do it yourself: foil embossing

Get creative with leftover cardboard, foil, yarn and a sharpie, and learn how to emboss at home with your kids! Embossing is the process of creating raised images and designs in paper and other materials. In this DIY, we use a drawing technique called Zentangle, in which you draw relaxing, structured patterns, but you can draw any design you wish to emboss!

guidelines + materials

AGE: 6+

TIME FRAME: 1 hour


  • Cereal or rice box – thin cardboard
  • Aluminum foil
  • Scissors
  • Yarn
  • Sharpie
  • Tape


1. Begin by cutting the cardboard box into a square or rectangle. Then add a few slits to each of the four sides – this will help hold your yarn in place.

2. Cut about 24 inches of yarn, which is roughly the length of your arm. Insert end of yarn into one of the cardboard slits and wrap it across the front and back of your square until yarn has been hooked into each slit.

3. Next, cut out the proper amount of foil to cover the front of your cardboard. Place your foil square about an inch from the edge of your yarn. Then using the sharpie draw a square about one inch wider than the box. Wrap foil over and secure with tape.

4. To emboss: use the sharpie to rub the foil to reveal the shapes of the yarn underneath. Draw or decorate on the foil to create a beautiful one-of-a-kind work of art!

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Museum Open Memorial Day 5/27

NCM will be open Memorial Day, Monday, May 27.

Plan your visit!