Like most people we can easily get distracted by the cool new scrapbook or craft tool on the street. We call these “shiny objects” because they catch your eye and then it is hard to think about anything else. The Fuse Tool by We R Memory Keepers seems to be the latest shiny objects and video tutorials are being added daily on YouTube.
Because it is a pretty affordable tool, retailing at around $30, and it seemed to resolve some of the issues that I have had when doing pocket pages in my scrapbooks I opted to give it a try. I worked with it on two different projects where I was having issues with items staying put. The tool itself comes packaged with a fuse tip and a tip for cutting pockets. There is also a ruler with a guide included with the tool. It does not come with a surface that is heat resistant so I purchased the glass mat that We R Memory Keepers puts out because I thought I would like it for other projects. This isn’t necessary as I’ve seen others use items like a cookie sheet to protect their work surface. One thing I thought it could have also come with is a case since the tips are small and could easily be lost.
The first project that I used the Fuse Tool on is a Project Life page from 2014. I used Becky Higgins Design G because I liked mixing both vertical and horizontal photos. It ended up being more awkward and harder to get my photos and cards in and out than I thought. In the process I ended up ripping the corner between the 3×4 card and vertical photo next to each other at the top because the opening is to the side rather than the top. Also, I found that these two were floating around more than I liked because there was no separation between.
This type of issue seemed like the perfect application for the Fuse Tool. I used the tool to create a barrier between the horizontal photos and the items next to them which prevented them from floating around. I did have a little trouble at first getting the right angle to make sure I got a consistent line but I think this just takes some practice. For me, I found that it works best when I’m pushing the tool away from my body rather then trying to pull it towards me. I was able to go back over the line to make sure I got the entire area fused. I also used the tool to seal up the tear that I created. It isn’t super pretty (which isn’t the fault of the Fuse) but it did solve the problem and I know that my items will not be falling out any time soon.
The second project I used the Fuse Tool on was part of my son’s school album. I do not treat these as true scrapbooks but use them as a place to store photos, momentos and school work that represents how they’ve grown over the year or their personalities. Typically I use Becky Higgins 8.5 x 11 2-up photo page protectors at the front for photos and small items and then I use 8.5 x 11 full-size page protectors from one of the office stores because I can buy them in a large quantity for less. I took advantage of the Fuse’s abilty to close up pockets to keep smaller items in their place. One page had 4×4 Instagram photos which tend to slip around so I fused them in place and then added patterned paper and some stars which I also fused in place. This worked well although sometimes I needed to free hand the fuse because the ruler just wouldn’t get in close enough due to the dimensional embellishments.
Next I took some small random items that were falling out of the photo pockets and decided to use the Fuse Tool to keep them all in their place. I did accidentally get fuse happy and closed up an area I intended to add something to. This gave me an opportunity to try out the cutting tool. As I mentioned I use the office supply store 8.5 x 11 page protectors and although they are heavy duty they are not quite the same weight as Becky Higgins or We R Memory Keepers protectors. When I tried to cut the slot to add my item it actually cut clear through both sides. I would have tried to keep using it except that I could not pry it apart so I ended up starting over with a new protector. I did try the cutting tool on a Becky Higgins protector and I was able to get through just the first layer and not all the way through. The edge wasn’t super clean but it would work. I was very happy with the page where I used the Fuse Tool from scratch to create the pockets I wanted. I even did a shaker pocket for fun.
Overall I think the Fuse Tool is great at fusing pockets and certainly gives more flexibility to the page protectors we may already have. I also love that I know my items aren’t going to fall out of my album over time. The jury is still out on the cutting function of the tool. I intend to practice more to work on getting only the top layer and getting a cleaner edge.
Do you have a Fuse Tool? What do you think of it and how are you using it? We’d love to hear your thoughts.