Pocket Scrapbooking with Project Life

Cultivate a good life and record it.



how-to: embossing folders

With all of our embossing folders being on sale this week as part of our Becky’s Picks promotion, we wanted to give you a quick tutorial on how they work, what the final output looks like, and an alternative way to use them that doesn’t require any type of machine! The results that come from the embossing folders can add beautiful texture to your albums. You can also use ink on them to make the design stand out even more and you can even use the embossing folders with letterpress inks to give you a lovely colored letterpress effect.

Using embossing folders with a die cut machine

This is definitely the fastest + easiest way to use the embossing folders and will typically yield the best results – images below show the Big Shot machine, but similar die cut machines will also work.

How to use embossing folders | BeckyHiggins.com

Open the embossing folder and slip your cardstock between the pieces of hinged plastic. Cardstock shown here is some of our pre-cut 4×6 textured cardstock, but you can use whatever cardstock you have on hand. The embossing folders used in this post are the Project 52 Embossing Folders.

How to use embossing folders | BeckyHiggins.com

Close the embossing folder with the cardstock sandwiched inside and then place the embossing folder between the cutting pads.

How to use embossing folders | BeckyHiggins.com

Place your platform into the die cut machine. Refer to the manual that came with your machine to know which platforms/plates are required for use with embossing folders.

How to use embossing folders | BeckyHiggins.com

Place the cutting pads onto the platform.

How to use embossing folders | BeckyHiggins.com

Rotate the handle so the platform rolls/moves through the machine.

How to use embossing folders | BeckyHiggins.com

How to use embossing folders | BeckyHiggins.com

Remove the cardstock from inside the embossing folder and gush over the gorgeous embossed design!

Using embossing folders without a machine

How to use embossing folders | BeckyHiggins.com

Sandwich your cardstock inside the embossing folder just like you would if you were using a machine. Use a rolling pin, stamp brayer, or other hard item to rub/roll pressure over the top of the embossing folder. You can tape the bottom of the embossing folder closed so it doesn’t pop open while you’re rolling. This technique takes time and pressure, so plan on getting an arm workout. *wink*

How to use embossing folders | BeckyHiggins.com

Open the embossing folder and look at the stunning pattern you’ve created! It will likely be more subtle than if you use a machine, but it does work. If you don’t see the results you’d hoped for, put the cardstock back inside the embossing folder and try again using more pressure.

Big Shot Giveaway!

One of our lucky readers is going to win a Big Shot machine just like the one pictured … how’s that for awesome? Leave your name and location in the comments for a chance to win! We will announce the winner at the bottom of this post on Friday, April 10th.

Updated: 4.10.15

Congratulations to Jennifer of Norman, Oklahoma! Please email toni@beckyhiggins.com to claim your prize!


209 Responses

  1. June says:

    Awesome! How did I miss the news of embossing folders? Anyways thanks for the chance to win a Big Shot. I’ve always dreamed of owning one!

    DuPont, WA

  2. Holly says:

    Milwaukee, WI

  3. J3SS1C4 says:

    Sydney Australia

  4. Chris Cross says:

    Central Illinois

  5. Paula says:

    The rolling pin idea is great. Will have to try it soon!

    Auckland, New Zealand

  6. Shanon says:

    I’m sure I need another scrapbooking tool, like I need a hole in my head… but I’ve always wanted to be to use embossing folders and besides… who can turn down a freebie?! Thanks!

    Roy, UTAH

  7. Valerie says:

    Lancaster, MA. USA

    Thanks for the chance to win!

  8. Dominika says:

    Awesome! Would love to try embossing.

  9. Jennifer says:

    Jennifer from Peoria, IL

  10. Catalina says:

    This would be so great!
    Thanks for the chance and the tip with the rolling pin!

    Berlin, Germany

  11. Melinda says:

    Just yesterday I was googling about how to use embossing folders. Thank you for this simple explanation. Fun results!
    Eugene, Oregon

  12. Natalie S. in Ellicott City, MD.
    Never thought to use a rolling pin with an embossing folder! But a Big Shot would be better ;-)

  13. Grace says:

    Topeka, KS

  14. Shannon P. says:

    Vero Beach, FL.
    Thank you for a chance to win.

