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This guide aims to help you get to grips with the basics of hot foiling, looking at its beginnings all the way through to the different types of machine available, and how each one functions. After all, being a rookie needn't be so intimidating!
Back in the crafting world, the enormous scale of this method has to be condensed to fit into homes. So as it stands, there are now two main machines with a foiling function: TODO and Minc.
TODO is a Multi-Functional Crafting Machine, giving you the freedom to do everything. For the first time, this is a machine that can hot foil, letterpress, die-cut and emboss, all in one handy machine. With a two-way roller and ten metal cogs engineered for smooth performance, this large, sturdy machine provides an adjustable pressure dial and removable hot foil plates to allow for transferral of intricate foiled designs.
Heidi Swapp's Minc Foiling Machine provides a real solution to professional foiling. This innovative little machine has six different settings to cater for a variety of materials, and provides a range of temperature settings to suit individual projects. But that's not all – this stylish machine heats up incredibly quickly for rapid crafting, meaning you can create dazzling project after dazzling project with the simple touch of a button.
Both of these machines operate in a different way and use different components to create foiled designs – so to make these processes a little clearer, we'll now explain exactly what each method entails.
1. TODO Multi-Functional Crafting Machine:
Take your Hot Foil Plate and place it on the metal area. Turn TODO on via the power button and a little red light will appear. Once it's heated to temperature, the light will turn to green and you're ready to go. Then, give the template a little time to heat through.
Cut some foil to size and place it over the hot foil template, colour-side down. Take a piece of card of equal or bigger size, and layer it on top. Place the A plate on top, making sure the setting is on 3, and then crank the handle to roll the roller over the top, applying pressure.
Pick up the card and foil – the Hot Foil Plate design will now be imprinted into the foil. Finally, peel away the foil and you're left with just the foiled design on the cardstock!
2. Heidi Swapp Minc Foiling Machine:
Turn Minc on via the power button on the back. Press the gold button in the middle and a red light will appear under '0', which will turn green when it's ready.
Take a sheet of Minc paper – the white section is the paper and the black is the toner which holds the foil against the paper. Unroll your foil and cut to size, or slightly larger. Open the transfer folder, place the paper inside, layer the foil on top with the colour-side facing up, then close the folder.
There are 5 heat settings for compatibility with different materials – check the back of your Minc packaging to see which setting you should use. Select the correct heat setting – it'll turn green when ready – and then feed the folder in the mouth of the machine.
The folder will then automatically pull through whilst applying the necessary heat and pressure. Once complete, open the folder and peel back the foil to discover amazing foiling where the black toner was!
Once you've purchased a foiling machine, there are a few more essential elements to think about – the first being heat reactive foils. Foils come on long rolls, designed for you to cut to your desired size, and are available in a spectacular array of metallic colours and finishes to cater for the look you want to go for.
After foils, you need some designs to get you started. As previously discussed, both machines work in different ways – the designs you purchase will differ from machine to machine. For the TODO machine, you require letterpress and hot foil plates – special metal 'plates' featuring intricate designs or sentiments. As well as this, you need a material to foil onto – card is often preferred due to its strength.
For the Minc machine, you require Minc paper, tags, labels or decorations, each featuring special toner on white paper, which ultimately replicates the punchy patterns and phrases in foil. You should also make sure you have a selection of transfer folders so that you never get caught short during a project!