Embossing Leather Debossing with Cardstock Setup

Leather Embossing Series- Debossing with Cardstock

Hi everyone! I am back with a different ideas of trying to impress designs into leather using my Sizzix Big Shot. In this episode I’m going to be playing around with cardstock.

For this experiment you will need a piece of leather, your Big Shot and some paper (cardstock in this case because it’s a bit thicker) cutouts that you can stack. I’ve cut mine on a digital cutter, but you can cut you cardstock by hand, with a manual die cut machine, or even a punch. I use a 3 layers here, but in the future there will be a post on using different thicknesses and how that will work with leather.

You should check out my introductory post if you haven’t already. It’s long, but I talk about how to prepare the leather as well as other tips and warnings for using your die cut machines with leather. These machines can be broken if you don’t know what you are doing so please be careful! I will also keep that post updated with useful information as I go along.

I spritz the leather with water using a spray bottle. The first time you can see the water soak in immediately, then I spritz it again and takes a little bit longer and by the third time it doesn’t soak in very fast at all. It kind of sits on the surface a little bit, and that’s just about where you want it. You don’t want it soaking wet.

I glued the 3 layers of cardstock together but I didn’t take the time to poke out all the little teeny tiny details. This was a test case and I didn’t want to bother with that.
Once they are glued you want to look at both sides and see which side has less disruptions like rips etc. Cardstock, for me at least, is much harder to cut on a digital cutter and have it come off the cutting mat cleanly. So I  check to see which side is a little bit cleaner and that’s the side I will place face down on the leather.

I demonstrate how I set up my Sizzix Big Shot for this project. I am using the embossing rubber and the Sizzix embossing mat. This is different from my initial post where I used Accucut mats. Here I am using a cut piece of leather not a premade bracelet, so I don’t need to worry about snaps etc. I set up the Sizzix platform with the tabs open- both tabs are flipped over to the other side- so I’m just using the base platform. I put the embossing rubber on the bottom. This is different from what I usually do, but for leather and paper cutouts it seems to work fine. I still keep an eye towards avoiding ridges from the embossing mat itself.

The whole die cut(s) need to be situated on the leather and also situated over the embossing rubber. The mat covers the whole sandwich and then I use a couple of paper shims and see how that works. If there’s not enough give there, that is, if it’s too easy to roll through then you need more shims. Sometimes you get to the point that you are using so many shims, that you might need to flip one or more of the Sizzix platform tabs over, which is ultimately what I decided in this test case. One tab was the right call although I still needed a couple of paper shims.

I tend to roll it back and forth, but you don’t necessarily need to do that. I do it mostly for the camera’s sake and when I am working normally it depends on my whims on that day 😉 .

I was left with a ridge by the platform. I could have tried placing the piece of leather diagonally across the platform so that the whole piece was covered by the embossing mat. In the future that is what I will try. However, the paper cutouts left a beautiful impression into the leather! This is a debossed look. In the future we will discuss the embossed look and also how to color these pieces of leather.

For the most part in these experiments I am using pieces of leather that are long and thin, cut that way for bracelets. Or indeed I use premade bracelets. However, you
can also use smaller pieces for pendants or earrings. I typically cut my leather pieces on my Accucut, but I have occasionally cut it with Bigz dies from Sizzix. I can’t imagine
that the etched dies will cut leather unless it is super thin. FWIW I am using about 4mm leather.

Here is the results of the paper debossing:

Embossing Leather Debossing with Cardstock Results 1
Embossing Leather Debossing with Cardstock Results 1


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