Hi there! Kelly here again to show you a new technique for adding foil to your projects. You’ve heard of Print & Cut, and perhaps Print & Emboss, but have you heard of Print & Foil? Probably not, because I just made it up!

This tutorial uses Silhouette’s Foil Transfer Sheets to highlight only parts of a printed image using registration marks. It works best with Silhouette Curio™, so that’s what I’ll use in this tutorial.

Supplies Needed:

Step One: Choose a Printable Design

Print & Foil

Plenty of printable designs will look good with foil accents. I kept this simple by choosing a butterfly design already designated as a Print & Cut design.

  1. Open Design ID #74412.
  2. Ungroup the design. Keep the larger butterfly and its 5 in. x 7 in. cut border.
  3. Go to the Page Setup Panel and set the page size to 8.5 in. x 11 in.
  4. Set the cutting mat to Curio (cut) 8.5 in. x 12 in.
  5. Go to the Registration Marks panel (third tab of Page Setup Panel), and turn on the Type 1 registration marks for Curio.
  6. Position the design so that it’s completely within the cut border and out of the crosshatch area for proper registration-mark reading.

Step Two: Trace the Design

Now we need to jazz the design up with some foil. To set lines for the embossing tool to apply foil, we’ll trace the black areas because they have no cut lines of their own.

  1. In the Trace Panel (looks like a butterfly), click “Select Trace Area” and drag a selection box around the butterfly and phrase.
  2. Adjust the Threshold until only the parts you want to draw cut lines around are highlighted in yellow (this design is good at about 33%).
  3. Select the trace style as Trace.
  4. Select those traced cut lines and choose a different line color (I chose green). We’ll use various line colors to choose tools in the Send Panel later. Tip: Leave the line thickness at 0.0 so it doesn’t print with the rest of the design.


Step Three: Print the Design

  1. Print your page using File > Print or the printer icon among the other document tools at the top.
  2. Don’t change anything on your work page after printing.

Step Four: Set Up Foil and Cut Lines

Print & Foil

1. In the Send Panel, choose Action by: Line so that we can set up what will cut and what will be embossed with the embossing tool when we apply foil from the foil transfer sheet.

2. Every line color needs a tool holder selected, choose whether it is going to be cut or not, a material, an action, and a tool.

3. For the green line color, which is the traced lines where we want to apply foil:

  • Drag the green box up to the top so it “cuts” first in the queue
  • Set the green line color to the right (blue) Tool No.
  • Check the box to Cut
  • Material = Foil Transfer Sheets
  • Action = Emboss
  • Tool = Fine Embossing Tool
  • I also set my Passes to 2 for the embossing foil, just to give it good adhesion.

4. For the red line color, which is the rectangle to cut out the design after foiling:

  • Left Tool (red)
  • Check the box to Cut
  • Material = Pattern Paper, Medium (my favorite choice for most pattern paper and medium-weight cardstock)
  • Action = Cut
  • Tool = Ratchet Blade

5. The “no color” line color should be unchecked, and you can drag it to the bottom of the queue. This one won’t have any action performed on it; it’s just the background printout.

You can compare your Send Panel settings to the image above.

Step Five: Cut the Design

We’re just about ready to send the job to the Curio.

  1. Place the printout on the cutting mat with Platforms = 6 (the standard for cutting almost all paper with Curio).
  2. Trim a piece of transfer foil just large enough to cover the area we traced. It should be larger than the area to be foiled but small enough that it is within the cut lines and doesn’t go into the virtual crosshatch areas.
  3. Remove the foil’s backing and press it (shiny-side up) against the design. It’s slightly tacky, so it will stay in place. Tip: Remember, do NOT let the transfer foil rest in any of the virtual cross-hatch area or else it will interfere with the registration mark reading.
  4. Load the base and make sure the ratchet blade is in the left tool holder and the fine embossing tool is in the right tool holder.
  5. Press Send in the software.
  6. The right tool holder will use the embossing tool to press against the foil where we created the green cut lines.
  7. The blade will cut the red cut line.
  8. All that’s left is to peel away the foil transfer sheet. Use some low-tack tape to dab away the excess foil and pop the foiled piece of art in a frame (or use it on a card)!

Print & Foil


How fun is that? I love being able to add a little or a lot of shiny foil to my craft projects. What would you like to add foil to?