General info re leaf & foils
(metal) ...basic info
....Complete coverage
....Stamped metallic impressions
....Glue pens & misc.... Other uses
....Handling & applying... Sealing & tarnishing
Transfer Foils (2 layers =plastic+plastic carrier)
....basic info
....types, suppliers
....application on raw polymer clay
.......with heat & without (onto baked clay too) pens
..........adhesives +heat ...adhesives alone
....uses + techniques for foiled clay
....misc (using foils in photocopiers)
Other types of metal "foils" (sheets, tapes... some self-adhesive)


General re leaf and foils

There are at least two types of thin metallic-looking sheets that are being used with polymer clay:
..."composition" metal leaf (composed of real metal, though we usualy don't use the 24k gold or expensive versions)
...and plastic-backed metallic foils

Some people use the terms leaf and foil interchangeably.
...When referring to polymer clay, to me "leaf" is the extremely thin, almost flyaway, very shiny sheets made with various "composition" metals (easily attaches directly to raw clay ...usually comes 25 sheets to a package and costs around $8).
...On the other hand, "transfer foil" is actually a sandwich composed of a metallic-colored plastic layer, with a clear plastic film on top of it which acts as a backing ...backing is removed when applied to clay ...(doesn't attach immediately to raw clay... one brand that's used a lot by clayers is Jones Tones).

(There is also a thicker "foil" which is made from real metal that one will find in a craft store... these are often sold in rolls, for impressing patterns in by drawing with a stylus, or used in other ways .....the only way I think these are used with clay (except as mixed media) is for creating cell sheets for filling with colored liquid clays, etc., as as kind of faux cloisonne).

("Composition Leaf" ...real metal)

basic info.

"Composition leaf" comes in sheets and in flakes . . . very thin (0.3 microns) and lightweight (can easily blow away)
(also known as imitation leaf)
...made with colored aluminum, brass, zinc or copper to simulate shiny gold, silver and copper also comes in "variegated" colorings (...marbled or other patternings; sometimes called "burnished")
....this type of leaf/foil does not have a backing, or need an adhesive on raw clay (will stick readily)
............there are ways of picking up and adhering them to baked clay (and other surfaces) as well (see Sealing, Handling below)
....they are usually sealed after baking so they won’t tarnish over time (see Finishes) (see "Sealing, Tarnishing, Handling" below)

coloring metal leaf
.. alcohol-based inks (Pinata, Adirondack Alcohol ink) will stick to metal leaf & color it (though the colors will still be transparent)
......can apply in drops or sponge on, all over, or swirl around to simulate varigated metal leaf.....let inks dry really well before using
......can also then stretch the clay, and the new "color" of leaf will crackle. syndee
add pearlescent acrylic "inks" (Daler-Rowney Pearlescent Acrylic inks) to gold leaf in drops! . . . it changes the color of the leaf and gives it awesome WEIRD colors...Ria (...these inks may be a little thicker though since they're acrylics, and more likely to crackle?)

pre-colored "Japanese dyed silver leaf" (aluminum?) comes in various solid colors
...(some of?) this stuff seems to come lightly adhered to a kind of lightweight paper-y backing material (wax transfer paper?) which makes it a little easier to use maybe? and maybe easy to cut into shapes?...variegated-color gold leaf is, I guess, dyed too, but over gold instead of silver
......"the world's only dry (adhesive-size) gold leaf process" using pre-adhesive patterns?...." transfer a detailed design to almost anything, add gold (leaf), then brush away the excess to complete a gilded design" (on painted wood) (on fabric) (on glass) (as used in Japanese paper printing techniques)
....available from at least one supplier also in kits, design sheets, and custom (see Ordering below).

purchase... packages of composition leaf can be bought at craft and hobby stores (Michaels, etc.), art supply stores, or by mail order
....cost is usually around $8-10 for twenty-five 5x5" sheets --sometimes cheaper online

Can be applied to baked clay (or other surfaces) with size (a white glue which remains sticky after drying), a white glue that's still partly dried & tacky, special glue pens (see category below), sticky tapes or papers, even hot glue.......leaf will transfer to the treated area only brand (Magic Leaf) offers both a thinner (adhesive) size for non-porous surfaces (metals, glass, plastics, fired polymers) and a thicker version for porous surfaces

Ah'That's Great Tape is a tape that's sticky on both sides.. it has a tannish backing that you remove after applying the tape to an object, leaving a sticky surface.... you can apply glitter, metal leaf or foil to it. . . . buy it at most rubber stamp stores and from USArtquest
....I think you can buy the same stuff but it is called something else from picture framers.'s a little sticky to work with, but once you get the hang of it you'll use it all the time.:-) Matilda

project using hot glue on cardstock (click on Projects, then on Magic Leaf) gone

can also paint sizing onto a surface with stencils, stamps, brushes, etc., then apply leaf to those pattern areas

thick water-soluble glues such as Elmer’s® Gel Glue can also be squeegeed through a silk screen (or a prepared PhotoEZ stencil --see Transfers > PhotoEZ), then have gold leaf applied to the glue areas

Mail Ordering (some leaf colors & patterns)

...Polymer Clay Express (Magic Leaf & Houston Arts brands... fancy patterns & flakes too)
...Mona Lisa brand (by Houston Art) (click on Metal Leaf, then keep clicking for more, can buy up to 500 sheets as one bulk item... gold & silver only?)
..... (at The Clay Alley...variegated red, blue, or green base)
...Fimozone (Accent Imports)
(Magic Leaf...they have 10- and 25-sheet packages, tho' not much $$ diff., but they do have a $25 dollar minimum for complete order); they also sell a kit with a:
----"bonding agent" if you want to use the leafing on baked clay (probably size or white glue)
----a sealer which is guaranteed not to allow their leaf to tarnish when used with it
----a special pen to adhere the leaf only where the pen has drawn (glue pen)
...more Magic Leaf sources (may have kit mentioned for Fimozone):
..... (also flakes)
.... (also sell long rolls)

dyed silver leaf (aluminum leaf?)
...various places sell it ...see (Google's results for Japanese dyed "metal leaf" )
...Scott and Richard at Graftek sell the leaf as well as kits,designs, etc. .... 1-888-691-1016
Graftek also offers the leaf (Japanese silver dyed leaf) in a rainbow of colours... as used in "The Mod Squad" & "Putting on the Glitz."

(see Supply Sources for more possible online sources which carry general clay supplies)

Flakes & Crumbled bits

Some places also carry the composition leaf flakes, which can be used as inclusions, surface treatment, etc.,1158,CRHO_project_9808,FF.html
~(...Barbara McGuire demoed) a pendant that was stamped, painted and sanded that was nice, but the part I really liked was the clay, looked like fused chunks of different colors of granite or marble. The problem is that I tuned in after she mixed the clay and don't know how she got that, and the web site directions don't seem to match the colors she used on TV...Gail
She started w/ a light blue clay and formed her pendant shape then rolled it around in bits of gold, silver and copper leaf; burnished it, I think, and then wrapped it w/ the paper-thin translucent. I guess you saw the part after that where she stamped it. I'm a little bit fuzzy on what she rubbed it w/ after that (DKs were talking!)... It was beautiful, wasn't it? I'm almost tempted to go crumble up some leaf...! ~aLisa
(a bit more info) Before baking, she rolled the bead out a bit. It was a large "capsule" (my best description) shaped bead. Rolling it out a little, thinned out the translucent a little more. << Then I think she impressed her stamp into the raw surface and baked. Then she used acrylic ontop to antique the baked bead- wiped off excess paint and buffed. >> She wet-sanded before buffing, to get the excess paint off. << The rock -like look seemed to be from the leaf being muted under that thin layer of translucent.>> Blue seemed like such an odd color for the bead, but the little bits that showed with the leaf made it look more stonelike. Since the leaf was several different colors, it almost looked like agate after buffing. Randi

