Book Club activities: How to make tactile cards
July 5, 2017

Living Paintings Touch to See books may be the foundation of our Book Club but they’re not the only reason our club members get together. Book Clubs offer members a chance to find new hobbies or even pick up old ones that may have fallen by the wayside after sight loss.

If you’re a Book Club owner, why not hold a card making session? Julie, our very own Living Paintings expert card maker has some hints and tips for creating beautiful and unique tactile greetings cards using heat and dry embossing techniques.

Thatcham Book Club making tactile cards

Thatcham Book Club making tactile cards

Before your session:

  • Prepare all the hand-cut raised images and embossed letters – it saves a lot of time and helps you to avoid mistakes. Some of the techniques require some support so if you have limited vision it is helpful to ask a sighted people to help with cutting etc.
  • Opt for quality textured card available from your local art and crafts shop.
  • You can hand cut layers into squares or oblongs or if you want to be more adventurous you can trace around shapes such as biscuit cutters, egg cups and such forth.
  • Why not consider using rose oil, lavender and perfumes – this is a lovely way of lifting the senses.


Heat embossing


  • Card or paper
  • Embossing ink pad
  • A rubber stamp
  • Embossing powder
  • Heat gun


Step 1 – Ink the stamp up and stamp the image onto your card.

Step 2 – Sprinkle on some embossing powder so that it sticks onto the ink (glue substance) and shake off the excess.

Julie’s top tip: Place your card onto a sheet of scrap paper.  This will allow you to save all the embossing powder that doesn’t stick to the image.

Step 3 – Use the heat gun to heat up the image.  In a couple of minutes the embossing powder will melt and create a lovely raised image.

Julie’s top tip: Try heating the image from underneath as this will prevent the card from scorching. The gun may get very hot … be careful not to burn yourself.

Hey presto! You have now successfully created your first heat embossed image!


Dry embossing

There are a couple of ways to dry emboss.  You can use a die cutting machine or you can use a light box and embossing pen, the latter will require some sight and is not easy to do but with help it is very effective.


  • Die cutting machine and cutting plates
  • Embossing folder
  • Card or paper


Step 1 – There are many embossing machines on the market.  For beginners I would suggest you invest in something like the ‘Cuttlebug’ as it’s lightweight and easy to use.

Step 2 – Place your card or paper inside your embossing folder

Step 3 – Place your embossing folder in between the die cutter places.  I would suggest trying putting it between the following sandwich – A plate + B plate + embossing folder+ B plate.  See how is goes… you can always experiment.

Julie’s top tip: Try using a small amount of card as a test.  That way you won’t waste anything!

Just run the sandwich through the die cutting machine. When it comes out you will be able to create beautiful projects like this:

One of Julies handmade cards

One of Julies handmade cards

For members who have some sight and work well with a light background they could try using a stencils technique.

For this you will need the following:

  • A light box
  • Embossing tool
  • Stencil
  • Card or paper

Position your stencil on your light box or window.  Then put your card or paper onto top of your stencil.

Julie’s top tip: Try rubbing wax, say a tea light, across the card first.  This will help the embossing tool to glide more easily across the card, reducing the risk of tearing the card.

Julie’s top tip: Try using masking tape to secure the card.  This will stop it from moving about on the stencil, giving you a clearer image.

Take your embossing tool and trace around the stencil.

Go on give it a go! Julie offers a word of warning …… it is very addictive!


If your club decides to try card making, please let us know and share your photos with us – we would love to see them. Plus, your story may help other clubs with their own activity. Either email Julie: or Lisa: or send your story to Living Paintings, Unit 8, Kingsclere Park, Kingsclere, Newbury, Berkshire, RG20 4SW.

I hope you now feel inspired to get creative!

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