Hello! We’ve been given some creative freedom for the latest Creative Fingers Challenge so I decided to do some die cutting and foiling. I love foiling but I’m a little lazy at times when it comes to dragging out my Minc machine.

There are several different methods to add foil to your die cut projects without any heat but today, I’m just focusing on one particular way that requires no more than some double sided adhesive and regular foil sheets.

To do this technique well, so there are no marks on your finished foiled pieces, you will also need an embossing mat that is used with a die cutting machine. There’s a tan one available from multiple companies and they’re even available on AliExpress, EBay or Amazon for just a few dollars. Sizzix also sells a black embossing mat and both of these mats will work just as well as each other. You’ll also need your die cutting machine and your choice of dies. This technique will work for absolutely any die you want to use.

I should mention at this stage that you don’t necessarily have to have a die cutting machine, dies or an embossing mat either. You will get similar results by just rubbing the foil on with your finger and a soft cloth. You can then cut your shape with scissors. However, the foil may not transfer as thoroughly with just finger pressure and, if you’re like me and want perfect foiling results, you may not be quite as happy with the outcome.

Some online say you can rub foil onto double sided tape with a bone folder or something else that’s more sturdy than just your finger. What they don’t tell you is adding foil with another solid tool, or even your fingernail will damage the surface, leaving it with much less shine and a rougher, more textured appearance. If you want the same foiling results you get from the heat transfer method (using a Minc machine or an everyday laminator), you can’t use anything hard to press the foil onto the tape. The foil’s surface will be left marked and scratched by the tool and there’s just no way to fix that damage.

There are a number of brands of foil that this will work with, like Deco Foil, Heidi Swapp and Gina K. As I’ve found that “you get what you pay for” when it comes to foil, I wouldn’t recommend you buy any cheaper versions. The one cheap brand I bought was totally unusable and the results were just horrible. I was so disappointed that I had wasted my money on “cheap” when I could have just put that money towards something with a better quality!

I’ve made a brief video to show you exactly how I add the foil to the cardstock and you can see that video clicking the image below, but make sure you come back here so you get all the information for a great finish.

To start foiling using my method, I cut a piece of cardstock to the size I want and add the double sided adhesive as I would for any other project. I always make sure I use just a single piece of adhesive that’s big enough to cater for the shape I’m cutting. Joining pieces of adhesive together will leave a join mark in the completed foiling that will be quite visible once the foil is applied. However, joining pieces of foil won’t be that noticeable in comparison because it joins fairly seamlessly.

Once the double sided adhesive is smoothly attached to the cardstock, I remove the adhesive’s backing sheet and lay the foil onto the adhesive. This is perhaps the most difficult step as the delicate foil sheets can attach itself in unwanted places if you remove all the adhesive’s backing before you start. To avoid the foil sticking with buckles and ripples, I use an old book covering trick, where I fold back a small edge of the backing paper first so I can get the foil safely in place. Having just that thin strip of adhesive exposed means I have much more control over how and where the foil settles on the adhesive. Once I’ve placed the foil on the edge of the adhesive and I’ve got that edge secured smoothly, I gradually peel back the backing sheet while smoothing the foil down with my other hand. Applying the foil gradually gives a much more professional finish, very similar to the results you get with toner sheets and a Minc/laminator.

Before I remove the plastic sheeting from the foil, I run it through my die cutting machine to thoroughly press the foil onto the adhesive. This is where I differ from others who practice this method. As I said earlier, this step can be done by just rubbing with your finger and a soft cloth but the die cutting machine applies a more even pressure and allows all the foil to adhere much more thoroughly.

I create a unique sandwich on my die cutting platform that will prevent any damage to my foiled surface. This combination may need to be slightly adjusted for each individual machine but, other than adding or removing a piece or two of cardboard shim, the sandwich should be the same. Onto my die cutting platform I add:

  • the embossing mat
  • my foiled cardstock facing down, with the foil side facing the mat.
  • a piece of cardboard (mine is the soft back cover of an artist’s drawing pad that’s about 2mm thick.)
  • my regular cutting plate.

I deliberately add the cutting plate last because it helps keep my cardboard shim  straight as it goes through the rollers. Reversing the sandwich, so the cardboard and mat are on top will cause the cardboard shim to bow and a less even pressure will be applied to your foil, potentially leaving your foil with some of the surface damaged or having it fail to stick as thoroughly.

Once I’ve run my foil through my die cutting machine, I simply peel the top plastic off my foil and die cut it with whatever die I want to use. And, if you don’t have any foil for this technique, try using a piece of plain kitchen foil. You can color that to suit with an alcohol marker!

As for my card, this a quick list of the products I used:

I hope you enjoy my video and have fun creating some beautifully foiled elements for your next projects. This would be an amazing technique to add shine to your Christmas makes. Thanks so much for spending time with me today, I look forward to next time. 😊


2 thoughts on “Easy Foiled Die Cuts

  1. Thanks, Anne for your well written tutorial! I’m going to
    Give some of these tips a try… hopefully the double sided adhesive sheets are readily available in my local store!


    1. Good luck!
      Absolutely any double sided tapes will work here. The stuff on rolls is always cheaper than the single sheets. Just be aware that, if you use multiple pieces of tape on a roll, any joins in the adhesive will show, and some tapes are more textured than others too, which will also affect the appearance.
      It’s a fun technique so I’m sure you’ll have fun foiling everything once find supplies you’re happy with.❤❤❤


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