Foil Effects for Your Lettering and Artwork: How to Use Heat Transfer Foil | Peggy Dean | Skillshare

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Foil Effects for Your Lettering and Artwork: How to Use Heat Transfer Foil

teacher avatar Peggy Dean, Top Teacher | The Pigeon Letters

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Tools & Materials


    • 3.

      Planning Your Piece


    • 4.

      Scan & Digitize


    • 5.

      Time to Foil


    • 6.

      Project Time!


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About This Class

Welcome! This quick class covers how to properly create a foil effect to your lettering and artwork using heat transfer foil. Although there are several ways of going about adding special effects to our artwork, this trend spread rapidly and now everyone wants to do it! I don't blame you. Shiny is fun. 

Because these techniques require specific tools, I've listed my favorites (aka most affordable and what I'm using in this class) here:

Other unnecessary product mentions, as promised in the class:

If you want to learn some other fun ways to embellish your artwork, take my FREE Embossing 101 class!

If you're not using an iPad or software to create your piece, and sticking to paper, you'll need to digitize your work before printing it. This class covers one method, but if you want to dive deeper into digitizing your artwork, take my 4 Ways to Digitize Your Art class.

Meet Your Teacher

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Peggy Dean

Top Teacher | The Pigeon Letters

Top Teacher

Snag your free 50-page workbook right here!

Hey hey! I'm Peggy.

I'm native to the Pacific Northwest and I love all things creative. From a young age I was dipping everything I could into the arts. I've dabbled in quite an abundance of varieties, such as ballet, fire dancing, crafting, graphic design, traditional calligraphy, hand lettering, painting with acrylics and watercolors, illustrating, creative writing, jazz, you name it. If it's something involving being artistic, I've probably cycled through it a time or two (or 700). I'm thrilled to be sharing them with you!

Visit my Instagram for daily inspiration: @thepigeonletters, and head over to my blog for more goodies curated just for youuuu.

