Hot and Heavy in the Craft Room – How to Double Emboss a Greeting Card

Angled view of card illustrating double emboss method

Sometimes you need a greeting card STAT, but you don’t want it to look like you just threw it together. You want texture. You want an extra layer, or an embellishment (a flat embellishment). And you want to be able to slip it into your mailbox without a lot of padding or postage. So what do you do? Double embossing to the rescue! Let me show you how quick and easy it is – with an added, glimmery bonus!

Let’s start with pressure – lots of pressure

Dry embossing is the easiest, quickest way to add texture to a card, not to mention it’s seriously fun. It takes mere seconds to emboss a piece of cardstock. In fact, you’ll likely spend more time choosing an embossing folder than you will actually embossing the paper! Look at the image below – the cardstock has been beautifully embossed, and normally that would be enough. I find that when I add embellishments or other details, I don’t need to do anything else to the embossed layers. This cute duck birthday card is a good example – the embossed layer is plain because all the attention is on the colored image. Same with this textured easel card – there’s a lot going on here so I kept the embossing plain.

But there wasn’t going to be much to this card, and I felt the embossing needed a bit of attention.

Close up of dry embossed white cardstock
Pretty patterns, but it could use a little something else…

So I decided to add a little something extra. Like glimmer. Not a hard shiny glitter but something soft and shimmery instead. This is where one of my favorite products comes in handy: Perfect Pearls. Perfect Pearls is a whisper-fine mica powder which has a multitude of uses, wet or dry. I love to use it on dry embossing to bring out the texture and really give it some WOW factor. Actually, I love to use it on smooth cardstock as well because it’s so versatile, as seen in this elegant thank you card and elegant sympathy card, both of went together lickety split.

Perfect Pearls needs a little help sticking to the surface of the paper – luckily, the kit includes Perfect Medium, a see-through sticky “ink” that grips the powder exactly where you want it. (Secret: if you lose your Perfect Medium, Versamark, the ink for heat embossing, does the same thing.) The steps are easy as 1 2 3.

  1. Lightly dab the Perfect Medium onto the raised areas of the embossed layer
  2. Gently dip the brush that’s included in the kit (its short, fat bristles are perfect for the job) into a bit of the powder, then softly “swizzle” the powder onto the sticky paper. (“Swizzling” is the highly technical term for lightly brushing the powder in a quick back-and-forth motion onto the sticky surface while keeping the brush on the paper.) The word to remember here is “softly.” You won’t need much powder on the brush – a little Perfect Pearls goes a loooong way, and you don’t want it all over your hands, face, work surface, clothes… just kidding, it wipes off easily. But you don’t want to waste it either. If you get much powder in the depressed areas, just wipe it off with a dry cloth – it’ll come right off of the non-sticky spots. But those raised areas will be beautifully shimmery.
  3. Flick the back of the paper with your fingers a few times to dislodge any loose “crumbs” of powder. There shouldn’t be much. Do this over a wastebasket so you don’t have grit all over your floor or work surface. There, you’re finished.
Shimmer added to embossed area brings brings out the detail
Look at that shimmer

Note: You’ll receive the most subtle, elegant effect by matching the Perfect Pearls to the paper as closely as possible as we did here with the white on white.

Now let’s add some heat to the mix

Since this is a CAS (Clean and Simple) card, that means it’s nearly finished, right? So let’s wrap a bit of aqua ribbon around the bottom third of the white cardstock and layer it onto a piece of black cardstock cut 1/8 inch larger. This all goes onto the aqua base. But what to do for the greeting? Add a little more oomph, of course – with heat embossing. I embossed the greeting onto white cardstock and cut it out with a shaped die on the Big Shot. Then I cut a larger size in black and stacked them onto the aqua ribbon to finish the card. (The white edges received an ink treatment as they usually do.) That was it – no bling, no bows, nothing but texture and subtle shimmer. This card fit into a standard envelope with a standard forever stamp. Easy peasy!

Heat embossed greeting on a shaped die cut
Don’t forget to ink the edges

Now it’s your turn to try the double emboss method

Maybe you’ll do the reverse – heat emboss the background panel and dry emboss a smaller piece. It’s your project, you choose the method! Double embossing is the quickest way to deliver luxurious texture and visual interest to even the simplest card. Give it a try and share it on our Facebook page – we’d love to share your success!

Happy crafting!

Angled view of card illustrating double emboss method
Subtle elegance

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Spoiled Kitty with a Distressed Embossed Background
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2 thoughts on “Hot and Heavy in the Craft Room – How to Double Emboss a Greeting Card”

  1. I have some kind of Pearls product from Stampin’ Up…might be Perfect Pearls. And I was not sure what to do with it, but your instructions helped me see I need to keep them! This is beautiful, Shea!

    1. Shea McNaughton

      I LOVE mica powders (Perfect Pearls). They are so versatile. I make shimmer mist with them, too. I’ll be posting a tutorial on how to make them yourself, soon. Hope you’re doing well!

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