Juliann's lesson on making your own flakes, then applying to a (baked --nec?) surface with a stencil-type or other stiff brush, creating a variegated look
*Polly's small clay shapes with bits of crackled foil or flakes here and there, onlaid on a base shape, for pins (gone)
Rachel A's crackled and also flaked foil applications (on variagated clay) (can't view)
NixCreations' faux "mosaic" dichroic made with variegated foil flakes (or solid sheets) over clay (some over glass?, or some with variegated foils rather than leaf )
........ others by mysticalself are covered with a highly textured surface, wire, and faux cloisonne inside some wire (heated UTEE? or initially textured?) (Reply # 12)
...--you can marble some clay colors before adding the foil and it will show through nicely (e.g. gold leaf on marbled black and gold clay gives nearly the same effect as variegated leaf)

Complete coverage

(many people like to apply the clay to the sheet, as opposed to trying to transfer the extremely lightweight leaf to the clay --see ways to avoid tarnishing below); remove excess leaf by cutting with an exacto knife, etc.

--use as is.... or cut lengths or shapes from it to use alone or with other clay (can bake bits to use for inlaying also)
... see Liquid Clay > Faux Enamel and Cutters/Blades >Punches

-- twisted (squared) ropes can be made (to frame a larger shape) by leafing both sides of a sheet of clay, cutting a thin strip, then twisting it.

~You can also use the "foils" that come with adhesive (as opposed to the thin metal "leaf") to cover baked polymer just as you would use them to gild a frame or other item, but clayers don’t use them much.


(apply leaf to a flattened pad of clay --or the clay to the leaf-- then roll over with a roller, jar, etc. to thin the clay; since the leaf won’t stretch, it will begin to crackle)

--the less the clay is thinned after applying the leaf, the smaller the crackles and the less raw clay will show through;
if you want lots of clay to show through the crackles, begin with a pad or sheet of clay that’s much smaller than the leaf.

I make a "leaf sandwich" -- clay bottom, leaf middle, and a real thin layer of translucent on top. This sandwich is rolled through thinner and thinner settings of the pasta machine which makes the foil crackle and the translucent even thinner (for more translucence). Donna Kato

--use the roller in one direction or in two directions for slightly different effects.

--you can marble some clay colors before adding the foil and it will show through nicely (e.g. gold leaf on marbled black and gold clay gives nearly the same effect as variegated leaf)

--if you want to use the crackled leaf on clay as a background sheet for other things added on top, remember that there must be some raw clay showing through for the other clay things to adhere to.

(You can apply embossing or mica powders to the clay that is between the crackles.)
They won't stick to the foiled areas if you apply it like this:..sprinkle embossing powder on clay and then tap or brush the excess off. Bake! This has some really cool applications and lots of potential. Dotty McMillan showed me this, and I want to say that she learned it in a class from Kathy Amt--but I'm not positive…If you put too much powder on, it will run over on top of the foil, and of course it works best on flat pieces. . . oh yeah
, don't touch pieces with embossing powder while they are still hot! The embossing powder is a very hot liquid at clay baking temp and will burn your skin AND stick to it. jjjjami

You can also apply Jones Tones foils after crackling, as well (see below, in Jones Tones)
....I also found that even though I like the crackle effect from running Jones Tones through the PM, it does *dull* the effect quite a bit. Each way though has it's own use. Annie

leaf or crackled leaf can be used underneath a transfer which was made on translucent clay
.... I think the pebbly look you're referring to was the cracked silver leaf under the transfer (it was also colored with colored pencils) ...I took the idea from Gwen Gibson's "Faux Enamel" look, and I really like it with the TLS (transfer instead?).
......the leaf shows through beautifully, and makes the colors of the colored pencils really vibrant, I think. Julia
(.... for more on leafing behind transfers and faux enamel, see Transfers > Liquid Clay > Layers & Other Media)

leaf on clay, crackled in pasta machine
Rachel A's crackled foil on various colors or colors blends of clay for heart "halves"
Linda Goff's strip of crackled foil on cat pin

Katie 's crackled leaf (far apart & squarish leaf bits)
Helen Breil uses metallic crackled clay in various ways as component parts of her jewelry
Christelle uses metallic crackled clay on beads in various interesting ways
Flo’s metallic-effects, "double-matted" frames for pins (with transfers)--some crackled ...also using metallic clays

Carly's lesson on making a crackled bead with a few small pieces of leaf, and acrylic paint color(s) cover applied on the black base clay, and a little onto the leaf as well
Tina's cutouts from cracked sheet (frog, etc), replaced into hole cutout of same size/shape)
Tonja's looped wire embellishments on crackled foil, on frame ("table art")
Mike High's crackled leaf cutouts on pendants
Shellie Brooks, crackled leaf used as onlay elements
Darlene's pin with some elements very finely crackled (website gone)
Catherine's landscapes and a geometric using separate pieces of leafed & other clays mosaic-ed together

*Polly's small clay shapes with bits of crackled foil or flakes here and there, onlaid on a base shape, for pins (website gone)
Elise W's strips of crackled foil alternated with non-leafed clay for striped beads /www.npcg (gone)

Marie's various pieces, with crackled and not crackled shapes puzzle-pieced together
(also some metallic powder and/or glitter clay?)

other ways to crackle?

Jean/stargazer ...used metallic pens or metalic acrylic paint, I forget now
..... "puddled it so could swirl it around on top of a sheet of clay."... then let it dry
......and THEN stretched the clay sheet to get this crackle finish ...Nora Jean
....This sounds a little like Elise Winter's technique, not exactly, but similar. ... And since it's done on unbaked clay, you could certainly put it around a rounded tube shape. I found that it only works with certain metallic or pearl paints. Some peel off when stretched. Some just stretch with the clay. Some Goldens work pretty well, as well as Rembrandts. The look I'm after though is one that will show your clay color and design through it and the metallics won't do that. Dotty
...see Carly's lesson above for using leaf and acrylic

I`ve tried mixing some Pearl Ex or bronze powders with Future, painting it over raw clay. After it is dried I`ve stretched the clay in order to get the crackled surface. It works very well. Paulo

A similar way is to use pearlescent INKS.
...paint them onto raw clay...allow to dry... run through pasta machine or manually stretch. plem

...for crackling specifically with paints, see Paints > Stretching
...for crackling specifically using inks, see Letters/Inks > Pearlescent Inks
... for crackling with clear liquids, see Finishes > Crackling
...for crackling with plastic-backed foils, see below

Stamped metallic impressions

Barbara McGuire's lesson on stamping into a metallic-leaf covered item (which has been slightly crackled already and covered with very thin translucent layer), baking, then antiquing with brown paint and sanding/buffing --resulting in a dark image on a gold leaf background (upper areas),,HGTV_3238_1375813,00.html

leaf in crevices:
...Lynn K's lesson on pressing a reindeer stamp into a raw clay Xmas tag over a sheet of gold leaf...

