Patterns & Projects for Beading & Crafts

























































The creation of a three-dimensional design on paper is known as embossing.  Heat and pressures reshapes the surface of the paper to create the image.  Single, multi-level, beveled, and sculptured are the styles of embossing.  Embossing can be done on plain paper or combined with ink, images, or foil for special effects.


  • Craft Pattern
  • Paper or cardstock
  • Low tack masking tape
  • Light source
  • Waxed paper
  • Embossing tool

Optional supplies (for techniques below):

  • Ink pad, paint stick or chalk
  • Stencil brush or finger dauber
  • Paper towel
  • Translucent embossing paste
  • Metal palette knife
  • Permanent inks
  • Heat gun
  • Clear embossing ink
  • Ultra thick embossing powder



  • Begin by placing your stencil on the front of the paper and securing with removable tape. Turn the paper over onto a light source (light table, window or any glass that will let you view the stencil).
  • Rub the back of the paper with a small piece of waxed paper. This makes the embossing tool glide smoothly over the paper and will help to keep the paper from tearing. Using the embossing tool, outline the design only. No need to fill in the open spaces.
  • Finished, unless you choose to:


  • Leave stencil in place.  There are various color mediums that you can use.  Remember to start with the lighter colors, working to darker as you go.  Work from the outside of the stencil to the center, as this will produce the desired shading for borders.  If you have a specific design, you will want to determine where you want the darker shading and work accordingly.
  • Ink pads: These often produce a more delicate color and are great for certain effects. You can apply with either brush or finger dauber.  The dauber works great on larger areas to "pounce" on the color.  Remember to work out excess color on paper towel before applying to stencil, whether using brush or dauber.
  • Paint sticks: Paint sticks are an oil-based paint in solid form.  They come in both regular and iridescent colors.  When new or not having been used for some time, they will develop a "skin" on the surface.  Use a paper towel to rub off the skin and get to the creamy consistency of the paint.  Place a piece of wax paper on your work surface, and stroke the paint stick across the wax paper in order to have a "palette" of color from which to work. Using a stencil brush, pick up color, work out excess on a paper towel and use a dry-brush technique to apply the color to stencil.  Dry brushing means that your brush has very little color left in it and the buildup of color will be determined by how much you brush over it.  Work with a circular motion from the outside of the stencil, lightening the color as you reach the inside.  This will develop the shaded effect that makes the designs attractive.
  • Chalk: If chalks are new, you will need to scrape the chalk to get it started.  This is a relatively easy medium to work with, however you need to be careful not to let the chalk dust build up around, or sneak under, the bridge of the stencil as you work.  Pick up color on your stencil brush, and work with a circular motion to apply.  You can finish this off with a thin coat of translucent embossing paste while the stencil is still in place. This will give a shiny look to the finished product.  You can also spray with a craft finishing spray.


  • This technique is great for dark cardstock.  You can add color to the paste (works especially well with the translucent paste), leave it as is, or apply color once it has dried.  No need for a light source when working with the embossing paste.  However you need to work quickly before the paste has time to set up on the bridgework of the stencil.
  • Position stencil on card.  Starting at the top of the stencil with a "hinge" (one complete piece of removable tape across the top of the whole stencil), then along each side and one piece across the bottom of stencil.  Also tape out any unwanted design area on the stencil.
  • Pick up paste on the bottom of metal palette knife, and smooth over the stencil's cut out areas as if applying icing to a cake.  With a light touch scrape off the excess paste, smoothing as you go.
  • Remove stencil immediately by removing the bottom tape first, then the sides and last of all, the "hinge".  Carefully lift the bottom of the stencil, using the hinge to keep from damaging the paste area.
  • Let dry thoroughly (approximately 40-60 minutes).  At this time the color will show if you have added color medium to the paste, or if you want to add color, reposition stencil over design and apply color of choice.
  • Be sure to clean stencil and palette knife immediately by placing in water and scrubbing with vegetable or nail brush.


  • Tape a tile stencil to the front of light colored card stock and dry emboss from the back, using an embossing tool and light source.  Leave the stencil in place.
  • Turn the card to the front side and place decorative stencil on top of the tile stencil, attaching with a piece of removable tape.   
  • Stencil decorative stencil, using small brushes and colors of choice.  It is important to use indelible or permanent inks.
  • Remove decorative stencil.  If ink is not quite dry, you can quickly set with a heat gun.
  • Using a finger dauber and clear embossing ink, daub with a firm stippling technique onto the tile stencil.  Be sure to daub straight up and down so the ink does not slide under the stencil bridges and into the grout lines.
  • Remove tile stencil immediately, and sprinkle with ultra thick embossing powder, shaking off excess.  If you have any powder around the edges brush it off with a soft stencil brush.  Powder in the grout lines can be removed with the tip of the embossing tool.
  • Set with a heat gun by directing the air over the card from a distance of approximately 6-8", keeping gun moving so you don't scorch the paper.