Foil on printed background Results 3

Foiling Laser Printed Images on Printed Backgrounds

Hello Friends! Today I’m going to explain how to do a foil print onto a colorful background that you do not want also foiled.

My first step is to create a background either directly in Photoshop or more often, I will paint or spray etc and then scan it into the computer and bring it into Photoshop to tweak it, re-size it, combine it with other images, etc. Then- and here’s the trick!- I print out that background on an inkjet printer. That’s the critical step because the heat activated foil with not stick to inkjet ink. The reactive foil will only stick to a laser print. So the colorful background will be left unaltered when you run the print through the foiling process.

The next step is to take the inkjet print and run it through a laser printer, and just print the design that you want foiled in black ink. The reactive foil will stick to (most) laser black ink. As I alluded to before, sometimes it will also stick to some of the other laser colors if they are dark, and that is why I now do this two step process.

In this case, I take my inkjet printed backgrounds and print out a sheet of black snowflakes on top of it.

Again, if you have a color laser and you were to print the whole thing (background and snowflakes) through just the laser printer, the foil would stick to the black snowflakes, but depending on how many dark colors are in the background, the foil may stick to some of the background as well.

After my laser printing is done, I will place the printout on an old piece of scrapbook paper. Then I place the reactive foil with the shiny foil side up on top of the printout. You can use all one color, or like I did cover individual parts of the ink jet print with different colors. In this video, I am using the Black Cat Foil Master. I do not think they even sell this machine any more, but you can also use a hot laminator. For the foil and sandwich I am using, I set the temperature to 179 on the foil master. I take that whole sandwich and feed it through the machine. The process is similar, as far as I do it, for the laminator that I own. Once it comes through the other side, just peel off the foil and you are finished!

Here’s another idea: Sometimes I will just print in black and white on my laser and then foil that design. I can then spray over the top of it with my Distress Spray Stains. The Spray Stains can be wiped off the foil. You can also try Distress Oxide Sprays, but I would go light on those because they will tend to stick to the foil much more than the Spray Stains. I don’t have a demo of this, but I can do another quick video on that in the future. So that is another alternative to the double printing. I have thought about running sheets of Spray Stained paper through the laser printer, but I do not want to potentially ruin my printer, so I just scan and inkjet print the backgrounds to be on the safe side! I am sure I have blogged about this before, but instead of using Photoshop Manages colors, I set up my files with color profiles to match my printer and paper, and then let the printer manage colors. I seem to get a much closer match to actual colors that way. Ok, I’m pretty sure I took screen shots of this print setup process, but couldn’t find a post, so I will look through the posts I have in progress and try to get that up on the blog soon. I am way behind in editing πŸ™‚

I also show the results of reusing the leftover foil which I will post about and demo in another video. I try not throw all that leftover foil away and use these leftovers for other backgrounds and tags etc.

Adding just a hint of sparkle with this foiling technique is also fun way to bring your paper projects up a notch!

Addendum September 26, 2023:

If you are trying to line up a laser print over an inkjet print and they need to match (or match as close in position as is humanly possible), you will need to do some work if your printers have different margins, as mine do :(.

I have been trying off and on to figure out the settings to allow a print on my laser printer (Xerox Phaser 6280) to layer over a matching image printed on my inkjet printer (Epson 3880). The printers have different default margins and so when I print the overlay on the laser, that image is off by a hair from the color image printed on my inkjet. I finally spent some time digging into the laser printer properties. My Epson did not have any- for the paper sheet that I was using in these cases. After a morning of printing over and over haha, I came up with some settings in the Print Position tab. They are as follows: I shifted the left/right position 0.1mm (shifting to the right) and the top/bottom position to -1.0 (shifting to the bottom).

Phaser 6280 Margins Print Position Tab
Phaser 6280 Margins Print Position Tab


Make sure the Unit setting is MM not inches! Also, when you place the paper in your laser printer, make sure the paper holder/alignment brackets are set to hold the paper snugly. This appears to be working for the most part- there is always some drift depending on how the paper is positioned in the printer etc. For those of you who don’t have printers with margin settings, you can do the same thing by shifting your laser print layer. It’s easy to do in Photoshop – there’s a tab on the right for properties and you can set the x and y values to shift the laser print layer down or over a hair (or whatever you find you need for your situation). I started with whole numbers like 2mm so I could visually see the difference and kept printing out sometimes changing colors to make sure I knew which print was for the new setting values. I do need to see if this layer shifting is possible in Silhouette Studio, so when I give that a shot I will update here.

Hope this at least gets you pointed in the right direction πŸ˜‰


Foil on printed background Foiling
Foil on printed background Foiling
Foil on printed background Results 2
Foil on printed background Results 2

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