Nan Roche's Luminous Lacquer . . .rubberstamp or other texture sheet patterns can force leaf (or paint or other polymer) into base clay sheets;
.... translucent liquid clay is then applied and rests in the depressions.
.... After baking the surface is sanded leaving the impressed material only in the lower areas, surrounded by a background of base clay color ...some punched foil cutouts are used as well ("translucent extruded cords and sheets" used?) (gone)
Barbara McGuire's lesson on making a gold imprint onto a contrasting background with a stamp and gold leaf by pressing the leaf onto clay, stamping, baking, then sanding off the topmost leaf with wet sandpaper
.... she also antiqued hers with brown paint (book cover emblem),,HGTV_3288_1387419,00.html

...(for using metallic powders to create a stamped imprint, probably no sanding nec, see Powders > MikeB's Leaves .)

Glue Pens & Misc.

glue pen (no heat, just glue)... use with metal leaf... write or fill-in draw as you would with a marker...let the glue tack-up about 2 minutes, then apply leaf... brush off excess with soft bristle brush.
...Quick Pen, at FimoZone ... $2.49... # 73210
... use with metal leaf (strong enough for foils too?)

I also use the liquid adhesive (size) sold for Delta Renaissance Foils for clay with composition metal leaf with no problems
.....can use small brush for applying or drawing designs

My daughter discovered she could cut the leaf with her little star and moon and sun paper punches and apply them to clay if she sandwiched gold leaf in between two pieces of paper before punching. Sue

...would work for cutting with plain or patterned scissors or rotary cutter too?

One thing that is awesome is gold foil leaf and then add pearlescent Downey Raler inks to it in drops! . . . it changes the color of the leaf and gives it awesome WEIRD colors...Ria

Other uses for leaf

Cindy's lesson on inserting pieces of metallic leaf between cut-apart sections of a (Skinner blend) cane (both horizontally and vertically) before slicing, so that only a thin line is visible in the slice

If you are using composition leaf and translucent clay, and you have little bits left over, use them in Natasha beads -- leaf and translucent work well to give them depth and variety.... Or just mush the bits up and make spacer beads. jjjjami
...or use the composition flakes??

(for metallic leaf rolled with a sheet of translucent clay, tinted or not, into spiral/jellyroll canes ... then slices cut on the diagonal and applied to another surface...see Canes > Translucent+Opaque)

make "decal" sheets of metallic leaf and liquid clay ... apply a coat of liquid clay on glass, etc. ...lay a sheet of metallic leaf on it (brush out any bubbles, unevenness with soft brush or tissue)...then bake (can use as is, or cut or punch into other shapes)
...Danielle's lesson shows this process, but she adds a coat of liquid clay on the other side of the leaf too (and uses TLS which wouldn't be as clear as Kato or Fimo liquid clays

Handling, Applying... Tarnishing, Sealing

PICKING UP the (flyaway) leaf .... and also avoiding HAND OILS:
...Try not to get too much finger-oil on the leaf (which will at least cause earlier tarnishing) by using talcum powder on your fingers, applying leaf with a soft paintbrush, or picking up bits of leaf with the wet tip of an uncooked strand of spaghetti).
...I use rubber gloves anytime I am using gold leaf or composite.
.........It was suggested that the salts (which can be acidic) penetrated the clay as you handled the cut slices, so it might be a better idea to use gloves.
--- I just discovered that the static needed to pick up a piece of leafing can be created by rubbing the end of a plastic or hard rubber object (gelly pen, seam ripper, comb, etc.) on your clothing (I was wearing a 100% cotton t-shirt; silk or wool would work even quicker). Just a few rubs creates a medium static pull; more rubs and it could be too strong, creating puckers? More than one pen could be used to pick up different parts of the leaf, but one will hold it well enough to float it over the raw clay --then use a paintbrush or covered finger to press it down completely
.........cut a piece of wax paper a little larger than the piece of foil, and gently rub it over the foil... the wax paper "holds" on to the the foil leaf great and you can see through it enough to lift and position it how you need to. Daisy
.....I give it little tugs on all the edges and always make sure the foil is smooth on the clay to help it stay adhered better (and crackle more evenly before running it through the pasta machine). jjjjami
...could use some kind of suction device, like an ear syringe too…Diane B. & DH
...I have a specialized tool called a "gilder's tip so that you can pick up a piece of leaf without wrinkling..... it's basically a 3" wide flat "brush" made of squirrel or badger hair (has a lot of natural static)... it has a handle but not a long thin handle
..... Many gilders also run the brush across their face ---not to develop a static charge as some think, but to pick up the tiniest bit of oil on the tip before picking up the leaf (the oil in your skin helps make the leaf adhere to the brush)..... Because I have dry skin, I place a thin coating of Vaseline on the inside of my wrist, then I drag the brush once across that each time I pick up a new piece of leaf (Vaseline also will stain the composite so if you work with it, be careful to pick it up only by the edge of the leaf). Saille
...or just bring the clay to the leaf

CUTTING metallic leaf (while not on clay)
...cut it with the sharp tip (corner) of a long thin blade (e.g., a long tissue blade or a razor blade) while on it's backing paper (may be best to cut kind of quickly)
...leave it between its papers (or between sheets of waxed or deli paper, etc.), then cut with scissors or with a rotary cutter (Olfa, etc.) --a whole stack can be cut this way
.......or cut out shapesof leaf with a punch (other ways to punch out leaf shapes are in Cutters-Blades > Punches
...try a variation of what gilders do... they use a "gilding pad" with a gilder's knife
......a gilding pad is a small thin board or wood block covered with a piece of chamois or heavy suede (have enough static for leaf to stick)... often placed over a sheet of cotton, wool, or polyester batting, then stapled or otherwise attached to board on back side
......a gilder's knife is a long straight-blade (not necessarily very sharp) with a handle... the long straight edge of it is pressed down onto the leaf on the chamois pad, then drawn back without removing it... video clip of that process:

I have found that the best way to not screw up my foil is not to touch it.... Period, if I can help it!
.... I roll out a layer of clay larger than the foil sheet ...and lay the clay on the foil (instead of vice versa)... then I don't even have to pick up the foil.
If I don't need the whole sheet, I wrap what is left in waxed paper. jjjjami

black areas may appear on copper leaf after a little time ( mokume gane):
...I used translucent clay top and bottom (of the copper leaf...
.....I got NO DARKENING-blackening where copper leaf was completely encased in clay--uncured, cured-no-finish, cured-with-Future, cured-with-Triple-Thick.
.....The ONLY set that DARKENED AT ALL was partially encased/partially exposed, cured AND also finished with Future.
..........To make it more interesting, it was only where there was a piece of leaf partially encased and partially exposed. The part exposed did NOT darken at all. The part of the leaf that went between the clay (still attached to the exposed part) did darken soon after.
......My conclusion from this rather unscientific experiment is that it's a combination of translucent clay + Future + copper leaf. Hmmmm, ...based on that, I should be able to put copper leaf on top of translucent, and put Future directly on top of the leaf, and it should darken. Linelle
...When the copper leaf is placed on a sheet of white clay and then completely covered in translucent, the leaf stayed perfectly shiny and it didn't make a difference if there were no glaze, Future, or Triple Thick...shiny stayed shiny in every case.
......But when I put that leaf on top of white and then PARTIALLY covered each piece of leaf with translucent, leaving some of the leaf exposed, I saw some darkening of the leaf, and that was AFTER I cured and glazed with Future or TripleThick. The one that was under TT turned the darkest. The leaf is still bright in the areas where it's under the trans, and dark in the areas that are not covered with trans but ARE covered by Future or TT.
.....So I'm thinking that in a mokume gane situation, because of all slicing and manipulating, some of the foil ends up completely encased in translucent and opaque, and it stays shiny...but in areas where the leaf comes in direct contact with glaze, that's where we get darkening. So my theory is that if we have a raw mg bead and then encase the entire bead in a thin layer of trans before curing , that would protect the leaf from coming in contact with the glaze and keep it from blackening. (Regardless of the weather/humidity/etc). jilla
...{earlier:} ....Usually copper turns black because it forms copper sulphide... produced when hydrogen sulphide or a solution of it comes into contact with the copper, especially if it is moist.
....... If you hold a piece of copper in your hand long enough it will also turn black, but this is because your perspiration contains sulphur-containing molecules that can break down in the moisture to form a solution of hydrogen sulphide, or similar solutions (the sulphur in perspiration comes from proteins and food we all eat)...Trevor C.

