DISCLAIMER: I am not in any way affiliated with Cricut. I purchased my equipment and tools with my own money. These ideas/opinions are honest and my own.
I may be a little late to the game with this one, but have finally had some time to play with Cricut’s new Foil Transfer Kit! Oh my was I intimidated, and a little frustrated (I didn’t read the instructions properly) but I’m really starting to love it. I wasted a lot of foil and paper figuring it all out, but if this helps even one person it will have been worth it! Okay, let’s dive in!
READ THE FREAKING INSTRUCTIONS!
Do as I say, not as I do. Using my OG Explore Air (not the 2) I began the foiling process after briefly skimming the included pamphlet. I kept getting error messages and wanted to pull my hair out. When using this system with anything but the Maker, you MUST turn the smart-dial to custom and then select your base material (in my case it was 80lb cardstock). The mats wouldn’t load, I pressed the flashing Cricut button dozens of times and nothing happened. Their website does detail this step, however it was not included in the small instruction pamphlet. Once I adjusted the dial accordingly, my mats loaded and I could begin my project.
DON’T LET IT TOUCH YOUR MAT!
Avoid letting the foil sheets touch your mats at all costs. My mat is covered in foil now, I wasted a sheet and it has completely lost its tack in that spot. I have nothing more to say about this other than “oh my gosh that sucked”.
TAPE IT TIGHT
My first project was supposed to be a little love notecard to my partner. He did not receive it. After some trial and error, I realized I had not taped the foil sheet tight enough to my cardstock to get a consistent transfer. It ended up missing sections and it looked terrible. Taping the top and side first then pulling the sheet taught and taping the other two sides worked the best for me. Make sure you have enough base material so the foil doesn’t stick to your mat as mentioned above. It is BAD news. Please take my word!
ADJUST THE PRESSURE
You may need to experiment with your machine and adjust the pressure from the default setting. I now have a Maker and the default settings work well with the Foil Transfer Tool. However, when using my Explore Air I needed to adjust the pressure settings to “more” to get the best results.
Cricut’s Foil Transfer System comes with its own housing and three tips- fine, medium and bold. You can tell them apart by the markings at the top. Fine has a single line, medium two and bold three. I personally prefer the bold tip for the majority of projects and the medium for smaller ones. I imagine the fine tip would be useful for VERY tiny projects or super intricate designs. They are magnetic and very easy to swap in and out. I really like this feature. Store them in the machine’s built in storage so you don’t lose them! I spent about an hour crawling around on the floor looking for tip that had rolled off my workspace. Rookie move, Sades.
SUPER SECRET TIP
Probably not the first person to have thought of this, but when I bought my Maker, I didn’t purchase any additional blades/tools. I wanted to emboss the background of a card I was making but didn’t have the debossing tool on hand. I also didn’t want to put my project on hold and wait for it to be delivered. So, I changed the line type to bold foil and “foiled” my project without a foil sheet. I adjusted the pressure setting to “more” on the Maker for this one too. I think it turned out great and added just the right amount of texture to my card. It didn’t go through the back of the cardstock (it remained smooth) but the front looked great.
I’ll include a photo here of my first semi-successful project with the Foil Transfer Kit. This card was made before I employed these tips I shared with you. I hope this helps you and saves a few mats in the process!