How to craft with rub on foils

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What are rub on foils?

They are a powder-coated film, which creates a lovely foiled effect for your crafts. They are available in many colours - including metallic, matt, pearl, holographic, rainbow and marbled foils.

Keen crafters will be able to make beautiful, individual cards and other projects using these very versatile materials. If you are arty or crafty (and even if you aren't) you will be able to come up with some fabulous results.

How can I use them?

The foils can be applied to a dry adhesive such as Tonertex Write & Rub, Sakura Quickie, Zig glue pens or similar.

You write or trace a design using the glue pen, leave it to dry completely so that it is clear (which can take up to 30 minutes) then press the foil over your design (shiny side up), rub over the design and then lift off - it's that simple! If there are any gaps in your design, press an unused piece of foil over the glue.

You can create random marbled effects using left over pieces of foil. To do this, lay the emptiest one on first, apply as usual and continue till the design is completely covered. The last piece of foil should be a solid colour to ensure that all areas are covered. To make full use of the foil, you can use it until it is completely transparent.
If you're using a stencil to create your design, it will be less messy to stencil the design in pencil first, then trace over it with the glue.

The foils do vary - occasionally you might find one that needs to be rubbed on with a little more pressure before lifting off, to achieve the best results. A quick way to test the foil to see how easy it will be to work with is to stick a small piece of sellotape over the non-shiny side, press down and lift off.

Other ways of using the foils:

- Apply to Magic motifs embellishments

- Apply to double sided tape for border effects

- Apply to die cuts or punchies cut from double-sided film 

- Apply with a hot foiling pen - just place foil shiny shide up on your project and write or draw your design on the foil

 - Run punchies or die cuts through a Xyron machine then press foil over them, as the foil will stick to the Xyron adhesive

- Use self-adhesive paper in the same way

- You can of course simply use the foil as a backing for aperture cards etc - you'll just need to be careful how you adhere it to your design (perhaps by taping the edges, if these can be hidden)

- Apply to sticky dots on acetate for a 'mesh' effect

- Print off designs or messages in different fonts using your computer and trace over them with a glue pen

- Colour in and foil rubber stamp designs (using a glue pen)

- Use as nail art foil

- Apply to laser print outs (this won't work with ink jet) of messages or images, using a special foiling wand or laminating machine. The same effect can be achieved by placing a sheet of paper over the foil and design, then ironing over with using an iron on its coolest setting

- Apply a 'stained glass' style peel off to double sided film, then firmly rub foil over, to colour it (this technique is known as Scrapito)
- For a very subtle effect, you can apply the foil without glue by rubbing hard over it (shiny side up) with a lolly stick, however this won't be as deep a colour or as permanent as using one of the other methods (and it's much harder work!)

- If you'd like a design to feature more than one colour of foil, you can mask the part that you don't want to foil yet with polythene, or the covering paper from double-sided film

What can't I use the foils for?

Attractive though they are, unfortunately the foils aren't suitable for food use, such as wrapping chocolates and sweets.

Because the foils are a film, they are not robust enough to be embossed. They are not recommended for die cutting or punches, either.


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