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Upon a recent trip to my local art supply store, I discovered a new art material to play with–embossing foil. I was hoping to employ the use of my CNC paper cutting machine to help me create some precision impressions using vector designs. Unfortunately, swapping out the cutting blade for an embossing tool in my Silhouette cutter did not yield great results. The machine simply cannot apply enough force to actually emboss the metal I was using (36 gauge aluminum).

So I hopped on the internet to see how people do this without a CNC machine, and turns out stencils are a very effective way to achieve crisp and professional looking shapes. I was able to cut a cardstock stencil of my logo (backwards), placed the metal on top, and rubbed it with a stick of rolled up paper to get a gently embossed design. To crisp up the edges, still using the same stencil underneath as a guide, I traced the edges by hand using a metal stylus. The results are not too shabby.

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So after this mini victory, it got me to thinking about my stacks of scrap booking paper. I was curious about methods of embossing paper which I have seen before but never tried myself. This led to researching all types of combination die cut/embossing machines from companies like Cricut, Sizzix and Tim Holtz. Of course the frugal maker I am knew there had to be a way to make or find a simpler, less proprietary version of these machines.

The answer was no further than my kitchen! I just so happen to own a Kitchenaid machine with the pasta roller attachments. Apparently I am not the only one to think this could work. A quick internet search came up with this how-to from Jordan Hansen’s blog.

Her results are fantastic. I can’t wait to give this a try, and maybe make some pasta while I’m at it! I will probably buy some of the embossing folders to get me started since they seem to be reasonably priced, but of course I will come up with a way to make some custom embossing templates in the future, so stay tuned!

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