wikiHow to Emboss Metal

When you emboss metal, you participate in an art form that has existed for centuries. Metal embossing is used to impart a design upon metal sheets. The metal is pushed with an embossing tool or stylus in order to create a raised effect on the opposite side. By placing the metal sheet on a rubber or foam pad, the positive impression has a smooth surface that will shine or can take pigment. Embossed metal sheets can be used to decorate items like tins, lanterns, windows or doors. Smaller pieces can also be used to decorate greeting cards or scrapbooks. Embossing metal does not require many tools. The steps below will present you with a tried and true method of metal embossing.


  1. Image titled Emboss Metal Step 1
    Transfer your design to the metal sheet.
    • Print out or draw your design on a piece of paper. It can be helpful to use a piece of paper that is the same size as your metal sheet.
    • Tape the edges of your metal sheet to the piece of paper with your template design. Place a piece of tape on all sides to ensure the page does not slip. This will ensure that your lines are true to the design.
    • Using the stylus, trace over the lines of your template design. Use as little pressure as possible, so that you are not committed to a high relief. This cannot easily be undone, so follow the lines as close to exact as possible.
  2. Image titled Emboss Metal Step 2
    Remove the paper and tape from the metal sheet.
  3. Image titled Emboss Metal Step 3
    Deepen the lines on the metal sheet using the stylus to your preference. The harder you press, the deeper the line.
  4. Image titled Emboss Metal Step 4
    Fill in the lines with the embossing tool. Again, more pressure yields more relief (negative from the side you're working, positive from opposite side).


  • You can use the stylus or embossing tool to make other decorative marks as well, such as dots. Simply press the tool down onto the metal sheet and lift--do not drag the tool over the metal as you would when embossing a line.
  • You can emboss both sides of the metal sheet to develop stronger contrast between lines.
  • If you're working with copper, add a burnished look by applying heat either in a fireplace or with a lighter. Take care as the metal may become hot to the touch.
  • If you're embossing words or anything that has a specific direction, make sure that you are embossing the correct side of the metal sheet.
  • If you want to add color to your embossing, use permanent markers or certain paints, such as window paint.


  • The cut edges of a metal embossing sheet can be sharp. Take care when handling to avoid cutting your hands.

Things You'll Need

  • Metal sheet
  • Metal stylus
  • Metal embossing tool
  • Rubber mat
  • Scissors
  • Tape

Article Info

Categories: Metalwork and Wire Projects | Cleaning Metals