I'm the author of the best selling... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: Hey guys, it's Peggy Dean of Pigeon Letters and I am bringing you a very short class. Could probably pass as tutorial on the popular heat transfer foil onto lettering and artwork. These pages that you see that are super shiny, that have all these special effects, whatever your little heart desires that you might want to slap a shine onto. It is very fast. I will see you at the end and no time and I cannot wait to see what you guys come up with. Let's jump on in and learn how to do this really super simple thing. 2. Tools & Materials: There are some special tools you will need to foil your art. This isn't something that you can do without these unless you do a different method. There are methods that you can use foiling for rubbing, like a rubber. There's also inversing which is a totally different technique that will give you a metallic effect. That is the pattern that you choose, and you have a class embossing and it is linked below if that's something you're interested in. But for the sake of this class, we're going over how to do a heat transfer for your foiling. The things you'll need is your finished piece that is on a computer and digitized, and then you will need a laser-jet printer. You will need the laser-jet printer paper. This is just HP. You need your foil, the heat transfer foil. This is just Heidi Swapp. They have this on Amazon. This is the rose gold color, which I am a fan of as of lately. Don't know how that happened. A student not love with homage and now I'm into it. But anyway, the link to this is also below and then this is really the cheapest laminator or Amazon had, and this is just the Marigold. The link for this is in the class description also, but you do need a laminator. Again real fast, you need a digitized piece, laser jet printer, laser jet printer paper, your foil, your laminator and that is it. If you have those things, please let's continue. If you don't, let's continue anyway because you can always get the things and then you'll know exactly how to do it. Let's get into it. 3. Planning Your Piece: For the sake of this class, I am going to assume that you do not have an iPad or something to instantly digitize your work. The first thing I am going to want to do is actually create my quote. I am actually doing this two ways. I am going to letter a word, and then I am going to move it to my computer, and, yes, digitize it, but I'm also going to add text to that quote. So just the way I want this to look. In that way, it'll also give you an idea of what you can do with this. This can be anything. It could be an illustration or a word. Then, I am going to scan this in. 4. Scan & Digitize: I just have an Epson Perfection V19. This is a decent scanner. I would probably go with just one step up. I think it's a $10 difference for the Epson Perfection B39, which is also linked below so you guys have quick easy access to that. Once this launches, I'm just going to press scan. I have it set to 300 DPI then I can crop or do anything that I need to do ones that scans in. I'm also going to open Photoshop. See how that automatically pulls up where that scan just came in. First I'm going to crop this because you can do this in Photoshop and I'm using a Mac, so this is just preview. If you have a Mac to crop you just select where you're going to want to crop it and then press "Command K" and then save. You can also do auto levels that usually makes this a little more bold. Save that and I'm going to do the rest in Photoshop. I'm going to bring this over and once it's in Photoshop, it's got some dirty areas here. But before I do anything, I'm just going to get rid of the background. There's a couple of different ways that you can do this. I do have a class on digitizing your art, which will show you four different methods. For this one, I'm just going to adjust the levels and then use my magic wand eraser. I'm just going to press "Command L" on my keyboard or you would use Control L for levels on a PC. Then I'm just going to drag this, the right side here to the left and that will make this nice and bright white. If I adjust this one and pull it in it makes this nice and dark. I actually am going to want to decrease or get rid of the saturation of color because I want it to be black and white. So you can say, Command U on your keyboard, which will bring up the hue, saturation and lightness or you can do Control U on a PC. So I'm just going to pull my saturation all the way down and then I can adjust the contrast on this also, so that it's nice and dark. If that doesn't work quite as much as you want it to because you decided that you're going to use a blue pen like me. You can always open curves and then drag it all the way down. There we go and it gets nice and dark. You can see I have a lot of imperfections here. Not a huge deal, but I am going to clean up a few things. But before anything, I'm just going to flatten my layers. Everyone's going to tell you not to do this, but I'm going to. So I'm going to select them all and merge them into one layer and now I am going to go to my eraser tool and that's just E on the keyboard. Don't have to press command or anything and I'm just going to remove the areas that are white just by clicking on them, inside letters and on the outside. So that's done and then I might just want to clean up these little, if you see those spots right here, it'll be easier to spot if you add a new layer, put it underneath the layer that you're working on and just put a color background. See, like I missed that part. To put a color background, you would just press "G" on your keyboard, which gives you the paintbrush or you can come over here and select it and then choose your color on the left side here or you might have a color slash right here on the right you can choose from, then you highlight that and then you can see any yucky areas. So I'm going back up to select this layer and you can either use your eraser tool or a lasso tool. If you choose your eraser tool, know that you might need a change which type it is. You can right-click eraser tool here or magic eraser tool, background eraser tool. Something that you may or may not know is that you could actually press "Shift E" because E is the tool itself. But then shift E changes which type of the eraser and then your bracket keys will increase the size. So that's a nifty keyboard tricks. So I'm just going over these areas that have