Seal (all colors of?) baked leaf and clay with a sealer . . . this will help keep the leaf from changing color or tarnishing in many circumstances (though may not prevent it)..
Applying a regular sealer will darken the leaf somewhat though.
. if Mona Lisa Clear Clear Cote Spray Sealer (Houston Arts) is compatible with clay, it's said to keep it brighter --DB check
Mona Lisa Gloss and Satin Sealer, from Houston Art

However, Z Kripke uses Varathane on her leaf before baking!
............she says it keeps the leaf from changing colorin the heat (and also tarnishing?)
..... after baking she would put on another coat.... It looked really great, and she says it worked well ..... I tried it and was pleased with how it kept the leaf looking like bright gold. Dotty
.......can use Future in the same way. Dotty
..........I know brass (copper + zinc) goes to verdigris with certain chemicals, and one of them I think is ammonia. Does Future have ammonia in it?... If so, that might be a case where Fimo's "mineral" glaze would be a better choice (since it's alcohol based).... or Varathane might be better least some of the non-US versions of Future (also made by Johnson) do contain some ammonia ( Klear, Pascoe’s Long Life --may also be called "Rekkit's," etc.)

.Vicki’s post on all kinds of combinations of clay and leaf (and which ones TARNISHED), from 6-20-98,4&rnum=2&, rec.crafts.polymer-clay archives, around 6-18-98 for lots more details on tarnishing)

The most likely leaf to tarnish is copper??

The mokume gane I have from swaps that is tarnished was make mostly with blue and green clay

Also, Sculpey (Sculpey III translucent, or Super Sculpey too?) is the only one that has 2 plasticisers, and one of them is water soluble which is why the mokume gane with Sculpey will tarnish/turn green (when leaf is used?). Sarajane

????... Jami, I know you're talking about leaf tarnishing, but here's something for removing tarnish from metal wires --Turtle Wax Car Wax
....spread it on, and then wipe it off = tarnish gone... plus a protective shield that lasts about a year. Stone


"Transfer" FOILS
( plastic-backed, plastic foils --these are not real-metal "leaf")

basic info on types & uses

At the polymer conference held in Ravensdale WA, Nancy Banks introduced everyone to new effects with the backed, transfer foils
...this type of foil is actually a sandwich ... composed of a colored plastic layer, with a clear mylar backing adhered to it's top side

Generally, these foils have been used on clay just to apply in large continuous areas, but it's also possible to use them to foil only certain shapes or images by using various techniques.... for those and for other applications specifically for polymer, see category just below ... though much of the following may work also)

By the way, these types of "foils" are not the same material as metallic "leaf" (which is real metal, and also has no "backing" layer), though the application process may sometimes be referred to as "leafing") aware also that some people use the words leaf and foil interchangeably

(compared to most real-metal leaf,) foils will not tarnish... don't need to be sealed..and are tough

There are probably 2 types of plastic-backed, metallic foils though (and there may also be differences among brands as to ease of use): type (says it) requires heat to transfer (for t-shirts, photocopiers, etc.)... can use any kind of heat to transfer (see below)
... the other type can be transferred with stickiness of some kind (e.g., sizing --a glue that stays tacky after drying or even still-tacky regular white glue, or highly sticky paper, or raw clay (especially "juicy" raw clay?), etc. (like Renaissance brand)
....or perhaps they can both be transferred to some surfaces by just burnishing very hard
...some types or brands seem to be bonded to their clear carrier films somewhat more tightly (than Jones Tones?)
.......most all types will transfer with heat, but can they both be used with glue/stickiness (?)

foil brands & types... suppliers

...various heat-sensitive "transfer" foils may be referred to as thermal foils ....heat-sensitive foils....toner-reactive foils... laser foils
.......and non heat-sensitive transfer foils may be referred to as rub-on foils, metallic foils, etc., etc.
...most of these foils are metallic, but some are solid colors which are non-metallic (glossy & matte)
...the metallics come in solid colors and also in patterns (mostly geometric or textured-looking, some of which are also holographic)
....... also
rainbow, striped, marbled-swirl, etc)

purchase LOCALLY: craft stores (with the t-shirt decorating stuff & fabric paints ... and/or in the rubberstamping areas)
...also available at office supply stores, where it's used over paper or cardstock when run through a photocopier a second time (to "metallize" the writing or graphics created by the toner on the paper --heat is generated in a photocopier)
.......or paper supply stores ... or even copy shops? (used for business cards, brochures, etc)
...possibly at other places too (scrapbooking suppliers, graphic suppliers, paint stores or those selling decorative wall effects materials, leather crafting suppliers, nail art embellishment suppliers, etc.)
...origami paper often comes in metallics too, but has paper backing various stores for blank CD's

Jones Tones craft T-shirt transfer foil …various solid colors...also comes in gorgeous "special effects" patterns (all holographic?)
....available in the rubberstamp area at Hobby Lobby stores
........they're in a plastic tube hanging on a hook... $1.99 for a 6" x 12" strip in one color choice. Patty B.
.... I haven't ever managed to get the Jones Tones holographic foils to transfer just with the burnishing technique onto raw clay.... applying heat works though. Klee

the Staedtler brand is available at Michaels, in the rubberstamp section
....can be bought as "refills" in a pack of 12 sheets of 3 each color: rainbow, red, blue, green
... or in a combo with a Hot Foil Pen (yes, you can use the Hot Foil Pen on baked clay to transfer the color). Patty B.

Easy-Transfer Holographic Foils ... Emma in the UK sells a pack of 6 sheets of 10x6" silver-coloured holographic transfer foils ..."3 different holographic patterns in each pack, 2 sheets of each pattern. Each pack is a random mix. ...These foils transfer more easily and completely on polymer clay than any other brand of foil I have tried..." (see lesson on using below, under Applying to Raw Clay)

the Delta Renaissance foils (mainly the holographic?) are really hard to transfer to polymer clay
.....( I tried everything, including resting overnight and longer, but never got more than minute amounts of adherence
. . . Renaissance foils seem to be bonded to the clear film more tightly than the Jones Tones foils. It's a shame, since Michaels carries a much better selection of the non-transferring type. I could only find the Jones Tones locally in gold. Sara Jane W.
... Could the difficulty be because this is not a heat-transfer foil? uses an adhesive instead)
I have used the Renaissance foil to make mokume gane (it was all I had available) and I liked the effect it achieved better then the (composite) gold leaf. It was a pain to apply though... you have to burnish it really hard ...and I applied it more than once. Deb
...I tried the Renaissance foil from Michael's before I knew any better... you can burnish it on BUT, the gold turns silver in the heat! Apryl

