Make your own professional looking metalic effect gift tags this Christmas

DIY: Reactive Foil Transfer

Our resident 'craft expert' Tom shows you how to make some fantastic looking metallic gift tags at home using your trusty laser printer, a standard laminator and inexpensive reactive foil.

We’ve even put together some fantastic Free Gift Tag printables for you to download and use:

  • INKredible Gift Tag CollectionDownload
  • Merry Christmas (Light) Gift TagsDownload
  • Merry Christmas (Dark) Gift TagsDownload
  • It's Cold Outside Gift TagsDownload
  • White Christmas Gift TagsDownload
  • Merry Xmas Gift TagsDownload

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 Gold and Silver from Amazon here:
  • Laser Printer – A black only (mono) one will do, you won’t be printing in colour.
  • Your preferred stock – Paper, Card, we used our 130gsm Matt Photo Paper and some brown ‘Kraft’ card from Amazon:
  • Scissors / Knife– 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. Most large photocopiers use toner rather than ink.

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!

6. Have Fun! Experiment with different styles!

Try different shapes, inverting the printed areas of your design or layering up different paper types.

Here’s The Video: