If you check the shelves of an office supply centre or a craft supply store you might see a selection of speciality papers for home printing that was previously unavailable. Foil papers and other media were formerly only in the realm of custom printing. Now, however, you can find foil paper coated with a printable surface that allows you to print anything from your computer onto it that you can print on plain white bond paper. Foil papers require special settings and handling, but following a few guidelines will net you a shiny print job.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Foil paper
- Damp sponge
Buy foil paper that is made specifically for the type of printer you have, such as an inkjet printer. There are foil papers for laser-jet printers as well, but most people have inkjet printers at home.
Open the file on your computer that you wish to print on the foil paper. It can consist of text or graphics.
Set the printer parameters on your computer according to the directions on the foil paper package. Usually you will have to set the printer for photo quality or best quality. You can do this through the application that opened the file to be printed or the printer's software.
Wet the tip of one finger on a damp sponge and touch it to a small area on the corner of your foil paper. Repeat the process on the other side of the paper on the same corner. The sticky side is the printable side.
Load one sheet of foil paper into your printer making sure the printable side is in the correct position, which will vary depending on your printer. Check the printer manual if you are unsure of the proper position.
Print the file. Make sure that nothing touches the printing on the paper as it comes out of the printer. Let the printing dry completely before stacking anything on top of the foil paper, which may take up to 30 minutes. Check the paper package directions for recommended drying times.
Tips and warnings
- Store the foil paper in the original packaging. Keep it flat in a cool, dry place until you need it again.
- Always handle the foil paper by the edges. Oil from your fingers can get on the printable coating and prevent the ink from adhering.
- Some companies make a protective spray that can be applied to the printed foil to keep the ink from smearing.
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