How to Gold Emboss on Leather Books

    by Sarah Thomas

    About the Author

    Sarah Thomas has been a freelance writer for more than five years. She has ghostwritten e-books and articles on weddings and other topics. Her work has also been published on various websites. Thomas graduated from Daemen College with a degree in psychology.


    A leather book or journal is a special gift, but you can make it even more special with embossed lettering or motifs. Stamp a name, significant date or an image to indicate the purpose of the book or just to modify its appearance. Professional embossers use heavy machinery, heat and foils to create gold-embossed leather book covers. At home, you can use stamps and mallets to emboss without special and expensive equipment.

    Things You'll Need

    • Leather-covered book
    • Scrap wood
    • Water
    • Sponge
    • Leather stamps (available at leather supply and craft stores)
    • Ruler
    • Mallet
    • Paintbrush
    • Leather dye
    • Leather finishing product

    show more

    Place the scrap wood on the table or surface you are working on so that it can absorb some of the pressure and provide protection. Place the leather book on top of the scrap wood. You can work with the book closed or just open the cover if the book is flexible.

    Dampen the sponge with water and wipe the surface of the leather you wish to emboss. This will clean the leather and make it more malleable so that the embossing is easier to accomplish.

    Assemble the leather stamps and place them onto the leather where you want to create the pattern. Using a ruler can help you space the stamps evenly. Leather stamps are specially made for leather and can be purchased at craft stores or leather supply stores. Stamps made for ink stamping are not strong enough to emboss leather.

    Press the leather stamps into the leather by hitting them gently but firmly with the mallet. Apply even pressure to all areas of the stamp.

    Remove the leather stamps and make sure that the embossing is even. If the embossing is uneven, carefully replace the stamps and continue to put pressure on the leather.

    Paint the embossed areas using gold leather dye and a paintbrush. Use a small paintbrush to stay inside of the lines of finer embossing. Gold leather dye can be purchased at craft stores or leather supply stores.

    Allow the dye to dry according to the manufacturer's directions.

    • When the dye has dried you can apply a leather finish product to keep the leather supple and protected if desired.
    • Work in a well-ventilated room when working with paints and finishes. Protect your hands with gloves.

    Photo Credits