The Essential Foil Guide

Are you looking for something extra special to add to your handmade cards? Foil is a wonderful way to add a little sparkle & shine!

There are so many ways to add foil…with heat, without heat, with dies, with adhesive…where to start? Don’t worry, we can help!

We will share several ways to add foil, including techniques with the Minc machine, the Gemini FoilPress and techniques with foil friendly adhesives. We’ll also be giving you all the information on different types of foil, and how to choose the right foil for your projects.

Types Of Foil

We think all foils are good but not all foils are good for the same things! The 2 main types of foil are thermal foil and toner reactive foil.

  • Thermal Foil requires heat and pressure; it is a “hot stamping” foil, which is why it works with metal dies/impression plates. Thermal foils are designed for use with the Gemini Foil Press. Crafter’s Companion Foils are thermal.
  • Toner Reactive Foils require toner (printed imagery and/or toner infused sprays/glues/pastes, etc.) and heat. iCraft Deco Foils (by ThermoWeb), WOW foilsHeidi Swapp foils are toner reactive.

How To Use

  • Gemini Foil Press: use with thermal foils and metal dies.
  • Toner Products: use with toner reactive foils and a hot laminator like the Minc.
  • Embossing Powder: use with toner reactive foils, embossing powders & a laminator. Sticky Powder & Bonding Powder generally work the best but don’t be afraid to test other powders.
  • Dry Adhesives (double-sided tape): use with thermal and toner reactive foils. No heat required. We love Be Creative tape for this!
  • Wet Adhesives (glue pens): use with thermal and toner reactive foils. no heat required. We love Zig 2 Way Glue pens and the iCraft Deco Foil Adhesive Pen.

We’ve created a quick reference chart for you…

Ellen Hutson Foil Comparison ChartDownload

Be sure to check out today’s video tutorial. There is so much information! And if you have more questions, be sure to leave them in the comments below so we can get back to you!

Thank you for stopping by today!


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  • Reply Andre M. January 15, 2020 at 5:04 am

    Thanks for the info and download!

  • Reply born57 January 15, 2020 at 6:28 am

    I am so grateful that you put all this Information here in one spot! I have been kinda confused on all the different ways and how to use these foils. I cant wait to learn and watch the video and check out the links you so kindly provided! Thank you!

  • Reply Lagene January 15, 2020 at 7:59 am

    Thanks for the video & download, very helpful!

  • Reply Henriëtte January 15, 2020 at 11:24 am

    Thank you so much for the video and download, it’s a great post. Have a nice day.

  • Reply Carolyn R January 16, 2020 at 11:24 am

    I will keep this link for the video. Great information and ideas.

  • Reply How To Create A Foiled Hello Card With Essentials by Ellen | Ellen Hutson June 23, 2021 at 6:00 am

    […] foil press, you need thermal foil and you want to make sure it is for papercrafting. (Check out the Essential Foil Guide for more […]

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