A Glossary of Cardmaking Techniques

Please let us know in the comments if you would like us to add additional terms that we have missed of this glossary of cardmaking techniques. Our intention is that this glossary will grow and grow to cover all aspects of papercrafting techniques.

If you have created a tutorial on CraftWorld that you would like us to link to please let us know!

Die Cutting

Die cutting is a broad term, but in papercrafting it means that you use a machine to enable you to create cut out shapes and designs without needing to use a knife or scissors. There are millions of dies available and they can be used over and over again. The dies are usually made of metal with a raised sharp area for cutting or partially cutting through paper and cardstock when placed under pressure by the dire-cutting machine.

>Top die-cutting tips for beginners
> Intricate die-cutting tips
> Partial die-cutting technique
> Spotlight die-cutting
> Die-cutting sentiments

Digital Die-cutting

The results of manually die-cutting using a machine with a crank can be recreated using computer software and a digital die-cutting machine. The machine has a blade and works similar to a printer following insstructions of where to cut the card or paper. You can create and resize your own bespoke designs so that you don't have to rely on buying a die.

> Brother Scan n Cut


To embellish a card simply means to add items to the card to improve the design, examples of embellishments would be small paper flowers, sequins or coloured gems placed in a way to accent and enhance the over all design of the card.

Create DIY Embellishments with stamps


Embossing is the practice of creating a raised design or text on the surface of your card, paper or other materials you may be using in your papercrafting. Embossing adds a subtle finish to your papercrafting, giving it extra dimension and interest. It can be left plain or enhanced with colour to really bring out the design. You can achieve an embossed effect using readily available craft products on the surface or with dry embossing using pressure to create the raised effect.

>The Complete Guide to Embossing techniques


Foiling is where you add a metallic finish to the design of your card using foil sheets, heat and pressure. You can use special attachements for digital die-cutting machines, foiling pens or machines specifically designed for hot foiling.

> WRMK Foiling Quill

Fussy Cutting

Fussy Cutting means cutting out a design from patterned paper or cutting out a stamped image. The term originated from quilters who chose specific patterned areas of fabric to highlight on quilts. Using the term is often a way of distinguishing between die-cutting using a machine or cutting by hand.

Fussy Cutting Tips

Heat Embossing

Heat embossing involves stamps or embossing pens, embossing ink, embossing powder and a heat gun to melt the powder and create a raised design.

The complete guide to Embossing Techniques

Ink Blending

Ink Blending is when you combine different coloured inks with any kind of blending tool with the intention of creating a seamless change from one colour to the next. There are various types of inks available for with this technique including stamp inks, Distress Oxides, or Distress Inks.

>A Complete guide to Ink Blending

Matting & Layering

Matting and layering is the process of adding additional dimension to a card as a background for a stamped image, die cut or embellishment. With each layer or matt you create the effect of a step which helps to focus the eye on the main elements of the card. Mats are the sheets of card which dimish in size as you layer them on top of each other.

> How to unstick mats and layers

Paper Piecing

Paper piecing is using small scraps of card or paper to 'colour' a stamped image. It can create a very effective result, giving added dimension to the stamped image.


Using a paper punch you can create multiple shapes such as flowers, circles, gift tags. The punch has a sharp cutting blade that is pushed down through the paper or card and then released to create the shape. They can be quite intricate designs.


Stamping in papercrafting is where you use any stamp which has a raised design and cover it with ink so that only the raised are is imprinted when you push it down onto your card or paper. Stamps are usually made of rubber or clear polymer. There are many stamp designs available to crafters as well as many different types of inks to use.

> Ghost Stamping Tutorial


Stencilling is where you add ink or other medium such as a textured paste over a stencil so that when the stencil is removed you are left with a pattern or design where the gaps in the stencil allowed the ink to come into contact with the paper or card.

> How to stencil with guilding flakes