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Old 10-23-2020, 08:30 AM   #1  
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Default Foil Machine Recommendations

I have a Laser jet printer and a laminator. I was excited to try to use foil with it. It was a disaster. Very little of the foil stuck. I couldn't figure out if it was the printer or the laminator. Then, I read a post that stated that some laminators don't get hot enough. I have a cheapo 3M Scotch laminator. I'm thinking of investing in a foil machine, but I'm a little leery as I don't know if it would work with my printer (which is a very good printer).

Now my question to all of you, if I were to get a foil machine, which one would you recommend and why. Thank you in advance.
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Old 10-24-2020, 03:01 AM   #2  
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Originally Posted by ComradeBunnyView Post
I have a Laser jet printer and a laminator. I was excited to try to use foil with it. It was a disaster. Very little of the foil stuck. I couldn't figure out if it was the printer or the laminator. Then, I read a post that stated that some laminators don't get hot enough. I have a cheapo 3M Scotch laminator. I'm thinking of investing in a foil machine, but I'm a little leery as I don't know if it would work with my printer (which is a very good printer).

Now my question to all of you, if I were to get a foil machine, which one would you recommend and why. Thank you in advance.
I have some experience with foiling. And I have used laminator as well as The Minc.
I really liked the Minc as I got the best images. But I learned that there are other considerations that are just as important as the machine used.
1. The laserjet printer should be monochrome. The color lasers do not produce the blackest images even adjusted to b&w.
2. Type of paper. Cardstock must be smooth. I got better results with Neenah cardstock 80 - 110 lbs. and Bazzill Smoothie. Also, I used printer paper as the carrier sheet. The plastic one with the Minc was not good for me.
3. Run the image with the foil different ways. I have passed up to 4 times just to make sure I got a completely covered image. You don't have to. But at least two times.
The laminator I have is the Scotch Thermal. Like $30 on Amazon. My Minc broke down and I forgot to return it although company agreed to replace. That was my fault. It was the small one and I loved it.

So, first, I would try the smooth paper and also a monochrome laser. If you are not in the market for one, use the copier in Staples or other stationary store. Make sure it is a toner copier. That cheapo Scotch may start acting right. But if you want to get the Minc, get it at the cheapest price you can.😉. Maybe put it on your Christmas list.

Hope this help.❤
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Old 10-24-2020, 04:10 AM   #3  
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One thing I'd mention here is are you using the right type of foil? There are a few different types that require different methods for them to attach properly. I've been foiling with my very basic laminator- just a basic on/off switch, no extra heat/speed settings- and they've always been successful. Have treated myself to a Minc though, as I want to try foiling stamped images. 
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Old 10-24-2020, 08:33 AM   #4  
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I don't have a monochrome laser printer and I'm not in the market for a new one (as the one I have was purchased by my employer for printing out work related items as well as home ones).  I will have to try Office Depot as there is not a Staples near me.  Do I print out the image and have it copied or bring it on a zip drive and have them print it on my paper?

I guess I haven't looked into the type of foil.  I have iCraft Deco Foil transfer sheets for fabric and paper.  How do I determine the type of foil I should be using?

Thank you both for your advice.
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Old 10-24-2020, 08:38 PM   #5  
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I craft deco foil is the right type of foil for toner foiling. Minc foil is also correct. I use a Minc machine and love it, but there are people who have very good results with a laminator. I know I've heard that if you use a laminator, you need to let it warm up past the point where the ready light comes on. Let it warm up for at least 20-30 minutes.

If you want some good tips on foiling, on youtube watch videos by NancyStamps. She has some great info about the different types of foil and how to get good results. The lady's enabled me to spend quite a bit of my craft budget with some of the foils she finds.
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Old 10-25-2020, 12:55 AM   #6  
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Originally Posted by ComradeBunnyView Post
I don't have a monochrome laser printer and I'm not in the market for a new one (as the one I have was purchased by my employer for printing out work related items as well as home ones).  I will have to try Office Depot as there is not a Staples near me.  Do I print out the image and have it copied or bring it on a zip drive and have them print it on my paper?