I tried some from 'All-Nite Media' and wherever the transfer foil was, it was really sticky and smeared all over the place.
.......So make a sample first and see that it works out o.k. Meredith
a few of the Edward's Foils --metallic foil rolls from a place called Edward's Foil Graphics I've had from years ago when I was doing calligraphy-- don't adhere no matter which technique I use. Irwin

metallic transfer foils for PHOTOCOPIERS ...... aka "heat-sensitive foils"....toner-reactive foils... laser foils
...... available (local or online) from
office supply stores or paper supply stores or copy shops? (for business cards, flyers, etc)
...a (b&w) photocopier uses heat to transfer its toner powder to paper anywhere there are dark areas on your original, so it will also melt the foil to the toner in those areas (...text or graphic lines and areas work best)
....(these foils won't "melt" onto inkjet ink from a regular printer --laser printer, yes-- the image from your image can first be photocopied to create a toner image which can be used)
.....when used with paper or cardstock, foil can be applied to desired areas by photocopying, then running through agian with foil, and then running through again without foil to add any text or graphics you don't want foiled)

The best prices to buy foils are usually MAIL ORDER:
...I've ordered from them directly from Jones Tones, on-line, at Jaynemarie
...Polymer Clay Express has a 14 sheet assortment package, including 7 holographic ones
The Clay Factory has a 12 pack of different large sheets..…I'm sure some other (mail order) places offer it also. Dotty

Try the foils by Sunlight International. I have been working with these foils for 11/2 years now. I started using them with my rubber stamping and then using them with polymer clay. ....Matilda

Bo-Nash foils can be found at ... can buy an array of colors in either assorted colors/designs or in single colors (they have some great glitters that work well in faux opals as well). Patty B.

PaperDirect ...(they call theirs "Laser Foils")....I got several colors of foil from, blue, green, gold, silver, oil slick, and a sparkly silver..maybe a purple. Barbe (single colors in sheets + assortment in sheets)

DollarNailArt sells various types of metallic foils for decorating fingernails (with adhesive)

blank-CD foils....Suzanne Ivester discovered accidentally that the foil on CDs would transfer to raw clay. Lisa
.......only the CDs you can record on yourself will work --not pre-recorded ones (like AOL or purchased music)
..Yep, I did more experimentation and found that actually the heating isn't necessary at all
.....just make a cut around the inside and outside edge of the CD on the label side with an Xacto knife (don't need to press very hard)
.....then lay a clay sheet onto the CD (again, label side up) and burnish the clay to warm it and bond it to the film (you can watch the film separate from the back side of the CD through the clear plastic) ... cracks may occur in the foil as it's being gently removed from the disk, but that's part of the look
....I published a project-oriented article about this which tells how to make barrettes (and I also stamped into the foil-covered clay with a chain, and coated the foil with several layers of Future)
...or peeling the whole film off... I used an Xacto blade (this scratched the cd, but did not affect the film)... just start at one edge and press the blade under the film. Mine separated easily. Tim
... I just coat the cd with a layer of clay ... let it rest on the CD for a while, and then the foil will lift off. Pat C.
....Memorex makes blank CDs for music in 5 colors in one box! Deb J.
.......yes, but the color is in the acrylic layer though, not the film (the film is almost always silver or gold). Tim
.......I just placed the colored side on the clay instead of the silver (?). Janet (more like decoupage, no removal of carrier?)

using heat only
(to transfer foil to many surfaces)

Most transfer foils have originally been sold to be applied with heat
...onto t-shirts, in photocopiers
, and for rubberstamping
...the heat can come from any source as long as it's the proper temperature range... e.g., from: iron (possibly with a paper barrier over the foil to lessen the heat?) ... or a heat pen (may come with diff. nibs...see below)
..... a special heat wand (especially good for small spots)
......inside a photocopier (see just below) embossing gun
........ be sure not to put a heat gun any closer than about 4" (embossing gun or hotter garage heat gun?)
........also, if you heat the foil a second or two too long with a heat gun, the foil hardens (not the clay), and then will crack if you bend it. Dotty in CA
.....a hot glue gun

application on raw polymer clay
(with and without heat)

When applying foils to raw clay (or to other sticky surfaces), remember always to put the colored side UP, not face down as you might be tempted to do..... won't work that way (the back side which you place face down, is silvery). Dotty in CA
....(you're actually looking through, and will pull off, the clear plastic carrier --see good photo in Emma's lesson just below)

burnishing + ripping off ....Many of the transfer foils can be applied to polymer clay (without heat) by using a burnishing and ripping technique (... though could also assist sometimes by using heat or a stickier surface, if necessary) release the colored foil from the backing and transfer it to a clay surface, rub (burnish) the foil onto the clay really well (colored side up --even though that sounds backwards)... possibly with the back side of a long blade
...... then RIP the foil sideways and off of the clay
...... the colored layer should remain adhered to the clay, and the clear carrier will be removed
(...if any spots have been missed, repeat the process on those areas)
...Emma's lesson on applying her Easy-Transfer Holographic foils to sheet of #1 pasta-machined clay
...... she first puts the raw clay sheet onto a ceramic tile to hold onto the clay from below while ripping
...... she uses the flat side of a credit card to burnish the foil... then rips off foil while holding tile down
(steps 1-5)
....Step 5 photo shows what clay and foil will look like after removing the clear carrier, leaving foil on the clay

How the foil is put on clay can make a diff.; roll it down to avoid trapped air between foil and clay. fimobob

Marie Segal says the secret to getting JonesTones to take is to rub it a number of times in one direction, and then a number of times in the cross direction ........and then RIP it off really FAST!
.....I've found that about 6 passes in both directions and then a good strong, fast pull leaves the foil behind..... had a devil of a time trying to get it to work myself until Marie explained that speed is the secret. Carolyn

burnishing tools...the tool I use to burnish the foil down is a stainless steel rib (a ceramic clay tool that's kind of a half circle shape, made from thin metal (available from hobby stores or ceramic shops). Works really well and no chance of cutting myself using the back of a long clay blade like some clayers do.
...some people use the edge of a credit card.... Emma uses the flat side of a credit card
...just rubbing with a clean cloth will work for many foils

burnish + oven heat ...I heard someone laid the foil on the clay... burnished...and then baked the piece with the foil before ripping it off while the clay was hot (will experiment) …havenmaven

... With this technique, I get almost 100% adherence with most foils I've tried on clay... even with the Renaissance foil:
(. . I had accidentally bougth Delta renaiisance foil thinking it was copper leaf) ...I soon realized that the foil adhered to the clay better if I:
1.. wash off the dull goldish layer with an alcohol-soaked cotton swab (on my foils, it becomes shiny silver).
2.. lay foil on clay, plastic backing side up and need to scrape with a blade or clay scraper in my experience... sometimes rubbing a thumb over the foil is enough.
3.. pull plastic off the clay very quickly.
........(that gold coating is probably an adhesive that gets activated by the adhesive liquid usually used.) Irwin
...Try using a bit of alcohol on the foils just to clean any powder residue that might prevent it from adhereing.
.....Burnish it really really well.
.....Poke into any air bubbles that just won't get pushed to the edge with a pin.
.....Let the whole thing rest until the clay is cooled a bit almost like resting a cane before slicing.
.....Rip of the sheet as fast as you can. With doing this I get 99.9% coverage. Jeanette

longer contact of foil and clay .... I let the foil sit on the clay long enough (overnight in this case), then don't have a problem
I apply my JT sheet and burnish well. Let it set, walk away ( at least 5 min?), this lets the clay settle and actually grab onto the foil (I have actually gotten silver holographic foil to work, but alas that gold still makes me use an embossing gun). Jeanette

