Answering All Your Foiling Questions
We get asked all the time how we get such great results foiling our stickers. In episode 15 of the Big Plans Podcast we answer alllll your foiling questions and we share our big announcement that we launched our first ever e-course on Flawless Foiling. This course is for everyone! It has basic information for those who want to get started with foiling, all the way to expert foilers who already sell foiled stickers but want to round out their knowledge and learn the best techniques. We show you how to foil flawlessly and with confidence. You can also check out our YouTube tutorial for a basic overview. First up, let’s dive into the questions we’ve received.
QUESTIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE:
Q: What is the reason for using laser vs inkjet, and what is the difference between the two types of printers?
A: The difference is that laser printers print out plastic pieces called toner, that melt when you’re foiling it with heat (that’s how the foil adheres to the paper). Inkjet uses ink, which I think is water based so it does not melt with heat (thus, the foil has nothing to stick to).
Q: How is it possible for your Silhouette to scan the marks on the clear paper? With my Silhouette it doesn’t work! I always have to make little corners with white sticker paper so my machine can scan them.
A: Our Silhouette Portrait 1's also have some trouble scanning the registration marks sometimes- usually, it's because the clear glossy sticker paper reflects light which interferes with the scanning. We try different placements of the cutting mat when loading it into the silhouette machine to see which works best. Another trick we'll do is to lift up the cutting mat while it's trying to scan the first corner- this seems to help the clear paper from reflecting light.
Q: What vinyl cutter did you use and did you have to print via vinyl cutter software as "print to cut"?
A: We use a Silhouette Portrait machine to cut our stickers. It is connected to our computer through the Silhouette software program! We are able to design, print, and cut from the software. However, we don’t use vinyl for our stickers so we haven’t used that material in the Silhouette, but we think you can cut vinyl with it.
Q: Does the way you store the foil matter? I was putting a rubber band around mine but then realized maybe I shouldn’t do that!
A: It shouldn’t matter how you store your foil. We store our foil rolls on a rolling cart, nothing fancy, stacked on top of each other.
Q: When I foil, I still get speckles (or black dots) in the foil. I have put new toner in the laser printer. Do you have any ideas?
A: We recommend getting our pdf Foiling Guide (linked below) & trying out the tips outlined in the guide. Without seeing what your result looks like, without knowing what sticker paper you used, what temp you are using to foil, what your technique is etc, it’s hard to diagnose the issue.
That’s why we’ve offered a dedicated Facebook group + weekly office hours with our Flawless Foiling course, so that people can ask us about more specific questions like this.
Q: Are you using the high density setting that prints more toner?
A: No, we have tried in the past using the different settings that the printer offers and we noticed that the default is the best and the high density setting is not necessary.
Q: Can you please share your tips for foiling kits?
A: Our Flawless Foiling course takes you through our entire process for foiling kits, and we include tips on aligning the foil elements, designing in Silhouette, etc. We'll have modules on each step of the process with video demos, checklists, guides, troubleshooting, tips and tricks all throughout.
Q: For the foil from Binding101 would you recommend setting it on 120 degrees Celsius still?
A: I think the temperature really depends on your sticker paper. I’ve personally noticed that clear matte sticker paper requires a higher temp than clear glossy or our regular weatherproof sticker paper. I can’t tell you a specific temp because it might not be the right temp for your sticker paper. I recommend just trying different settings and figure out what works best for you.
Q: Do you ever find that the foil scratches off?
A: It shouldn’t... we’ve never experienced a “scratch-off” situation. If the toner is not sticking to your sticker paper, that could be an issue with your sticker paper. Make sure your sticker paper is compatible with laser printers.
Q: I’ve been trying to make clear foil stickers with a laminator but every time the foil covers the entire sticker not just the places where there’s toner. I’ve tried two types of sticker paper, one is the Online Labels brand, and both times I’ve had the same experience. Am I doing something wrong?
A: The foil should not stick to the entire page. We previously ran into a similar problem with the Online Labels sticker paper and discovered that the paper was defective, so you may have defective papers. We’ve heard that Online Labels changed their policies about this, and that they say that it’s not meant to be a foiling paper so they can’t guarantee that it’ll foil properly.
Q: Can we use any software to print for foiling? Ex; Photoshop, Illustrator, Word, or Cricut Design?
A: Technically yes, you can foil anything that you want to print with a laser printer.
Q: When you cut the stickers first do you get imperfections because of the dust from cutting the paper?
A: For us, we don’t get imperfections from cutting the stickers first, but we do recommend that you make sure to be careful and remove any particles, dust, pet hair, etc from the paper before foiling.
Q: Can I use a heat press used for t-shirts instead of a laminator?
A: We haven’t tried this before and don’t have a heat press so we honestly don’t know, but if you try it out let us know if it works! :)
Q: What cutting machine do you recommend for personal use?
A: We use the Silhouette Portrait and recommend it for personal use. The Portrait is the smaller version and the Cameo is the larger version.
Q: So I need a foil machine?
A: No, you need a thermal laminator. There are several laminator options out there, but if you are a sticker shop it is worth the investment to purchase a higher quality laminator that allows you to control the temperature of the heat settings.
Q: What software do you use and where did you get the illustrations to cut out?
A: We use Silhouette Studio. We get all of our illustrations from either Etsy or Creative Market. We cover how we design our foil elements and our foiled sticker kit process in our Flawless Foiling course.
We hope you found this Q&A helpful. Be sure to listen to the full podcast episode for all the details!
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Thank you SO much for being here. See you in the next episode!
xo, Lisa & Lucy