DIY: Reactive Foil Transfer

DIY: Reactive Foil Transfer

Did you know, you can make your own expensive looking foil coated cards and invitations at home using your trusty laser printer, a standard laminator and inexpensive transfer foil?

Neither did we until recently, so we tasked our resident 'craft expert' Tom to give it a go and let us know how it's done. If you're more of a 'visual learner' you can skip below to see the video of the process in action. If not, here's how it's done:


You Will Need:

  • Reactive Foil Transfer – We got ours from Amazon here -
  • Laser Printer - A black only one will do, you won’t be printing in colour.
  • Your preferred stock – Paper, Card, even one of our Greetings Card Kits.
  • Scissors – To cut the foil.
  • 2 sheets of plain paper – To protect the foil from direct contact with the laminator.
  • Standard office or craft laminator – The heating process is what transfers the foil to the toner and keeps it there.


How it’s Done:

1. Print your image in black onto your desired stock (card, paper etc.) using a Laser Printer.

For this process to work you must use a laser printer, images printed using an inkjet printer will not work.
As a work around you could print your image with an inkjet printer and then take this to be photocopied onto your preferred stock.

2. Measure the amount of foil you need to cover the area you want to coat and lay it over with the ‘mirrored’ side up.

The foil will stick to any toner but not to any of the unprinted surface.
Any unused foil that goes through the laminator cannot be re-used so make sure to only cut enough to cover what you need.

3. Sandwich the Card / Foil between two sheets of standard copy paper.

This protects the foil as it goes through the laminator.

4. Send the layered assembly through the laminator.

The heat setting will depend on your laminator but we found a medium high heat worked best for us.
Too cold and the foil will not adhere properly to the toner.
To hot and the foil will ripple, and un-foiled toner areas will be damaged.
It is best to experiment with your laminator / card / foil combination before going for your final product.

5. Stand Back and admire your work!

You've done it! Now you need to resist the urge to foil everything that comes out of the printer!

Here’s The Video:

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Samsung CLX-6260ND reviewed

Samsung CLX-6260ND reviewed

Samsung is constantly improving its printers and this one is no exception.

East to use, relatively compact and 'superfast', this three-in-one printer is a great addition to any medium-sized office.

This laser printer prints, scans, copies and can even be used as a fax machine.

Aesthetically, this printer ticks all the boxes. The user-friendly 4-line LCD display has simple intuitive menus and buttons which not only looks great but also reduces training and troubleshooting time.

There is a Direct USB connection on the front of the machine, for printing or scanning direct to the printer from your USB, without the need for a PC.

The polymerised toner gives your printouts more vivid colours and crisper lines and the printer will get your first colour page out in under 17 seconds.

This printer also boasts an eco-mode to save power when the printer is not being used.

The front access panel makes changing ink cartridges or print heads infinitely easier.

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Revamp your printed marketing

Revamp your printed marketingGiving your printed marketing an overhaul can be an expensive endeavour, particularly for smaller businesses with smaller budgets.

The marketing industry has moved on far enough that knocking something up yourself often seems outdated and unprofessional. But it doesn't have to.

Hiring a designer is expensive business. They will charge you for their time and the use of their resources. If you want professional-looking marketing material, this is a cost that is hard to avoid, but equally hard to finance, especially if you are just starting out.

There are ways around this though. If you are creative (we're not talking painting the Sistine Chapel, we're talking coming up with a concept and maybe a couple of images) and own a printer then you will be just fine.

Tip number one. Invest in a decent printer. If you have a small business, a smaller printer will do. We're guessing you won't be printing billboard ads any time soon so stick with a smaller all-in-one inkjet. Stock up on colour ink, photo paper and some nice thick paper/thin card.

That's the hard bit done. No, really.

Now you need to decide what you want to print. Let's start with the basics - business cards.

Business cards are your key to the outside world - your on-the-go marketing technique if you will.

So why settle for a boring white rectangle with your contact information on? Your business card can say a lot about your business in a very small space.

Playing around with the shape of your business card is one way to make it stand out from the crowd. The beauty of printing your own is that you won't be charged a small fortune for having a quirky shape.

If your company is in the sustainable energy field, use a leaf shape for your card. A bakery? Use a cupcake. A postal service? An old fashioned luggage tag. A mechanic? A car wheel. We could go on!

