Embossing is a great way to add texture and designs to paper, metal, and clay crafts. The two most common embossing methods involve either heat and powder or a stencil and stylus. Embossing has been around since the 15th century, when stamping plates were heated and used to create personalized stationery. The stylus is an ancient tool whose Latin name is derived from the Indo-European root stei, which means “to prick.” First used by ancient Mesopotamian scribes to write in cuneiform, early styli were made of reeds, bone, and metal. They’ve evolved in both form and function since and are used in various arts and crafts, including embossing. Today’s embossing stylus tools are double-headed and made with either wooden, plastic, or rubber handles. Browse our selection of the best options below.
1. Fiskars Dual-tip Embossing Stylus
This dual-tip stylus has large and small steel ball tips for executing both detail work and large-scale patterning. The barrel of the tool is white and features orange soft-rubber grips for a chic and comfortable hold. Compatible with standard paper, cardstock, foil, vellum, and metal, this stylus satisfies all your dry stencil-and-stylus embossing needs.
2. 3M Soft-Grip Embossing & Stylus Set
This set includes three styli with ball-point tips in an assortment of sizes. Each stylus is double-ended, with one small- and one larger-sized tip. The translucent barrel lends a modern look to an otherwise traditional tool, and the soft rubber grips reduce finger fatigue. The multiple-size tips allow you to execute a variety of scaled patterns and designs, and the double-ended design ensures that you get the most out of each tool.
3. Sundarling Ball Stylus Dotting Tools Set
For educators looking for a variety pack on a budget, choose this set of five wooden-handled styli. Best used for clay embossing, these tools also do well with leather, paper, and foil. The finish on the ball tips is super smooth so as not to snag your material, and each stylus is double ended to achieve a variety of differently sized marks.
4. Darice Broad Point Double Ended Tracing Stylus
This wooden-handled stylus creates clean lines and precise impressions, thanks to its hardened-steel double-ended tip. Best used for making signatures and designs in wet clay, this tool also works well for paper and foil. One side measures one millimeter, and the other measures 1.5 millimeters for variegated detail work. A great basic, this stylus has a simple and sturdy design.
5. EK Tools Embossing Stylus Set
Featuring styli with small medium and large tips, this multipack includes double-headed steel-ball tips, measuring one, two, and three millimeters respectively. Constructed with plastic handles, each grip is indented for a comfortable hold.