I finally made it to the craft store to pick up some of the stock dies that work with my embossing machine. The starter embossing kit comes with several double sided plastic embossing plates, a piece of silicone sheeting and a plastic plate that serves as a hard surface for the silicone to back up against and also to fill up the rest of the space between the rollers of the embossing machine. This thickness was the main thing that I needed to know before I could start making my own plates. I also bought some cutting dies that are actually for a different machine but claimed to be compatible with “most brands of embossing machines.” This appears to be a true claim, or at least they also work on my machine.
Here’s a close up of both types of die. The embossing die is the black plastic. I removed the foam pad that comes on the cutting die so I could get a look at how it was made. The foam is there to keep the paper from getting stuck to the die after you use it so I’ll need to find some of that in addition to making the cutting surface. It’s possible to get the paper out without it, but you have to dig at it and risk damaging the paper.
I did some experimentation on the printer’s proof of the Fennec Fox card. It looks like I can do embossing right on the printed image without any damage. This isn’t something I’ll be doing on the animal cards, I just want to give them a decorative border, but there are some other designs in the works that this will look really cool on.