Hi friends! Today I am back experimenting with alternative ideas for impressing designs into leather. And in this case I’m using an impression die that’s typically used with a hydraulic press and metal.
So first off, please look at my intro post for warnings. This stuff is definitely off the typical usage for these machines,
so if you have a warranty, I probably would advise you not to be doing this. Also, you probably should really know what you’re doing
before you attempt to any of these alternative uses.
In this case, the impression dies are very thick. The Potter press dies that I won come in a variety of depths. The one I chose today
will work in this die cutting machine, which is the Accucut Grande Mark.
I don’t own any impression dies from Potter Press that work in the normal Sizzix Big Shot. There is a bigger Sizzix machine the Big Shot Pro, and that looks similar to the Accucut but since I don’t own one I can’t say for sure whether it will work for this experiment. So if you don’t have an Accucut ( or a steel rule die based die cut machine like the Ellison Superstar or perhaps the Sizzix Big Shot Pro), then you probably can’t do this unless you have dies that are thinner than the thickness of this particular die. But in any event for cutting the leather you can use your Sizzix Big Shot as I do in the video.
In this example I was using a “movers and shakers” die that are just a bunch of circles. Some of these dies are still around, but in general I do not believe they are being manufactured any more. However, you could use a normal steel ruled die and with the VegTan leather I am using (about 3-5 ounces) the sandwich for thick cardstock should work. Again, you should be pretty experienced with sandwiches and cutting heavier material before attempting this experiment 😉 . Movers and Shakers are magnetic and there is/was a magnetic tray that you use in the Big Shot to cut with these dies. So the sandwich that I used here is- the Magnetic tray, the Movers and Shakers die, the leather on top, and then 2 cutting mats. One of the cutting mats I use is the Accucut purple crease pad that I’ve talked about in my
blog posts and in this case I have cut it down. You could use just regular size cutting mats, you don’t have to have the cut down ones and they can also be the regular Sizzix cutting mats.
You can use the mats also one on top, and one on the bottom. I just do two on top because it’s easier. And as I mentioned earlier if you have other steel rule dies in different shapes, you could use those as well. And for those of you super talented folks, you could always cut by hand 😉 .
Now I switch over to the Accucut machine because as I’ve already mentioned, my impression dies will not fit in the Sizzix Big Shot. Some dies might, and
I admit I did not do an exhaustive search, but on first glance I didn’t see any that were thinner (that I wanted to use). Also, I wanted to mention that the design is also somewhat shallow. Super deep, concave designs will be tougher with this method. I am sure if I owned a hydraulic press (some day!!) it would work better!
As I have explained before, once you have your cut piece of leather, before you emboss, you want your leather damp, but not soaking wet. I’ve mentioned in my blog posts before that when you’re working with pattern plates and with these steel rule dies, I want to remind you that these are steel- they will rust.
Make sure that you clean/dry them off. And if it’s one of the super expensive impression dies, you may not even want to give this a shot 😉 .
The sandwich for this experiment is- the impression die, the leather, and then craft foam (just the kind you buy for your kids school
projects, haha) folded up several times into a wad. Since I don’t have the hydraulic press I also don’t own any of the urethane bits etc. but if you do those would probably work as well. I used the craft foam because felt like I needed a little bit of extra cushion to press the leather into the die. And so then I put the craft foam bundle on top over the leather and then covered that with my typical embossing rubber. In this experiment, the cutting mats were too thick to roll it through the machine. Again, this should be a little stiff and tight to roll through, you shouldn’t force it. I decided to use one of the Mylar shims and a bunch of pieces of paper as my “cutting mat”. I put those on top and then I rolled the whole thing through the Accucut Grande Mark machine. I usually roll it back, hopefully not moving anything.
With the extra foam, the leather really presses into the die. I demonstrate one that I did with just the embossing rubber and without the
foam and it is not nearly as detailed.
So anyway, hope you like this idea!
Again, please be very careful when you’re using these dies. Make sure you are experienced with your machine and that you wipe off your impression die as soon as you’re done so that it doesn’t rust!!!!
Here are some samples of using the impression dies with leather. Enjoy!
Red Leather Embossed with Potter Press Impression Die in Accucut Grande Mark 1