I guess I haven't looked into the type of foil.  I have iCraft Deco Foil transfer sheets for fabric and paper.  How do I determine the type of foil I should be using?

Thank you both for your advice.
icraft foil is highly recommended. So, you stick to that. Yes, take to office depot on a zip drive. I have a friend who prints out black cardstock without image so she can use on a die cut and foil that shape.
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Old 10-25-2020, 07:13 AM   #7  
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I have a Scotch laminator too, and I get very good results.  A few tips that might help you:
- Use a piece of folded parchment or copy paper to enclose your items and foil when you send them through the laminator.  Don't use the plastic one that comes with some foiling kits, like the Heidi Swapp Minc ones.
- Add a piece of thin cardstock behind the piece you're foiling.  This adds a little stability and pressure. If that's too thick, try printer paper.
- Foil only one item at a time, even if there's room for more.

Hope that helps, and good luck!

Last edited by Scrapjanny; 10-25-2020 at 07:16 AM..
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Old 10-27-2020, 01:43 AM   #8  
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I wrote a couple of posts here about foiling and machines. I love to foil.

I have the Minc. I did a lot of research on foiling before I bought the Minc. I really did want something in the professional range. The Minc was the closest in professional range to the professional foiling machines. I want to add that I do not buy craft tools because it's hyped. I have a real peeve about that. I will only buy if I think it's a good investment. I did get my Minc with a ton of extra's brand new for only $50. That was the large Minc.

You can use your laminator. Most important tips you need a monochrome laser printer. No, color printer. You need your black to be pure. Color printers mix colors to make it black and you will get the RGB spots in your foiling.

Laminator it has to be hot! Super hot! I would wait fifteen minutes for it to heat up. Even the Minc you need to wait for it to heat up. I run my parchment paper through and test the heat on my hand. If it's warm then I know I won't get a good foiling. If it's hot them I get a good foiling. Of course don't burn yourself. I use a lot of iDeco foil. I get great results every single time.

Foiling brand papers really doesn't matter to me. I have gotten great results from foils on Ebay I bought. I got terrible results on some more expensive foils that were raved about.

Paper does make a difference. The more tooth it has then it's not going to foil very well. I have gotten nice results from watercolor paper. I have a lot of foiling experience now so I know all my little hacks that work for me. First time texture paper is going to be a nightmare. When learning start off smooth paper then you can go to the fun stuff like fabric, acetates, watercolor paper, etc.....

Scotch does have good laminators. I have the big 12 inch laminator. I laminate things as much as I foil.

I agree with everyone else don't use Heidi's plastic carrier sheets. I only use printer or parchment paper for my carrier sheets.  

Takeaways- Monochrome printer (Must), Laminator and Minc should be heated at least 15-30 minutes before using. As a beginner start off with smooth cardstock.

Savagetwin- I am impressed you can still take things to OfficeDepot on a Zip drive. I haven't seen an OfficeDepot since the early 2000's or a Zip Drive since 2001. That is so cool you still have a resource for Zip drive files. I miss Office Depot.
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Old 10-27-2020, 02:30 AM   #9  
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lylacfey! Hi! No Office Depot. Only Staples. I used a flash drive almost a year ago to copy some magnets we gave out at our Dad's funeral. I haven't printed anything there since that time. Sent daughter with tattoo paper to print off a design. She says she was going to go thru her email or something like that. Comes back home saying that the paper bins were locked and she had to take it to the printing section. Would you believe she was told that they couldn't do specialty paper. What kind of nonsense was that? Then she says, "Mommy, the virus". I couldn't believe it. Send a child of 28 to do the work of a 68 year old, take no prisoners crafts mom...that's what I get. 🤣🤣🤣. Wouldn't had that problem at an Office Depot🤣🤣🤣.
Anyway, sound advice to all who struggle with foiling issues.
Keep safe ❤❤❤
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Old 10-27-2020, 11:56 PM   #10  
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Savagetwin- Oh, Ok a flash drive. I thought you mean the old zip drives- https://www.google.com/search?q=zip+...w=1600&bih=797

I thought how cool is that there are still stores that can transfer old file formats for you?

