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Embossed Holiday Cards

Take your projects to a new level by learning a technique called embossing. Embossing is a technique used to create a raised, or 3-dimensional, image on a piece of paper. You can emboss store-bought stationery or cards, or you can make your own from card stock.

Source: Martha Stewart Living, November 2006


Embossing powder, a fast melting powder compound, must be used when embossing -- not just any glitter or decorating powder will do. Embossing powder comes in nearly every color imaginable; opaque, metallic, and even translucent varieties are available.


  • Paper, from Martha Stewart Crafts

  • Rubber stamps, from Martha Stewart Crafts

  • Embossing powder

  • Embossing pad

  • Heat gun

  • Compressed air (optional)


  1. Press a rubber stamp onto an embossing pad. Position the stamp over the card; apply firm, even pressure to transfer the design. Clean the stamp with a paper towel, then a stamp-cleaning pad.

  2. Place the card on a paper plate; sprinkle embossing powder over the stamped design. Tap the card to remove excess powder, and reapply as needed to coat design. If there is stray powder on the card, very gently spray compressed air from a can fitted with an extension wand.

  3. Working in sections, hold a heat gun 2 inches from the design and move the nozzle in a circular motion. The powder-covered areas will melt, creating glossy finish. Continue until the entire design has melted. Gently wave the card 3 or 4 times to set the design. If the paper begins to curl, heat the back of the card, and fan it again. Then place card under a heavy book for 5 to 10 minutes (this will not smudge the design).

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