One of the most important things to keep in mind when it comes to successful leather embossing is choosing the right materials, starting with soft leather. As the name suggests, soft leather is relatively pliable and is a great choice for leather embossing. In addition, you will need a template with the design that you have chosen to use. If you are still a beginning embosser, be sure to avoid choosing a design that is too challenging.
Another important tip to remember when performing leather embossing is the importance of keeping the leather moist. One of the easiest ways to do this is by placing several clean rags in a bowl that has been filled with warm water. Allow the rags to soak for a substantial period of time, remove them from the bowl, and wring out the excess water. Carefully place your damp rags on top of the leather. Once you are ready to begin leather embossing, remove the rags from the piece of leather and wipe away the excess water.
Setting up your template for use is also important when it comes to achieving success with leather embossing. Start by putting your template on a sturdy piece of wood and nailing it in place. Once the template is secure, place your leather face side down on top of the template. Place a piece of Styrofoam over the leather. Put several sturdy weights on top of the piece of Styrofoam, such as hand weights of even, heavy books.
Next, be sure that you have allowed enough time for the leather to become embossed before removing the Styrofoam and weights. Ideally, it should sit undisturbed for at least seven hours. After this amount of time has passed, carefully and slowly remove both the weights and the Styrofoam from the leather and examine the piece closely. The outline of the template should be clearly pressed into the backside of the leather. If the outline is not clear at this point, you can carefully tap the leather onto the template with a rubber mallet for better results.
Lastly, practice. As with any art form, this is the only way to achieve high success with leather embossing. Don't be afraid to increase the difficulty of the leather embossing templates you are using. After a few attempts, you will become familiar with the tricks of the trade and your skills are likely to improve.