Emboss like a boss. Derived from the Old French word embocer, signifying a lump, bump, or protuberance, embossing is a technique wherein you create raised patterns or letters on paper, whether by applying pressure to create indentations (dry embossing) or by applying material directly to the paper’s surface and drying it (heat embossing). All-in-one embossing kits include all you need to get started on custom cards or seals using a particular technique—inks for etching designs, powders for making them pop, and embossing tools like stamps, plates, antistatic pads, and sometimes even a heat gun. Browse our selection of the best kits below.
1. Pixiss Embossing Kit
This set offers great bang for your buck: It comes with an embossing pen, ink pad (for stamped designs), eight metallic embossing powders, and—unlike most of the products on this list—a specialized heat tool. Use the pen to create your design, apply the embossing powder (which will stick to the ink), then set your design with heat. Put away that hair dryer, get yourself some paper, and go crazy.
2. Darice & Ranger Embossing Starter Kit
Like our number one pick, this paper-embossing kit doesn’t come with paper, but it includes that infinitely more important item: a multipurpose heating tool, complete with a stand. You’ll get just two jars of embossing powder (one silver and one gold), but on the flip side, the jars are almost twice the size of Pixiss’s, and this kit comes with two embossing pens instead of one.
3. Ranger Letter It Embossing Kit
If you’re self-conscious about your chicken-scratchings, consider this heat embossing set. It doesn’t come with a heat tool, but it does include stamps with prewritten salutations. You’ll also get three jars of metallic embossing powders, an ink pad, a bullet-tip pen, and five slate-gray cardstock sheets. This kit’s prevailing aesthetic may be a tad too Instagram influencer–adjacent for some tastes, but the predesigned lettering and enclosed technique sheet make it an easy first purchase for beginners.
4. Sizzix Big Shot Plus Starter Kit
If you’re a confident embosser who doesn’t need much hand-holding, you may want to invest in this cutting and embossing kit. Sizzix’s machine uses a dry embossing technique that presses designs between two plates, applying even pressure to cardstock and ensuring a clean result. You can buy just the machine in two sizes—6 or 9 inches wide—or you can buy the machine plus a kit that includes cardstock sheets and assorted dies. The kit doesn’t come with an embossing folder, so this option is best for artists who want to design their own from scratch without laboriously working over it with a stylus.
5. Bira Adjustable Die Cutting & Embossing Machine Starter Kit
Bira Craft’s machine kit operates like the Sizzix, but it’s less costly—nothing to sneeze at, surely, though some of its starter kit materials do look cheaper. (Think classroom Valentine’s Day exchanges in elementary school.) But hey, at least this 9-inch-wide cutting and embossing machine comes with an embossing folder. Besides the default heart-patterned embossing folder, each kit includes eight cutting dies, eight A4-size pieces of cardstock, one steel-ruled die, a standard platform, mat, and adapter.