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Craft Foiling Without Heat

Paper crafting has been my passion since I was a child. I love sharing paper projects, ideas, and products. Get more from your paper.

Go beyond just using one color foils. Multicolored foils give lots of design

Go beyond just using one color foils. Multicolored foils give lots of design

Simple Foiling Without Heat

If you would like to start foiling without using heat or expensive equipment, we have some options that will help you create unique and terrific projects without a lot of effort or expense (or sweat!).

You do not need a lot of fancy tools and machines to give you creative designs using foils. Each of these projects are doable at any level of craft experience.

These techniques use pressure or adhesive to attach the foil to the project. In the case where an adhesive is needed, it is often recommended that the project be run through a die cutting machine. That affords the right amount of pressure to make sure that the foil stays put.

Duo paste and foil are an unbeatable combination

Duo paste and foil are an unbeatable combination

You can create a foiled background using Duo Paste and hot foil. It works well every time.

You can create a foiled background using Duo Paste and hot foil. It works well every time.

Duo Paste Foiling

This is a product that will help you create a foiled effect that is sure to please.


  • Duo paste
  • Stencils
  • Plastic Palette or other type of knife
  • Cardstock Base
  • Carstock
  • Piece of colored cardstock.
  • Craft mat or parchment paper


  1. Cover the work area with a craft mat or parchment paper.
  2. Cut the cardstock piece about 1/4 inch smaller than the base if you are using a piece of colored cardstock on top of the base. Otherwise cut the paper to the size of the base.
  3. Cut a piece of foil that fits the piece of cardstock you are going to stencil.
  4. Lay the cardstock on the covered work surface.
  5. Apply the stencil to the card.
  6. Place a piece or washi tape or low tack tape to the top of the card, creating a hinge.
  7. Apply the Duo paste to the cardstock with the palette knife.
  8. Spread the paste in an even coat, covering the entire stencil.
  9. Lift the stencil off of the cardstock.
  10. Follow the directions on the product jar to allow the paste to dry.
  11. Now, place the foil over the cardstock and burnish (rub) the foil onto the card piece. Another way to get the most foil adhered to the paper is to run it through your die cutting machine using the same sandwich you would use for an embossing folder.
  12. Remove the foil slowly. If you see any area that was not foiled, place the foil back on the cardstock and rub the top of the foil.
  13. Now, using double sided tape, adhere the foil piece to your card.
  14. Enjoy the results!
The torn edges technique is a truly custom design

The torn edges technique is a truly custom design

Torn Edges

You can create a lovely custom background card with just a few tools and some scrap paper


  • Duo Paste
  • Stencil of your choice
  • Palette knife
  • Craft foil
  • Low tack tape or washi tape
  • Craft mat or parchment paper


  1. Apply the craft mat or the parchment paper on your work surface.
  2. Cut a piece of cardstock to fit your base.
  3. Place the cardstock on your work surface.
  4. Rip some cardstock and place the ripped side inwards on both sides of your cardstock. You can cover as much area as you would like.
  5. Place the stencil over the cardstock with the ripped pieces on top.
  6. Secure the stencil with a piece of low tack tape like a hinge.
  7. Apply the Duo Paste with a palette knife on top of the stencil.
  8. Make sure the Duo Paste is spread evenly.
  9. Remove the stencil carefully.
  10. Remove the pieces of scrap paper and discard them.
  11. Following the directions on the jar, allow the Duo Paste to dry.
  12. Place the foil cut to size on top of the card.
  13. Rub the foil on the card. For better results, run the cardstock with the foil through your die cutting machine with a sandwich as you would use for embossing.
  14. Remove the foil.
  15. Adhere the piece of foiled cardstock to your card base.

Mirror Foiling

You can use the left-over sheet from you foiling project to create another card. "Waste not, want not," as they often say.


  • Left over foiled sheet from a stenciled foil project
  • Cardstock
  • Card base
  • Double sided adhesive sheet


  1. Cut a piece of cardstock to fit the size of your leftover foil sheet.
  2. Lift a corner of the double sided adhesive sheet.
  3. Carefully start lining up you cardstock piece to the adhesive paper while lifting the backing of the adhesive sheet. Put the backing of the sheet over the cardstock.
  4. Cut the sheet with the adhesive side attached to size.
  5. Remove a corner of the other side of the adhesive sheet.
  6. Start applying the foil sheet as you slowly remove the backing of the adhesive sheet. As you remove the backing sheet, rub the foil sheet onto it with your fingers.
  7. Cut off any excess foil from around your cardstock.
  8. Now attach the cardstock with the adhesive sheet to you base.
The Cricut Foil Transfer Kit allows you to add foil without any extra machines

The Cricut Foil Transfer Kit allows you to add foil without any extra machines

Cricut Foiling Transfer System

The Cricut Foil Transfer System is different than other systems that use hot foils and heat to produce foiled images. Instead of using heat, the system uses a pressure system on special foil to create unique foiled images.

All you need to foil is the special Foil Transfer Housing and the tips as well as the special foil. The tools fit into the machine without any additional pieces or machines. In addition to foiling, the system will allow you to cut the project as well without any die cut machines.

Foil Transfer System

The Cricut Foil Transfer System was created for use with the Cricut Explore and the Cricut Maker models. It uses the Design Space computer application to create foiled projects without any additional equipment or supplies. It is not however compatible with the Design Space mobile application.

Note: The tips have identifying lines on them to define the tip close to the tip itself.

  • One line is the fine tip
  • Two lines is the medium tip
  • Three lines is the bold tip

What you get in the package:

  • 1 Foil Transfer housing
  • 3 Foil Transfer tips (fine, medium and bold)
  • 12 Foil Transfer sheets (4" by 6") 6 gold and 6 silver
  • Low tack transfer tape

Cricut Joy Foil Transfer System

There is a special Foil Transfer System for the Cricut Joy. This Transfer Foil System was developed for the unique size of the Cricut Joy.

Included in the package:

  • Cricut Joy housing
  • One tip
  • 12 Foil Transfer Foil Paper 4" by 6"

Foil-on-Foil Technique

You can create a lovely card using both foiled cardstock and craft foil on one card. All you do is die cut a piece off of a card front. Then apply a piece of foil to show though the die cut area.


  • Foil cardstock
  • Craft foil
  • Die cut
  • Thin double-sided tape


  1. Cut a piece of foiled cardstock to the size of your card. Use a simple side fold or bottom fold.
  2. Fold the card.
  3. Open the fold and place the die on the area of the card you want to cut.
  4. Cut the die in your die cutting machine following the manufacturer's directions.
  5. Open the card.
  6. Flip the card to the inside.
  7. Place the shiny side down and use the double-sided tape to adhere it to the card.
  8. Cut a piece of cardstock to cover the foil and strengthen it. Use double-sided tape to adhere the cardstock to the foil.
  9. Flip the card over. You should see the shiny side of the foil through the hole where the die cut was used.
  10. Add a sentiment and complete the card.

Foiling Stamped Images

This is such a fun technique that you are going to want to do it often. With just a few tools, you can stamp and foil images that you can use for greeting cards, scrapbook pages, and junk journals. This works best with stamps that are more solid in design rather than delicate detailed stamps.


  • Cardstock
  • Stamps
  • Inks
  • Craft Foil
  • Glue Pen


  1. Stamp the image or images that you are planning to foil. Give a minute or two to allow the ink to dry.
  2. Apply the glue with the glue pen to cover the entire stamped image.
  3. Give a minute or two for the glue to become tacky. You want to give the glue time to get tacky rather than be wet.
  4. Place the foil over the image with the shiny side up.
  5. Burnish (rub) the foil into the stamped image using your hand or fingers till you see all the detail of the image. It is really important to get all the imprints covered with the foil.
  6. Carefully lift the foil off the cardstock.
  7. If the foil did not stick to the stamped image, apply more glue with the glue pen. Allow it to get tacky and reapply the foil.
The crinkled foil technique adds a lot of texture to your projects

The crinkled foil technique adds a lot of texture to your projects

Crinkled Foil Technique

The sheets of craft foil are very delicate. And sometimes in handling, you may get some wrinkles. But you can use that to your advantage. Just crinkle the foil as a wad or a ball in your hand.

Then straighten out the paper, lay it out and die cut the piece of foil.

Be careful when you are lifting the die cut piece. It is somewhat fragile. Use dots of PVA glue to adhere it onto your surface.

How to Apply Foil With Sticky Embossing Powder

You can avoid using a laminator by using sticky embossing powder. This technique will give you more of a distressed look which would be perfect for a card or a junk journal.


  • Versamark Ink
  • Sticky Embossing Powder
  • Stamps
  • Heat gun
  • Cardstock
  • Craft Foil
  • Craft Mat
  • Embossing powder bag


  1. Lay the craft mat on your workspace.
  2. Cut the cardstock to the size of your card base or page.
  3. Run the powder bag over the cardstock several times.
  4. Stamp your image with the versa mark ink.
  5. Cover the stamped image with the sticky embossing powder.
  6. Tap any excess off and return it to the jar.
  7. Melt the embossing powder with the heat gun. It should be sticky.
  8. Adhere your foil on top of the sticky embossing powder.

Tips and Tricks

  • Cut the foil as close to the size of the stamp as possible.
  • The powder bag will keep any stray pieces of sticky embossing powder from the cardstock where you do not plan to foil

Foiled Cardstock

While it is not craft foil, foiled cardstock has a foil that is part of the cardstock. It may also be called mirror cardstock. Having said that, it is possible to use the foiled cardstock with embossing folders. Craft foil would be too thin to emboss. But with foiled cardstock, you have multiple options to create foiled images.

It is heavier than craft foil and easier to work with, but you still get the foil appearance.

Embossing Foil Cardstock

Following the direction for your embossing machine, you can emboss the foil cardstock to create amazing backgrounds. They are so pretty that all you would have to do is add a layered word to them. Use an embossing folder that you have to create an instant custom design.

Die-Cut Foil-on-Foil Technique

For this technique, you simply make a card base with foiled cardstock. Open the card up and die cut a shape into the cardstock card front. Now cut a piece of craft foil the size of the card front. Apply multiple pieces of double-sided tape to the backside of the card front. Apply the craft foil so that the shiny side appears on the front of the card. If you wish, you can cover where the foil is with another piece of cardstock.

Gilding flakes in combination with foils take your designs to a new level

Gilding flakes in combination with foils take your designs to a new level

Craft Foil and Gilding Flakes

This technique creates amazing strips on any card front that you chose to use it on. Gilding flakes are fun and easy to use. You just need a little bit to complete a lovely card, embellish a die cut piece or add to a scrapbook page title.


  • Cardstock card base
  • Craft Foil
  • Gilding Flakes
  • Stiff round brush
  • Double-sided tape


  1. Apply the double-sided tape to the card front creating thin stripes.
  2. Cut any excess tape off the card front.
  3. Remove the tape backing from every other stripe.
  4. Apply the craft foil to the exposed stripes and burnish (rub) it onto the card.
  5. Now remove the tape backing from the other stripes.
  6. Lay the card in a box to prevent the gilding flakes from flying all over your craft space.
  7. Apply the gilding flakes to the card.
  8. Burnish the flakes into the card until the stripes are covered with a stiff layer.

Embossing Craft Foil

Even though craft foil is thin, you can easily emboss it using any embossing die-cutting machine that you have.

Lay the craft foil in any embossing folder that you have. Emboss the foil as you would any other material following the directions of the manufacturer,

Since the craft foil is thin, you will need to stabilize it on your card. So, add it to any piece of cardstock with liquid adhesive (PVA glue). You can use little dots or lines of glue to adhere it to the card. Do not use an excessive amount of glue or it may show up on the craft foil

Simple stripes made with double sided tape

Simple stripes made with double sided tape

Foiled Stripes

One of the easiest methods of adding foil is to use something that you more than likely have in your stash already. That one thing is double sided tape. So easy to do and very pretty. This technique is one that I like to do for masculine cards.

You could also do silver and gold stripes for those special anniversaries. they make an elegant statement.

I also like to use them for get well cards. They are bright and cheerful.


