How to Emboss With Cricut Expressions

In addition to paper crafting, the Cricut Expression allows the opportunity to manipulate its abilities in a variety of ways, including embossing. By making a few changes to the machine and your materials, you have the ability to emboss a variety of surfaces.

Things You'll Need

  • Cricut Expression machine

  • 12x12 Cricut cutting mat

  • 8.5x11 foam sheet

  • 8.5x11 metal paper sheet

  • Cricut cartridge

Prepare your Machine

Step 1

Open the front panel so that the inside of the Cricut Expressions machine is exposed. Make sure the power is turned off and the machine is unplugged.

Step 2

With the front panel open, you will find various components, including the blade assembly, located on the right-hand side. This is the part of the machine that moves while cutting your character, and allows for the replacement blades when they become dull. After locating the blade housing, turn the silver screw counter-clockwise until the black blade cradle opens. With the cradle open, remove the blade assembly.

Step 3

With the blade assembly in hand, press down on the top button to allow the blade to drop out of the assembly. Turn the blade upside down so that the blade is pointing up and the dull, rounded edge is pointing down. Press down the top button again and insert the blade, blade side up, into the assembly. Release the button. The blade should be gently drawn up into the assembly. Re-install the assembly into the black cradle the same way it was removed.

Step 4

Plug in the machine and place it on an open, flat surface, such as a table or counter top. Open the front panel of the machine and press the "On" button.

Preparing Your Cricut Cutting Mat

Step 1

Remove the clear plastic cover on the 12x12 Cricut Cutting Mat. This will expose the adhesive on the mat.

Step 2

Align the top right corner of the 8.5-by-11-inch foam sheet with the top right corner of the cutting mat. Place the foam sheet gently on the adhesive mat, smoothing the surface to prevent any air pockets.

Step 3

Some metal sheets come with adhesive on the back. If your sheet has adhesive, remove its covering and align on top of the foam sheet you have placed on the cutting mat. If your metal sheet does not have adhesive on the back, use removable double-stick tape on the back of the sheet and on top of the foam sheet. It is important to have the sheet adequately stuck to the foam, to prevent the foam from moving around while the Cricut Machine embosses its surface.

Step 4

Align your prepared Cricut Mat on the rollers adjacent to the feeder slot and press the large, round "load" button on the console of the machine. Your machine will gently roll the Cricut Mat into position for embossing.

Embossing with your Cricut

Step 1

Insert a cartridge into the cartridge slot, on the right-hand side of the machine. You will see the slot contains matching grooves to the cartridge, making it easy to evaluate which side will face you and which side will face the machine. Place the matching keypad overlay on the blank keypad area on the console of the machine.

Step 2

Select the image you would like to emboss. Press it down, so that it is illuminated when you remove your finger. Select the size you would like to use for the embossed character by rolling the size dial on the right-hand size of the machine. Your size and character selection will show up on the screen on the left hand side of the machine. Press the large, round "cut" button to start the embossing process.

Step 3

Upon completion, press the "unload" button for the machine to release the Cricut Mat. Remove your metal sheet, and any adhesive you added. Remove the foam sheet from your mat and re-cover its adhesive with the clear plastic sheet you previously removed. This will ensure the Cricut Mat remains adhesive for a longer time.


Using the "Shadow" feature on most Cricut Cartridges, you can get creative with layering your embossed characters.


The Cricut Blade Assembly contains an extremely sharp blade. Take extra caution when handling the blade.

References & Resources