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Old 02-26-2016, 02:32 PM   #1
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DIY Chrome Foil Decals

Been wanting to try this for some time but never got around to gettin' the supplies.

I was looking for a company that makes custom foil transfers such as those in some of the better kits and kept coming across sites for heat transfer foils for clothing, paper crafts and such.

Paper crafting have toner reactive foils (in every color of the rainbow) however, they were meant for paper.

Just for S&G's I wanted to try the application on clear decal film.

Here are the first results of just "winging it" . . . I literally printed them out, ran them through the laminator with the foil. Then messed around with no clear coating and clear coating the decals.

Again, I was just winging it so the results aren't completely perfect.

Just wanted to share.

First I took some artwork from the net.

I filled all the emblems in black with photoshop and added a few other detail pics I drew up for future photo-etching projects just to fill a small sheet. I then printed them on clear decal film with my laser printer (this won't work with inkjet printers).

I then put them between a folded piece of plain paper with the foil covering the printed image and ran them through the laminator 3 or 4 times.

When I opened the paper I could see the image in the foil carrier. When I removed the foil this is what I was left with.

They look like a dull silver here but that's just the camera angle and I was using a cellphone camera.

Back side of the foil

At this point I let them cool, trimmed one of the decals and began dipping it in water (no clear coat). It almost worked as-is but, some of the toner chipped away from the decal paper.

I then clear coated the rest of the sheet. I was expecting the foil to dull a little due to the clear. Rather, it seemed to enhance the chrome look to them.

Not only did the clear enhance the decals but it also kept them from chipping.

Also note that these were printed using inkjet decal paper rather than laser. So I'm sure the fixative on them contributed to some of the chipping. Using laser decal paper ya might not have to clear them.

I also forgot to clean the images using a low-tack masking tape while rushing.

You simply place tape over the foiled images and remove. This will take care of any stray foil bits, covered areas that shouldn't have foil and clean up any ragged edges.

The also look a little grainy in the pics but it really is minimal and they are quite smooth and very shiny.

So for the first try, doesn't look that bad. . .

There are all kinds of tips and techniques online for using toner reactive foils. I'll keep experimenting to try and improve on them.

Since the clear worked so well, I'm also going to try an overlay of inkjet printed images to place over the foiled decal shapes.

Those will carry some of the finer details in the very first pic. I'll also be adding color to some of those.


An important tip I forgot to mention is to let the decal completely cool before removing the foil after it comes out of the laminator.

I did not do this above and that's why some of the toner is showing in spots and it's not as smooth as it should be.

Last edited by Lambo003; 02-28-2016 at 06:25 AM.
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