There are so many ways to make your business card stand out - all you need to do is think outside the box, if you will excuse the pun.

Printing onto thin card and then cutting around your new quirky card is a far cheaper option than getting someone else to print it for you.

If a rectangular card suits your company better then play around with the content and visual design.

The same applies to your promotional posters.

These days there is so much information that could be stored on a business card - not only do they include your name, business, address, email and phone number but can also feature your Twitter account, Facebook, LinkedIn...the list goes on.

Play around with the layout of these things. A linear list is not the only way to display information.

Using an infographic is a great way to portray a huge amount of information in an interesting way that will capture potential clients' attention for far longer than a list of contact information and a descriptive paragraph about what it is you can offer them.

Whilst you will struggle to put an infographic on a business card, a poster is the perfect size. There are many free internet programmes you can use in order to create a personalised infographic for your business. Your company logo, slogan and any stock images can all be included and you will be amazed at the range of visual creative possibilities there are on offer.

Create a marketing work of art and print onto photo paper in order to give it that extra professional element.

Leaflets can also be made and printed at home. Again, searching online for a free programme and designing it yourself will not only save you money but will give you completely free reign over visual layout and content.

By ensuring that all your promotional material includes a similar colour scheme, fonts and general style will bring all your printed marketing together. Affordable but professional-looking marketing could be a lot easier than you think. What you spend in time you will more than make up for in cost!

But if that still seems like too much why not let us do it for you! - Head on over to

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Design and print your own infographics

Design and print your own infographicsWhether they are motivational posters for your office, your latest business plan or a quirky edition of your CV, infographics are great.

Infographics are visual representations of information, data or knowledge. The advantage of this form of presentation (apart from being aesthetically pleasing) is the ability to display a lot of information quickly and effectively.

There so many uses for infographics. They can be used to display statistics, strategy plans and even CVs. Whilst these snazzy graphics used to take a lot of time and personal creative input, there are now several websites that do the majority of work for you.

By simply Googling 'infographics' you will be inundated with a number of different websites that make creating your own pictorial spreadsheet remarkable easy.

Having a few ideas in mind before you start is probably a good idea, as well as any images or photos that you want to feature in the design. Aside from that, the website will probably do most of the work for you. There are arrows, different shaped text boxes and stock images galore.

If you are struggling to come up with an interesting idea for an upcoming presentation, create and print an infographic and hand it out instead of giving a Power Point presentation.

Make sure your printer is loaded with coloured ink and you are good to go. Printing your infographic on photo paper will give it an even more professional look.

Displaying statistics using an infographic is far more interest, and eye catching than any old pie chart or bar graph. If your stats include data about how 73 out of 100 people prefer strawberry icecream to vanilla, having 73 tiny pink people next to 27 white people is a far more interesting visual representation. Even better, scrap the people and use tiny icecream cones.

Technology such as iPads has changed the way we display data, but this doesn’t mean the end if printing- it just means we need to make the printed way we display information just as exciting and new.

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How to clean your printer drum

How To Clean Your Printer Drum

Hey folks. Our recent blog on general printer maintenance got us thinking that it'd be great to offer you some more features and how-to's on printer cleaning.

OK - not the most inspiring of topics we're sure you'll agree, but it might just come in handy one day!

So here's our first one – on cleaning your laser printer drum. The laser printer drum is the major component that dictates print quality, so it's crucial that it is regularly checked.

What is a printer drum?

Simple. The printer drum unit is the big central part of your laser printer. Inside it is the bit that really does all the work – the tube-shaped object that looks a little bit like a really long packet of mints. Or something.

Why should I bother to clean it?

Because it might fix your printer and extend its lifespan. As soon as the drum stops working properly, it would be easy to simply replace it.

But it wouldn't be cheap – have you seen how much they cost!

So it's worth trying to clean the drum first to see if this can remedy the problem - so not only is it good practice to clean your printer's drum, it could make it last for longer, too.

Easy to clean - step-by-step

If you start having printing problems - such as sketchy or blotchy prints – it could be a sign the drum needs a once-over.

Cleaning your printer's drum unit doesn't have to be expensive - all you need is some elbow grease and a few bits and bobs.

An important point: when cleaning, it is really important not to use anything that may damage the inner drum. This could cause damage to your printer - and we don't want that.