  15. Leslie says:

    Strasburg, VA

  16. Anne says:

    Wichita, KS

  17. You guys are the best!

  18. Diane Anthony says:

    Deer River, MN

  19. Jennifer says:

    Norman, OK

  20. Dionne says:

    Thanks for the chance to win!

    British Columbia, Canada

  21. Jessica says:

    Thanks for this chance and love your work!

    Venlo, Netherlands

  22. Kathi says:

    Love that a rolling pin can be use!

    Honolulu, Hawaii

  23. Elizabeth says:

    Sydney, Australia.

  24. Shaunell says:

    Richmond, Utah

  25. EmmaJ says:

    I love using embossing folders with my PL cardstock.

  26. Bettina Athey says:

    Arcanum, Ohio

  27. Holly says:

    I never knew you could use a rolling pin! Even if the results are toned arms, I’d still opt for the big shot :) love how BH and SU! help each other out!

    Holly S.,
    Rhode Island

  28. Eva says:

    That would be really great, but is it open to international readers?
    Raeren, Belgium

  29. Nicole says:

    Logan, UT

  30. Allyson says:

    Durham, NC

    Really hoping my Michaels will carry the 6×8 wedding kit!

  31. Kristy B says:

    Kristy B
    Camby, IN

    Thank you!

  32. Enid says:

    Liberty Twp, OH

  33. Lindsey W says:

    Moscow, Idaho

  34. Claire says:

    Hackettstown, NJ

  35. Freida says:

    Hope to win! Been dreaming of that

  36. Bonnie L. says:

    Thanks for the chance. Neat technique in this post too.

    Largo, FL

  37. Merilee says:

    Salt Lake City, UT

  38. Freida says:

    Lipa City, Philippines

  39. Amanda L. says:

    That’s not so scary! I was intimidated because I didnt know what they were but turns out it is pretty simple : )


  40. Pam says:

    Never thought to emboss cards duh!

  41. Karen S says:

    Karen S
    Charlotte NC

  42. Lynne Sullivan says:

    Love it! I always have to borrow from my friend. I need this!

  43. Kathryn Nelson says:

    Yorkton SK

    Love love love this!!!

  44. Bonnie H. says:

    Wake Forest, NC

  45. Kristin says:

    San Diego CA

  46. Molly Green says:


    Statesboro, GA

  47. Natalie says:

    I’d love one of these! It looks so fun!
    Springville Utah

  48. Andrea says:

    Moore, OK

  49. Jill says:

    Lincoln, NE
    This is amazing!

  50. Chrystal says:

    Houston, Texas, USA

  51. Caitlyn says:

    Indianapolis, IN

  52. Laura S. says:

    Eden Prairie, MN

  53. Elaine Garcia says:

    Elaine Garcia
    Buda, TX

    Love this!

  54. Jeanette says:

    Jeanette K
    Logan UT

  55. Sylvia says:

    Rockville, MD

  56. Denise C. says:

    Greensboro, NC

  57. Susan M. says:

    Susan M.
    Wenonah, NJ

  58. Myrta says:

    You guys are the best! Love all your products
    Pasadena, Ca

  59. Flagstaff Arizona
    Thanks for doing this!

  60. Kathryn Benfiet says:

    Kathryn B.
    Gresham, Oregon

  61. Hi! Thanks for the chance to win a Big Shot
    Maribel Monsalve
    North Lauderdale, FL

  62. Emilee Hawkins says:

    I’d love one of these!! Emilee Hawkins West Jordan, UT!

  63. Zinia says:

    thanks for the chance
    Zinia, Greece

  64. Jan W says:

    Love embossing folders!

  65. edmund low says:

    Amazing idea, how come i never think about this… I hope to have a big shot to do this *wink

    edmund low
    kuala lumpur, Malaysia

  66. Megan Phillips says:

    Megan :)
    Fairfield, Ohio

  67. Mel P says:

    I would love to win a Big Shot! Thanks for the contest :)
    Mel Pigozzo
    Pickering, Ontario (Canada)

  68. Krystal S says:

    Myakka City, Florida

  69. Betsey terry says:

    Learn something new everyday!! Never thought about using a rolling pin, especially for a lighter texture!

