The 7 Best Embossing Folders of 2022

Our top pick is the art deco-inspired Sizzix Embossing Folder

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Best Embossing Foldders

Kusska / Getty Images

If you’re into cardmaking or any other paper crafts, you’ve likely heard of embossing folders. Embossing folders are thin sheets of durable plastic imprinted with a design; a design that ultimately appears on your project (often greeting cards) once you run the embossing folder through an embossing machine.

Embossing folders come in 2D and 3D versions, the latter of which features elements of debossing and embossing (i.e., raised and divoted elements) for a bolder imprint. We researched the best ones, considering these attributes along with size and design. Our top pick, Sizzix 3D Impresslits Embossing Folder Art Deco, features elements of embossing and debossing, as well as a trendy-yet-classic art deco print that looks particularly stunning on metallic cardstock

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Sizzix 3D Impresslits Embossing Folder

Sizzix 3D Impresslits Embossing Folder

Sizzix

What We Like
  • Art deco design

  • Durable

  • 3D design

What We Don't Like
  • Not the most versatile 

This stunning embossing folder gives us major art deco vibes while still maintaining a modern, cool edge that elevates any craft project. The folder features elements of both debossing and embossing—a combo that leaves a stunning 3D, ultra-bold design in its wake. The plastic material is among the most durable we’ve seen and is bound to last for countless projects to come. Tip: Use this design on metallic cardstock for an effect that’s nothing short of gilded glamour.

Dimensions: 6.26 x 4.25 inches | Material: Paper | Quantity: 1

Best Floral Pattern: Park Lane A2 Embossing Folder Floral

Park Lane A2 Embossing Folder Floral

Park Lane

What We Like
  • Versatile

  • Durable plastic

What We Don't Like
  • Slightly pricier than other options

Adorned with bold floral prints and leaves, this beautiful modern design is sure to add a touch of whimsy to any project—whether that’s leather tags or paper crafts like greeting cards. Plus, it’s sized perfectly for standard A2-sized cards, making it super easy to use for most handmade card projects.

Dimensions: 16 ½ x 23 ⅜ (A2) | Material: Plastic | Quantity: 1

Best 3D Pattern: Sizzix 3D Fallen Leaves

Sizzix 3D Fallen Leaves

Sizzix

What We Like
  • Seamless pattern

  • Elegant design

What We Don't Like
  • On the smaller side for larger projects

There's a reason why this pick is among our favorites of all the botanical embossing folders out there: The feather-like leaves are all at once elegant, design-forward, and somehow neutral enough to function as a backdrop for a variety of cards and other projects. We recommend trying it with different cardstock types to experiment with completely different vibes. It’s also worth mentioning that this botanical beauty boasts a 3D effect, thanks to embossing and debossing features. 

Dimensions: 6.26 x 4.25 inches | Material: Plastic | Quantity: 1

Best Textural: Sizzix 3D Intertwine

Sizzix 3D Intertwine

Sizzix

What We Like
  • Realistic texture effect

  • Modern style

  • 3D elements

What We Don't Like
  • Best for thicker materials

At first glance, we wouldn’t blame you if you mistook this for actual wicker or woven fabric. The design features 3D elements, thanks to the embossing and debossing capabilities. We love the ultra-bold deep etching, which makes this pattern a true standalone beauty for a bevy of materials. Given its intense, bold pattern payoff, we’d recommend this one for thicker cardstock and other heftier items (e.g., faux leather). Note that using it on super-fine paper may cause tearing. 

Dimensions: 6.26 x 4.25 inches | Material: Paper | Quantity: 1

Best Value: QSKZeer Leaf Flower Embossing Folder - 9 Pieces

QSKZeer Leaf Flower Embossing Folder - 9 Pieces

QSKZeer

What We Like
  • Variety of patterns

  • Excellent value

  • Clean image transfer

What We Don't Like
  • Lacks holiday motifs (aside from birthdays)

Whether you’re a beginner embosser or you’re a pro with an extensive collection of embossing folders, this nine-piece set is sure to serve as an excellent addition to your collection. The set contains an array of patterns, including leaves, a wood grain, and even a stylish birthday card motif. For the price and quality, it’s hard to beat this set from a value standpoint.

