Today I’ve got an informational post for you. I’m going to answer three questions today- what are metal foils, metal flakes, and metal leafing? And how do I use them? And with what adhesives?
Now the first thing I’m going to do is to ask you to watch this video I made you. It’s about 17 minutes long (I kn0w-GASP- super-long for a YouTube video) but I really wanted to show you each product and how it works:
Now here are some text definitions & resources for buying product. The links are either affiliate links or ones to product reviews, so if you choose to make a purchase you will be supporting free content on CTD! Thank you in advance!
Metal Leafing(or Metal Gilding ) is a composite metal tissue paper. It’s light and thin, and easily prone to tear. It can be silver, gold, copper, or a combination, and can be made of composite metals (inexpensive) or the real deal- 24 karat gold or fine silver. You need to use an adhesive to affix it to paper, plastic, plaster or other surfaces, but you can layer it right into polymer clay without an adhesive. Not recommended for fabric that is to be worn. Can also be used as makeup or even in resin.
Metal Flakes (or Gilding Flakes) are the same as Metal Leafing, but in smaller particles rather than a solid sheet. Generally less expensive.
Metal Foils (or Mylar-Backed Foils) aren’t really metal at all. Rather, they consist of a shiny plastic film printed on mylar that can be removed with pressure or adhesive. You may use a wet adhesive (like a glue) or a dry adhesive (such as sticky tape) to affix them to paper, fabric, or other surfaces. You can use them on polymer clay for lovely dichroic-glass like effects, but usually the coverage is spotty.
- Lisa Pavelka Crafting Foils: Bold & Bright
- Creative Imaginations Foil Kit (with rub-on stickers) OCEAN
- Martha Stewart Metallic Foil Sheets
The most important thing is finding the right adhesive for the job. (Be aware that some links below may be affiliate links and/0r links to product reviews.)
You can use dry adhesives, such as:
- Paper-backed double sided tape such as Scor-Tape
- Tape Runners such as Glue Arts Glue Glider Pro Adhesive Applicator,
- So Stylish Sticky 2 Double-Sided Patterned Adhesive Rub-Ons
- Foam Shapes
- Foam Adhesive Dots
- Thickers that are sticky on top
Or you can use wet adhesives- but they must be DRY and remain sticky or tacky to work. (In short, you cannot use white glue or super glue! Here are a few options:
You can also use these products with your stamping supplies if you have a sticky embossing powder. (You would stamp your image using a pigment-based pad, embossing ink pad, or Versamark, then use these powders which you would then heat-set. They stay tacky for a while after you heat them:
If you are using foils on fabric, you’ll need special fabric adhesive. And lucky for you, I already did a comparison of fabric glues for foiling!
And now, here’s another look at some of my projects:
WHEW!! This was a lot of information and resources- I hope you are inspired to make something with metal leafing or foils to add that rich shine to your projects!
Please, leave me a comment, won’t you? Especially if you have a favorite product you love that I didn’t mention.
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