  70. Jolene Ng says:


  71. Candice says:


    Pueblo, Colorado

  72. Jennifer says:

    Ottawa, Canada

  73. Jennifer W. says:

    Jennifer W.
    Bevier, MO

  74. Sammie W says:

    Sammie W
    Fuquay Varina, NC

  75. Donna says:

    Redlands, CA

  76. Would love to win this little gadget.

  77. Christine Gibbs says:

    South Jordan Utah

  78. analIsa e says:

    Portland, Oregon

  79. Caithlin says:


  80. SueK says:

    Have wanted to add embossing to my Project life albums for a long time. Would LOVE to win a Big Shot. Thanks for the Giveaway!

  81. Gayle says:

    I’ve wanted a BigShot, like, FOREVER!
    Thx for the chance to win!
    Gayle Moore
    Queen Creek, AZ

  82. Shana says:

    Carlsbad, CA

  83. Dawn Steffler says:

    Dawn Steffler
    Webster, Texas

  84. Michele says:

    Cypress, CA

    Thank you so much for posting this. I have an embossing folder but had no clue how to use it. :)

  85. Lalia Harris says:

    Lalia Harris
    Everett, Wa

  86. bdaiss says:

    Love the flair of embossing. Thanks for the chance!
    Hill City, SD

  87. Michelle Kelley says:

    Would love to see more quick demos like this in video format :)

    Michelle K.
    Ctr. Barnstead, NH

  88. Kaylynn says:

    Elmore, Ohio

    Thanks! :)

  89. Sandy says:

    American Canyon, CA

  90. Amy C. says:

    Amy C.
    Desert Hot Springs, CA

  91. Thank you for a chance to win.

    Dotty S
    East Liverpool, Ohio

  92. Lauren Philbrook says:

    Lauren Philbrook
    Seattle, WA

  93. Nicole says:

    Twin Falls,ID

    Love your products and team!!

  94. Connie KNopp says:

    Thanks for the chance to win!
    Okeene, Ok

  95. Julie says:

    Well that’s pretty cool! Thanks for the overview :)

    Julie F
    Chicago, IL

  96. Denise says:

    Denise from Herriman, Utah.

  97. Jessica says:

    Jessica A.
    Highland, UT

    I knew about die cutting but not about embossing folders!

  98. Chantie Belnap says:

    Great giveaway! Chantie Belnap in St. George, Utah.

  99. Carrie T says:

    Thanks for the chance!
    Carrie T
    Grand Rapids, MI

  100. Victoria Miller Bennett says:

    I would love to learn more about embossing. I haven’t yet ventured into this!

    Victoria in Floyds Knobs, IN

  101. Maria says:

    Wilmington, DE

  102. Nancy B says:

    Would love a change to win…I’ve always wanted an embossing machine.

    Nancy B
    Zimmerman, MN

  103. Gabby O. says:

    Gabriela Olalde
    Jarrell, Texas

  104. Karen M. says:

    Thanks for the opportunity!

  105. Liz says:

    So cool! I never thought of using a rolling pin and now I feel so silly! And hello from sunny Los angeles!

  106. Brett A. says:

    Thanks for explaining this. I’ve always been curious about embossing!

    Brett Alberts
    Tioga, North Dakota

  107. Sheryl Pyle says:

    Sheryl Pyle
    Colorado Springs, Co.

    Thanks for all you have done for us!!

  108. Theresa says:

    Gosh, how did I miss that Becky has embossing folders? Guess I need to crawl out from under my rock a little more!

    Hartville, Ohio

  109. Jennifer S says:

    I had no idea how to use embossing folders until now! Thanks for providing a how-to on this item and having a giveaway.

    Jennifer S
    Vauxhall, NJ

  110. Lynn F says:

    Lynn F
    Newton NC

  111. Cori says:

    Awesome! Thanks for the opportunity to win!

  112. Sami says:

    Eek! That would be so fun!

