Leftover Foil Results Scroll

Using Leftover Reactive Laser Print Foil for Backgrounds

Hi Everyone! When you do a laser reactive foiling project, you laser print an image on to paper and then run it through a foiling machine. The foil sticks to the laser ink as it heats up while running through the foiling machine or laminator. You can find a post about foiling here. Also, I had some other foil related posts here and here and here. After you’ve finished your foiling projects, you are left with lots of leftover pieces of foil.

I try not to waste anything and so this is a twofer project where the foiled image is project number 1, and the leftover foil create project number 2.

Generally I’ve used leftover foil on plain cardstock. I’ve also used it on painted paper or paper sprayed with Distress Spray Stains and Distress Oxide Sprays. However this time it occurred to me that I’ve never tried this on colored cardstock, especially something with a texture. So that’s what I’m going to try today and we’ll see how it works.

The other thing you’re going to need is something clear, like a matte medium or gel medium. I haven’t tried it with Collage Medium, but I do want to try some of the Ranger mediums by Tim Holtz to see how those work. Today, I am using Golden’s Matte Medium. I didn’t realize until too late that it had paint in it, so it was slightly discolored. but I went with it anyway.

I spread the matte medium kind of fairly thickly across the cardstock.¬†You really want to try and make sure that you get the background very well covered. If you missed any spots, you’re going to have holes in your transferred foil design. Then take the leftover foil and place it shiny foil side up onto the cardstock. Use a large silicone scraper (the silicone ones are much softer and won’t tear the foil) and drag it across the foil to smooth it out and make sure all of it is touching the cardstock. Wipe the blade after each stroke because you want to avoid getting the medium onto the front of the foil.

You want make sure that your project that you’re working on is not on a mat that has wet paint or, in my case, ink that is reactive with wet mediums, because we really don’t want that on the foil. You’re trying to keep the foil clean because whatever it gets on the foil will stay there. I wiped excess medium off and
I used just a little bit of alcohol to clean off some of the ink and more of the medium so it didn’t dry on the foil.

And then comes the hard part- you must let it sit. And seriously, you have to let it sit overnight. Don’t try and peek, because if you do, the foil won’t adhere.

After it has truly, completely dried then you need to find the corner and pick at it. There’s a clear layer on top of the foil, and when you peel away the clear layer the foil will be left adhered to the cardstock because of the gel medium that you used. It will be the inverse of the image that you foiled to the black laser ink.

In my example case, the foil did indeed stick to the colored, textured cardstock. It transferred well this time. However, if you find that you’ve missed a spot, as long as you don’t peel the plastic all the way off, you can come back in with more of the medium that you’re using. Push it back down again, leave it overnight and let it dry all the way again.

Sometimes you’ll find little pieces that are missing and it kind of looks distressed. It’s actually can can give a fun look to it. I showed some examples at the end of the video where there were pieces missing.

This is definitely not a take five. It doesn’t take very long for each stage so those could be done potentially in 5 minutes or less, but you have all that waiting in between. But it is definitely worth saving your leftover foil pieces and then grabbing some background pieces and trying this technique.

Leftover Foil Matte Painting Medium
Leftover Foil Matte Painting Medium


Leftover Foil Peeling
Leftover Foil Peeling


Leftover Foil Results Cardstock
Leftover Foil Results Cardstock


Leftover Foil Results Reindeer
Leftover Foil Results Reindeer

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