I use to have a local office supply store that sold all the cool older office supplies and stationery. That place was a treasure trove. The family retired five years ago and sold the building. I was so sad.

I bet your local library would print out the tattoo paper.

I use to go to the library with all my specialty papers. I can upload my images to the libraries printer site from my own computer and then print when I get there. Side note- A good tip for you who need laser copies for foiling. I felt guilty about loading the machine constantly with special paper. I bought my own printers. I still use the library for colored laser copies because I don't mind about the paper they give me. Least I use to do this before Covid. I am only using drive through or kiosk now for library.
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Old 10-28-2020, 05:27 AM   #11  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by SavagetwinView Post


icraft foil is highly recommended. So, you stick to that. Yes, take to office depot on a zip drive. I have a friend who prints out black cardstock without image so she can use on a die cut and foil that shape.

I had to read this a few times before my aHA moment, but this above is *brilliant*. lol

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Old 10-28-2020, 02:33 PM   #12  
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First, it depends on what type of foiling you are trying to do?  Do you want to do the foiling that looks more like letterpress or are you wanting to do the kind of foiling that sits on top of the paper and can fill in a design like a background or a figure like an ornament?

If you are trying to do the first kind - letterpress, then you need a machine like the glimmer machine by Spellbinders.  It will attach to your electric die cutting machine (and it will fit several kinds of machines) heat up.  You need the kind of foil that is made specifically for this kind of foiling.  It will not work for the other kind of foiling. You will use different kinds of "dies" that sit on the machine that heat up. These will not cut the paper.   Once they are hot, you place the foil on them, put your paper on top of that, and a top plate (like on a sandwich for your die cutting machine) and then remove the part of the machine that fits in the die cutting machine and run it through.  Once it is run through (you may want to run it through more than once) the foiling is done.  The foil is pressed into the paper, impressed in, and the letters or design is at the bottom of the *ditch* formed by the die used, much like what happens when you use an embossing folder.

If you want to do the kind of foiling where the foil is on top of the paper, then you will need the kind of foil that is specifically for this.  this foil will not work for the other kind of foiling.  If you do both, be sure and label it and store it in different folders, pouches, whatever.    For this, you will need your design, made with a toner ink, the paper you wish it would be transferred to and a laminator. You will layer by putting the toner piece face up, the foil - colored face down, and if you need a shim, the shim.  This sandwich goes in a folder of parchment paper or copy paper.  Warm up the laminator, and when it is warm to the right temp, run you sandwich through.  You my need to do this multiple times.
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Old 10-29-2020, 01:21 AM   #13  
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JUST TAKE SOMETIME AND GO WATCH NANCYSTAMPS AND SHE CAN AND WILL ANSWER ALL QUESTIONS YOU HAVE BUT WATCH HER YOU TUBE AND SHE IS GOOD ABOUT RESPONDING TO YOUR EMAILS. SHE IS AWESOME "THE FOILING QUEEN" BUT MACHINES,FOIL AND PAPER SHE TEACHES ALL OF IT
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Old 10-29-2020, 01:27 AM   #14  
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OH I JUST WAS AT STAPLES TODAY AND USED PIECE OF BLACK CARD STOCK  AND MADE COPIES ON TO BLACKCARD CARD STOCK AT ABOUT .38 AND I AM GOOD TO GO. GRAB YOUR BLACK CS AND GO. THEY WON'T LET YOU PUT YOUR BLACK CS IN THE MACHINE THEY DO IT FOR YOU. BUT IT HAS TO BE LASER

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Old 10-30-2020, 12:16 AM   #15  
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Zoedog- I think it depends on the State/City you live in if you can go to Staples with specialty cardstock right now because of Covid restrictions. I would definitely call first and ask if they would print specialty cardstock. I know my city Staples is being strict on what they will or will not do right now.
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Old 10-30-2020, 06:41 AM   #16  
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Thanks for all the great information.  I really appreciate it.
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