I’ve had many requests to know how I am able to add custom foils to my projects. The good news is that it’s pretty easy if you have the right tools, or at least have access to them. The basic principle to this technique is that these special foil sheets will transfer onto laser printer toner through heat and pressure. Beyond that it can get a little tricky.

Tools needed (clockwise starting with the artwork):

- Artwork

- Carrier Board
- Heat Gun or Hairdryer
- Small Laminator
- Foil transfers

All of the above can be purchased from PulsarProFX. Tell him John sent you and he’ll… have no idea who I am. If you don’t have access to a small laminator or for some reason don’t want to drop $130 on getting one then you can try using a clothes iron. I’ve never tried it myself but I’ve heard of people doing it with varying levels of success. There are also other items for sale on the site that don’t apply to this technique so don’t bother buying a starter kit unless you also want to make decals. The foils are sold separately or if you want to try all of them there’s a sampler pack (you know you want to try hologram).

Print, in pure black, the artwork you want to be foiled on to any paper that can go through a laser printer. With the tools I have the largest size I can make is 8 x 10 but I’ve never needed to foil anything larger than a few square inches anyway.
If you live in a humid climate you may need to dry the paper. Any moisture in the paper will latch on to the foil and cause spotting. A heat gun will make quick work of this and a hairdryer will make much less quick work of this.

Place the artwork on the Carrier Board and then the foil on the artwork making sure that the dull side of the foil is touching the toner.

Make sure that the foil folds over the Carrier enough so that you can get a firm grip on it both top and bottom. This is to make sure that the foil doesn’t shift as it enters the laminator.

As the project enters the laminator you’ll feel it begin to pull it in. When this happens focus your attention on smoothing out the foil as it moves through.

It’s important to keep the foil taught so that no wrinkles are formed.

After the project comes out the other end of the laminator it’s going to be fairly hot but it won’t burn you (maybe). Next, peel back the foil to reveal your artwork.

Congratulations! You just made your first home-brewed foiled thing. Now sit back and amaze at the shininess of it all.