Have you seen those beautiful metallic gold foil prints but stumped as to why you don't get that glimmery shine from at-home printables? It's because most printers aren't actually capable of printing a true metallic finish. You'll notice that they can print a photograph of a metallic object or texture however when you wave it around you miss out on that lustre produced with foil.
I have put together a quick and super easy tutorial on how to add metallic foil to your art prints. No expensive equipment required. I've gone for a gold foil print but there are many other colours available. Once you give this a go you'll soon realise there are so many other things you can foil up!
I provide a bunch of free printables in my VIP Freebies Library and this DIY is perfect for them. If you need some help on getting the most out of your at-home printables be sure to check out a previous post Tips on Printing & Making your Free Printables Look Pro Worthy.
It's extremely important that your wall art is printed on a laser printer or this will not work. If you don't have a laser printer, ask a friend, print it at work or get it printed cheaply at your local stationery/print store such as Officeworks.
The best designs for this technique are typically are text-based, simple graphics (clip art style) that don't require intricate colour changes. If you don't have access to a laminator, they're really cheap and it will be well worth it once you start “blinging” everything up! I think mine cost about $20 from Big W.
You're going to love this tutorial, watch the video below or keep scrolling for photos and instructions.
*None of the links in this post are affiliate links, they're just here for your convenience!
- Laser printed wall art (here's the direct link to the Shine Bright Like a Diamond one that I designed for this project).
- Plain piece of copy paper
- Heidi Swapp Minc Reactive Foil
STEP #1 | PREPARE THE LAMINATOR
Turn on your laminator to warm it up. This may take a couple of minutes so set it aside whilst we get everything else ready.
STEP #2 | MEASURE THE FOIL OUT
With your print close by, unroll your foil and place it over the area of the print where you would like the foil to go. To reduce wastage, measure and cut as close to the area as possible. Even small scraps of foil can come in handy for other projects later on.
STEP #3 | PREPARE FOR GOLD FOIL PRINTING
Once you have your foil cut to size place it on the print ensuring it covers the whole area. Now to secure the foil in place, put the copy paper on top, being careful that it doesn't move the foil as you do this.
STEP #4 | LAMINATING YOUR PRINT
Check that your laminator has warmed up and is ready to go (most will have a green light or similar). Pick up your print (AKA paper-foil sandwich) carefully so as not to move the foil inside. Gently place it into the laminator and allow the machine to grab and pull it through.
Once the paper has come through to the other side gently remove it from the laminator. Turn off the machine and place it to the side to cool down.
STEP #5 | NOW FOR THE SHINY GOLD FOIL PRINT MAGIC
Remove the copy paper. Starting in a corner, slowly and gently peel off the foil to reveal your new shiny metallic print.
I also love the negative that the foil produces. I'm sure there is something amazing that can be done with this rather than wasting it. If it were bigger it could also double as wall art – it would look amazing in a frame!
BUT DON'T JUST STOP AT WALL ART!
I guarantee you are so going to be hooked on this now! Don't limit yourself to just wall art. I'm on the hunt for anything and everything in my house to add a foil touch to. Try greeting cards, invitations, wrapping paper, stickers and anything you can run through a laminator. I'm considering upgrading to an A3 laminator so I can run through some wrapping paper designs!
Remember gold foil printing isn't just restricted to gold! The foil comes in a range of other finishes such as rose gold, silver, holographic, glitter foil sheets, pink, mint and a bunch of other colours. What I really like about this is that you don't have to go and spend a fortune on buying a specialised foil transfer machine to use with the Heidi Swapp Minc foils.
Do you have any other suggestions for ways we can all use this metallic foil technique? I'd certainly love to hear them! Be sure to share your finished pieces with me via Instagram (use #avmdiy) or by tagging @avisualmerriment on Facebook.
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