As I mentioned on Friday, I got suckered by a half price offer – an offer, apparently, I couldn’t refuse, and even though in my head, I’m walking back the tools, the products, the photos, I bought the We R Memory Keepers Fuse Tool. For those of you who have never seen this product, the fuse tool is like a wood burner but for plastic – the tip melts the plastic, creating a seal, and ta da – your own pockets, shaker cards, and whatever else your heart dreams of in plastic. It comes with this flimsy stand, the cattle prod looking thing, a ruler and two tips – a sealer and a cutter. The cutter apparently seals and cuts at the same time, and I suppose it’s good for cutting out shapes, or pocket tops, but I haven’t had a chance to use it yet.
So, here’s the new guy, all plugged in and ready to go. The instructions say to let it heat up a good ten minutes, so while I waited, I mulled what I was going to make. Because, the truth is, I don’t really need any custom pockets, or shaker cards, or anything else – but I have it, so I’m going to use it.
Because I don’t do any traditional scrapbooking, or cardmarking, or anything for which I’d need a sequin, I don’t really have anything to fill a shaker pocket – hadn’t thought of that. Luckily, I do have this sequin die that I bought a few years ago from Papertrey Ink when I had grandiose dreams of making my own snow globe, shaker card holiday cards. Didn’t happen. So, I finally took the die out of the package, and made some sequins. This die actually fits in the itty bitty machine I talked about on Friday, real name Diamond Press, available only at HSN until June, I think. I also think itty bitty machine is a better name, but what would I know.
Sequins made, I put them in a pocket with some acrylic stars and a camera, probably from a Studio Calico kit that I could never figure out what to do with since I don’t make shaker cards, and voila, a shaker pocket!
As you can see, my seal line isn’t so straight, and it’s a little gloppy. Basically, you run the tool, which has a roller tip, against the ruler. Naturally, I went too fast, and went a little rogue, but it worked – it’s sealed. Unfortunately, once it was done, I didn’t really have any use for it, and I found that one of the other pockets was defective. No matter, I cut it open, and reused the acrylic embellishments.
Not having any need for any shaker pockets in my current PL week, I went back and found this pre-Fuse insert I made for my parent’s 50th Anniversary Party, because I couldn’t just be done with one pocket that I ended up destroying.
Definitely sloppy enough to justify a redo. So, I took a 12 x 12 page, and laid out my candy bar wrapper, and found it was wider than the invitation. So, I made little pockets on each side to fill with sequins. Oh yeah, I don’t have any sequins, so I again endeavored to make my own. This time, I used cards from a frankly crappy Heidi Swapp gold foil filled PL Value Kit, and went to town with my sequin die –
Glad to use that gold foil for something. I’m also a sucker for a Michael’s clearance bin sale.
Yep, so much better than the original, washi tape engineered original insert. As you can see above, I did miss a little spot with the roller tip right above the word anniversary on the chocolate bar wrapper, but after I took the photo I spotted it, and fixed it. One thing I learned is that if you can use the ruler that came with the kit, you should. While it’s short, and doesn’t stretch across a 12 x 12 page, it is heavy, and does a good job of pressing down whatever is inside your pocket, ensuring that you have plastic pressed to plastic – because if there’s even a little air in between, and the pages aren’t touching, you aren’t going to be able to melt them together.
Here’s a closer look at the seal –
And, here it is in the album:
Had I been thinking, instead of just gleefully melting full steam ahead, I would have thought of the other side of the insert. The invitation has a nice pattern on the other side, so that’s ok, but the other side of the candy bar is upside down – I probably would have cut the wrapper, and turned the other side around, but eh, whatever.
Feeling like a super fuse expert, I then went back to April 2014, and made this insert for my niece’s birth announcement:
Now, even though my 2014 album is finished through July, I hadn’t included this back in April because my sister-in-law sent them out probably in June, and I was long done with April. But, I had it saved in a box of stuff anyway, so now seemed like a good time to make an insert – I have a new tool to play with dammit! So, again, I started with a 12 x 12 page protector. I fused along the side of the invite first, cut off the excess, filled the bottom with stuff, and then fused a line across. The first time I made this pocket – yep, first time fail – I made the line way too high – and I thought, no matter, so the top shaker will be narrower, no biggie. But, the problem was that I hadn’t really put enough stuff in the pocket, and it turned out really top heavy. So, I tried to poke a hole in the bottom of the pocket with a craft knife, so that I could shove some more stuff in, but I ripped the whole thing open and had to start again. Oh well.
And, if you’re wondering where I got all of those sequins and baby like die cuts, when I just finished saying I don’t really have anything like that in my stash – well, those little “goodies” came in the birth announcement. And, since I didn’t know they were loose, just shoved in the bottom of the envelope, when I pulled out the announcement – Bam! They went flying in my face, on the hall table, on the floor, everywhere. WHO DOES THAT!!!!! It’s not a party in an envelope – it’s a mess in my foyer! Cardmaking friends – please never do that. It was such a mess. I was finding random sequins in my foyer for months. Shaker cards, cardmaking friends, not loose in the envelope. I know none of you do that, anyway. Because no one would do that, except for . . .
Anyway, after playing with the Fuse for a few hours, here are my thoughts:
- I can see myself using this tool a lot for inserts, and very infrequently for making actually shaker pockets on the Design A page. Since I try to keep up, week to week, I don’t think I want to commit to how the pocket will be used in the next week – what if I NEED that space!
- While I am trying to be more selective with my photos, I will definitely use this tool for making pocket flaps to add more photos, or perhaps to add an interactive element to hide journaling, or something like that.
- As for the tool itself – it’s easy peasy to use – plug it in and it’s ready to go in about 10 minutes. Forget about the stand though, and get yourself a ceramic mug, then you don’t have to worry about it flopping around and burning yourself. And, instead of a glass mat to protect your surface, I have a ceramic tile that I bought at Home Deport for about $5 when I was going through a soldering phase. Works great!
So, if you’re thinking about buying this product – don’t pay full price. I don’t think it’s necessarily worth $30 – I paid $15 plus shipping. Use a Michael’s coupon, or get the bundle at HSN – for $15 over the retail price, you get a ton of stuff – plastic sleeves for waterfall pages, the extra fancy tips, fusible paper! This clearance price is a steal, and I wish I had seen it first. Drat. And, even though I bought the itty bitty machine on HSN (I am a total sucker for the show stopper on Craft Day!), I don’t work for HSN or anything like that – no monetizing on this blog with ye ol’ 11 subscribers. I just think it’s a good deal, and I’m always happy to enable -er share!
And, I guess if I ever get tired of making pockets with it, I could always use it instead of my foodsaver machine. Happy melting everyone!