This post is sponsored by Therm O Web (Deco Foil), all opinions and projects are my own! Find my full policies here.
I’ve been using Deco Foils for a couple years now (you can see all my projects with them here). And I really love how they can add shine to any project. It’s so hard to photograph the beautiful shine but it really catches the light so beautifully. For this post, I wanted to bring it back to the basics and take on a paper project this week. I decided to do a simple phrase for my kids art station and add some colourful details. There really are so many ways to do this using Deco Foil. You could design it on the computer and print it with a laser printer, then apply the foil with a laminator. That is my favourite way to use the Deco Foils because they apply so clean and perfectly. But since I’ve done that a few times (like on these Valentines), I thought I’d try creating a design by hand and skipping a trip to the print shop to get a laser printed design.
SO I wanted to share two different techniques on how to do this. Stencilling (that fun design) and tracing (the lettering). I wanted to show how both techniques can be used with the Adhesive Pen to apply the Deco Foil (using a laminator). I made a bunch of designs and this was my favourite of the lot. It’s funny that now I have it photographed and I’m realizing ‘fun’ looks a little like ‘fnn’. But I love how the lettering has almost a brush stroke look by using the pen quickly instead of slow and steady. I also love how the crinkled watercolour foil looks on the stencilled design. Honestly- you could play with this stuff all day!
Ready for the tips on these two techniques?
How to Trace and add Deco Foil
Tracing is nothing new… I’m sure BUT since getting a light box, I’m all about it! You can trace SO easily, using as thick of paper as you like. I originally tested out a beautifully thick watercolour paper for this project, but found the adhesive soaked in too quickly on that paper so switched to a smooth printer cardstock. With thicker paper like this, it’s difficult to see a design through the paper without a light. By turning on a light box or holding your designs up to a window, you can trace much more easily.
I chose to trace instead of freehand my design because I’ve found that lettering with a pen that has no color gives me such shaky lines. Lettering with a black brush pen, I can see my lines so much clearer and am always more happy with my design. I lettered on a piece of paper and laid that underneath to trace (I found the adhesive pen picks up the color if you use the adhesive over the marker).
I taped the papers down on top of the lightbox to keep it from shifting. I used this Purple Tape for this- it held firm but peeled right off the paper without damaging it at all.
To get that brush stroke look, I switched to the chisel tip (the pen comes with a bullet nib on). Then I would press down to get the adhesive running on a scrap paper before doing a stroke on the cardstock (tracing). The only big tip is to go really quick. Just like a brush that runs out with the stroke- by going quickly, your pen doesn’t let more adhesive down, so it looks like it runs out (gets streaky) as the stroke goes on.
Let it dry for about 30 seconds, then lay your Deco Foil over top. I taped this in place with the Purple Tape as well. Then run it through your hot laminator. Press the design down firmly after it comes out of the laminator before peeling back the foil to reveal your design! I used a black foil on the lettering to really help it pop against the colourful pattern.
How to Stencil a Design for Deco Foil
Deco Foil recently came out with stencil designs and sent me a couple to test out. I’m not going to lie… I’ve never been a fan of stencilling. I just haven’t ever found a design I like enough to opt for over my just drawing something. But this one with the retro star burst pattern really is rad! I really love how it worked in this design.
I used the purple tape again to tape down the stencil in place so the pattern lined up all the way across. The only challenge with this is that you can’t really see which lines you’ve stencilled since the adhesive is clear, so you need to go a little systematically. I used the chisel tip on the adhesive pen for this as well but did find that it chewed the tip up a bit. Just like the black foil, leave the adhesive for 30 seconds before layering the foil overtop and putting it through the laminator.
Since I wanted the design to be an accent and not a focus, I used watercolor foils instead of matching the black foil lettering. The two colors I used for this are the Emerald Watercolor Deco Foil and the Amethyst Watercolor Deco Foil. I also wanted it to look more faded than the black lettering. I chose to crumple the foil before applying to make sure there were lots of natural looking cracks and voids in the foil. I used this crumpled technique in these black and copper invitations and have been waiting to try it on something again.
So there you have it- two fun techniques to try using the Adhesive Pen with Deco Foil! I had so much fun playing with these and definitely am not done… I have a few more ideas I’d love to try out- maybe on some cards for Mothers Day! What would you make with these techniques?