"juicier" clay ... the softer clay with more plasticizer in it worked almost perfectly (the other clay hardly worked at all but this one )...I used Premo clay both times, but not really sure if both came from the same lb. package) . Annie
.....the fresher the clay the better, it seems
...could also try rubbing the clay with Diluent-Softener (or perhaps another oil or liquid clay), then probably letting it sit to sink into the clay, to get the wetter clay too?
....also clay that's been well conditioned & recently conditioned seems to work better

(for transferring foil onto liquid clay to make a very thin sheet of metallic-colored liquid clay --cuttable-- see below in Uses)

IF FOILS DON"T STICK WELL ENOUGH... things to try (summary of other things mentioned):
It can be difficult to get some foils to stick to the clay well enough (before ripping the carrier layer off) (esp. holographic ones ...and Renaissance?) here are some helpful techniques to try:
1. THIN CLAY... don't use too thick a sheet of clay while applying the foil'll act as a soft pad under the pressure you're applying (would be similar to applying a heat-activated decal to a t-shirt and not using a padded iron board, but a thin towel on a hard surface)... can always apply the thin foil-covered clay to thicker clay later
(also see making a liquid clay decal with the foil to use the same way on flat-ish pieces, below in More Uses)
2. ALCOHOL. . . rub a little alcohol onto the sheet of clay before laying the JT's on (see above for using alcohol to actually remove the gold layer from a foil to make it adhere better) ...then go through the regular burnishing and tear up and away. havenmaven
....try using your hair dryer or heat gun to slightly heat the foil on the clay, then rub with your fingers all over. . . . rip the foil off quickly. Matilda
....or Donna Kato uses a heat gun to help adhere her foil to clay (colored side down) for longer, then just lifts off the plastic backing
..........Kris says if you can't get a foil to transfer, hold a heat gun about 3 to 6 inches from the clay and keep it moving for about 3-4 minutes . . .
..........or burnish foil on clay, bake together in oven, then rip off foil while clay is hot
OR put a piece of paper over the foil & clay, then move an iron around on top --be sure not to touch the iron to the actual foil or it will melt onto your iron.
...when Lisa was demonstrating at HIA, she warmed the sheets by rubbing them on her pants before transfering. Trina
...I also have a "hot" hands trick that I sometimes do to warm the clay before I try a foil transfer.
...(see a bit more about using a heat gun with Jones Tones in Faux-Many > Dichroic Glass)
4. LONGER CONTACT. . so long as I let the foil sit on the clay long enough (overnight in this case), I used this plastic-coated foil without any problem transferring.
I apply my JT sheet and burnish well. Let it set, walk away ( at least 5 min?), this lets the clay settle and actually grab onto the foil....using this method I have actually gotten silver hologram to work, but alas that gold still makes me use an embossing gun. Jeanette
5. JUCIER CLAY . . . ... I used Premo clay both times, but not really sure if both came from the same lb. package. ... it one was softer with more plastisizer in it (the other clay hardly worked at all but this one was almost perfect. Annie
I seem to recall that the older (read drier) Premo did not do as well as the juicier Premo. . ..
......It seems the fresher the clay the better, also recently & well conditioned clay.
6. GLUE or "ADHESIVE" OF SOME KIND?....I tried making the clay tacky by applying some Sobo white glue to the clay and letting it sit... the glue works almost perfectly everytime! Heather R.
(...for lots more on using adhesives of various kinds, see below under Adhesives)
...white glues are usually fine to use with polymer clays... would there be any unforseen problems?
........what about using the adhesive that comes with the non-heat foils like Renaissance (is that sizing?...stays tacky) after drying ...Eberhard Faber (Fimo) and Old World Art also have brands of size
....for making liquid clay backed sheets of foil to use as inlays or onlays, etc., see below in More Uses

Use Krylon Clear Sealer (or Future/Varathane...or liquid clay, etc.) to protect the foil only if you think it needs it.

with hot pens

hot foil pens... (see kit) (order it from Dick Blick ...$11...)

I immediately ignored the directions that say to only use the pen with their foil and tried it with another brand's diffraction foil and it looked awesome! I can't see why it wouldn't work with any heat transfer foil. Jody
....I have found that Jones Tones foils work, as well as the kind of foil used by rubberstampers (comes in rolls, like a roll of stamps). The hot foil pen takes the place of the foiling glue in that case. Carlos

I got my pen for about $10 at Office Depot. It comes with a couple small sheets of the foil, but without the batteries. Carlos

I just tried out (this new ArtZArt Hot Foil Pen) on some baked clay and it worked very well.
... would be great for gilding edges, for personalizing things, etc..
...the pen is a bit bigger than a sharpie, sort of like a mini flashlight. It takes two AA bateries to heat up the tip. There is a button that has to be held down to keep the heat on (takes 5 seconds to heat up) and I'll probably just tape it down while I'm working. . .
.... I took the precaution of cleaning the clay with alcohol first since the directions state that it won't work on a greasy surface. Not bad for 10 bucks!.
. . .I haven't put liquid clay or Varathane over it yet, but I see no reason for that to be a problem.

For that matter, a stencil burner could probably work (or a wood burning tool). Jody stencil burner seemed to work fine on all the various foils I had except one.
...I'm glad you mentioned this because I tried out my stencil burner and also my son's wood burner yesterday (with paper only) and didn't have good results with the wood burner.BUT he also had the (large?) chiseled tip in it and it was just too hot (or too much surface area) might work to place a piece of paper between the pen and the receiving surface though to damp the heat.
..(I could do small solid bits with the stencil burner but it left a kind of rough area on the foil --that may have been because my tip was very fine though... but could use over a soft-pad-underneath
...It's probably worth getting the Hot Foil Pen though for that price because of its smaller size and the fact that it doesn't take up much room or have to be plugged in. Diane B make a thin line with the stencil burner, use on a hard surface. . . . for a thicker line, use over a softer surface like a magazine
.......would be nice to be able to apply a solid shape or something beside a line... .

To put a design on clay (or anywhere), tape a piece of tracing paper with the design on it into position, slip the foil under the pattern, and follow over the lines applying a steady pressure and going slowly. Jody

If you're trying to foil only the depression made by a stamp, carving, etc., before baking, you might try
--doing a pencil rubbing over the whole surface onto tracing paper, then using that on top of the foil to use as a guide to where you want to draw
--feeling the depressions through the foil while drawing

You can also use stencils or templates to make your patterns. . . use a tamping motion rather than rubbing.

They say you can use the hot pen on paper, wood, plastic, leather, paint, ribbon, photos, etc. (more quickly on some plastics?)
Anybody know if most t-shirt and photocopy foils are also acid free??? Diane B.

(for foiling a regular photocopied transfer on clay, see below)

using adhesives+heat ... or adhesives alone
...transfer to many surfaces, including baked clay?...

