What is hot foiling?

Hot foiling is a magical process where heat and pressure is applied to a special foil to add beautiful designs onto a surface. We're going to take a look at the whole process with Carissa Wiley and PinkFresh Studio!

Hot foil video tutorial for beginners

Learn the basics of hot foiling using the Glimmer & Gemini FoilPress with Carissa Wiley

For a full list of materials used in this video, pop over to Carissa's video on the PinkFresh YouTube channel.

Why should I try hot foiling?

Hot foiling is a step up from heat-embossing, offering an incredibly professional-looking finish at home. Foil shows up beautifully on all colours of cardstock and it adds a wonderfully special touch to any of your makes. It's particularly wonerful for really special cards like wedding invitations and big birthdays.

Stunning hot foiled cards using PinkFresh Studio designs

What is the best hot foiling system for papercraft?

In this video, you’ll see the Spellbinders Glimmer hot foil system as well as the Gemini FoilPress. Both systems work on the same principle – using heat and pressure to transfer foil onto your project, and they both do a great job. Carissa recommends using whichever is compatible with your die-cutting machine.
The Gemini Foilpress has a few more buttons, an adjustable timer and audible sounds to indicate when the timer is up. It comes with an instruction manual, all the necessary shims, a cooling pad, finger covers and a pair of magnetic tweezers. It is compatible with the Gemini Junior.
The Spellbinders Glimmer machine is compatible with the Spellbinders Platinum 6 as well as the Sizzix BigShot. This system comes with all the necessary plates and a cooling pad. Older kits came with magnetic tweezers whilst newer versions come with a different pick-up tool.

Top tip – keep hold of your instruction manuals!

How does a hot foil machine work?

The rubberised portion of the machine (grey for the Glimmer and purple for the FoilPress) is what heats up and transfers heat to your project. The platform of both systems plug into the base and can be removed.

The Glimmer system only has one setting, so it’s easier to use but the FoilPress has multiple settings which gives you more flexibility. In Carissa’s test, the FoilPress was the quickest to heat up at about 3 minutes, compared with about 6 minutes for the Glimmer.

Side-by-side size comparison of the Spellbinders Glimmer and Gemini FoilPress

Top tip – add a plate on top of the platform to keep the heat in and help it get to temperature more quickly!

What foils are best for hot foiling?

You will need heat-transfer foils which work with heat and pressure to transfer your design onto a surface. The different brands of foil work with both machines, but make sure you’re using the right kind of roll for your surface. The Crafter’s Companion foils are different for papercrafting and other surfaces, so double-check that you have the correct type of foil for your project.

You can find a selection of the best foils at CraftStash.

Understanding your hot foil plate

Hot foil plates are designed specifically for hot foiling and they’re the easiest option to choose when working with hot foil. They will not cut your paper like a die would, they’re more like a stamp.

Top tip – you will get the best results when using a nice smooth cardstock.

Buidling your sandwich
The dull or back side of your foil should touch your paper, and the pretty shiny side should touch the design side of your hot foil plate. This is the same no matter what foil or what machine you are using.

  • Bottom layer: heated platform
  • Second layer: hot foil plate, with the design side facing upwards
  • Third layer: foil, with the shiny side facing down (touching the hot foil plate) and dull side facing up
  • Fourth layer: cardstock
  • Top layer: shim/shims (as recommended in your instruction manual

Top tip: With the Glimmer system, it’s more important to trim away any excess foil as it is more prone to over-foiling. If you do get some over-foiling, you can remove this with a rubber/eraser.

Can you use cutting dies with for hot foiling?

Yes you can! Watch the video to see how Carissa uses a PinkFresh cutting due to create a stunning effect with hot foil. It usually gives a more delicate look as cutting dies have a smaller surface area because they are designed to cut, but you can get a fantastic effect this way.

Top tip – Use your leftover foil to create a negative of the design afterwards!

Adding foil to die-cut shapes using the Gemini FoilPress

The Gemini FoilPress comes with a metal plate which allows you to add foil to die-cut shapes, which gives you even more scope for creativity. Build your sandwich as follows:

  • Bottom layer: heated platform
  • Second layer: metal plate
  • Third layer: foil, with shiny side facing down
  • Fourth layer: die-cut shape
  • Fifth layer: Plain cardstock
  • Top layer: shim

Fantastic hot foil inspiration from PinkFresh Studio

Now you know how it all works, why not explore this technique to create stunning papercraft products using the PinkFresh hot foiling range?

Pinkfresh Studio has added hot foil plates to their product selection this year, and in true Pinkfresh fashion, they are modern, innovative and beautifully designed!

Let’s take a look at all the different foiling options that they offer! Pinkfresh Studio always has innovation and versatility at the forefront of product design, and they hoped that foiling could work with ink blending and layering stencils. Imagine their excitement when they tested it out, and found that ink blending over top of foiling didn’t affect the foiling in any way. It worked perfectly!

With that first hand knowledge, they started designing and releasing product suites which included stamp sets, hot foil plates, layering stencils & dies. These products all work together, but can be used separately as well!

Pinkfresh Studio also offers standalone hot foil sentiment options with coordinating dies (sold separately). These are stunning sentiments that can be mixed and matched with other stamps, stencils, dies and hot foil plate designs.

In order to keep products fresh, Pinkfresh Studio also offers coordinating hot foil plates for some previously released stamps & stencils. They love offering this as a way to breathe new life into a product you may already own!

They also offer super versatile 1 piece sentiment sets that include multiple sentiments on one hot foil plate. This allows crafters to create multiple sentiments in one easy foiling session. The coordinating die is also 1 piece, which allows all of the sentiments to be cut out in one pass through a diecut machine. These beautiful sets have quickly become bestsellers! You can also get a matching stamp set that works with the same die, for added versatility and crafting options!

Pinkfresh Studio recently started offering hot foil coverplates, which allow you to create stunning backgrounds for your cards! They are modern designs that add a gorgeous touch to all your papercrafting projects.

There is a look into all the amazing hot foiling products that Pinkfresh Studio has to offer! Find more inspiration for all Pinkfresh Studio products in the following places:

Pinkfresh Studio Website
YouTube Channel
Facebook Page