Paper embossing is a process of creating a raised outline on the paper (usually cardstock) using a stylus. The stylus is used to trace the outline or contours of a stencil. Lightbox is essential to make embossing process easier but it is not only hard to find here but could cost quite a bit depending on types and sizes. I had been surveying around for one decent lightbox but none was found within my budget since I am only willing to pay nothing more than AUD $15. After much thought, I came up with an idea of making my own lightbox which costs me less than AUD $15.
Time: Approximately 5-10 minutes (setup)
1 transparent jar-lid container from IKEA
KRUS - Design K Hagberg/M Hagberg 24x19x7cm
2 stick-and-press light bulbs IKEA
Turn on the light bulbs and place them in the container. Close the lid.
What I like about KRUS container is that it comes with 2 dividers which coincidentally fit the light bulbs and keep them secure in place. In the image above, the light source is concentrated in the center.
Light bulbs are rearranged to distribute the light evenly
Place the stencil on the lid followed by cardstock or paper on top of the stencil.
(Check and make sure the right side of the stencil is facing the lid and the wrong side is facing the paper especially for letters/alphabets/numbers stencils)
The stencil outline should be visible now and easily traced. Use a stylus and trace along the outline of the stencil. Stylus is priced at around $8 in Riot craft store. Each stylus typically has two tips of different sizes.
I'm quite satisfied with the result of my new light box. It does the job well and here is a sample of the embossed design which I've created using two different stencils.The pattern is raised against the background
Turn over the card and you'll get a debossed image where the pattern is sunken into the surface of the card.
Alternatively, DIY light box can be achieved by using a raised glass panel raised using thick books as support and a light source under the glass panel. You can check out an example at Sugar Snail Illustration.