Overcome Your Fear of Press Plates with These Tips & Techniques

Last Updated: June 22, 2024

Do press plates make you break into a cold sweat? Have you always wanted to try them but don't know where to start? If so, you're not alone. Many cardmakers, both seasoned and beginner, find press plates to be an intimidating and mysterious tool.

Simple and elegant handmade card with a watercolor wash background and letterpress design featuring apples with some flowers

In this blog post, we'll not only showcase the new Blossoming Apple Press Plate (and its coordinating products) but also provide you with a wealth of ideas and techniques to help you conquer your fear of press plates. We'll cover everything from choosing complementary supplies to must-try techniques and hot foiling – yes, you read that right, hot foiling! Let’s get started!

What are press plates and how do I use them? 

Let's face it, press plates can be a bit intimidating, especially for those who are just starting out in the cardmaking world. The intricacies of using a press plate may seem daunting at first, but fear not! We're here to demystify the process and show you just how easy and fun it can be.

DIY Valentine's card idea with letterpress blossoming apples, hot foiled and watercolored using Altenew products

Here are some tips and ideas to help you overcome the fear of press plates:

  1. Start with simple designs. Begin with basic press plate designs, such as geometric patterns, nature images, or simple florals. This will help you get comfortable with the tool and the technique without feeling overwhelmed.
  1. Practice, practice, practice. The more you use a press plate, the more confident you'll become. Set aside some time to experiment with different papers, inks, and techniques to find what works best for you.
  1. Watch tutorials. Explore online tutorials and videos that demonstrate the proper use of press plates. Seeing the process in action can be incredibly helpful, especially for visual learners. Read more on 7 Creative Ways To Use Your Altenew Press Plates For Crafting.
  1. Invest in quality tools. Opt for high-quality press plates and tools that are easy to use and produce consistent results. This can make the entire process more enjoyable and less frustrating.
  1. Experiment with different materials. Don't be afraid to try different types of paper and cardstock when using press plates. The versatility of these tools allows for endless creative possibilities.

A collage of handmade cards with letterpress designs featuring an apple on a branch with some blossoms

  1. Mix and match. Combine press plate techniques with other cardmaking methods, such as stamping, die-cutting, hot foiling, or embossing, to create truly unique and personalized designs.
  1. Start with a small press plate. If a full-size press plate seems overwhelming, consider starting with a smaller, more manageable size. This can help you build confidence and experience before moving on to larger plates.

Remember, the key to mastering press plates is to approach them with an open mind and a willingness to experiment. Embrace the learning process, and don't be afraid to make mistakes – that's how you'll discover your own unique style and technique.

How to fix hot foiling common mistakes and learn how to hot foil with press plates in this video tutorial

Struggling to Add Texture and Shine? Elevate Your Cards with the Altenew Blossoming Apple Press Plate!

Enter the star of our show – the Altenew Blossoming Apple Press Plate! This nifty little tool is not your average press plate. It’s available as a 3-in-1 set, including a press plate, die, and simple coloring stencil, making it a versatile and user-friendly option for all your cardmaking needs.

Handmade card made with Altenew's Blossoming Apple Press Plate, Die Set and Stencil Set

The press plate is the main attraction – it's what creates those stunning textured backgrounds with just a simple pass through your die-cutting machine. The die allows you to cut out the apple blossom design and some of the sentiments in the press plate, while the stencil gives you the option to add color and dimension to your projects.

The beauty of the 3-in-1 set is that everything is perfectly coordinated, taking the guesswork out of creating beautifully layered and textured cards. No more fumbling around trying to find coordinating or complementing dies or stencils – it's all right there in one convenient package.


For beginners, this set is a game-changer. It takes the complexity out of creating visually stunning handmade cards and allows you to focus on the creative process without getting bogged down by technicalities.

How Versatile Is the Blossoming Apple Press Plate 3-in-1 Set?

A close-up shot of a handmade Valentine's Day card with a hot foiled and letterpress design featuring apples and flowers, watercolored with Altenew watercolor tube

You can hot foil with the press plate!

One of the most exciting features of the Blossoming Apple Press Plate (or any Altenew press plate!) is you can hot foil with it. The added texture and shine that hot foiling brings can truly elevate your handmade card designs.

  • Hot foiling creates a luxurious and eye-catching effect that adds depth and dimension to your projects. It's like adding a sprinkling of fairy dust to your handmade cards – pure magic!
  • Imagine delicate apple blossoms shimmering in gold or silver foil, creating a mesmerizing focal point on your cards. The possibilities are endless, and the results are nothing short of spectacular.
Simple but beautiful handmade card idea with Altenew's Blossoming Apple Press Plate, Die Set and Stencil Set, with a debossed background

Die-cut, watercolor, ink blend, and MORE!

But wait, there's more! The versatility of the Blossoming Apple Press Plate doesn't stop at hot foiling. You can also explore various coloring techniques using the coordinating stencil set, allowing you to add vibrant hues and shading to your apple blossom designs.

DIY Valentine's Day card idea with stenciled apples and blooms, made with Altenew Blossoming Apples Set
1. Coloring techniques with the coordinating stencil set

Whether you prefer alcohol markers, watercolors, or coloring pencils, or want to experiment with ink blending and stenciling techniques, the coordinating stencil opens up a world of creative possibilities.

Simple handmade card idea with a rustic burlap letterpress design
2. Mixing and matching with other Altenew products

The beauty of Altenew products is their seamless compatibility with each other. Mix and match the Blossoming Apple Press Plate with other stamps, dies, stencils, and 3D embossing folders from Altenew's extensive collection to create unique and personalized designs that reflect your individual style. Here are our designers’ top picks:

Beautiful handmade card idea with the word 'hugs' and floral design made with Altenew's Himalayan Mayapple Stamp SetClean and simple DIY greeting card with a 3D embossed wicker pattern and a rustic rose design, made with Altenew's Natural Wicker Pattern 3D Embossing Folder

Find Out How to Create Gorgeous and Intriguing Designs with Letterpress Plates.

Coordinating Sentiments: Expressing Love and Joy

What's a beautifully crafted card without a heartfelt sentiment to go along with it? The Blossoming Apple 3-in-1 set comes complete with a selection of sentiments that express love, joy, and warmth – perfect for a wide range of occasions and recipients.

Cute and sweet handmade greeting card with apples and flowers, popped up on a 3D embossed wicker pattern background

Whether you're creating a handmade birthday card for a dear friend, sending well wishes to a family member, or expressing gratitude to someone special, these sentiments provide the perfect words to convey your emotions and make your cards truly memorable.

From romantic handmade anniversary cards to cheerful thank-you notes, the included sentiments cover a spectrum of emotions and occasions, making them an essential addition to your cardmaking toolkit.

Simplify Your Cardmaking Projects With This Unique 3-in-1 Set!

The Altenew Blossoming Apple Press Plate, Die, and Stencil Set offer a hassle-free and versatile solution for creating stunning textured backgrounds, adding shimmering hot foil accents, and expressing heartfelt sentiments on your handmade cards. It's an all-in-one package that takes the guesswork out of cardmaking and allows you to focus on what truly matters – unleashing your creativity.

If you've been hesitant to dip your toes into the world of press plates, now is the perfect time to take the plunge! The Blossoming Apple 3-in-1 set is designed with beginners in mind, making it an ideal starting point for anyone looking to explore the endless possibilities of cardmaking. 

Whether you're crafting cards for loved ones or simply indulging in some therapeutic me-time, let this versatile tool be your companion on your creative journey. 

Visit us In the Craft Room for more card making ideas, tips, and tricks!

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