    Spokane, Washington

  113. Sherry says:

    How fabulous

    Sherry-carroll, iowa

  114. Tracy says:

    Davidsville PA
    Thanks for the chance to win…I will give it to my niece! : )

  115. Kari Braaflat says:

    Fargo ND :-)

  116. kimbrygc says:

    Would love one!
    Grand Canyon, AZ

  117. Teri P says:

    Love the rolling pin idea! Definitely going to have to try that!

  118. Jessica says:

    Red Bank, NJ!

  119. Laura says:

    I have an old Sizzix (the original) machine. Would they work on those as well? Thanks! ;-)

  120. Dena says:

    Cranesville, PA

  121. Heather says:

    Oh yes please! I’d love to win a big shot!
    Heather, Bristol, UK

  122. Erin D says:

    Erin D.
    Spokane valley, Wa

    I would love to see ways in which your design teams use their embossed papers. I live the result, but I would love to see how others put their papers to use on projects.

  123. Jill P says:

    What an awesome giveaway!

    Jill P.
    Billings MT

  124. Gina says:


    Northborough, MA USA

  125. Shirley K says:

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    Shirley K
    Mesa, AZ

  126. Sara says:

    Sara, from Munich (Germany).
    Thank you!

  127. Elena D. says:

    Elena D.
    Long Valley, NJ

  128. Heidi C says:

    Heidi C
    Millville, UT

  129. Lynn says:

    Ooh, thanks for the chance! Looks like a fun plaything!

    Lynn ~ Haarlem, the Netherlands

  130. Jody M. says:

    I just bought the Playful embossing folders and was wondering how to use them. Who would’ve thunk, a rolling pin! (Smacking face here). Thanks Becky and team

  131. Jen says:

    Loving your embossing folders….actually loving everything you come out with!

  132. Lise H. says:

    Brisbane, Australia

  133. Pam Bassett says:

    Pam Bassett
    Colorado Springs , CO

  134. Christina T. says:

    I love the look of embossing and it does add such beautiful texture!

    Pflugerville, Texas

  135. Shawna Zervos says:

    I love the look of embossing! How much fun! Thanks for the chance to win!

  136. Sandy M says:

    Sandy M.
    Greenville, Mich.

  137. Christine Veldman Millet says:

    This looks like fun!

    Christine Veldman Miller

    Fair Oaks, CA

  138. Tami P says:

    I love the embossing folders! I would love to give the Big to a Friend who doesn’t have one yet.

  139. Kim L. says:

    Thanks for the chance to win!
    Apex, NC

  140. Grace Tolman says:

    Great blog post. I didn’t know you can use the embossing folder without a machine.
    Colorado Springs, Colorado

  141. Melissa S says:

    Melissa S.
    Wayland, MI

  142. Donna R. says:

    Donna R.
    Cranford, NJ

  143. A&M Momma says:

    Christine H.
    Pearland, Texas

  144. Gracie says:

    Thank you !! I need something portable ! This looks perfect to take around with me .

  145. Jenny says:

    Thanks for sharing how to use the embossing folders. I love the look of the texture and dimension on the cards.
    Corona, Ca

  146. Jen S says:

    Jen S
    Irvine, CA

    Thanks Becky!!

  147. Lori M says:

    I’ve had my eye on a Big Shot for a while. Thanks for opportunity to win one.

    Lori M
    Richmond, VA

  148. Yvette M says:

    Oh how fun. I’m just getting started with Project Life…I put together a scrap book for each year that my boyfriend and I have been together. This year’s is a Project Life. I’m excited about it.

    Thanks, Becky.
    Yvette M.
    Arlington VA

  149. Sandy T says:

    Sandy T.
    Cincinnati, OH

    Love the PL products!!

  150. Diana says:

    Temple City, Ca

  151. Lorinda says:

    Richardson, TX

  152. Melissa H says:

    Melissa H
    Fishers, IN

  153. Elizabeth S says:

    Elizabeth S
    Grantsville, UT

  154. deb C. says:

    deb C.
    Waterville, Ohio

  155. Yolanda B says:

    Stevenson Ranch, CA

  156. Amanda R says:

    Hi! I’m Amanda Robinson and I’m in Yuma, Az! : )

  157. Melissa says:

    Taylor, AZ

  158. Yvonne says:

    Yvonne Gronau
    BC, Canada

  159. Lisa Le says:

    Thank you so much for this post Kari!! had never heard of these folders until yesterday and was searching for more information! And thank for the chance to win a Big Shot!

