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The beginner’s guide to foiling

Crafter's Companion – 10/10/19

Foiling is one of the slightly more modern crafting techniques that we love talking about at Crafter’s Companion. It’s a craft that has dominated the Pinterest world and allows people to add a touch of luxury into their projects. However, it’s one of the things that we get a ton of questions about on social media and through customer services.

Inspired by this, we thought that it was about time we put together a beginner’s guide to foiling, which is designed to answer any questions that you might have, so it’s ideal for foiling fans or newbies to the technique. Take a read and see if you can learn something new!

What is foiling?

Let’s start right at the beginning with a bit of an explanation about foiling really is. It’s quite easy to look at a card and think ‘yep, that’s been foiled,’ but what is the actual definition?

Hot foiling is a technique that uses heat and pressure to add metallic designs to materials, which is what we’ll mainly be discussing in this post. However, you can also apply foil through transfers, which is a simple technique, but it doesn’t give the same effects as hot foiling. With hot foiling, you’re guaranteed a opulent and luxurious finish, which brings a professional look to a complete project.

What tools are available for foiling?

As part of our Gemini family, we have a fantastic hot foiling machine, the Gemini FOILPRESS. This machine has been designed to work exclusively with the Gemini brand die-cutting and embossing machines and it comes with a Foiling Platform that has been perfectly sized to fit in the Gemini Junior.

The Gemini FOILPRESS is extremely simple to use, and each machine comes with a set of easy-to-use instructions, so it can be used by anyone! It is the only foiling machine to have a temperature control feature where the temperature you select is determined by the material you wish to foil. There’s also an LCD timer which counts down the time in both minutes and seconds, and an indicator light on the display shows red or green to indicate when the FOILPRESS is ready to use. It heats up quickly, meaning that you can start foiling almost immediately!

For creating the beautiful images or sentiments that you desire, we stock two kinds of tools:

Foil Stamp Dies – these are dies that do not cut through your chosen material. Instead, they cut through the foil and apply the design to your material with heat and pressure, resulting in a lovely debossed effect
Foil Stamp ‘n’ Cut Dies – these sets include a Foil Stamp Die to get that gorgeous design on to your material, as well as a cutting die to turn the design into an individual embellishment

Take a look at the images below for a bit of a visual explanation!

What about foils?

We’ve got a HUGE selection of foils on our site in a variety of colours and effects. Plus, there’s two varieties – papercraft, which is ideal for using with paper and card, and multi-surface, which is better for multi media crafting.

Each reel of foil has been designed specifically to work with the FOILPRESS, but you can also pair them up with other leading hot foiling machines if you have one!

What material can you foil on to?

While we love the effect of foiling on to card or paper, there are actually so many other materials that you can add metallic designs to, such as:

Vellum
Acetate
Faux leather
Fabric
Glitter card
Polythene
Vinyl
Candles

The list just goes on and on, so this is a seriously versatile technique that’s a little bit addictive. Once you’ve foiled one project, you’ll be adding metallic fun to everything! Try it out on cards, homemade bookmarks, tote bags, gift boxes, sweetie bags and anything else that takes your fancy!

What is the basic Foil Stamp Die method?

As we mentioned, Foil Stamp Dies are a tool that you can use to add a debossed, metallic design to a variety of materials, so take a look at this step-by-step to learn how to use them!

  1. Follow the FOILPRESS instructions to heat your machine according to the material that you’re using
  2. Pop the Foil Stamp Die on to the heated platform with the cut side facing up and allow it to warm through
  3. Trim your chosen foil to size and when the green light shows, place the foil coloured side down on top of the die
  4. Place your chosen material face down on top of the foil and place the top plate on top
  5. Using the Silicone Finger Grips, remove the Foiling Platform with the top plate from the base and roll it through the Gemini or Gemini Junior Die-Cutting Machine
  6. Once the platform has been rolled through, carefully remove the material and peel back the foil to reveal your beautiful design


For Foil Stamp ‘n’ Cut Dies, follow these same steps, but once your design has been foiled, use the extra die to cut the element out. You can use our sandwich menu to decide which die-cutting sandwich would be best for you!

Don’t forget the negatives

With hot foiling, your design is cut from the foil, which leaves behind a negative space. Most of the time, these can just be thrown away, but in foiling, the negatives create a really special effect! Just take a look at the cracker above – on each end, you can see the beautiful foiled stars, but in the centre, the negatives have been used to create contrasting bands! How gorgeous does it look?

These negatives can be stuck down on to almost any material and look so brilliant when set beside the original foiled design. They just add a bit more character and depth, so make sure you experiment with them!

We hope that this handy beginner’s guide has helped you out in some way, whether you’re totally new to foiling or a bit of a pro, and we can’t wait to see how you put your FOILPRESS to good use! Make sure you show us by sharing your photos on FacebookTwitter or Instagram using the hashtag #crafterscompanion.