Tips & Tricks for Working with Holographic & Foil Vinyl on a Cricut Explore
Back when I prepared my Deep Dive Into Cricut Vinyl class for Craftsy last Fall, I got to play with all the different types of vinyl Cricut now makes. From chalkboard to dry-erase, indoor to outdoor, and sooooo many others, the possibilities really are endless for creating unique and custom gifts and decor with vinyl. One of my favorite “new-to-me” products is Cricut’s Holographic and Adhesive Foil vinyls. These bright, shiny, shimmery vinyls are quick and easy to use (much like standard and glitter vinyls), but reeeaaally take your project up a notch thanks to its high-gloss, reflective nature. If you love the look of foil details, these projects are now easier to make than ever! Today, I want to show you some tried-and-true tips and tricks for working with Holographic and Adhesive Foil vinyls, and share a cute gift idea while I’m at it! Here we go!
What are Holographic and Adhesive Foil Vinyls?
Holographic and Adhesive Foil vinyls are two different Cricut-brand products. Both come on standard 12″ width rolls (like most of Cricut’s vinyl), and they cut almost exactly like other vinyls you may have worked with. Holographic vinyl comes in three different color schemes; while Adhesive Foil vinyl comes in 24 colors (including metallic, matte, and stainless varieties). Both Holographic and Adhesive Foil vinyls give off that metallic, highly-reflective sheen. However, the main difference between the two products is in their color variation. Adhesive Foils have a single color to them. No matter how you look at them, they will always look silver, gold, purple, turquoise etc. Holographic vinyl, on the other hand, could be considered more of an iridescent vinyl…depending on how you look at it, it can appear to have a variety of colors that change with the light.
The image below highlights the main difference between these two products. The middle turquoise E was made with turquoise Adhesive Foil, while the two script Es were made with the “Pink” Holographic vinyl. Note that because of the different angles of the camera and the light, the E appears to be gold on one notebook and then orange on the other.
Tips and Tricks for Working with Holographic Vinyl
More than standard vinyl, working with the Holographic vinyl most closely mimics working with glitter vinyl. It cuts and weeds almost exactly as standard vinyl does, but its thicker, firmer composition means you don’t have to rely on transfer paper to put it on your projects. Use these best practices to get great results working with Holographic vinyl:
Just as you would in any Cricut project, start by designing whatever you want to cut in Cricut Design Space and send your image to be cut (hit the green Make It button).
Load the Holographic vinyl onto your cut mat with the shiny side facing up (see more tips about getting vinyl onto your mat here) and load it into the machine. Next, set the dial on your Cricut Explore to “Custom.”
Once your dial is set to “Custom,” a new screen will pop up in Cricut Design Space to allow you to select the exact custom material you are using. Under the Vinyls menu, select Holographic Vinyl. This setting will ensure your machine is perfectly calibrated to cut the Holographic vinyl at the right depth, pressure and speed. With this setting confirmed, cut out your design.
Once your design has finished cutting, unload the mat from the machine and weed the Holographic vinyl just as you would with any other medium. If you need help with weeding, see this post.
As I mentioned before, Holographic vinyl has a bit stiffer composition to it, meaning it holds its shape relatively well as you remove it from the paper backing. As such, you don’t ALWAYS have to use transfer paper to move your designs from the paper backing to your project. I’ve found there are times when you may want to, and other occasions where it might not be necessary. (If you need help working with transfer paper, see my tutorial here.)
When transferring images with specific spacing, lots of details, or with loose elements (like script letters), using transfer paper with the Holographic vinyl will make the application quicker and easier. You can use Standard Grip transfer paper to pick up your image and then perfectly lay it down onto your project. If you experience trouble getting the Standard Grip transfer paper to pick up the Holographic vinyl, I suggest using the scraper tool and weeding tool to help it along (rather then using Strong-Grip transfer paper).
TIP! Every now and then, Cricut’s new transfer paper will leave residue behind on your transferred vinyl design. In some instances, you can hardly tell, but the bright and shiny nature of the Holographic vinyl can make it very obvious. To remove the sticky residue from your Holographic vinyl design, try using rubbing alcohol on a Q-tip to gently pull it up!
I tend to use transfer paper with the Holographic vinyl when my design has very specific spacing I want to easily maintain. But if I am just applying a single image (a design cut all in one piece), I can easily just pull it off the white paper backing and apply it to the project by hand. Notice in the photo below, the foil texture of the Holographic vinyl helps maintain its shape, allowing for easy hand application without wrinkles or bubbles!
Tips and Tricks for Working with Adhesive Foil Vinyl
Adhesive Foil vinyl functions exactly the same as the Holographic vinyl from start to finish.
The only difference in working with Adhesive Foil is the Custom setting within Cricut Design Space. Instead of choosing Holographic Vinyl, choose “Adhesive Foil” from the specialty vinyls menu.
Then, just like Holographic vinyl, Adhesive Foil designs can either be moved onto your project with transfer paper…
…or by hand.
Whatever you’re preference, using Adhesive Foil is a quick and easy way to add some very cool metallic-looking elements to your projects!
Personalized Pencil Boxes and Notebooks Gift Idea
Making little personalized coloring boxes is one of my tried-and-true gift ideas for all of Henry’s little (girl) friends. I start with a set of these adorable flowered notebooks (I found mine at TJMaxx. They came in a set of three for $3.99 and I still see them all the time.) I then combine them with a coordinating pencil box and an assortment of gel pens.
The pencil box, notebooks, and pens are a great gift on their own…but with a few simple cuts from Holographic and Adhesive Foil vinyl, I was able to personalize them with a fun, shiny, and vibrant detail for each girl! The orange+turquoise look of the Pink Holographic Vinyl was perfect for the orange-themed set…
And the purple and silver Adhesive Foil vinyls were ideal for the purple sets!
TIP! These combo packs of vinyl are a great way to access lots of different colors without buying rolls and rolls of vinyl!
TIP! I was able to buy this pack of 50 gel pens at Michaels for $12 with a coupon. Broken down into 5 sets of 10, this single kit allowed me to make 5 gift boxes. At $1 for the box and $4 for the notebooks, these adorable little gifts came in at ~$7 each!
The foil look is really on trend in a lot of home decor right now; and up until recently, the only way to get the look yourself was to use specialty foil papers and machines. Now with the array of Holographic and Adhesive Foil products widely available, you can quickly and easily make your own art and decor items! I’m telling you friends…crafting with vinyls is only getting better and better!
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