Disclosure: This post and the photos and video within it may contain Amazon or other affiliate links. If you purchase something through these links, I may receive a small commission at no additional charge to you. The embossing folder used in this post was provided by Spellbinders Paper Arts in exchange for design work. Thank you!
Tip 1: Know Your Sandwich
Are you curious about how to get the best results with 3D Embossing Folders? I’m going to share my experience and some tips and tricks I’ve learned. I am sharing information that will apply to several diecutting machines including the Crafter’s Companion Gemini, Sizzix Big Shot, and Spellbinders Platinum.
Each machine will have a specific recommended combination of plates often referred to as ‘sandwiches” to use with these thicker folders. I have gathered some resources shared by machine manufacturers for you to refer to as a starting point. Confirm with your instruction manual or manufacturer website. Never force your machine as it could damage your machine and possibly cause injury.
Gemini and Gemini Junior (Crafter’s Companion)
Crafter’s Companion recommends: Base clear cutting plate > magnetic shim > embossing folder with card/paper inside > plastic shim
Platinum and Platinum 6 (Spellbinders)
Spellbinders recommends: Build sandwiches starting from bottom-up. Platform > embossing folder with paper inside > 3D embossing plate
Spellbinders has also released a Universal Plate System designed to work perfectly with their new 3D Embossing Folders.
Grand Calibur (Spellbinders)
Spellbinders recommends: Build sandwiches starting from bottom-up. B-Pink Embossing Plate> 3D embossing folder with paper inside > D-Raspberry Adapter Plate
BIGkick, Big Shot, Vagabond (Sizzix)
Sizzix recommends: Single Cutting Pad > Sizzix 3-D Textured Impressions Embossing Folder > the machine’s included Platform
Special Note Regarding Crafter’s Companion Folders:
Crafter’s Companion also has some recommendations for using their 3D Embossing Folders with other diecutting machine which could be helpful. Check it out here.
General “Sandwich” Tips
If your paper is cracking you may have too much pressure and you should try a thinner sandwich.
If you are getting a shallow impression you may have too little pressure and should try a thicker sandwich. This is where a few cardstock shims may make a difference.
Tip 2: Know Your Paper
The thickness or weight of your paper will have an impact on the quality of your impression and amount of cracking that happens. I was able to get great results with 65-110lb cardstock.
However, an important exception was kraft card stock. No amount of prep work prevented cracking on kraft card stock which I think was because of some of the properties unique to kraft card stock. I think it would be the same for handmade or mulberry type papers for the same reason.
Tip 3: Curl the Paper
Gently curl the paper in between your hands. This will gently break up the fibers on the paper. Be careful not to cause a bend in the paper.
Tip 4: Wet the Paper
Lightly mist both sides of the paper before running it through the embossing folder. Wait for the paper to dry before adding ink or other mediums. If your paper is embossing well without misting, consider skipping this step as the water can damage your paper.
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