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Combining Silhouette and Photo Fuse to Make Custom Shaped Shaker Elements

I'm always looking for ways to combine the power of my Silhouette machines with my other crafting toys.   So a few months ago when American Crafts sent me a Fuse Photo Sleeve tool I was racking my brain on how I could marry these two awesome crafting tools.  Turns out they're awesome together for making all kinds of shaker elements.

Silhouette, Photo Fuse, Silhouette tutorial, custom shaped shaker

First let me introduce you to the Fuse.  The We Are Memory Keepers Photo Fuse Tool is a hand held tool - sort of like a glue gun sans the glue - that heats up. You roll the tip along the special plastic photo sleeves (which are pre-closed on three sides) and the heat melts the two sides of the sleeve together to form a fillable sealed pocket. 
Scrapbookers re-joice: you can make all kinds of custom pockets! Ahem, but what about those of us how are lucky to have their second kid's name in their baby book let alone a full on scrapbook?  Not naming any names here...

Well I've discovered you don't have to be a scrapbooker to have fun with the Fuse tool..and you don't even have to ONLY make photo pockets.  You can actually create custom shapes with the Fuse by first cutting templates with the Silhouette.

Let me explain.

A few months ago I made this cupcake themed pocket letter complete with a sprinkles jar. That's a whole other story blog - so don't even worry about what a pocket letter is right now.  I wanted the jar to contain rhinestones aka sprinkles) so I needed a way to seal them inside, but keep them loose.  Enter Silhouette!

Silhouette, Photo Fuse, Silhouette tutorial, custom shaped shaker

Open up Silhouette Studio and find the shape you want to make your shaker.  This, of course, works with any shape, but I am using a mason jar shape for this example.

Size the design and then cut it on cardstock or chipboard so you can use it as a template.   While you're cutting your template, heat up the Fuse on a heat safe surface.

OPTIONAL: If you want to add vinyl elements to your shaker, cut them on vinyl as you can see I did with glitter silver adhesive vinyl.   Set aside.

Silhouette, Photo Fuse, Silhouette tutorial, custom shaped shaker

Now grab one of the waterfall photo sleeves and fill it with whatever you want inside.  (I've tried other types of plastic and cellophane sleeves and nothing seems to seal as well as the photo sleeves.) You can add rhinestones, sand, little stones, sequins, whatever you want.

To minimize the number of sides you need to fuse closed, move the items into one of the corners and then place the template you cut along that same corner or side as well.   DO NOT place template inside the photo sleeve - leave it on top! This is acting as a stencil of sorts.
Tip: To keep the template in place while you're fusing around it, add a strip of double sided tape to the back so it sticks to the photo sleeve.  (Below right)

Silhouette, Photo Fuse, Silhouette tutorial, custom shaped shakerSilhouette, Photo Fuse, Silhouette tutorial, custom shaped shaker

Use the Fuse now to slowly trace around the edge of the template.  Press pretty hard and move slowly as you move around the edge so the wheel has time to heat and seal as you go. If you have any straight areas, you may want to use the guide that comes with the Fuse tool to ensure you have straight lines.

Silhouette, Photo Fuse, Silhouette tutorial, custom shaped shaker

Here's a quick video to show you exactly how I fused around the template.


You can see I sealed around three of the sides, but not the bottom as the bottom of the bag was already sealed.

Silhouette, Photo Fuse, Silhouette tutorial, custom shaped shaker

Once you've sealed all of the sides that are necessary, move the template out of the way and trim off the excess area around the fused area with scissors.  Be careful not to cut too closely to the sealed area or you could accidentally splice it open.

Silhouette, Photo Fuse, Silhouette tutorial, custom shaped shaker

Finally, use transfer paper to transfer any vinyl pieces onto the now sealed shaker.  Not only does this add to the cuteness factor, it also disguises any fused areas that aren't too pretty.  Again, not naming any names. ;)

Silhouette, Photo Fuse, Silhouette tutorial, custom shaped shakerSilhouette, Photo Fuse, Silhouette tutorial, custom shaped shaker

Silhouette, Photo Fuse, Silhouette tutorial, custom shaped shaker

And that's how you make a custom shaped shaker element using the Silhouette CAMEO or Portrait and the Fuse machine!

Silhouette, Photo Fuse, Silhouette tutorial, custom shaped shaker, Silhouette Cameo

Have fun!

Note: This post may contain affiliate links. By clicking on them and purchasing products through my links, I receive a small commission. That's what helps fund Silhouette School so I can keep buying new Silhouette-related products to show you how to get the most out of your machine!

Thanks for coming to class today at Silhouette School.  If you like what you see, I'd love for you to pin it!
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