If you have print quality problems, clean the drum unit as follows:

1. Get yourself some tweezers, a soft cloth and rubbing alcohol

2. Turn the power off to your printer and consult the manufacturer's guidelines to see if there's anything specific you need to know about when it comes to cleaning the machine

3. Remove the drum unit from the printer - with great care. Drums are very sensitive so it's important not to damage them. Remove carefully and place on a safe surface

4. Remove any chunks of toner with the tweezers. Bits of toner breaking off and embedding themselves in the drum unit is a big cause of problem prints. If you spot any, gently remove them using the tweezers (or pliers, or something similar)

5. Next, apply some rubbing alcohol to the soft cloth and (gently now) clean the drum unit. Then, give it a final once-over before popping it back in the machine. Simple, huh?

Finally, conduct a test print to see if your cleaning has worked. We hope you find that it has. If not, it's likely there's something else wrong with the drum and you may need to replace it.

But the important thing to remember is that if your printer starts playing up, don't assume you need to start shelling out and replacing parts. A quick clean might do the trick.

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Laser vs Inkjet: Who wins?

Picture the scene. A disused railway line. At night. There's no-one around, except that is, for a laser printer and an inkjet printer. They're about to do battle. Who wins? 

We're entering an age-old argument here folks. Two of the most common types of printing have long been waging a war for top dog status. It's the technological equivalent of, um, Man vs Wild. 

But which is better? We go through the pros and cons.



To put it simply, the big difference an inkjet has over its laser equivalent is, as the name suggests, that is uses liquid ink.

The big plus for inkjets is that because they can handle multiple ink streams, they are really good for printing photos, complicated colour prints, and on a range of media (some can print on CDs).

However, one drawback is when it comes to speed. They are faster than they once were, but inkjets still aren't as zippy as lasers. That's because lasers use big sophisticated lasers.

Still, if speed isn't a massive issue, you can expect great quality prints from an inkjet. And like we say, they're not that slow.

What's more, while it might seem like inkjets are more suited to the individual consumer as opposed to a business, this isn't so. Pick up a decent multi-function inkjet printer and you'll find it's more than capable of handling business tasks.





Text, text, text. That's what lasers are all about. Text, and lots of it.

Fire up a laser printer and – boom – it'll give you a stream of basic prints before you can say, er, laser.

Black text, too, is the laser's strong point. That's why they are so suited to businesses – they can print black text fast.

They can handle different colours, but don't expect them to print anything too complicated.

Speed, too. Laser printers are really fast and it's unlikely the laser will ever compare to it. If you want to be churning out the prints, a laser is your best bet.

When it comes to cost, such is the market these days that there really isn't that much difference in price. However, be aware that with the lower-priced models, you really aren't paying for much. If you're looking for something effective and adaptable, you'll need to spend a little bit more.


Anyway – who's better? Well, it won't surprise you to hear that really, neither is better than the other.

It all depends on what you need to print. Just printing black text documents? Go for a laser. Colour-happy? Inkjet will be up your alley.

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Lasers used to remove ink from paper

Use a laser and save a tree.

Use a laser and save a tree.

That's the message coming from researchers at Cambridge University today – they've come up with an innovative technique that can remove ink from scrap paper so that it can be used again and again. 

They say the trick could reduce carbon emissions and energy usage associated with recycling paper.

Dr Julian Allwood and his team used different lasers to see if they could remove ink from paper.

Working with The Bavarian Laser Centre, the researchers set up ten lasers of varying strengths and used them on standard Canon copy paper with HP laserjet black toner - used in offices and homes all over the world.

They found ink can be removed without causing any major damage to the paper – meaning it can be reused instead of being binned, shredded or sent for recycling.

Dr Allwood thinks given the advances in laser scanning, copiers and printers, it might not be too long before these lasers are a common sight.

"What we need to do now is find someone to build a prototype," he said.

"Thanks to low-energy laser scanners and laser-jet printers, the feasibility for reusing paper in the office is there."

And there's more. The research suggests a number of other real-world implications. Reducing the use of trees is a "real possibility", it was claimed. Reusing paper could save an additional 50-80 per cent in carbon emissions. "This could represent a significant contribution towards the cause of reducing climate change emissions from paper manufacturing," Dr Allwood said.

So could the technique be coming to an office near you soon? Keep your eyes peeled folks….


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