Fun With Embossing – Sizzix Big Shot!

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You can have so much fun with embossing. This tutorial looks at using the Sizzix Big Shot Foldaway and covers ‘How to Emboss”! It is so creative and fun to do.

Embossing is a great way to embellish your projects.

What is embossing?

“Embossing and debossing are the processes of creating either raised or recessed relief images and designs in paper and other materials. An embossed pattern is raised against the background, while a debossed pattern is sunken into the surface of the material.” Wikipedia

This post may contain some affiliate links for your convenience (which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link I may earn a small commission but it won’t cost you a penny more)!  Read my very boring full disclosure policy here.

What I used!

  • A Sizzix Big Shot Foldaway. This is a versatile manual cutting machine. While I predominantly use it for embossing I like to use it for die cutting as well. If you want to know more about how I chose the tool I am using? Check out this post.  “Do You Need A Die Cutter.  Most Die Cutters will also emboss.
  • Cardstock around 210gsm ( around 135lbs). Embossing can be achieved on a variable card thickness, from ‘normal’ paper to reasonably thick cardstock. Majority of the time I choose a slightly thicker cardstock as I like the effect however you do need to be careful it isn’t too thick as it will occasionally ‘crack’ at the higher points of the embossed section.  I have had the odd piece of card do this.

Tip: To reduce the risk of paper cracking you can spray it very lightly with water. I use water with a touch of essential oil in it as I love the smell. I recommend that you test your paper first to ensure that it doesn’t bleed or bubble.

  • Embossing folder. I have a growing range of embossing folders as I love all the variations and patterns. Today I chose one of my new folders which has an additional area to place a plaque or extra detail. So feeling really excited to see how it turns out!

I haven’t spent a lot of money on the embossing folders, purchasing all but one of these on ebay. They are unbranded (and I hope not pirated, you need to be a bit careful) Lots and lots to choose from and most of the ones I have received have been really good. Is the branded one in the pic below better? hmmm…. maybe slightly but it was more than double the price too.

Isn’t it pretty! Can’t wait to see the results can you?


Interested in purchasing a Big Shot… ? Research the models as there is quite a bit of difference. The Big Shot Plus will take a larger sized project and this is certainly something to consider. The Big Shot foldaway is ideal for those with limited space. Each has a purpose to suit your needs.

Embossing is very easy to do

The Sizzix Big Shot Foldaway comes with a variety of platforms and provides a guide to which ones you might need for your project. I find it is a little bit of hit and miss however I mostly use the main Standard Platform, the one they have called Thin Die Adapter, and the two clear plates. The platforms stack on top of each other until you have achieved the thickness required to apply the correct amount of pressure on your project to get the results you want. It needs to be quite firm but not too hard to roll through!

You can see in the picture on the left the instructions. Yep…great they have put instructions…BUT… a little confusing because they have put it in 7 languages which makes it messy to interpret. Ah well, it is a bit of a guide.

The picture on the right has all the platforms I used. If you look really closely you will see ‘scratch marks’ on the clear plates. This apparently is normal! As soon as you use the plates for die-cutting you are able to see an outline of what was cut. The more you use, the more marks they get on them. It makes a scary crunchy noise as it goes through the cutting machine too which you eventually get used to LOL. So be prepared! The good news is the platforms are consumables and can be purchased as required.

Fortunately, when you emboss it doesn’t do any of the above!

We are nearly there!

Once you have worked out the best choices of platforms to combine you open the embossing folder and place your piece of card inside the two flaps. Place your folder (with card-stock in it) in between the two clear plates and stack them on top of your selections.

Place the stack on the Cutting Machine and using the handle of the device gently feed the stack through the machine. THAT’S IT! ………. Oh, I sometimes feed it through twice, this will give you a deeper emboss. You will need to decide that for yourself as each project would be slightly different. Remember, we need to be careful that the paper does not crack!

You can see the tray that you place the folders onto and turning the handle (and applying a bit of push) feed the stack through the machine.


Embossing fun – see the results

The next bit is the exciting part!

I love opening the embossing folder to see the results. I gave you a peek above.

Whoohoooo!! fairly pleased with it overall.

Fun with embossing creating a frame paper finished project

So much fun with embossing. I love it!

Looking at the finished result (which we are in detail!) it has a few spots that may be a bit over embossed. Perhaps it would have been better only doing a single pass in this instance. The next time I use this folder I will only put it through once. Trial and error really. On a happy note – it will still look beautiful where ever I decide to use it.

We are very critical of what we make NO ONE ELSE IS! Long ago I discovered that others could not see the faults or mistakes that I was so very critical of. Remember this when you do your crafting. Unfortunately, I still agonize over it! Kick me NOW! 

Close up of embossing folders

I thought you might like a closer look at a couple of the other embossing folders. I have tried to take the photo so that it was easy to see the raised part of the folder where it will imprint onto your paper.

Small dots always make a lovely understated addition to a card or project. I have seen small heart too that look great.

Interested in seeing how I use this embossed cardstock?

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(I too am interested in seeing what I make with it.)

If you have anything you would like me to add to this post or another topic please comment below. I would love to hear from you.

In the meantime,

Happy creating!

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Essential oils

The oil I used for this project was Doterra Lavender Peace. I use this oil so much for diffusing in my room at night to help sleep, room spray because it smells so great, during the day in the diffuser so it provides an ongoing nice smell when guests arrive…. pretty much anything I think of that needs a nice smell.

In this case, it was mixed with water and lightly sprayed over the card to provide

1. a nice smell.

2. a more supple piece of card to emboss with.

Check out my other posts. Crafting has so many facets to it….so much to learn and so much fun to do.


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#fun with embossing

2 thoughts on “Fun With Embossing – Sizzix Big Shot!”

  1. Joyce Meyer

    I have a Big Shot Foldaway that I just purchased. I went to JoAnn fabrics and bought embossing folders by Parkland. The ones I bought do not work-they are too thin but when I add the xtra plate that came with the machine, it is too thick. Any ideas?
    Thank you,
    Joyce Meyer

    1. Hi Joyce, you can pad your folder out with a piece of cardboard or some other fairly sturdy material that is thinner than your extra plate. Thinner acrylic would do the trick too. If you have something handy that is too thin, you can always double it up. Hope this helps 🙂 Sue

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