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A few months ago (okay, more like 6 months ago) I showed my planner setup in my Mini Happy Planner. In that planner I have two dashboards that I made by foiling with my laminator. It is so easy and fun that I wanted to show you all how you can do it too!
The best part about foiling is that once you learn how easy it is, you want to start foiling everything! I foil pages for my planners all the time. I’ve also made greeting cards and wall decorations. The possibilities are endless! For more awesome ideas, check out my Pinterest board all about foiling.
- Laminator (I have this one and love it!)
- Thermal & toner activated foil – I have used both Heidi Swapp Minc Foil and Deco Foil.
- Your design, printed with a LASER PRINTER (must be toner or the foil won’t stick)!
- Scratch paper (the thinner the better). Regular 20 lb copy paper works well for me.
Extra Tips for Foiling with a Laminator
- I have noticed that the smoother my paper is, the better the foil sticks. I use this Mohawk 28lb Paper and it is the best of anything I have tried.
- Using a Toner/Laser printer is an absolute must! The foil reacts with the toner under the heat and will stick wherever there is toner. If you do not have a laser printer, you can print your design at an office supply store for usually less than 10 cents a page (black and white).
- Color toner is no better than black toner. I’ve never tried it with color toner, but I’ve heard that it all works just the same. Toner is toner. But that being said, any color you print will be covered by the foil, so you won’t see any differences in color anyway.
- You might want to try printing at the best quality you can. I haven’t noticed a significant difference but I’ve heard of others that have better luck when they do it higher quality or on the photo setting.
- Heidi Swapp also has planner dividers, tags, and stickers that you can use with the foil instead of printing your own.
- Deco Foil is a little thicker than the Minc Foil. However, I’ve never noticed a difference in finished quality. They are fairly identical in results.
- Sometimes the foil doesn’t adhere to the toner and you are left with a distressed look. This could be from the laminator not being hot enough, or can also be a result of the paper you are using. I actually don’t mind when this happens, because the effect still looks cool. But I wanted you to be aware that it happens. I have gotten results both ways (distressed and crisp), with both types of foil. Usually they react the same on each day so I usually attribute the difference to how hot my laminator is or how many times I run the design through the machine.
Get out your laminator and turn it on. You want to do this very first because the more time it has to warm up, the better. My laminator has a two settings: 3 mil and 5 mil for the thicknesses of laminating sheets. Since 5 mil is thicker, I use that setting because it will make my laminator hotter. Also, if your laminator has a “Ready” light, let your laminator sit for at least another 10 minutes after that comes on. It will still get warmer as it stays on and you really want it as hot as it will (safely) get.
Gather your supplies and prep your design. Take the foil out of the package and take a single sheet (they often stick together and sometimes it is hard to tell if you are holding multiple sheets until you cut into it). Cut your foil to cover the part you want foiled. Leave a little extra space around the edge in case it shifts in the laminator.
The foil goes over your image with the shiny side up, dull side against the toner.
You will also want to cut your scratch paper slightly bigger than the design paper and foil. This paper is to protect the surface of the foil from the laminator so it doesn’t get damaged.
Once your laminator has warmed up sufficiently (15-20 minutes total should work for most machines), stack your pages with the design print on bottom, the foil over that, and the scratch paper on the top. Then run the whole stack through the laminator a few times (3-5 is what I usually do). The reason for running it through more than once is to continue to heat the foil and have it adhere to the paper better. You can experiment and see what works best for you.
After you have ran it through the laminator, gently peel the foil layer away from your design. The foil should be stuck where the toner is. And you are left with a beautiful piece of art to display where you wish. 🙂
Let me know if you try this! I love to see your creations! What laminator do you have?