Make: Embossed cards

In this age of computers, iPads and smart phones , it is often said that 'print is dead' - but here at 91 HQ we say NO! Beautifully printed magazines and paper goods are having a huge resurgence - the antithesis of the digital world - people want to feel and smell the paper while reading something inspiring, and everyone loves to get something beautiful through their letterbox, right?! We stand testament to that following the feedback since our first print issue - thank you so much for all your comments and pictures! (have you ordered yours yet?!)

So today we are thrilled to have textile and homeware designer Nancy Straughan here to share with us a beautiful papery project for making your own embossed cards - so you can not only send your loved ones a handwritten note, it will be crafted by your own fair hands too! And, who would have thought embossing was so easy?! Nancy also shares with us a lovely description of how to write the perfect letter - lets keep that almost forgotten art alive! Over to you Nancy.... 

Sometimes its the simplest design that looks the most beautiful and embossing is as simple as it gets. Embossed greetings cards can be spotted in fancy stationers and I always lust after them. I've always been a fan of embossed stationery, I actually have a metal stamp so that I can emboss papers with my monogram and I love using it. There's something very classic about simple embossed cards and this DIY will show you how simple it is to emboss your own stationery at home.

There's no fancy or expensive equipment, just a few items that you probably already have in your home. This craft is pretty addictive, I guarantee that soon you'll be embossing every paper item you can lay your hands on!

What you need:

  • any assortment of soft papers cut down to your desired card size. You can also use pre-bought blank cards
  • thick cardstock (to create the template)
  • a design
  • xacto knife
  • cutting mat
  • scissors
  • a mechanical pencil
  • a teaspoon

 1. Draw our a simple design onto the thick cardstock, try to choose a silhouette. If it's your first go try something simple like a heart or a star. 

 2. Cut out the inside of your design out with your xacto knife. Take your time with this. If knives make you nervous or you are doing this project with children scissors can work too.

 3. Place the template on the front of the card. You will actually be doing the embossing from the inside of the card. Make sure that you design is aligned properly where you want it before you begin to emboss. 

 4. Gently run over the surface of the inside of your card with the end of a spoon and as if my magic the edges of your design will start to appear!

 5. Keep rubbing over the design getting in all the corners and edges. Don't stop until you are sure that your design has been properly rubbed and therefore embossed. Your design should be very clearly visible once you have done all that rubbing. 

 6. Turn your card over and voila! You now have a hand embossed card!

 This technique can also be used on envelopes, gift tags, wrapping paper and lots more paper products. If you're going to send this card to someone have a read of my letter writing tips below. 

Letter Writing 101

 Date the letter. If you're taking the trouble to write a letter by hand, it's nice to add a date on the top left corner of the paper. This way the recipient can look back and reminisce.

 Greet the person with a "Dear", "Hello" or a more intimate "Dearest". Be sure to end your greeting with a comma. It is also formally correct to begin the body of the letter on the next line.

 The first paragraph of a friendly letter is usually warm and lighthearted. It's a way to set the tone of the letter, letting the recipient know that what's to follow. You can use the first paragraph to inquire more deeply about the recipient's life.

 Now it's time to get to the meat of the letter, your purpose for writing it. Do you want to get back in touch with a long lost friend, express to someone that you are missing them, or thank them for helping you out in some way?

 Write a final paragraph sending your friend or loved one best wishes. The last paragraph is usually lighter in tone than the body, but it should match the general feel of the entire letter. 

The closing you choose should be in keeping with the feel of your letter, whether it is traditional or more casual in tone. Like the salutation, it should be determined by your relationship with the recipient. Follow the closing by signing your name.

Lovely Nancy! Thank you for sharing! 

Check out Nancy's blog for more DIY ideas and creative inspiration.