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A Guide to the Do’s and Don’ts of Hot Foiling

By July 20, 2022News

Whether it’s a crafting project or marketing materials like business cards or labels, hot foiling provides a great way to create a gorgeous aesthetic that really stands out. You can be as creative as you want when it comes to hot foiling, as well as using the technique to ensure uniqueness – plus it’s super easy to do. If you’re going to opt for hot foiling then here’s how to make the best of it with our guide to the Dos and Don’ts.

What is hot foiling?

It’s a really simple process of using pressure and heat to apply a metallic finish to surfaces like card or paper. You’ll create a die in your chosen design and then this is heated up and pressed against the required surface with a thin layer of metallic foil in between. When the die is removed, the design has been recreated in the metallic foil. It’s very similar to what you can achieve with a letterpress design, if you’ve used that before, except that the final result is in foil.

Dos and Don’ts

  • DO trim the foil as closely as possible to the die you’re using for the design so that you don’t have a lot of excess foil to deal with.
  • DON’T use your fingers when you’re dealing with the hot plates. It might sound obvious but it’s easy to forget that they are hot and burn yourself.
  • DO have a fine emery paper/masking tape handy – these are very useful when it comes to removing any excess foil that has ended up in places where it shouldn’t.
  • DON’T forget that heat and pressure are a key part of this process so you need to ensure that you’re applying the right amount so that you get the desired results.
  • DO combine hot foiling with other techniques, such as embossing, so that you can create designs that are absolutely your own and feel completely unique.
  • DON’T throw away the user manual for your machine – hot foil stamping is a super simple process but it’s always useful to keep the manual as a guide.
  • DO get some tips when it comes to the type and size of font and images that you use in the process – some may be too small for the end results you’re trying to achieve.
  • DON’T limit yourself when it comes to being creative with the foil options. If you’re not sure that traditional gold, bronze, or silver are going to work for you then there are lots of others to choose from, including coloured foils and different finishes like pearlescent and matte.
  • DO try to avoid over-foiling and excess foiling. A little bit of this is often going to be inevitable but there are tricks to help avoid it, such as preparing your card with anti-static powder.

If you’re keen to try hot foil stamping these are our tips on how to ensure that you get the best possible results.