Embossing Folder Review
By Gloria Stengel
With the introduction of personal die cutting systems and embossing folders, dry embossing has been making a big comeback in the stamping and scrapbooking arenas. Most of the die cutting system companies now make embossing folders or texture plates, which are very easy to use and come in a variety of styles. Some are folders that contain a brass template and a counter die; some styles are plastic folders with a positive and negative image (commonly called A2 folders), and some are plastic texture plates. However, they are all very simple to use. Each of these embossing mediums creates an embossed image, but the A2 size embossing folders are my favorite, as they give a fantastic embossed impression on any style of paper or cardstock.
I had the opportunity to play with Cuttlebug, Sizzix, and Quickutz embossing folders, and Sizzix texture plates. I found that the Cuttlebug Embossing Folders and new Sizzix Textured Impressions Folders are very similar and give a very deep impression. The new Quickutz Embossing Folders give what I call a light impression, similar to that of the Sizzix Texturz Texture Plates. However, I was able, by adding a sheet of cardstock (a shim) under my system cutting plate, to “encourage” the Quickutz Embossing Folders into giving a deeper impression. I also add a shim when embossing with the Sizzix Texturz Texture Plates to give a deeper impression, but I’ve never been able to get an impression close to the quality of the A2 size folders.
Cuttlebug makes a selection of border folders (in sets of 5), and small embossing folders sets of four small (2x2.75) folders, in addition to the A2 embossing folders. Cuttlebug also makes sets of “cut and emboss” dies and folders. With these sets, you can cut a shape AND emboss it in two easy steps. Sizzix Textured Impressions Folders come in sets of two A2 size folders or in sets containing one A2 folder and three or four smaller folders in one theme. Quickutz embossing folders come either in sets of four 2x2 folders, border folders, or single A2 size folders. All prices are comparable.
Here are a few ways to enhance your embossed images:
1. Use white core cardstock or paper to get a unique, distressed look to your embossed images. Once the image is embossed, rub the raised image lightly with sandpaper to remove the color from the paper. If the paper has a white or alternative color core, this will be revealed after sanding.
2. You can enhance your embossed images with chalk or stamping ink. For detailed images dip a cotton swab or foam sponge into the ink or paint, and then swipe over the image. I get the best results with Colorbox Chalk Ink or Quick Quotes Powder Puff ink.
3. An easy way to add ink to your embossed images is to open your embossing folder so that the negative side is facing down on your table. Apply ink to the negative side using either a sponge, brayer, or the ink pad itself. Place your cardstock over the inked side, close the folder and roll it through your die cutting machine as before. (Make sure to wash your folder right away, to avoid any staining from the ink.) Remember, if you are using chalk inks or pigment inks, you will want to wait for your paper to dry before completing your project.
Please stop by the CropStop Embossed Impressions folder for more information and project ideas using embossing folders, texture plates, and brass stencils.