Dimensions: 4.13 x 5.83 inches | Material: Plastic | Quantity: 9

Most Versatile: Park Lane A2 Embossing Folder Stars

Park Lane A2 Embossing Folder Stars

Park Lane

What We Like
  • Versatile

  • Durable plastic

  • A2 size is perfect for cards

What We Don't Like
  • Slightly pricier than other options

Rarely does a craft project not benefit from a sprinkling of stars, right? This embossing folder does just that, thanks to its stellar design. It features a smattering of tiny stars in three varying design styles. The result: a galactic backdrop that’s perfect for virtually any greeting card project (and beyond). Stars are, after all, applicably festive for most holidays and celebratory occasions!

Dimensions: 16 ½ x 23 ⅜ (A2) | Material: Plastic | Quantity: 1

Best Holiday: Sizzix 3D Winter Snowflakes

Sizzix 3D Winter snowflakes

Sizzix

What We Like
  • 3D effect

  • Great for all winter holidays

  • Works with a bevy of machines 

What We Don't Like
  • Slightly pricier than other options

The 3D nature of these snowflakes makes this embossing folder a flurry of fun for any winter-themed card, gift tag imprint, or otherwise. Keep in mind that this embossing folder is slightly pricier than other options, but the 3D embossing and debossing capabilities make it well worth the cost.

Dimensions: 4.5 x 6.5 x 0.125 inches | Material: Plastic | Quantity: 1

Final Verdict

Sizzix 3D Impresslits Embossing Folder Art Deco delivers a stunning, stylish design that works for any project or occasion. For greeting cards, we love the versatility of the 6 Pieces Words Metal Die Cuts for Card Making Embossing Stencil Template, which comes with virtually every card sentiment you’ll need.

What to Look for in an Embossing Folder

Size

Embossing folders can come in an array of different sizes. A2 is one of the most standard sizes for embossing folders, as it’s perfect for making A2-size greeting cards. However, if you’re planning to use your embossing folder for a larger project, such as a scrapbook page, you may want to consider other standard embossing folder sizes such as 6 by 6 inches. 

Machine compatibility 

Like folders, embossing machines come in a range of sizes and offer different features. Make sure the embossing folder you intend to purchase is compatible with the exact embossing machine you own or are planning to purchase by paying attention to folder dimensions and material. Luckily, many embossing machines are compatible with a range of different folders these days, meaning your options are plentiful.

Raised and flat elements

You’ll notice some embossing folders say they have 2D images, while others feature 3D images. Both can produce beautiful imprints. The difference is that 3D embossing folders feature raised as well as embossed elements. The result of this combo is a 3D effect that really pops.

FAQ
  • What type of paper is best for embossing?

    This depends on the project you’re making, of course; that said, we love using a foil or metallic cardstock for the most bold effect. Remember: Items besides just paper can be embossed, including faux leather, vellum, and so much more.

  • What is the difference between a 3D embossing folder and a regular one?

    3D embossing folders have features of both embossing and debossing, giving the overall image a more dimensional effect.

  • What is the best way to store embossing folders?

    Luckily, since embossing folders are made from relatively thin plastic, they can easily be stacked upon one another. If you have lots of embossing folders, consider organizing them by theme or category for easy access when you need a particular pattern. 

Why Trust The Spruce Crafts?

For this roundup, Sophie Wirt researched an extensive array of embossing folders, ranging from modern designs to more traditional ones. An avid crafter herself, she considered the dimensions of each folder, the durability of the material, and the design itself—both for style and for boldness (i.e., how well it imprints, or shows up, on the embossing material). Each of our picks is made from durable plastic that is resistant to cracking, curling, or otherwise malfunctioning with a number of popular embossing machines.