How to Emboss Vellum with the Cricut
Many have asked how to emboss vellum with the Cricut. You can also create flowers that pop out from the embossed background. Then you can add some lovely petals for a 3D effect to make a gorgeous card. In this tutorial I will share how to make this lovely card using your electronic cutter.
Embossed Popout Daisy Card
Using Electronic Cutters to Emboss Vellum
You don’t have to have a Cricut in order to make this card. The SVG, PVGC, and FCM cutting files for this project are available that can be used in most electronic cutting machines. You can find them in the FREE Resource Library. Download the free cutting files. You can right click on the file link, and select “Save Link As” or “Save Target As”. Save it to your computer. When the download is complete, double click on the downloaded file and select Extract All. Then open your preferred cutting software, and import the cutting file. There is one file that contains all the design pieces. If you are using a Scan N Cut machine, use the FCM file. Those using Pazzles InVue software will use the PVGC file. All others should use the SVG file.
Note: this post may contain affiliate links.
Supplies Needed to Emboss the Vellum Popout Card
If you wish to add foiling to your design, you will need foiling tools. I used the We R Memory Makers Foil Quill and silver foil but you may use a metallic pen instead if you don’t have the foil quill. I used the bold tip for this project.
Embossing Mat- Pazzles,or Scan N Cut Embossing Kit, or SNC Embossing Mat
Embossing Stylus –Pazzles Embossing Tool
or Hand Embossing Stylus or Scan N Cut Embossing tool
Dries Clear Adhesive
Low Tack tape
Embossed Vellum Popout Card cutting files from the Free Resource Library
Limitations to Emboss Vellum With Cricut
Embossing vellum with the Cricut Maker is not as straight forward as it is with other electronic cutters. This is due primarily to the fact that Cricut does not allow any options for adjusting the pressure of tools using the A slot on the Cricut Maker or Cricut Explore cutting head. Cricut Explore does allow use of a special pen holder in the blade holder slot. With that holder in the B slot, the pressure can be adjusted up to the maximum under Custom Settings to 340-350.
While the Cricut Maker boasts of up to 4000 grams of cutting pressure, this pressure is only available in the B slot on the cutting head. And a hand-held embossing stylus is not recognized in the B slot. Maximum pressure is needed to get an excellent embossed effect on vellum cardstock.
The only pressure options on the Cricut Maker head A are the automatic settings for either drawing or scoring. Pressure for drawing on the Cricut Maker is inadequate for embossing. The pressure for scoring is adequate, given the right embossing stylus and mat. The Cricut Scoring tool tip is not broad enough for embossing. It has a tendency to tear through delicate vellum cardstock.
Paper to Use to Emboss
Selecting to best paper to use for embossing with your cutter is very important. Lighter weight papers will emboss more readily on cutters, than cardstock. It can take massive amounts of down pressure to form nicely embossed shapes on cardstock.
What is Translucent Vellum Cardstock?
Vellum is a type of coating that is used on some papers. The type and weight of vellum is very important for this project. While our cutters cannot make a very good embossed impression on most cardstock, one exception is to use translucent vellum cardstock to emboss with your cutter. The cardstock should be translucent enough to be able to see through it. When using translucent vellum cardstock, an embossing tool will create white lines on the Vellum.
Best Weight of Transparent Vellum Cardstock to Use
For the Embossed Popout Daisy Card, you need to use Transparent Vellum Cardstock that is neither too heavy nor too light. The popouts will work better with Vellum that is still. But if the cardstock is too thick, the embossed design will not be the pretty white color you are wanting. If the cardstock is too thin, the design may tear during cutting or removing from the cutting mat. I found that 36# translucent vellum cardstock works best for this project.
Embossing on Legacy Cricut machines
Those using any of the legacy Cricut machines (Original Cricut Personal, original Cricut Expression, Cricut Cake, Create, Cricut Cake Mini) will find that the Pazzles Embossing tool fits perfectly in the blade holder of these older machines. You can emboss on these machines if you have an embossing mat and embossing tool. Unfortunately, the Pazzles Embossing tool is too large to fit in the Cricut Explore or Cricut Maker.
Cricut has simplified the cutting process by providing automatic settings wherever possible. But this is an example of how automatic settings can limit creativity. Perhaps one day Cricut will add full embossing functionality. Until then, you can use the techniques I have used to make this card.
To emboss, you need to be able to use an embossing stylus. The stylus needs to fit the pen tool holder. In addition, the stylus tip needs to be long enough to extend deep enough through the pen holder to reach the mat.
Testing Hand-Held Embossing Tools
I have tested a number of different hand-held stylus tools. Unfortunately, most of the ones I have collected through the years will not work in the Cricut machines. The length of the tips of most were too short.
I did find one that works in the Cricut Explore or Cricut Maker. This one has a metal tip that is a full 1″ long.
I still have to wrap 5 inches of blue painter’s tape around the center of the handle to make it a bit thicker to fit snugly in the pen holder. Place the tool with the larger ball tip down into the A tool holder of the Cricut Explore or Cricut Maker. Other cutters than have pen holders may also use a tool like this for embossing.
The tip of the embossing stylus needs to be quite close to the mat surface, as shown in my photo below.
In order for an electronic cutter to effectively create embossing designs on vellum, it is essential to have a cushion under the paper on the mat. Too much of a cushion may result in tears in the delicate vellum. And not enough cushion may result in unsatisfactory embossing.