Various adhesives can often be used to transfer these foils to polymer clay (white glue & fabric glues & sizing, liquid clays, etc.... maybe even tacky Varathane, etc.?), though some foils may require heat as well.

without a heat source
...draw or paint with a "white" glue (not washable white glue), a tacky white glue or maybe even sizing (which stays tacky)
...... let glue set up awhile but not dry completely (except sizing?) on foil and burnish with fingers, getting it onto the sides of the dimensional glue as well... pull off ...(redo any areas that didn't hold the foil)
(......glues may work best only for those foils which are intended to be used with adhesives?? like Renaissance, rather than heat, but thnk I've tried it with various foils --and leaf too-- and it worked reasonably well)
Weldbond (a strong white glue) might work with the foils on clay as it can be used full strength as a contact adhesive though I have never tried it. Just apply and wait until it "tacks and snaps," before putting on your foil. Sammy
...rubber cement might work too, but less good for lungs, and hard to put just where you want it and smoothly

You can use these plastic-backed foils just the way they say to use them on their packages (e.g. pkgs of Renaissance Foils)
.... in other words, use their "sizing"... then the baked clay will be treated like any other non-porous surface they would be transferred to.
........("sizing" or "size" is a glue that remains tacky after drying ... cleans up with soap and water).
paint the sizing on the baked clay then wait about an hour for the sizing to get tacky
.......with the shiny side up (this is actally a transparent plastic backing you're looking through to the top of the foil. . . the dull side of the foiling is actually the back side of the foill layer).... press their (plastic-backed) foil on
with thumbs (foil is heat and pressure sensitive)
...... pull up on the (overhanging) sheet and the foil should remain on the clay, but not the clear backing
.......move the foiling sheet around to cover all areas, and overlap if any spots not covered
.......use a cotton swab for smaller areas getting down into depressions and crevices
. . . however, the foil doesn't always cover completely, so reglue those areas and press on a bit more foil in those areas, OR add a second covering of size and foil on top of the first one for a really shiny result.
...Juliann's lesson on applying foil to part of a rounded cigar box with leafing (leaf or foil??) and sizing ...she does a double layer for extra shine

using your computer printer, you can also print text (poss. with different fonts) or line drawings
.... then trace over the text with a glue pen ... wait a bit... (or use an embossing pen)... burnish on the foil
........or do the same with rubberstamped images or your own drawings

colour in rubberstamped images (with glue pen or embossing pen) and foil
...I have achieved the same effect by placing a sheet of paper over the foil and design, then using a cool iron to apply the foil

use with a heat source
...draw or paint with a fabric glue like OK To Wash It (or maybe any white glue)... let dry
.....apply foil with heat and pressure from an iron on its coolest temp --possibly with paper barrier, or other heat source peel off foil backing
..there are also special transfer glues (Aleenes, etc.), which may be the same thing

liquid clay ... I lay down a very light coating of liquid clay, and heated it with a heat gun before burnishing on the "oil slick" (holographic?) foil to that. . . .(this is for a layered technique with TLS resulting in very useable pices of dichroic 'glass')
......I can then tear them into smaller pieces and apply to whatever. Carolyn
...(for more on the dichroic effects, see Faux--Many > Diochroic)

hot glue works too but isn't as controllable for making lines and shapes... apply, let dry... press on foil and pull off

Can also use adhesive web (one brand with a heat-resistant paper backing is called "Wonder Under") along with an iron or heat source with these foils.... ....(via Jackie Dodson) cut shape desired for foiling from Wonder-Under and apply to desired surface using an iron ...peel off it's backing paper after cooling (could use silicone sheet with non-backed adhesive web instead) foil over Wonder-Under color-side up... iron again... cool... peel off foil backing

tapes... Ah'That's Great Tape is a double-sided transfer tape ... it has a tannish backing that you remove after applying the tape to an object, leaving a sticky surface ...then you can apply glitter, metal leaf or foil as needed.
...... buy it at most rubber stamp stores and from USArtquest. ....I think you can buy the same stuff but it is called something else from picture framers
.......a little sticky to work with, but once you get the hang of it you'll use it all the time.:-) Matilda
..3M-Scotch, and maybe others, also make double-sided "removable" Photo & Document tape which works the same way.. may be a little thicker, and not quite as sticky?
..carpet tape is similar but it leaves a thin white adhesive film , rather than clear one

uses & techniques for foiled clays

sheets of metallic liquid clay (....decals, clings, onlays)


(color side up):
..I put liquid clay (Fimo Gel) on a ceramic tile and spread it a bit.. then took a strip of Jones Tones foil and laid it on top, colour side up. Then it was baked and left to completely cool (waited overnight til this morning to see what happened).
..... when I peeled off the top of the foil, it came off cleanly and in one piece with an absolutely complete transfer of the foil.
Shelley M.

..I just pour liquid clay onto a ceramic tile (or glass sheet)
....I apply a sheet of foil to the liquid clay, and press down lightly
....I let the liquid clay settle under the foil ~20 min
....bake...then pull off the foil backing. Macy
(color side down)
..Donna Kato's lesson on making a decal with Kato liquid clay & Jones Tones, colored side down
....she tapes down the 4 corners of a sheet of foil onto a ceramic tile, colored side down
....applies a layer of Kato liquid clay with a paintbrush to the back side of the foil (she paints a square), but leaves a "frame" of bare foil sheet around the edges (to have a grab area for peeling?)
....heats with a heat gun for awhile ...then just lifts off the liquid clay-and-foil sheet from the clear backing
..After leaving my green Jones Tones on the Fimo Gel and baking, I left it until morning ... then I found the foil color had changed though...the bright green seemed to have gone more blue than green - interesting looking....have no idea if that would happen with other colours...Shelley M.


Cut into shapes with scissors, or punch out with punches
... then use as onlays or inlays on clay (or on a non-clay surface)
........Donna K. suggests putting tissue paper on the liquid clay side of the decal before punching to avoid sticking
......I cut abstract shapes from my baked/foiled/liquid clay sheet with scissors, then adhere them to my clay base using more liquid clay ...and rebake. Macy
...Kris Richards' lesson on using foiled clay as inlays (which are pressed into surface of a clay sheet)
... and onlays (later also highlighted with silver metallic wax) --bottom of page (...both to make a frame)

...Emma's lesson on cutting out a heart shape from a sheet of holographic-foiled clay
....... then adding a clay rope frame around it to make a pendant

"cover" a relatively flat clay piece of clay with the foiled sheet
(sheets will curve in one direction only at a time tho')
...they are very flexible and could be wrapped around things (like cylindrical beads). Lots of interesting possiblities. Shelley M
....could put on a slightly domed piece of clay or an egg, etc.... would prob. stretch enough if the curve weren't too great
...Ria's lesson on covering a round ball of scrap clay with a larger square of foiled clay make the square fit the bead, she pulls up on each side to make 4 pleats (then cuts them off? and smooths) or can't find)

...Linda Goff made mobius beads with a polymer sheet that she had placed JonesTones foil on both sides of Dianne C.

