Yesterday I wrote about my ongoing experiments with laser transfer foil and an iron. Results were hit or miss. A lot of miss, actually. I'd been curious what would happen if, instead of fusing the foil to a laser print with my iron, I used my printer to do it (a Brother HL-5250DN). A representative from the company where I ordered the foil, PulsarPro FX, said a laser printer probably wouldn't work for a variety of reasons. They recommend a particular kind of laminator, but I've been too cheap to buy one. Last night I figured I'd try the printer anyway and crossed my fingers that the foil wouldn't get jammed up inside. The verdict: it worked WAY better than an iron.
I have a multi-colored pack of foils— click here and scroll down to "Foil Sampler Pack." That's the one. Or you could buy the "Individually Wrapped TRF" if you want to save some money and just get one color to test first, which is how I started. If you're outside the US, start here to find a vendor, then choose your product.
Here's the process.
First I requested Alex's permission to possibly destroy our printer. Got it, with just a "please be careful" admonishment.
Then I made a design in Illustrator and laser printed it on cardstock.
Next I cut a piece of foil and laid it over the design. I taped all the way along the edge that goes into my printer first and put a shorter piece on the other two corners to hold them down. Hard to see here, sorry.
Tips: Make sure the foil is cut large enough that your tape doesn't cover any part of your design or you'll probably have trouble getting the foil to stick in that area. Make sure you don't get wrinkles in the foil; smooth it down down when taping.
I put the taped-up cardstock back in my printer tray, positioned as if I were going to reproduce the print again on the same side. But this time, I printed a blank document. As the cardstock ran through the printer again, the foil became fused to any toner on the page.
Then I peeled off the loose foil; it only sticks where there's toner. The print above isn't too shabby.
But this here print IS shabby. And not in a chic way. I found that some cardstock works and some doesn't. No idea why; so aggravating. Update: Coated cardstock yields good results! Uncoated cardstock does not.
My white cardstock worked really well. Here's a print with copper foil adhered in a confetti design, inspired by that trend in metallic wall treatments.
Here's more copper in a houndstooth pattern.
Here's an origami unicorn I designed for another project, foiled in red. Fabulous!
So no more ironing. I'm using the laser printer from now on.