A few weeks ago I was admiring these leather coasters online in the Ace Hotel shop. And then the next week I learned about the Fiskars Fuse die cut + letterpress machine and instantly knew I wanted to try making some. (PS: Want your own Fiskars Fuse? Scroll to the end!)
I know there are other die cut machines on the market, but I’ve actually never tried any of them. With the Fuse, you buy the designs you want to use, and a standard design set comes with one die shape and two letterpress plates.
You can cut, blind emboss, letterpress in any combination, and the instructions are easy to follow. Here I’m lining up the leather to cut the circle shape for a coaster.
Basically you make a sandwich – base plate, leather (or paper, fabric, etc) and then the top plate.
And then you feed it through the Fuse machine. Dude, this machine is hardcore. It is HEAVY and the rollers are clearly solid kryptonite. Or steel, whatever. Heavy duty, for sure.
Turn the handle to feed the sandwich through. Because I was using super thick vegetable tanned leather (which is ideal for tooling) it was hard, but I got it to work.
It came out with an amazingly perfect cut.
The Fuse is designed so that you can cut and imprint a design in a single pass, but because of the extreme thickness of the leather I chose, I had to do it in two steps. It was worth it. After cutting the circles out I inked the button design with some gold ink.
And here’s the kind of crazy part. To keep everything lined up I taped the leather circle I had cut out to the plastic design plate. This is totally not necessary if you are using the Fuse as designed, but with this heavy leather it was because I had to substitute the base plate with a DIY version to get it to fit through the machine. I found a book (Anna Quindlen’s On Being Perfect, in case you’re curious) and used it instead of the base plate. It was just a teeny, tiny bit thinner than the Fuse base plate- enough to allow it to pass through the machine but not too thin because I still wanted a nice, deep imprint in the leather.
Here it is going through the machine. Again, if you’re using anything besides the thickest leather you can buy, this crazy substitution is not necessary. But it works!
After the imprinted coaster came out I added a little extra gold to the design by brushing the edges with the same gold ink.
Here’s the finished product. I love the juxtaposition of the masculine simple leather coaster with the button design. So fun!
Now for the fun part – you can win your very own Fiskars Fuse Creativity System! To enter, just follow the rules below + we’ll choose the winner at random next Friday. Good luck!
3. Fill out the form below!
The boring but important stuff: This contest is only open to residents of US and Canada who are at least 18 years of age. You may only enter once and all entries must be submitted by 11:59pm central time on Friday March 1st. The winner will be selected and random and contacted via email. We respect your privacy and will never sell your contact information. Void where prohibited by law.