Metallic Foil Effects

Want to add some metallic highlights to your paper or textile projects? In this post we play with some of the various techniques that are available.

A selection of methods to transfer foil to paper

PUT IT ON PAPER: Whether you are making cards, album pages, notebook covers or creating artwork, a touch of metallic adds a big wow factor. And as well as gold and silver foils, there is now a great range of colours and patterns in metallic foil that will give you plenty of fun options. The simplest technique is to first apply an adhesive medium that sticks to the paper background, then lay the foil over, apply pressure with a roller or burnishing tool, then peel back the foil backing to reveal the design. Which adhesive? Try some of the tacky glues that are sold specifically for foil transfer or use double sided tape for stripes or JAC paper for shapes – this is a double-sided adhesive sheet with can be cut with scissors or a die cutting machine.

If using tacky glues, make sure you let the glue go ‘off’ before applying your foil. It should be clear and still sticky; tacky but not wet. Only then, apply the foil.

Here are some steps using JAC paper which is clean and easy but certainly not the only way to get your metal on:


LEARN MORE: At our upcoming Scrapbook Expo in Brisbane, Gail Lindner will hold a class focussing on metallic foil application.

There are a number of different ways that you apply metallic foil and there are some fantastic tutorials online. Here’s one online tutorial that covers some of the many techniques, click here.

There’s lots of chat about putting foil through a laminator which I tried with mixed results, and about putting metallic foil through a laser printer, but I’m very cautious about putting materials through the printer.

METALLICS ON FABRIC: If you’re looking to glitz up your fabric that can be easily achieved with some of the beautiful fabric paints that are around or with the same metallic foil that is popular for papercraft.

PAINT: Lovely Lumiere fabric paint goes on like butter and comes in a glorious range of colours including metallics. You can paint it right on the fabric or apply it through a stencil. Stamp it on, block print, potato print or any other way you can think of to get it onto the surface of your fabric – it’s gorgeous.

FOIL: The second method here is using metallic foil applied with fabric glue. Brush on the glue directly, apply it through a stencil; print or stamp it on and then apply the metallic foil. LEAVE it to go off but not until it dries completely -the trick is to get it tacky but not wet. Only then, apply the foil.

To apply the foil, place the sheet foil side down and plastic side up. Roll it with a brayer or rolling pin then burnish it with the back of a spoon, plastic credit-type card or something like the artist’s blending stump pictured here until you can see the foil is leaving the plastic sheet and sticking to the fabric. Only then should you lift up the sheet to check if it has transferred.


Here’s another sample of foil applied to hand painted fabric. The slightly patchy effect is quite lovely and can be stitched over. It’s washable too.

There is a short video featuring Lisa Walton demonstrating foil application from a previous post, click here.

Have fun and let me know how you go with your experiments!

Print Friendly



Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *