This is a new and different kind of post for me but hopefully the first of many. It’s really more of a two-part class than a quick card project so definitely longer than my typical videos and posts. But, I must confess that I am all-in on the electronic cutter craze (Cricut, Silhouette Cameo4 and Brother Scan N Cut DX) and think they are each amazing but in different ways. So, I want to do more of these kinds of posts to help people like you figure out how to use whichever machine you have to make all kinds of amazing things. For this tutorial, I am showing how to use two colors of foil on one project with the Cricut Foil Transfer Tool. I think this tool makes foiling the easiest it has ever been and I am excited to show you how to use it. In Part One, I walk you through the entire process from opening a new design in Cricut Design Space, changing the settings in Design Space so the project is set up to be “made” correctly, then how to add foil to the mat, changing the foil color and tool tip during the “make it” process and cutting out the finished project. In Part Two, I go through opening and editing the greenery file needed to complete the card project in Design Space including tips on how to cut all of it on one mat, rather than splitting the project into a mat for each color, and finally how to create the finished card. I am using the Cricut Maker for this tutorial but the Foil Transfer Tool also works in the Cricut Explore machines and the process is much the same. If you like this kind of post and want more, please leave me a comment below letting me know. Or, if you have specific electronic cutting machine topics you need help with, I’d love to know those as well. Thanks!
Please check out the video tutorial for Part One below or scroll down for instructions with photos:
Step One – Open the Star Design in Cricut Design Space & Resize
Purchase the Nordic star design from the Silhouette Design Store; I wasn’t able to find a similar design from Cricut, so that’s why I am sending you to Silhouette. Make sure you purchase the SVG file as well as the Silhouette file format .DXF (that’s the default). To do so, you will need to check the SVG box under File Type on the window that opens when you click on the design and it may increase the price a little; it is $1.49 as of this post date. Go through the payment process and then do a Direct Download of the file to your computer, extract the SVG file (if necessary) and save it somewhere you can find it again.
Open Cricut Design Space and go to the Home screen. Click on the New Project box to open the Canvas workspace. Click on the Import button on the left side tool bar (the cloud icon with the up arrow on it). On the screen that opens, click the Browse Files button in the upper middle of the page (Photo A).
This will open a separate window with your computer’s file structure showing. Navigate to where you saved the SVG file, click on it and then click the Open button. The design will open on your Home screen in Design Space. If you get an error message about text elements, just hit Continue; not sure what that refers to and it doesn’t seem to make a difference with the design. Rename the design and add tags if you like, then click the Save button in the lower right. The software will take you to a new screen with the just uploaded star design showing in the first box under Recently Uploaded Images. Click on it to select it and then click the green button in the lower right labeled “Insert Images”. The star design should now open on the Design Space Canvas (Photo B).
Click on the screen near it and drag over the star to select the entire design. If the star is filled with an odd color, like red (that’s what mine comes in with), move your cursor to the Linetype box in the left side of the upper tool bar and click on the red box next to the box that says “Cut” and select white instead. The body of the star will change to a white color. Move your mouse to the Size box also on the upper toolbar. Make sure the lock icon is closed (aka locked) and change the width to 3.7 inches (Photo C). If the lock icon was closed, the whole star design should size up to 3.7″ W x 3.519″ H. If the lock was not closed, hit the Undo arrow, lock the lock and now change the width of the design.
Step Two – Change the elements to “Foil” in Cricut Design Space
On the right hand panel in Design Space, you will see the numerous elements in the star design laid out list-style with many lines. They are broken into three different groups, but that won’t help us much. At the top of the list of elements, you should see three of the leaf designs that are inside the star followed by many small shapes and if you scroll down a bit, you will see the other two leaf shapes near the bottom of that first group. Each element is currently labeled as Cut but we will change most of them. Scroll back up and click on the first line with a leaf shape on it. The clicked line will turn darker gray and when you look at the design on the canvas, you should notice a gray box has been added around one of the leaves indicating it is “selected”; that’s what you want to see. Hold down your Shift or Ctrll key if on Windows, Shift or maybe Cmd if on Mac, and click on the next line with a leaf shape. This should highlight the second line in gray while keeping the first line highlighted and you should see the gray box on the design get larger to incorporate the second selected leaf shape. Hold Shift, Ctrl or Cmd(?) down again and select the third leaf design. Take your finger off the Shift, Ctrl or Cmd(?) key and scroll down the list until you see the last two leaf shapes. Before clicking anything, hold the Shift, Ctrl or Cmd(?) key down again, then click the last two leaf shapes so that all five are now selected on screen. If you accidentally click on a leaf before holding down the Shift, Ctrl or Cmd(?) key, the lines you previously selected will deselect and only the line you clicked on will be highlighted. You will now have to go back to the previously selected lines and hold down the Shift, Ctrl ot Cmd(?) key and re-select them. Or, you can select each line individually and then perform the next part on that line but you will need to make sure to do this for each leaf. Move your cursor over to the upper left tool bar into the Linetype section. There is a small box with the default saying “Cut” with an arrow for a dropdown menu. Click the arrow to open the menu, scroll down to Foil at the bottom and then scroll over to Fine and click it. Back on the right side of the screen, you should now see “Foil – Fine” next to each leaf shapes in the list where it used to say “Cut”. The leaves should also change color to gold on the design itself (Photo A).