    Lisa Le
    Sacramento, CA

  160. Laura Evangeline says:

    Laura Evangeline
    APO AE

  161. Lexa says:

    What a great opportunity. Thanks Becky!

    Lexa Mills
    North Ridgeville, OH

  162. Julie says:

    Julie San Pedro

  163. Jacque says:

    Looks like FUN!!!

  164. Kristy Hicks says:

    Looks like fun!

    Kristy Hicks
    Chattanooga, TN

  165. Carolyn says:

    Bellevue, Nebraska

    how fun!

  166. Donia says:

    Fort Worth, TX

  167. Sharie Burris says:

    Young Ward, UT

  168. Jenny says:

    Kenilworth, NJ


  169. Amber P says:

    Canby, OR

    Awesome! <3

  170. Karen P says:

    Karen P
    Richland, Washington

  171. Julie Rae says:

    Well this was like a ‘V-8’ moment! Never even gave embossing a thought in my PL pages. I’m in!
    Waverly, Illinois

  172. Alison says:

    Looks like fun!

    Sheboygan Falls, WI

  173. Bethany says:

    What a great giveaway!!

    Bethany B
    Minnetrista, MN

  174. Julie N says:

    Julie N
    Fairfield, CA

  175. Sue A says:

    Sue A
    Mukwonago, WI

  176. Tracy says:

    Tracy J
    Mechanicsville, Va

  177. Bente, Viborg, Denmark says:

    Yes, please :-)

  178. Lucretia W says:

    Lucretia W
    Warren, OH

  179. Tricia says:

    Trabuco Canyon, CA

  180. Debbie ware says:

    Love the rolling pin ideal. Thanks for the opportunity to win a big shot!

  181. Kristy B says:

    Wow a BIG SHOT! Thanks for the opportunity. I love all your products.

    Kristy B.
    West Valley City, Utah

  182. Amy says:

    Amy Anderson
    Woodridge IL

  183. Crystal says:

    Simpsonville, SC

  184. Sharon says:

    Pittsburgh, PA

  185. Karin S. says:

    Seattle, WA

  186. Rhonda says:

    Frederick, MD

  187. Stephanie says:

    Stephanie M
    Corralitos, CA

  188. Judith walker says:

    Highland, In

  189. Carol says:

    I’m so glad you did this tutorial. I’ve been wanting to use the embossing folders but didn’t know how. What a great give-away!

  190. Sarah E. says:

    Fort Worth, TX

  191. Jo R. says:

    Townsville, Australia

  192. Fiona Moore says:

    Fiona Moore
    Sydney, Australia

  193. shannon says:

    Hillsboro, Oregon

  194. Melissa says:

    Orem, UT

  195. Tricia Williams says:

    Tricia Williams
    Phoenix, AZ

  196. Natalie says:

    Natalie, New York

  197. Liz H. says:

    Liz H.

    Villa Park, IL

  198. Alisha says:

    Alisha A.
    Layton, Utah

  199. Leslie S. says:

    Leslie S.
    San Diego, CA

  200. Mona says:

    What a great giveaway. So happy that it’s open around the world. Thanks!

    Mona, Germany

  201. Krissy says:

    Krissy R
    El Paso, TX

  202. Amanda says:

    Okanogan, WA

  203. Holly H says:

    Chicago, IL

  204. Carol W. says:

    Carol W.
    Kyle, Texas

  205. Christine Arnold says:

    Huffman, TX

    would love to have a Big Shot! Love the PL App!!!

  206. Tiffany H says:

    Tiffany H
    Irvine, CA

  207. Amy Myers says:

    Amy Myers
    Mooresville, NC

    I love PL and think adding in embossed cards is so cool!

  208. Kerrie says:

    Clovis, CA

  209. Joyce says:

    Darn I missed the contest! Still waiting for an Android app ;)