How to Hot Foil With a Laminator

Hot foiling is the process of adhering gold or silver leafing to the surface of a document or design. The hot foil attaches itself to the printed ink on the surface of the paper. A laminator is used in the hot foiling process only if the paper item is encased in a paper or light cardboard jacket. The jacket is required to keep the items sent through the laminator from wrinkling and sticking to the rollers. The heat from the laminator will set the gold or silver leafing to the ink design.

Select the print on the paper for leafing. Turn the leafing paper to work from the back. Cut a piece of gold or silver leafing paper that just covers the predetermined area. For example, gold leaf can enhance high school diplomas, especially by focusing on the school emblem and school name. Leafing paper is cut just larger than each area.

Tape the leafing paper into place with removable tape. Center each piece over the predetermined area and secure it into place. Make sure the back side of the leafing paper is showing.

Turn on the laminator. Wait about 10 minutes for the laminator to attain its predetermined heat setting.

Place the document inside the paper or light cardboard jacket. Insert the folded end of the jacket into the laminator. Allow the laminator to pull the jacket through the rollers at its predetermined rate.

Remove the document from the jacket. Remove the leafing paper and removable tape.


Do not touch the leaf side of the paper in the areas where transfer is desired. The oil from your fingers will prevent the leafing from adhering.

Things You'll Need

  • Printed design for leafing
  • Gold or silver leafing paper
  • Removable tape
  • Scissors
  • Laminator paper or light cardboard jacket
  • Laminator
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About the Author

Kim Blakesley is a home remodeling business owner, former art/business teacher and school principal. She began her writing and photography career in 2008. Blakesley's education, fine arts, remodeling, green living, and arts and crafts articles have appeared on numerous websites, including DeWalt Tools, as well as in "Farm Journal" and "Pro Farmer."