some debris which help clean that up. I'm going to press "Z" on my keyboard to get the zoom and then click and pull to the right or pull to the left to zoom out, pulling to the right is zoom in. Go back to my eraser tool, shrink that a little bit and just clean up those little marks, which is most likely dust from my scanner. It's not my favorite. So I don't care about those tiny ones because this is just going on a piece of paper just as small as I wrote it, I will clean up this imperfection right here. Right want to just drag that to make a smooth line, okay here, and then zoom out if you need to. Alright, that seems decent enough. Not taking this, whoops, too seriously right now because I just want to give you the main idea. Okay, so debris, also known as Peggy clean your scanner. This guy. See I was on this tool for my eraser, which was cleaning up debris, which I just saw, it's right here. But what I'm going to do to get this main spot is press "Shift E" until I get to the magic wand eraser and then I'll get rid of that. Okay, so that seems good to me. Now I'm going to select the color fill layer and I'm going to make it white. So I just click on my color picker and then I go to white and then press "G" for my paintbrush and then it goes back to white. It's crooked and I don't want it to be crooked. So I'm going to go to my layer and then press "Command T" or you can press "Control T" on a PC and I'm just going to make it so that this is up and down to me. But I also need to shrink it because you can see it's going off the page. So I'm going to get that smaller and then drag it to the center about right here and then press "Enter". I also noticed that there was a little area here that I want to fix. So I'm just going to do that. You can do this with a lasso to and you just press "L" for lasso. There's your loose lasso which lets you do whatever you want. If you want to de-select press "Command D" or "Control D" on a PC and then there is you press "Shift L", It gives you a straight line losses. So basically any place that you click, it gives you a straight line from your starting and end point and then you double-click and it snaps in place. Or the other one is shift L is magnetic. So it magnetizes to what you're doing. I'm just going to use the loose one. So shift L again and I'm just going to bring this down to get rid of this weird chunk. There I go. Now I just want to add some tags. So I'm creating a new layer and selecting T for text on my keyboard. Clicking and I want to write you are and of course it's in white because that's the color I have selected. So I am going to create black. Here we go and then I'm going to increase this, probably a little smaller and then I'm going to drag it wherever you want to put it. So that is what I am going to foil. If you created something with an iPad, this is super easy because you don't need to do anything in Photoshop at all. You just need to print it directly to your Laser Jet Printer. But this is assuming that you don't have that and this is how you would go about making this work. So I'm going to save this as an image file to my desktop. Now I've got that on my desktop. I'm going to open this up and I'm going to print it and I have my Laser Jet Printer selected and let's go landscape with that. I don't know if I'm going to keep it as that or cut it down to shape, but I do want this smaller, because I want to emphasize saving foil. I'll show you what I'm talking about in a minute. So I'm going to print this and the next video we will talk about what to do after it's printed. 5. Time to Foil: So you've printed your piece on your laser jet printer, on your laser jet printer paper. Now you want to start, turn on your laminator. You'll notice on laminator has a light to indicate when it is ready. When you first turn on a laminator, it needs to warm up and you need to give it time to do that. So they have fast warm up ones, this one takes about fiveish minutes or so. We have to wait for that to warm up. In the meantime, we have to lay foil down. So what I do is I take my foil out, and then I kind of measure how much I'm going to need. So don't think that you need to pull this out. You know where it's like those and cut all of that off. Save your foil, it will appreciate it in the long run when you still have some. Yes, I could go like this, or I can see that length actually works perfectly and then I really only need a cut about this much. I'm going to do that, and then I will have another piece that will be that size for something else. Salvage your materials. I'm going to put this back in here and then I'm going to lay my foil over the piece that I created and the way that this works, the laser on the paper will react to the foil when we put it through the laminator. I will use a another piece of paper to put over the foil so that when I run it through, it won't lift or anything. So I'm just using another piece of printer paper to do that. Once my laminator heats up, I'll be ready to go to feed this through. So now I have this green light indicating that my laminator is ready to go. So I'm going to take my piece, and I'm just going to feed it in to the laminator, and this goes pretty slow. So I usually walk away and get some tea, or some coffee, or check my email, or fill in the blank. What do you do when you're waiting and waiting? So I just wanted to wait that long to show you that when it is coming out. That's about how fast it moves and then once that's finished, I will show you your result. All right, so this has finished and it's not moving anymore, it's loose. You can see though, it's not actually sitting inside of that, so you don't have to worry about that if you do come back too late. All right, so I'm removing the top piece of paper and then you can see that the foil now looks like it is stuck. It is stuck only to where the laser printed. So to take this up is simple, just pull it away and then you have your foil piece, and it is so very pretty, and that's all the rest to it. 6. Project Time!: Oh hey, remember how just a second ago I told you that this is a super fast class and you're at the end because that's how easy it is. Project straightforward, create a geometric shape or an illustration, a lettering piece, whatever your heart desires, and let's get it foiled, and then upload it to the project gallery because there's nothing like a fun shine as a enhancement to what's already amazing that you're creating. Cool, thanks guys, and I will see you next time.