that all the parts don’t have completely cut out parts, like an A or an O.  You are then trying to glue little bitty pieces into the centers.  Not easy to do.  I made my letters inside the eggs with a stencil font.  You can make almost any font a stencil font by following the video here 
  4.  You do not have to mirror text.  The folder will raise it if it is alone but depress it if it is cut from other pieces, like the Easter cut from eggs in the bunny folder.  But like I said before watch out for closed circles where you have to glue the centers in.
  5. If you try to use your folder before the glue is completely dry, the parts could slide or the glue leak out.
  6. You cannot ink the folders like you can the plastic folders that you buy.  The paper of the folder sucks up all the ink.
  7. You can only make 2D folders.  You can’t make 3D embossing folders.  At least not easily.  Maybe in the future I will have the patience to do that.

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