Hello! Once again I’m trying to use things that I have kicking around my craft space to make impressions into leather. If you haven’t read my initial post in this leather series, please make sure to do that because I cover a lot of the basics there.
One of the things I had floating around was a polymer plate. They are made from a polymer material that you cover with a transparency printed with a design in black and white and then expose to U.V. light. The material will harden where the design is clear (letting light through) and eventually will wash away in the areas covered by the black ink (protected from the light). So in case you’ve never done anything like this before, the design that is printed on the transparency is the inverse of your original design. Whatever you wish to be left in the polymer and not washed away should be clear and whatever should be cleaned out when washing the polymer after being exposed is printed in black. There are lots of tutorials on the web about making polymer plates (CraftCast has a bunch that are good) so I won’t go into that here. Stamps can be done the same way, but it’s a different materials, so it’s more flexible. I use a stamp maker that is a big version of the version of the ImagePac, and the process is very similar for both Polymer stamps and plates.
The plates are harder. And I thought this would work well when pressing into leather while rolling it through my Sizzix Big Shot. The polymer plate that I was using in this experiment was one I made years ago. I thought it might be too brittle, but it seemed to work.
I cut a circle out of leather using a Sizzix Bigz die. You must use a steel ruled die to cut the leather- the etched thin dies won’t work. You can also cut the leather by hand. I sprAyed the leather with water until it was damp but not soaking wet. I used the Sizzix Big Shot Multipurpose platform and usually I use it with tab 1 down, but the polymer plate was much thicker than other materials I’ve tried, so I ended up using no tabs in this case. I also did not need any shims. In this experiment, I placed Sizzix embossing rubber onto the platform, then the the polymer plate (face up), the leather (face down), and covered that all with the Sizzix embossing mat. As always, this sandwich when rolling through the Big Shot needs to be a little stiff, not too loose, but not where it’s next to impossible to roll.
The polymer plate worked beautifully! It left a nice imprint in the leather! Yay! So if you’ve been following along in this series, and you have a polymer plate kicking around then it just another tool for embossing leather. Enjoy!
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