The cost of metal dies are very cost prohibitive to me. Every time I go to the store and see a design that embosses and cuts at the same time, I am drawn to purchase it. Then I fight with myself because I have way, way too many cut files, and reason that I really don’t need the embossing feature. Don’t get me wrong, I love the look, but can always talk myself out of it. Well, I found a way to use what I already own and get pretty darn good results. In this tutorial, I will show you how to emboss with your electronic die cutter!
While using your electronic die cutter with an embossing mat and tool will not give you the deep impression you can get from a folder or a dual duty metal die, it’s still worth playing around with. This technique is especially cool on those designs that have a bonus layer like the one I use here. Let me show you what kind of results you can get.
- embossing mat
- embossing tool (Chomas adjustable pen holder with stylus)
- Seasoned Christmas Cut It (mittens) by Lettering Delights
Since there are such a variety of machines with different designs on the market, I can’t possibly go over how you would do this with your particular machine. What I can do is explain what I did with mine and hope that sparks an idea that will work with yours. My machine of choice for this project was the Gazelle. Boss Kut and most machine manufacturers have an OEM embossing tool available. I do not have one for my Gazelle so I improvised. If you have one, you can move on to the next step. If not, all is not lost. Do you have a stylus laying around? Grab one and plop it into your machine. I have a set of them in different end sizes for flower making. It works out better because I am not stuck with a single line width. I have ten to choose from. I love options!
As you can see by the picture the blade mechanism has a screw that holds the blade holder. What’s great is that it can hold almost any pen or marker without the additional cost of a separate holder. The bad thing is that you have to play with offset if you want the pen centered. I’m lazy and didn’t want to mess with possibly having my embossing too close to my cut line so I used my pen holder. You may have a swing arm and need a pen holder. There are a few third-party ones available that fit a great number of machines. Use whatever works for you to achieve an emboss. A word of warning, check with your machine’s manufacturer to make sure you are not voiding your warranty by using a third-party product.
The mitten cut file is a simple silhouette shape with a decorative bonus layer. I hid the outline layer and “cut” the bonus layer using the stylus in place of my blade. I started on a lower force and bumped it up till I saw a nice impression. You need to start with a lower force otherwise if it is too high it will tear into your paper and mat. Ask me how I know. :/
Don’t be afraid to go over the embossing layer again with a multi-cut at the same force till you get your desired look. Once the embossing is to your liking, replace the tool with your blade and cut out the silhouette layer. Note, if you have your blade set correctly, it will just barely scratch the foam like it would on your regular mat.
Nice clean cut and embossing. Did we really just use our machine to make miracles happen? Why yes, yes we did!
You may not feel the same, but I was pretty excited I figured this out. I mean, I don’t like to spend the money on a technique I may only used once or twice in my craft life. This way I can still do a fancy trick or two with very little cost to me.
Now put your new technique to work on a fabulous element for your next project. Ah, makes a crafter proud when she can add another technique to her arsenal, doesn’t it? Particularly, if we saved money and looked good doing it!