Just recently, I needed to restock on some of my packaging. While browsing patterned paper bags, I came across some favour bags. They were made with embossed paper and were just the kind of thing I would love for my own packaging. They were expensive though for something I use a lot of, so I set about finding out how I could make embossed bags without them costing a fortune.
During my search, I found something I've never come across before, embossing folders. They are a folding sheet of plastic with a raised pattern on one side, and a recessed opposite on the other. The idea is, you put a piece of paper, or whatever you want to emboss in the folder and run it through a machine to imprint the pattern. Perfect! The only problem was, I didn't want to fork out £80 for the embossing machine to try something out! I sat thinking about it for a while and it hit me... I have a pasta machine, that was a roller! I chose the pattern I liked and some plain bags and prayed my posties would be good and deliver everything quickly.
Thankfully they did, and here's how I got on with my idea...
This is the embossing folder. You can see the feather pattern which will be imprinted on the bag. As I said earlier, this is two sheets of plastic with a hinge at the top and the bag is put in between them.
The whole thing is then fed into the pasta machine. It needs to be a tight fit so that the pattern is embossed, but not too tight that it won't roll through.
I discovered on the first attempt, that it was better to clamp the machine right on the front edge of the table. If you're using a long folder, it will hit the base of the pasta machine, so you need to gently bend it out so that the whole thing will pass through. Putting it right at the edge means it won't hit the table when you bend it.
Once through, you can open up the folder.
And here are the finished bags. I'm really pleased with how they turned out!
The bags are slightly transparent, so you can see the tissue paper I've wrapped the beads in which I think is a nice effect. They are finished off with a handmade sticker and they're ready to go!
I hope you've enjoyed following along with my experiments, and I'd love to see some pictures if you have a go yourself!