Sometimes presenting things as they come may seem not enough and you may need to add some embellishment to portray a level of elegance that will make it more aesthetically pleasing. Other times, it is just a matter of adding information as in the case of dog tags. One common way through which you can make materials such as paper, leather, or metal much better and more sophisticated is by embossing on them. 

Embossing is a way of creating designs or texts by artistically raising some parts of a material’s surface. The opposite of this process is called debossing which is when a surface is given depth instead of being raised. Embossing or debossing materials make them unique, attractive, sophisticated, elegant, and bold. They can add an extra visual appeal, depict a level of professionalism and also add to the value of a brand. 

Some common items that can be embossed or debossed are business cards, letterheads, and wallets. Also, leather, metal, glass, plastic, as well as fabric are some materials that can be worked on using what is called an embossing machine. You can read about this process in this article.

What are Embossing Machines?

These are devices that are used to stamp or make embossed designs or patterns into a material. They are almost indispensable when it comes to creating sophisticated and elegant crafts for people who are into crafts and DIY projects. Apart from this, these equipment can be used for cutting, engraving, piercing, or drawing depending on the product.

Most of these machines come hand in hand with die-cutting capabilities. Since the two techniques require a form of pressure to produce the desired designs, they are generally built to handle these processes. All you have to do is use the appropriate components for each job. For this reason, you will usually not find machines that only emboss.

It is only the manual and the electronic die cutting machines but not the computerized one that can be used to form embossed textures. Manual ones require physically cranking an attached handle that it is used to pull the “embossing sandwich” while the electronic ones use a motor to pull the sandwich through.


Although the machine is an integral component when embossing, it needs some embossing folders that are compatible with it to work. A huge range of folder patterns with different sizes are available from a host of well-known brands. They come with multiple themes and can cater for most of your design needs. You just need to ensure you get folders that are compatible with your equipment. 

You can get creative with your embossing folders along with your materials which could be any kind of paper or cardstock as they are the most favored kinds of materials to use. 

Using this machine is quite simple. You take a folder and place your card or paper into it then put it into the device and depending on the type of equipment you have, you either apply pressure, if it is manual, or it does it for you if it is electronic.

How to Select an Embossing Machine

The Type of Material You are Working With

One factor that should determine the kind of machine that you should buy is the kind of material you will be working with. Though these machines have the capacity to work on various materials asides paper, there are specific ones that can be used on surfaces such as metal, felt, leather, foam, fabric, etc.

Accessibility of the Components

Embossing machines use dyes and powders and also have other parts and accessories. How available and how easy are these components that are needed for the machine you intend to buy/ Are the dies compatible to use with other products? Answering these sorts of questions will help you determine which one to go for.


Another thing to put into consideration is how flexible the device is, what its capacity is and if it can handle what you need to do? Does it have a wide variety of options and does it work with various kinds of materials?


It is better to invest in a high-quality product if you will be using your machine often. Another thing is buying one that has compatibility with a variety of dyes and powders which will make it easier to replace or refill when needed. Although this may come in at a high price, if you are savvy and know where to look, you should get a great deal.

Some Recommendations

Below are some of the most common machines that might be of interest to you.

Sizzix Big Shot

This is a brand that is known and used for large die-cutting and embossing projects. The Big Shot comes in different models including Pro, Plus, and Express. With Sizzix, you can get well-designed dies and great folders for your embossing needs.

Cricut Cuttlebug

This dual die-cutting and embossing machine can be used to emboss materials of up to 12” by 6” with most of the folders either being 4” by 6” or 5” by 7”. With it, you can work on many different kinds of materials including paper, fabric, foam, felt, and thin metal. One thing to note though is that your material should not be more than 18” thick. For the Cuttlebug, its folders are compatible with a host of other brands, allowing for variety. It is also quite easy to carry because it is lightweight and has a handle.

Evolution Advanced

This little machine can either be operated manually using the crank or automatically by using the battery. It’s all depending on whichever one you prefer. It is portable enough to carry when you need to travel.

You can see more of these machines in this review so you can have more options to choose from.


Embossing machines are great equipment to have especially if you are into designs. There are several brands of these devices but some of the best to buy and use are versatile and they give you the flexibility to show your creativity and also enhance your designs. The better they are, the more options for creativity they offer but the higher the price point is likely to be.

Take some time to go through the reviews so you can carefully choose the one that is right for you based on the information you will get from users.