Now scroll down to the second group in the list (called “Group” – really that’s what it’s called) and click on each line in that group (they are small shapes) as you did with the leaves to select all of them. Do NOT select the letters or the line above them that says something like “Sil-personal-225738”; that indicates the subgroup for the letters. On the design you should see the small shapes that are inside the letters of “JOY” selected with a gray box. Make sure you have all of those tiny shapes selected but not the letters themselves. Go back up to the Linetype section of the upper left tool bar and again change the dropdown menu to Foil – Fine. In the list, where it once said “Cut”, it will now say “Foil-Fine” and the small shapes inside the letters will have changed to a gold color (Photo B).
Finally, select the all of the remaining lines in the list on the right panel that still say “Cut”, except the very last one under the letters. Once selected, again go to the Linetype box but this time scroll down to “Foil” and scroll over to select “Bold”. Next to this box with the dropdown menu you will see a small square that is outlined with a gold color. This is the foil color selector. Click on it to open a dropdown menu with a list of colors of foil. Click the Red square to select that color and all of the remaining elements in the design, except the star itself, will change to a bold red line (Photo C). Click and drag over then entire star design to select all of it and then click the Attach icon (paperclip) in the lower right corner of the screen. PLEASE NOTE: In order for the software to know how to divide up the foiling and cutting steps when you click the “Make It” button in the upper right (not yet), you must change every element in any design to it’s appropriate foil type (fine, medium or bold) and color. If you don’t do this, everything will default to Cut. Or, if you change everything to Foil – Fine, Foil – Bold, etc. but don’t change the actual color, everything will default to Gold and the machine will think that all of the elements can be foiled at one time in that color. You must also “attach” all of the design elements together so the software knows that all of them should be foiled on the same star on one mat.
Step Three – Create a Shadow Layer for the Star in Cricut Design Space
For the final step before you “Make It”, you need to create a larger star the will act as a mat for the foiled star. To do this, click on the Shapes icon on the left side toolbar, just above the Upload icon from Step One. A menu will flyout with a variety of shapes on it; click the star shape. There may be a pause and then a new star will appear on the canvas. It will likely be filled with black or gray and be smaller than the size we need. Drag it off the foiled star if necessary and then, with the new star selected, go up to the Size box on the upper toolbar and change the width to 4.00″. The lock should still be locked from Step One but if not and the star changes in a weird way, hit the Undo arrow, click on the lock to close it and then resize the star again. If desired, change the fill color of this star to red (next to the Cut dropdown box) in the Linetype section of the upper toolbar; leave the Linetype itself as Cut (Photo A).
Click the Save button in the upper right, name the file whatever you’d like and hit the green Save button. Now click the “Make It” button in the upper right corner of the canvas. The software make take a moment to sort the project into mats by color. When the screen comes up you should have 2 mats showing on the left. The first one should be white and have the following steps listed next to it ” Foil – Fine”, Foil – Bold” and “Cut”. The second mat on the left should be red and just have “Cut” listed next to it (Photo B).
Click on the Continue button in the lower right. The software will now try to connect with your Cricut machine; if it’s not on you should turn it on now. Once the software connects, it will ask you to select the material for Mat One. Depending on the weight of the cardstock you are using, select either Medium or Heavy Cardstock. Once the material is selected, a dropdown menu will appear that is labeled Pressure and says “Default” in the menu box. Click on the dropdown menu and select “More”; changing this setting helped me get the best results with the Foil Transfer Tool but you may need to play with this setting for the best results with your particular machine. A step 2 section will show below the Pressure box labeled “Load tools and Material”. For the Cricut Maker, it should show four small images with instructions to follow: No tool in Clamp A, Load Foil Transfer Tool with Fine Tip in Clamp B, Tape gold foil on base material, Load mat (Photo C). Now go to your Cricut machine.
Step Four – Add Gold Foil to the Mat & Change the Machine Blade
Find your Foil Transfer Tool and the three tips that came with it. To tell the difference between the fine, medium and bold tips, look at the lines etched above one end of the tips – 1 line = Fine, 2 lines = Medium, 3 lines -= Bold (Photo A).
