Need HELP with the BetterPress? | Press Plate Techniques + Video Tutorial

by Therese Calvird

Hi, it's Therese, and I am back with another edition of Take 2 with Therese! Today, I'm sharing two beautiful and very different cards with press plate techniques and tips, alongside Altenew's Rustling Leaves Press Plates.

Not sure what ‘press plates' are?  These are the plates/images used with the BetterPress system, and the results are divine!  These images work almost like a stamp, it's as simple as adding ink to the image attaching the cardstock to the ‘platen' (the clear plastic plate), snapping it onto the corner magnets, and running it through a die cutting machine.  

Why BetterPress? If you love intricate designs and the ‘letterpress' look, then this machine is for you.  There is actually an impression made with the ink when the image is pressed into the cardstock, and stamped images struggle to get the crisp, fine lines that you can achieve with this system.

How to Get The BEST Results with These BetterPress Press Plate Techniques!

Do you want to see today's card examples?

@altenew_ 5 Press Plate Techniques and Tips to Create Gorgeous Cards!

The BetterPress truly is an easy device to use, but today I am going to share 5 tips & techniques to ensure that you get GREAT results as well as achieve MORE with your machine.

Both of today's cards were made using the beautiful Rustling Leaves Press Plates, but these press plate techniques could easily be stretched to any other press plates you have available. 

Tip #1 – Cardstock

For the absolute best results, use the Cotton Card Panels that have been created specifically to be used with this system. They are the perfect thickness and texture to create a beautiful Letterpress impression every time.  And, if you like to ink blend or watercolor, then you will love these panels! 


Try what you have on hand.  I have also successfully used Altenew's Watercolor Cardstock with a very similar impressed result (see the second card below).  But, did you know that you can also use regular cardstock too?

@altenew_ 5 Press Plate Techniques and Tips to Create Gorgeous Cards!

These leaves were pressed onto a Rubelllite card panel.  And even though there is no ‘impression' in the cardstock the image is stamped crisp and clear. 

Don't be afraid to try what you have, watercolor cardstock, colored cardstock, or even ink-blended cardstock.

@altenew_ 5 Press Plate Techniques and Tips to Create Gorgeous Cards!

Tip #2 – Ink

The BetterPress Ink is specially formulated to be slow drying and give even coverage when using the Press Plates, with crisp, clear pressed results.

Obviously, this would be the ink of choice for the best results, but did you know that you can use other inks with this system?  In fact, for this card design, I used Obsidian Pigment Ink (which is also slow drying), but I have also had good success using the Fresh Dye Inks with the BetterPress

I would suggest trying what inks you have and keeping a note of the results for future reference.

@altenew_ 5 Press Plate Techniques and Tips to Create Gorgeous Cards!

Tip #3 – Arrangement

It may sound funny but a little bit of pre-planning can go a long way when arranging your design with the press plates on the chase (magnetic platform). 

Remember that the image will be in ‘reverse' on the cardstock.  Use the grid lines on the chase (platform) and the registration marks on the platen (clear plate) to help align your image correctly.  And, if you are not sure,  why not try a test run on a scrap piece of cardstock first.


Double up the image?  Create a quick background by flipping the clear plate and impressing the image a second time on the opposite corner of the cardstock panel.

@altenew_ 5 Press Plate Techniques and Tips to Create Gorgeous Cards!

Tip #4 – Attaching the Card

Use the registration marks on the platen to ensure that the cardstock is attached exactly where it needs to be.  Then use a small amount of low tack tape to adhere the cardstock panel to the plate. 

The tape can be added over each corner but I prefer adding it directly to the ‘back' of the panel by rolling a small piece of tape over and adhering it on each corner.  This helps decrease the chance of tearing the paper when removing the tape after creating the impression.

@altenew_ 5 Press Plate Techniques and Tips to Create Gorgeous Cards!

Tip #5 – Applying Ink

Once your image is correctly placed on the platform, apply the ink by ‘tapping' the ink pad to the press plates as you would on any stamp.  Ink pads should be juicy and I use a slightly heavier application than I would for a photopolymer stamp.

Also, ensure that the whole image is covered with ink, as a second pass of the image through the die cutting machine may not be successful.

Then, it's as simple as snapping the clear plate onto the magnets and rolling the BetterPress once through a compatible manual die-cutting machine. 

Be careful not to accidentally press down on the clear plate when adding and removing the BetterPress through the die-cutting machine.


Did you know that press plates can also be used in hot foil systems, can you imagine these gorgeous Rustling Leaves in gold foil…? Maybe I need to try that next!  

@altenew_ 5 Press Plate Techniques and Tips to Create Gorgeous Cards!

Today's cards focus on achieving the best results using the BetterPress system, but also on how beautiful and easy it is to use the images with some simple ink-blending techniques!

Watch the video below:

I hope you are inspired to get the ‘letterpress' look using the BetterPress system! Let me know in the comments below if you are going to try any of these press plate techniques and tips.

Have fun crafting!

Other Supplies:
Cherry Blossom Gradient Cardstock – Rubellite

~ Supply List ~

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Elvira M.Feldman March 21, 2024 - 5:32 PM

Love this video – presentation was excellent. Easy to follow.

Therese Calvird March 23, 2024 - 6:50 PM

Thank you so much Elvira, I’m glad you enjoyed it!


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