Card making · Tutorials

Tutorial Tuesday-DIY Embossing Mask

Welcome to my second Tutorial Tuesday, this week’s is a papercrafting one. I subscribe to Papercraft Inspirations magazine, and this month the free gift was an embossing folder and heart shaped mask. I tried it out and was really impressed, but it also got me thinking. Since the mask is the thickness of a cutting plate and basically replaces it, if I made something that thickness myself then I could create my own mask using any shape. (In my post DIY Embossing Plate I explored layering of card too.)

I decided to use a circle and i was pleasantly surprised by the results. Here’s how I did it, in case you fancy trying it too. (Once you’ve got the method, the possibilities are literally endless!)

You will need:

Thick card (for an A6 mask I used one A4 piece, as a guide)

A cutting die the shape you want the aperture to be, or a template to cut by hand

Double sided tape, or glue

What to do:

  1. Cut your thick card to the same size you want your mask to be. The card I used was the type you use to make your own chipboard toppers. I made an A6 one, so I cut an A4 piece of card into quarters. Take a look at one of your machine’s cutting plates, you are aiming to make something as thick as that. Tip:after being run through the die cutter, you may find your thick card compresses slightly and therefore you may need more layers than you think. If you cut too much card you can always use it to make another mask!
    Card cut up ready to make the mask

    2. Use your cutting die to cut an aperture in your card where you want it to be masked. Repeat this for all of your pieces of card. I used washi tape to secure the die during cutting which also helped me to make the aperture in the same place on each piece. Don’t throw away the cut out pieces!

    Die cutting the aperture, using washi tape to hold the die in place

    3. You should now have several pieces with apertures cut out in the same places. All you need to do is to stick them together to make one much thicker piece. I used double sided tape as I was impatient and didn’t want to wait for wet glue to dry before I used it. However, I personally think glue would work best long term. The choice is yours, as long as they are securely attached to each other it doesn’t matter how! Take care not to make it thicker than a cutting plate, so as not to damage your machine. If it isn’t quite thick enough, but too thin to need another layer, use a layer of a thinner card or a rubber embossing mat as a shim.

    4. Now is the time to test your embossing mask. Place some card inside your embossing folder and close it. Then place the mask over the top of the folder, and use washi tape to secure it. (Don’t worry, the tape goes over the embossing folder and won’t touch your card.) Layer it up in your machine as per the instructions. I found that I needed to use my machine’s proper cutting plate over my DIY mask rather than under it in order for it to go through the machine smoothly.

    Place the mask over the folder and then secure with washi tape

    5. Remove the mask and reveal your beautifully embossed card!

    wp-1484686866521.jpgThe area which hasn’t been embossed is perfect for stamping on, adding toppers etc. There is so much that you can do with this, I’m definitely going to try other shapes. For me, one of the best things about crafting is that you can customise projects and do everything your way, and this is just another way to do that. Imagine a Christmas card with a snowflake embossing folder and a masked area with cute stamped motif or greeting, or a Mother’s Day card with a pretty image and chalked embossing.


As for your die cut ‘middle’ pieces, stick them together and make a reverse mask so that only a small area gets the embossing treatment. Two for the price of one!


I do hope this tutorial has been useful and inspiring to you, thank you for reading. What shape mask would you make? How else could you use this technique?


27 thoughts on “Tutorial Tuesday-DIY Embossing Mask

  1. Ooh, a fab tutorial! I had heard of partial or selective embossing before, but couldn’t get my head around how it would work. I didn’t realise you were to put the mask outside the embossing folder! I will definitely try this out, thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Perhaps a tad early for me to be on the Christmas treadmill again, but I have a box full of embossing folders to try it with. I can’t get enough of embossed card so this will feed my habit nicely!

        Liked by 1 person

      1. 😊 It’s one of those things that’s easier to understand as you do it! I struggle with working out cards that fold this way and that to do exciting things, I have to spend ages puzzling it out!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I used to take one of my service users whom I supported to a card craft session at a local college once a week .. She and I both loved it.. And what you have shown here is beautifully done.. The tutor always made it look so easy.. Yet when we tried it never looked the quite the same LOL.. 🙂
    Thank you for sharing this 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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