For the first step, you will need the Fine Tip so select the one with 1 line etched on it, hold down the plunger on the Foil Transfer Tool housing and insert the fine tip into the housing (etched line facing side out). Release the plunger and it should pull the tip into itself. If necessary, lightly push the tip into the housing. It is magnetic and will hold in place once fully inserted. Now go to your Cricut machine. Remove any blade or tool currently in Clamp B and replace with the Foil Transfer Tool with the Fine Tip by placing the housing into the clamp, making sure it is resting all the way down on the top of the clamp, and closing it shut. Also, make sure the star wheels (white wheels on the roller bar) are moved far enough to the right that they will not roll over the foil once the mat is loaded. If they do, the foil will transfer under them and mess up the design.
Using a Standard Grip Cricut Mat, press a piece of white cardstock larger than 4″ x 6″ on to the upper left corner of the mat, right next to the edge lines of the grid. Remove a piece of 4″ x 6″ gold foil from the sample pack that came with your Foil Transfer Tool as well as one sheet of Transfer Tape. Carefully place the sheet of gold foil on top of the white cardstock, close to the upper left corner but leaving about .25″ around the edges of the foil where white cardstock will show. NOTE: Do not to touch the foil to the mat itself as the foil will instantly stick to it, leave a foiled mark on the mat, and damage your piece of foil.
Tape one piece of transfer tape along the top edge of the gold foil only covering about 1/8″ of the foil and press the tape down to the cardstock and mat. Take another piece of tape and carefully grab the edge of the opposite side of the gold foil with it (again only about 1/8″ of the foil), pull the foil taught with the tape and press it down to the cardstock/mat. Repeat on the remaining two sides, being sure to pull the foil taught each time before pressing the tape down. The foil needs to be as flat as possible to get a good result. If you have any wrinkles after taping it down, carefully lift up the tape (it shouldn’t stick to the foil too badly), smooth the foil and restick the tape down. The tape can be used for several projects (Photo B). Once the foil is in place, put the mat into your machine and hit the Load Mat button (flashing double arrow). After a moment, the C button should start to flash indicating the machine is ready to start. Press it and watch the machine foil the fine gold lines of the star design.
Step Five – Change the Foil Color and Tool Tip
Once your machine finishes with the gold foiling, the mat will push back out toward you but DO NOT UNLOAD THE MAT. It is very important to leave the mat in the machine when changing the foil color so that it can properly line up the red elements to be foiled with the now complete, gold elements. The software screen will now tell you to remove the gold foil; insert the Foil Transfer Tool with the Bold Tip, tape down the red foil to the base material and then hit “Go” (Photo A).
Carefully remove the gold foil by peeling up the tape. You can reuse the Transfer Tape with the red foil, so set it aside as you remove it. Once you take the gold foil off, you will see the leaves and small shapes from the design that are now foiled on to the white cardstock. So cool! Now tape the red foil (which comes in the Ruby Sampler Foil pack from Cricut) in place over the same area of the white cardstock that the gold foil was covering, using the same method as above. It is a bit trickier because you CANNOT remove the mat from the machine and placing the top piece of tape near the roller bar can be a bit of a challenge but really it’s not that bad. Again, do your best to keep the foil flat and taught as you tape it down.
Remove the Foil Transfer Tool from Clamp B in your machine, push the plunger down on the housing to release the Fine Tip and replace with the Bold Tip. Place the Transfer Tool back into clamp B and close it. Press the flashing C button to start the red foiling (Photo B). Yay!
Step Six – Cut Out the Star and Shadow Layer
When your machine finishes with the red foiling, it will push your mat back out toward you but again, DO NOT UNLOAD THE MAT. The software will now change instructions and tell you what to do next which is to remove the piece of red foil by carefully pulling up the tape and look at the foiled star design (Photo A). Amazing!
Remove the Foil Transfer Tool from Clamp B and replace it with the Fine Point Blade. Press the flashing green C button and the machine will cut out the star. Once that is done, you can now unload the mat. Flip the mat over and carefully remove the star and white cardstock by peeling the mat away from the paper. This will keep the star from curling as you remove it.
Press a piece of red cardstock larger than 5″ x 5″ on to the upper left corner of the mat. Load the mat back into the machine by pressing the flashing arrow button. Once loaded, the green C button will begin to flash. Press it to have the machine cut out the red star. When complete, unload the mat, flip it over and peel the mat away from the red cardstock and star to keep them from curling. You have just foiled with two colors and created a beautiful star with a red mat (Photo B). To complete the remainder of the card, please proceed to Part Two.
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