If you’re looking for a simple way to emboss a small area, consider using an embossing folder. This slender accessory is similar to a template and features one side with raised details, which you can use to press designs into paper and other malleable materials like foil. An embossing folder is meant to be run through an embossing machine, like a Cricut or Sizzix, although you can use one by simply applying pressure with your hands and rubbing it from edge to edge to transfer the pattern. Many folders today are made of plastic; pricier ones are made of metal, which helps to create deeper impressions. We’ve scanned the market for the best embossing folders; our five favorites are described below.
1. Kwan Crafts Embossing Folder
We like the versatility of this embossing folder, which features a uniform pattern of dots that can embellish any kind of holiday or greeting card. The dots are not gigantic, nor are they minuscule; the resulting effect adds dimension without dominating your project. The folder measures 4.1 by 5.7 inches, and the pattern covers almost the entirety of the surface. The plastic is durable, and the raised dots are consistent in height and size.
2. Sizzix Lace Embossing Folder
This embossing folder creates a more elegant imprint featuring a floral design in an airy, open pattern. While Sizzix encourages you to use the folder with its own embossing machine, it is suitable for use in any standard machine. The pattern can be transferred to cardstock, paper, foil, and vellum, and with its precise outlining, it almost looks like real lace from afar. The durable, lightweight folder is made of PVC plastic and measures 5.3 by 4.5 inches.
3. Tattered Lace Embossing Folders
Tattered Lace sells embossing folders in sets of four, with each folder having the same design but a different format. You get one large square, one triangular folder that’s perfect for corners, and two slimmer pieces for decorating borders. The folders are best used with a machine as the texture they create is quite subtle. Tattered Lace also offers some of the nicest patterns around, from this whimsical gridded design to a fern pattern, a doily pattern, and one of decorative ovals.
4. Velike Multi Patterns Embossing Folders
This kit is a great choice for classrooms and other group settings. It comes with nine embossing folders, each costing a fraction of the price of many other products. Users can experiment with a wide array of designs such as flowers, mountains, and a dot-and-zigzag pattern resembling the outline of a constellation; these aren’t as sophisticated-looking as other picks, but they are youthful and sweet. The folders work very well when pressure is applied manually, which means that artists won’t have to fight to use the classroom’s one embossing machine.
5. Tim Holtz Sizzix Embossing Folders
This bundle includes four folders that look like metal, but they are actually plastic pieces with enhanced stability to deliver highly dimensional embossing. Intended for use with Sizzix machines to get the best results, they can be used with cardstock, foil, or vellum. The patterns are complex and sophisticated, ranging from an ornate feathery swirl to clusters of intricate rosettes.