Making Cards · Techniques

Addicted to Dry Embossing

Hi, my name is Nicole, and I am addicted to dry embossing. Jennifer McQuire shared this technique a while ago and I am hooked!

“What is dry embossing?”, you ask. It’s using a tan embossing mat with your dies to create an impression on your card instead of cutting the image out. This is a great technique to use to create a frame of focus point. It’s also great for creating backgrounds. I used this technique on one of the cards for the MFT Camp Create in August and decided to play around with it a bit more.



I took a panel of Neenah Classic Crest Solar White 80 lbs cardstock and placed a couple of Hero Arts Cloud Nesting dies on the top and taped them down with micro-pore tape. I ran it through my die cut machine following the instructions for the embossing mat (I have a Spellbinders Platinum 6 so it’s got special instructions on using the embossing mat). Please make sure to follow the instructions for your specific machine.

When I was done embossing the panel I felt it was still a bit plain. I decided to mask off the clouds and blend Peacock Feathers Distress Oxide ink over the panel. I knew I was going to use the Unicorn with green mane, so I needed a color that would match. Since I used die cuts to emboss the shapes, it was easy to get mask in the correct shape. I used Inkadinado Masking paper and cut out the mask.

Once I had the panel blended I sprayed it with water and blotted it off, to distress the ink. I used the star image from the Stamping Bella stamp set to finish off the background. I stamped it with Versamark ink and heat embossed it in sparkle powder.

I adhered the unicorn with foam tape and stamped the sentiment from the stamp set in Altenew Jet Black ink. I finished the card off with Lucy’s Cards Pool jewels and a white card base.

My next example is a very similar style.


I used a panel of Gina K Designs Lovely Lavender cardstock, Hero Arts Nesting hearts for the impressions and Nuvo Embellishment Mousse in Silver instead of ink. I masked off the hearts just like I did the clouds. I used a blending tool to blend the embellishment mousse onto the cardstock. It dries rather quickly, as it’s just a thin coat.

For the sentiment I tried stamping it directly on my card and messed it up, so I die cut a heart from the same cardstock and adhered it with foam tape, then I added the Lucy’s Cards Blackberry jewels. The card base is MFT Boysenberry, which is the same color as the ink for the sentiment.

This next example is a little bit different. I used a sentiment die to make a background.


This die is from MFT, Celebrate. I used my cutting mat to mark off evenly spaced grids on the cardstock. I impressed the first one in the center, then the other two. Running the cardstock through the die cutting machine so much warped it a bit (you can see the wrinkles). I then cut the sentiment out of a Distress Oxide ink panel, and adhered it to several more cut out of white cardstock. Then I adhered it to one of the impressions I made.

I then adhered the cardstock panel to a MFT Sno Cone card base using fun foam. I should have used more adhesive, to straighten out the wrinkles. I learned this lesson for the next card! I finished off the card with Nuvo Glitter drops in Aqua Mist.

I decided to try this technique again, with a smaller die.


This die was from MFT too, Happy Greetings. I again used my cutting mat to space out the impressions. I covered one of the impressions with the same die cut, using MFT Cornflower Sparkle. I added one of the unicorn images from Stamping Bella Unicorns, colored with Copic markers and adhered with fun foam. I adhered the cardstock to the Gina K designs Blue Raspberry card base with fun foam. I used tons of adhesive on this one.

Last one and I switched it up again. This is more of what Jennifer McGuire did.


I stamped the large color layering floral image from Altenew’s Extra Special in Altenew Jet Black ink. I used Altenew’s Lavender Fields for the first layer, and Deep Iris for the second. I colored the leaves with Copic markers and I really struggle with the layering stamps on the tiny images.

Once I had the image stamped and colored, I stamped the sentiment from the same set in Jet Black ink. Then I took the matching die and taped it down with micro pore tape. I ran it through my die cutting machine to make the impression. It creates a frame that accents the image.

Of course I can’t leave anything alone, and decided to color the impression around the image with Wink of Stella. There is still a small white border between the impression from the die and the cut line.


I really like this effect! And, as I said, I am obsessed with this technique. I ended up making three new cards today for this post, instead of the one I planned. I actually attempted a third card, but I kept accidentally cutting my paper instead of embossing it (I kept putting the dies in cut side down like normal, instead of cut side up).

This really helped me deal with finding my mojo again. I had a lot of fun playing around and the flower card counts as my day 4 of the Daily Marker 30 day challenge.

Thanks for stopping by and sticking through this long post!



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