  • Card Base
  • Double Sided Tape-either different widths or all the same
  • Foil in any color
  • Piece of cardstock smaller than he card base


  1. Remove the backing from the double-sided tape.
  2. Apply the tape to the card in stripes.
  3. Burnish (rub) the tape on the card to make sure it is adhered.
  4. Remove the top covering from the tape.
  5. Press the cut piece onto the card base.
  6. Apply the foil to the card and gently with your fingers, burnish it on. You can use one color or a rainbow of colors.
  7. Remove the foil.
  8. Add a sentiment to complete your card.

Tips for This Project

  • It is better to do one strip at a time to get the best foiling
  • As you add the tape, tuck it under the back of the card. That way you will have adhesive to connect the card to the card base.
Die cut foiling adds so much design to any car

Die cut foiling adds so much design to any car

More Foiled Projects Using Double Sided Tape

More Double-Sided Adhesive Sheet Ideas

Double sided adhesive sheets are very easy to use and are certainly cost efficient. The steps to this process are so easy that you will use it over and over again. The nice thing about this process is that you can cut a lot of die cuts on one sheet. So the process is easy and quick.


  • Double sided adhesive sheets
  • Die cutting machine
  • Low tack tape
  • Dies
  • Foil


  1. Die cut the design that you choose on the double-sided adhesive sheet.
  2. Use a piece of low tack tape to hold your dies in place.
  3. Following the manufacturer's directions, create the sandwich for your die cutting machine, including the adhesive sheet and dies.
  4. Run the dies through the die cutting machine.
  5. Remove the top piece of covering off the adhesive sheet.
  6. Apply the foil to the cut piece.
  7. Use right away or store your "stickers".

More Double-Sided Adhesive-Foiling Ideas

Foiling With a Two Way Glue Pen

Think about how your two-way glue pen works. You put it one paper and within 30-60 seconds, it becomes tacky. That tacky stage is generally used to reposition an element that you are placing on a project.

But that tacky surface can also be used for adhering transfer foil.


  • Zig Two Way Chisel Glue Pen or the I Craft Deco Foil Adhesive Pen
  • Transfer Foil
  • Die cutting machine
  • Dies


  1. Die cut any shape or sentiment your cut with the die cutting machine, following the manufacturer's directions.
  2. Apply the glue from the glue pen.
  3. Allow the ink to get tacky about 30-60 seconds
  4. Apply the foil to the adhesive. Runthe project through the die cutting machine to adhere the foil evenly.

Project Tips

  • To get a more distressed look, use a bone folder rather than a die cutting machine in the final step.
  • Burnish (rub) the foil on with your finger. Go over it several times to that the foil adheres well
  • You can use two different foils on your projects. Burnish one side then the other

Die Cut Foiling

You can create all kinds of foiled die cuts in no time. This is a perfect way to cut embellishments, sentiments, letters for titles and a lot more. You can use these foiled die cuts on your scrapbook pages, your greeting cards and in your junk and bullet journals. It gives you another option for using those dies.


  • Cardstock
  • Die Cuts
  • Craft foil like Deco Foil
  • Double sided adhesive paper
  • Die Cutting machine
  1. 1.Remove the backing off of a double-sided adhesive sheet
  2. Put the adhesive side on the cardstock
  3. Die cut the cardstock using the appropriate sandwich
  4. Remove the top adhesive sheet covering
  5. Cut a small piece of foil the size of the die
  6. Place the foil on the die cut with the shiny side up
  7. Burnish (rub) the foil gently
  8. Remove the foil from the die

If you do not get enough foil on the edges of the die, try putting the foil on the die cut before you die cut it. See which way works better for you.

More Foil Die Cut Techniques

Use die cuts with foiling technique to create custom greeting cards

Use die cuts with foiling technique to create custom greeting cards

More Glue Pen Foiling Ideas

Get Plenty of Foiled Die cuts

Foiling with mixed media is fun and rewarding

Foiling with mixed media is fun and rewarding

Foiling With Mixed Media Medium

Another way to foil without heat is with mixed media medium. A lot of time this type of media is used to seal projects or adhere projects, but it can also be used with foils.

Apply medium through a stencil or to a masked area. The medium goes on white and turns clear as it dries. When medium is clear & tacky (time will vary on how thick it is applied), apply foil and burnish with a Teflon Bone Folder.

