Adding foil to your papercrafting projects can seem intimidating, but it’s actually very simple! In this tutorial, I show you how to add foil using a laser printer to create a card. It’s one of the first ways I learned how to foil on my projects and one of the easiest methods to start. Plus, get access to the templates I made for this card in my FREE resource library at the end of this post.
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Supplies for Foil Technique using a Laser Printer
How to Use a Laser Printer to add Foil to Projects
Pick or make your design
First you want to decide where your foil will go on your project. Since we are creating a card in this tutorial, I am going to create a background template for my card and title to foil. It’s easy to purchase a template or any graphics online to use in your projects. Creative Market and Etsy are always good options. But if you are looking to create your own graphics and don’t have Photoshop experience, I would try out Canva.com.
The designs I used in this tutorial were made within just a few minutes on Canva. That is where I make a lot of graphics and templates using their free content and fonts. They also have paid upgrades, but you can create a lot with their free content.
Want to use my files from this tutorial? Get the background template and title for this Christmas card in my FREE resource library at the bottom of this post.
Print your design
Next you will print your designs. This is a very important part of the process and you want to be sure you are using the right type of printer.
If you want to print at home, you need to be sure that you are using a LASER printer. Most business offices use laser printers, while many of us (especially scrapbookers who print photos from home), use InkJet printers. The easiest way to tell is to take a look at the “cartridges” you buy for ink. If it’s a laser printer then you likely buy “toner cartridges” instead of regular ink.
If you print at a business or office supply store, call to check that they use laser printers and if you need to specify when placing your order. You also might want to stop in to the store to see the paper types they offer.
Since I don’t own a laser printer, I had my templates printed at Office Depot. They do everything online now for order placement, so I called ahead to verify that they use laser printers for all projects. They do, so I didn’t have to make a special selection for that. When I placed my order, I made sure to select a 65 lb. white cardstock instead of copy paper. I also chose for my design to be printed in black and white. Even though it was already in black, I wanted to be sure that it came out in pure black and white.
A Note About Choosing Your Paper
I would recommend using cardstock paper instead of regular copy paper. Cardstock is sturdy and a better option overall. However, after doing some research it may be worth trying the store’s slicker paper (you know that paper that has a little gloss to it) to see if it produces better foiling results. I’m going to test this next time I send it to the printer to see if there is a difference.
TIP: You don’t need to rush home to use your laser printed designs (unless you are really excited to try it out!) I wasn’t able to get to my designs until a few days later and it worked with no issues.
Cut your designs & Cut your foil
Now it’s time to start prepping the designs to add foil. Depending on the designs you printed, you want to cut them down to your preferred shape. I printed multiple background templates on one page, so I cut those apart. I also cut out my card titles in a few different styles to see what I liked.
Then I cut out the foil color (holographic color) I wanted on my designs. For the background template I used one large piece of foil. For the card titles, I used a small piece of foil and only covered the words “Merry Christmas” but left the rest of the title card black. Before I ran it through the Minc machine, I also added a layer of plain printer paper over the top of my foils. Read my tip below to understand why.
TIP: Be sure that you have enough foil to cover all parts of your design. If you do not want the entire design to be foiled, then you need to also include a sheet of printer paper between your foil and transfer folder. This will protect the transfer folder from getting toner on it and “inking” up the plastic.
If toner does get on your transfer folder plastic sheet, it may also get on other projects. This could ruin your paper or foil. To try to remove the ink from the transfer folder, you can run it through the Minc machine with a plain piece of printer paper. Minc suggests trying a few times to try to clean up the marks. However, I made this mistake myself and it didn’t get rid of the toner marks completely. To help protect my projects I always include a plain piece of paper when I use that transfer folder.
If your transfer folders are looking a little worse for the wear and you want some new ones, you can get this pack that includes multiple sizes. I bought this when I originally purchased my Minc machine because I wasn’t sure how many transfer folders would came with it. (Spoiler, you only get one full size transfer folder when you buy the Minc Machine).
Run your project with foil through the Minc machine
Now it’s time to run your project through the Minc Machine. If you haven’t already, be sure to plug in, turn on, and choose your heat setting. For this project I used heat setting 4 because I have cardstock paper, the foil, plus the plain printer paper all inside my transfer folder. It does take some time to heat up, but the light will turn green once the Minc machine ready.
Since I was only creating one card, I put both parts of my project in the transfer folder. You can add as much as you want inside the transfer folder. Just be sure that you flatten out the paper and foil in the transfer folder so there are no bubbles. Also be sure to check that everything stays in place before sending it through the Minc machine.
TIP: When you have finished using the Minc Machine be sure to change your heat setting back to zero to let it slowly cool off before turning off the machine. It has been said that this will help to better maintain your Minc Machine.
Peel off excess foil to reveal design
Once your transfer folder has gone through the Minc Machine, you can peel off the foil and reveal the final design. Seriously, so gorgeous and just gives it a beautiful effect! Now that it’s done going through the machine, I attached the layers to my card and I’m done!
TIP: If part of your project didn’t get covered with foil, you can always send it through the machine again with another piece of foil over the top. It may pick up the remaining foil to fill in the gaps.
Now you can add another skill to your crafty toolbelt. The next time you make a papercrafting project, you can now add foil using a laser printer. Plus it’s easy as pie! You can add little highlights to any project or create larger designs. The options are endless and the results are stunning!
Time to get foiling!
Looking for the templates I used on this card? You can get them by signing up below for my crafting email list, plus all of my subscribers get FREE access to my resource library. I am always adding new materials to the library, including templates, digital downloads, Cricut project links, printables, and more!
I would love to see your completed projects where you added foil using a laser printer. Leave a comment below or tag me on Instagram with your cards.