Some cutter companies provide embossing mats that work with their brand of cutters. Other companies do not. Thin craft foam that is .8mm to 1mm thick may serve as an embossing mat in some cutters. Others have found that using faux leather provides an adequate surface for embossing.
With the foam or faux leather options, you will need to apply some adhesive to the top in order for the vellum to adhere to it during embossing and cutting. Too much adhesive may cause the popout petals on the card to tear when removing it from the mat. Too little adhesive may allow the vellum to shift during embossing and cutting. Taping edges of the vellum down without adhesive on the mat does not work due to the intricate detail of this project.
Embossing Mat Testing Results
Pazzles Embossing mat works well with the Pazzles machine. It is a bit too wide to fit Cricut machines. However, the Pazzles embossing mat may be trimmed down to work with Cricut machines.
Bosskut Gazelle made an excellent embossing mat that works with a number of different cutters. It will work with Cricut machines as well, but Bosskut is no longer in business.
I found the Scan N Cut Embossing mat to be a workable solution for How to emboss vellum with Cricut machines. A sticky Cricut mat holds the embossing mat in place. And the top surface of the embossing mat is sticky, and able to hold the vellum in place while the cutter is embossing and cutting.
When combined with a hand embossing tool, the Scan N Cut mat worked well to emboss vellum with the Cricut machines.
Silhouette users who would like to emboss vellum will need to use the Silhouette Curio cutter. This is because the Cameo and other Silhouette machines do not have adequate pressure for embossing. They also do not have enough clearance between the mat and roller bars to fit an embossing surface between the mat and vellum.
Foiling in Lieu of Embossing
In the event that you do not have an embossing tool and embossing mat that work to Embossing Vellum with your Cricut machine, you may elect to use the Embossed Popout Daisy Card design with a foil quill and foil. The background design of this card foils nicely. This is an option for those using Silhouette cutters as well.
How to Emboss and Cut the Embossed Popout Daisy Card
If you are using a Pazzles or Scan N Cut machine to emboss and cut the popout daisy card, you will find that all lines in the cutting files are designated as either draw or cut. Choose the Draw lines first and emboss the Draw lines using your embossing tool and mat. Use maximum pressure when embossing. Do test cuts to determine the best settings for cutting.
Do not remove the mat or move the cutting head after the “drawing” is complete. Simply replace the embossing tool with the cutting tool, and select “Cut” to use with the cutting lines. Cutting on the embossing mat will not ruin it it you have set the blade depth appropriately.
How to cut and emboss with the Cricut
The process is a bit different when using Cricut Explore or Cricut Maker. First, import the SVG file into Cricut Design Space. To do that, open Cricut Design Space. Click on Upload, the bottom icon on the left toolbar. Next, click on Upload Image. Browse to the place where you saved the Embossed Vellum Popout Card file on your computer. Click on Save. The design you just uploaded will be visible now. Click on it to select it, and click on Insert Image.
Get the Design Ready in Design Space
Ungroup the design pieces by right clicking on the design, and selecting Ungroup. Next, click on the white emboss portion of the the design, and designate it as “Score” at the top of the page. Select both the score and white cut layers, right click and select Attach. Click on the top score layer and the next group layer on the right toolbar. Right click, and select Attach.
Now click on Make It. Move the entire design in and down 1″ from top and left sides of the virtual mat. This will reduce tearing along the edges of the vellum. Select Continue, and select your machine. Set materials to Vellum. Next, Set tools. Select the Scoring Stylus for the embossing.
Place your vellum on the embossing mat, and load the hand embossing tool in the A tool holder. Load the mat into the Cricut, and press the Go button on the machine when it starts blinking. It will take about 30 minutes to do all of the embossing and cutting on the vellum. Get the paper for the mat and card base ready. Be very careful when lifting the cut design from the mat to prevent the petals from tearing. Finally, you can cut the remaining card pieces.
How to Assemble the Embossed Vellum Popout Card
The side that is facing up on the mat is the Debossed side, as the embossing tool has pressed the design down into the vellum. The opposite side is the embossed design. You may use the side that you prefer on your card.
Fold the base card in half. Next, glue the mat to the center of the card front, or use pop dots to raise the mat a bit off of the card base. Add small dots of Dries Clear Adhesive on the back side of the vellum, only on places that are white from the embossing. Let it dry. Gently lift the cut petals up, away from the card, to give dimension.
Add the 3D Daisies
If you wish to add 3D daisies to the card, place a daisy piece on a foam mat, and press down firmly in the middle of the daisy to lift the petals. Repeat with the next daisy piece of the same size. Place a dot of glue on the back of one of the daisy layers, and center it over the other daisy layer of the same size. Make sure the petals are opposite the first layer. Add a drop of glue on the center back of each 3D Daisy layer and adhere to the center of one of the popout daisies on the card, again, keeping the petals opposite the bottom layer.
Repeat with all three flowers. Glue a pearl sticker to the center of each of the 3D Daisies on the card. You card is now complete! Add a sentiment of your choice to the inside of the card, and give it to someone special!
Be sure to go to the Resource Library to grab the free cutting file for the Embossed Vellum Popup Daisy Card cutting files. If you like this project, please comment, share, and pin!
This resource library is open to everyone for free. All you need is the password to get in, which you can get by filling out the form below.
If you already have your password, enter the resource library here.