Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Make your own Transfer 'foils'!

A while ago I bought some transfer foil from a craft shop, it wasn't overly pricey but not cheap either and I have to admit I have found it to be, well, sometimes, a little awkward. It is so light weight that the slightest breeze causes it to flutter around the room and usually land in the most inconvenient of places. 

I had been wondering how to get around the stamping of fine sentiments and while thinking of this, my mind shifted to other things like carbon paper. Transfer foil may not look anything like that but it does have something in common with it, both transfer marks to something else. 

Then suddenly, I  had a lightbulb moment and had to try something out. What if I could make my own transfer foil out of something already lying around? Heaven knows I have plenty of paints.
So my first attempt was using acrylic paints.

I painted some on a plastic sheet, allowed it to dry, while I doodled on some card scraps with a Sakura glue pen. Sakura, only because those are the ones I have that have a very fine pen nib, or I would have used my Zigs.

Well that didn't work. The gold paint I used formed a skin and would not break away cleanly. Hmm.

Suddenly I remembered that I have some  cheap silver spray paint. I got out a plastic document wallet too.

Well, actually I used a piece of a wallet that had already been cut up, but this shows you what I mean.

You need just one side of it. Cut it down the side and cut off the welded seam. I took it outside and using a couple of clothes pegs on the corners to weigh it down (it was windy), I lightly sprayed ONE side only.

While it was drying (does not take long)  I made a file in SCAL and set up my Silver Bullet with a piece of white card. You could do this with a Cameo though, quite easily.   I set the file to draw and put my Sakura glue pen in the holder.

 This is the glued design.

I gave it a moment to dry a bit more and then placed my plastic, paint side down, on top. (It will feel slightly rougher than the unpainted side) and used a bone folder to rub over the pattern. I did miss a few bits in my haste and excitement - but I can go over those later.

It worked perfectly!

You can see here that the paint has left the plastic.

Now the beauty of this has another level. Think what you could do with different colours of metallic or non metallic spray paints! 

Raid your garages crafters!  Leave no paint can to fester any more. Go wild!  

This method can be used for anything that can be drawn with a glue pen. One note - it needs to be one that is a 2 way glue, one that ends up tacky when dry. Do it too early and it will smudge, so don't be afraid to wait a few minutes for the glue to set.  The paint stays put after it is transferred, no problem there.

Once it is all used up, there is nothing to stop you cleaning off the plastic to re use it.


  1. That is a brilliant technique Sandra! It would also work superbly with gold or silver leaf, or as we in the real world do, dutch metal or aluminum.

  2. excellent idea Sandra. I can't wait to try it

  3. It's great to have alternative methods that use supplies you have hanging around, and here in Spain, spray paint is sold cheaply EVERYWHERE!