And one more tip for using the medium...if part of the medium is tacky and ready for foil but part is still wet (because it is sometimes hard to apply the medium evenly), place the transfer foil onto the medium but set aside to dry more before burnishing.

Teflon Bone Folder-A Must Have Tool

More Die Cut Foil Ideas

  • Easy No Heat Foiling Technique - YouTube
    A quick and easy technique to apply foil to cardstock without any need for a foiling machine or laminator. The finished foiling can be die cut or cut with sc...
Glacier paste works with foils to create amazing projects

Glacier paste works with foils to create amazing projects

Glacier Paste Over Cardstock

Glacier paste is a newer medium that creates a raised foil effect with no heat at all. It is commonly used with a stencil to create a foil like effect. It comes in different colors.


  • Glacier Paste
  • Palette knife
  • Cardstock
  • low tack tape
  • Stencil
  • Craft mat or large piece of parchment paper
  1. Cover your work area with the cardstock or parchment paper
  2. Place the cardstock on the surface
  3. Place the stencil over the cardstock
  4. Tape down the stencil to the cardstock
  5. Apply the Glacier Paste to the stencil
  6. Spread a coat of the paste evenly over the stencil
  7. Place any extra paste back into the package
  8. Replace the cover on the jar
  9. Carefully remove the stencil from the cardstock
  10. Wash the stencil in warm water and dish detergent right away and let it dry
  11. Allow the project to dry completely
  12. Complete your card or project

Create A Foiled Window

This is one of the easiest ways to add some foil to your cards without using heat, It is so simple. In this case you use a die cut window to cover a piece of foil. Great to use those left over pieces of foil that you have in your stash.


  • Card base in any size that you choose
  • Piece of craft foil cut a little larger than your die cut window.
  • Card stock that has been die cut to create a window
  1. Decide where your die cut window will be placed on your card
  2. Cut a piece of cardstock smaller than the card base
  3. Die cut the card stock window
  4. Glue the foil down in the area where your window will be.
  5. Adhere the piece of cardstock to the card base. Make sure that the foil will be covered with the window opening.
  6. Add a sentiment and any additional embellishments

Using Your Foil Scraps

We all have those little bits of foil scraps left over from our projects. It seems sinful to throw those bits of shine into the waste basket. Here is an idea to use them with just one extra product. This is another no heat technique that will get you using those scraps of foil you would otherwise throw away.


  • Deco Foil Adhesive Pen
  • Foil scraps
  • Die cutting machine
  • Black Cardstock
  1. Lay he black cardstock on your work surface. You are going to want to use craft mat or a silicone mat to protect your work surface.
  2. Use the foil pen to cover a small area of the paper and allow to dry for about 1 minute or so. It should feel tacky to the touch.
  3. Cover the section with the foil scraps.
  4. Run the paper through the die cutting machine so that the foil sticks to the adhesive.
  5. Peel off the foil transfer sheet and view the results. You can add more foil if you would like and run it through the die cutting machine until you are happy with the results.
  6. Continue to add foil until the entire sheet is covered.
  7. You can die cut the page into shapes and die cuts. Or you can use a full-page cover die. Cut the cover die and place the part with the cut outs the negative space) over the foil sheet to create a greeting card

Tips For This Project

  • You can substitute any color for the black cardstock
  • You can do this project in any size that you would like
  • Keep your scraps in a baggie

More No Heat Foil Cards

  • Taylored Expressions: Embossed Foiling without Heat
    Hello, Crafty Friends! I am happy to share with you today some foiling techniques that do not require a heating element! It is easy and amazing, leaving you with beautiful results! Let's begin! In the above picture, you can see the beautiful embossed

Creating Foiled Sheets With Neuvo Flakes

Final Thoughts On No Heat Foil Technoques

If you love the effect of foiled projects for your papercrafts, you do not need laminators or foiling machines to create a lovely, foiled project for your scrapbooks, greeting card and journal.

With just an extra product or two, you can create things like foiled papers, die cuts, titles, and embellishments with very little experience. Crafters of every level can create custom pieces for their projects.

We hope that you will give these options a try. Take the leap and experiment with some of these techniques. You will be rewarded with something unique that you have made with your own hands. Happy Crafting!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Linda F Correa