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The Beginner’s Guide To Hot Foiling

Crafter's Companion – 04/03/22

Foiling is a relatively modern crafting technique that we love here at Crafter’s Companion. It’s a great way to add an opulent touch of shimmering, metallic luxury to your crafts and it’s actually easy to master.

If you have any questions about taking on this impressive and beautiful craft technique, read on and find all the answers to the most commonly asked questions.

What is foiling?

Hot foiling is a technique that uses heat and pressure to apply metallic designs to a range of materials. You use hot foil machines to apply foil stamps in a crisp, clean, and even way. There is another technique you can do that uses foil transfers, however, in this guide, we will be covering hot foil stamping. 

You can recognise if something has been foiled as it will have a crisp, neat metallic detail such as a shiny border or intricate writing. Foil stamps can be applied to almost anything from cards and wedding invitations to fabric, candles and much more. It’s a great way to create personalised, handmade gifts and cards that will really stand out. 

Hot foiling machines

There are a number of different tools you’ll need for hot foiling but most important is a hot foiling machine.

As part of our Gemini family, the Gemini FOILPRESS is the perfect hot foiling machine for beginners and experienced crafters alike. This machine has been designed to work exclusively with the Gemini 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-follow instructions – perfect for beginners and experienced foilers alike! This hot foiling machine is the only one to have a temperature control feature that allows you to customise the temperature determined by the material you’re foiling onto. There’s also an LCD timer that counts down the time in both minutes and seconds and an indicator light on the display that shows red or green to indicate when the FOILPRESS is ready to use. It heats up quickly, meaning you can start foiling almost immediately!

Pair your hot foil stamping machine with a set of foil stamp dies and your favourite craft foil to create beautifully foiled details and designs.

Hot foil stamps

There are a couple of different types of stamps and dies you can use with your Gemini FOILPRESS machine to create different results: Foil Stamp Dies and Foil Stamp ‘N’ Cut Dies.

Foil Stamp Dies are dies that don’t 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. They’re perfect for adding foiled details to a project that will be used as it-is such as a Save the Date card or place setting.

Foil Stamp ‘N’ Cut Dies are sets that include a Foil Stamp Die to get that gorgeous foiled design, as well as a cutting die to cut it out and turn your design into an embellishment for cards, scrapbooks, and more – perfect for projects that will be built up into decoupage or 3D effects. 

Craft foils

As the name foiling might suggest, you’ll need some craft foil to apply to your project. Craft foils are available in two main varieties: papercraft which is ideal for applying to paper and card, and multi-surface which can be used on other multimedia materials. Additionally, you have a wide variety of choices when it comes to colours, effects, and finishes. 

What materials can you foil onto?

While we love the effect of foiling onto card or paper, there are many other materials that you can add metallic designs to, these include:

Hot foiling is an extremely versatile technique that is a little bit addictive. Once you’ve foiled one project, you’ll be adding metallic finishes to everything! Try it out on cards, homemade bookmarks, tote bags, gift boxes, sweet and party bags, and anything else that takes your fancy!

How to use hot foiling machines

Using your Gemini FOILPRESS hot foil stamping machine isn’t as difficult as you might originally think. As we’ve mentioned, every foiling machine comes with easy-to-follow instructions but here is a simple guide on how to use your machine to create beautiful foiled results.

  1. Heat your machine to the correct temperature according to the instructions and material you’re using. 
  2. Pop the Foil Stamp Die onto 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. Don’t forget to also Check out our in-depth How to Use the Gemini FOILPRESS Machine guide for more information.

Don’t forget the negatives

Once you’ve cut your design out of the foil, you’ll be left with the negative space. Most of the time, these can just be thrown away, but sometimes the negatives create a really special effect! 

These negatives can be stuck down on almost any material and look brilliant when set beside the original foiled design. They add a bit more character and depth, so don’t automatically throw them away – experiment with them instead!

We hope that this handy beginner’s guide has helped you learn more about hot foiling, whether you’re totally new to the craft or a bit of a pro. We can’t wait to see how you put your Gemini FOILPRESS to good use! Make sure you show us by sharing your photos with us on Facebook UKFacebook USATwitterInstagram UKInstagram USPinterest UK or Pinterest US using the hashtag #crafterscompanion