I’m new to the whole foiling technique thing. I know others have jumped on the foil bandwagon and I’m late in the game. If you don’t know what foiling looks like, it’s that gold, silver, and other metallics added to lettering or art that makes it pop and shine. Being a new kid on the block, I decided I wanted to learn this technique. I thought it would be a great way to add another skill to my growing list of “things Elle knows how to do”. (Btw, this took me less than 20 minutes and is super addicting.)
I watched a few videos and read a few blogs–simple enough. Foil, check. Laser printer, check. Paper, check. Laminator, check. Easy peasy? Well not quite.
The Foiling Technique Process
- Deco Foil or Gina K Designs Fancy Foils (I used this one)
- Laminating machine (I have this one, but you can use any model)
- Design – hand lettering quote or simple graphics
- Paper (Recommended paper choice from other tutorials was heavy cardstock. I don’t recommend. I’ll get to this later.)
- Laser Printer or a laser copy from a print shop
Directions for Foiling Artwork
These are the steps I followed:
1) Design something in Illustrator (or another program) that you want to add a touch of metallics or gold to or grab the free Girl Power Design from this blog.
2) Heat up your laminator while you wait.
3) Print out your design on cardstock paper & apply foil with metallic side up to your design. You simply lay it over the graphic or lettering.
4) Put your design with foil over it & another piece of paper on top through your heated laminator machine. Wait a little bit for it to cool.
5) Peel the foil back and wala! A perfectly metallic piece of art.
Um, nope. While it came out foiled, a lot of it was chipping off and not adhering to my paper. I searched online for answers. The only thing I could see was mishaps with using a regular printer instead of a laser or trying to use an iron instead of a laminator. I followed all the steps to a T and nothing. I thought maybe I’d just invest in a new laminator seeing as most tutorials were using cheaper models than I had and mine probably had dust in the rollers or something. I tried it a few more times with different designs and still had awful results.
Then I thought to myself, “Hmm…I wonder if my paper is the problem”. So I ran to Target and picked up some smooth paper. The weight of this particular paper was 28 lbs and was super smooth. Ultimately, I really wanted glossy cardstock paper, but I thought I’d try this first. It’s not thick like photo paper, but OK. Let’s roll with it. (Actually it looked a lot like regular printer paper, but with one significant difference–it was ultra smooth). So I ran through the process again and this time it worked! I’m stunned by the difference paper can make.
Tips for Foiling
- Use smooth paper. If you can get your hands on high gloss paper like this one, it might be better, although I have not tried this.
- If you think it did not adhere the first time through the laminator, run it through twice. But do not touch the foil or move it or it will cause problems.
- When applying the foil, try to not to touch the back side so much as oils from your hands can also cause it to not adhere properly.
- Use a thin sheet of regular printer paper to put over your design. Cardstock is probably too heavy.
- The foil only sticks to toner, so other printers will not work for this method. If you do not have a laser printer, you can get laser copies at any print shop or store.
- Use this method on cards, art prints, bookmarks and more! Once you get it down, it’s really quite easy to add a simple touch of metallics to any of your pieces.
Here’s a short video I did of how to create foil prints for you visual learners.
If you like these metallic quotes, I’m starting to offer them in my shop. I’ll be posting more soon and I also do custom orders!
Have you tried foiling? If so, let me know how it went!