Some faux dichroic glass is made with with foils
I lay down a very light coating of liquid clay, and heated it with a heat gun before burnishing on the "oil slick" (marbled-swirl pattern) foil to that (this is for a layered technique with liquid clay resulting in very useable pices of dichroic 'glass)
......I can then tear them into smaller pieces, and apply to whatever. Carolyn

Donna Kato's lesson on putting bits of cut foil sheets in one or more layers of liquid clay (with other things) to create faux dichroic glass effects: create the foiled sheets, she tapes down its 4 corners onto a ceramic tile, colored side down
....applies a layer of Kato liquid clay with a paintbrush to the back side of the foil (she paints a square), but leaves a "frame" of bare foil sheet around the edges (to have a grab area for peeling?)
...heats with a heat gun for awhile ...then just lifts off the liquid clay-and-foil sheet from the clear backing

...she sets that foiled sheet aside .... then makes the base clay for the piece from a shape of raw clay
......lays a sheet of foil (colored side up this time) onto the base clay ...burnishes it down... heats with heat gun ... removes foil backing from clay
......bakes 10 min (...If the medium is not totally clear, heat with heat gun until it is)
...cuts shapes from the foiled sheet and presses them to base piece
...applies a light coat of liquid clay to the entire piece to cover and secure the bits of foiled-sheet.. bakes (uses heat gun afterward again if that layer is not totally clear)
....could stop at this point, but she adds two more layers (thick ones), curing tor 10 min after each and "clearing" with heat gun if needed, to completely encase the layers and to create even more depth
.....she also stamped on the next to last layer of baked liquid clay with
Brilliance ink, and heated to dry it
(any excess liquid clay that rolled off the piece can be trimmed off with scissors after last bake)

(for much more on many of the things mentioned above, as well as creating dichroic effects, see Faux--Many > Diochroic)

(see more on making liquid clay decals and clings in Liquid Clay > Film, Decals)

You can texture the foiled clay
..Kris Richards' lesson on rubberstamping or texturing (or other materials/tools which can act as stamps or texture sheets) the surface of Jones Tones' foiled clay
..... she then used her the stamped pieces as part of collage effect

.... she also suggests highlighting the upper parts of the image (she used
Treasure Gold, a metallic wax)

...Patty B's lesson on texturing foiled clay, then making a "faux carnival glass" bowl the foil side of the foil against a plastic texture sheet, then roll it all through pasta machine at widest setting (no other release necessary)
.... or place the texture sheet on the clay... use a brayer or acrylic rod to texture the foiled side of the clay (...I also added PearlEx powders to the other side of the bowl, and tinted the translucent clay with Jacquard's Pinata Inks).
(NOTE: Be sure to place the clay on deli tissue or paper to keep it from sticking to your work surface.
Alternatively, a deeply cut rubberstamp may also be used to create texture.)

crackling foil
..the foil crackled beautifully when I streched it with my fingers..... put it through the pasta machine on smaller settings until it cracks..... didn't crack like the regular metallic leaf does, in jagged cracks.... It was a "shattering" effect, very even and similar to the way the 14k gold leaf spreads apart on Kathleen Dustin's bags......vVery much potential there, I think.
…my foil didn't seem to want to crackle for me ..... I threw away any identifying parts of the package, but almost sure it was Renaissance (??).
......the foil had sat on the clay for days, maybe a week, before I remembered it. .....when I put it through the pasta machine, it did have almost microscopic hairline cracks, very even.... the overall visual effect was a thinning of the gold. LynnDel
......I would bet that setting it overnight does affect the 'carrier' and makes it very stretchy and rubbery (and therefore wouldn't crackle well ?) Lysle
...I also found that even though I like the crackle effect from running Jones Tones through the
PM, it does *dull* the effect quite a bit . . . each way has it's own use though. Annie
On some liquid clay-adhered pieces (of foil?) that I felt weren't staying down well, I covered with liquid clay, and others I didn't
........after rebaking, the covered pieces looked like cracked ice while the others still looked like the regular hologram. Macy

A fun thing to try is use both foil + crackled leaf
.....put some compostion gold or silver leaf (varigated red and black work great for this) on a thickest setting of clay. . .then roll through the pasta machine. . .reduce setting by one. . .roll through. . .reduce setting by one. . .roll through, (stretching and crackling the film) put on a Jones-Tones sheet, following all the rubbing and ripping directions. Dawn

Use to create mokume gane
.....sheets of foil can be used between layers of mokume gane . . . burnish them, then remove the backing ...otherwise they will be too thick and tough to cut in the stack
.......a great effect is to do this with a rainbow of colors ... stack them, then slice with a wavy blade, what a great effect!!!! Leigh
(for much more on this, see Mokume Gane > Leaf and Foils )

metallic-looking backgrounds behind transfers (toner-based transfers)
...Jeanette's lesson on a foil-backed transfer (with translucent covering layer)
......transfer the Jones Tones foil to a # 1 sheet of scrap clay (letting it rest 5 min. before ripping it off)
.....transfer a b&w photocopy to a very thin sheet of translucent clay

.......she also stretches the foil-on-clay to spread out the pattern some (more suitable for background effect) by pasta machining on #2, then #3
.......roll the transfer image clay sheet onto the the foiled clay sheet (image side onto foil)

......burnish ...trim to shape needed (she uses a Shapelet)
A ( toner-based) transfer on clay can be used to adhere foil to its image (...or could be a geometric or other "pattern" perhaps)
......Xtine uses her toner transfer to create a foiled pattern on raw clay ("faux photo etching")
.......apply fresh photocopy to clay, burnish, swab with acetone to transfer the ink ... remove copy from clay
.......apply foil to clay with transferred image (foil shiny side up).. scrape firmly twice both direction with sharp side of long off clay (image should now be foiled on raw clay)
.........apply several coats of Future to avoid discoloration, letting dry between (necessary?)
(...leftover foil from procedure can be used again on new raw clay, but will need to be burnished more times before ripping)

Other Types of Foil used in crafts

Other kids of "foil" can be used with liquid clay to create faux cloisonne or stained glass effects
Art Emboss foil is actually very thin sheets of metal foil (on 5 foot rolls)... it comes in light, medium, and now extra-light thicknesses
......(used in the Mitchells' book on liquid clays, for cloisonne and enamel techniques where patterns are embossed into the back side of the foil and filled in on the front side with colored liquid clays... they also use very thin strips of it on the front side of the embossed clay to create the outlines of cloisonne which are also filled with liquid clay)

suppliers: call an art supply store near you and ask if they are carrying it (more likely than at a craft store)
......I found Art Emboss at my local Michaels... it's in a spot where you'd never think to find it ... the back of the art supply section. Jenn
......ArtEmboss foil is a bit hard to find.... It can be mail ordered through Accent Import/Export Ann
Jody Bishel uses disposable cookie sheets made from aluminum can be first embossed to create cells
... then fills with tinted liquid clays
...wipes liquid clay off the topmost areas, leaving only in depressions ..then bakes hot (300, 10 min)
(...the aluminum foil will then act both as raised "leading" for the cells, and reflective surface behind the translucent liquid clay-filled cells to create a brighter effect)
...for more info on embossing cookie sheet metal (on craft foam with ball stylus), see Texture > Making Your Own Texture Sheets
(for more on cells and cloisonne, see Liquid Clay > Cloisonne > metal foils or leaf)

(for covering or inclusions?)
…in some techniques, you can even use ordinary aluminum foil
...I just watched a tape with Marie Segal that she used Hershey Kisses wrappers! Ocean

self-adhesive foils

"Bare-Metal" foil is a sheet of real metal that's incredibly thin and has a lightly-adhesive backing
....often used to detail model cars, etc....many modelers swear by it ... sold at hobby shops
....comes in Chrome, Ultra Brite Chrome, Black Chrome, Gold, Matte Aluminum, and Real Copper

Foil-It is a tape of real metal about 1/4" wide, in silver, brass, and copper
...the copper tape has a glue backing so all you have to do is peel off the paper backing and press the tape against whatever, and it will stick--very well in fact! I love the stuff! Dotty in CA
…It's for doing stained glass with (wrap it around the edges of the glass pieces, cuz solder won't stick to glass..... then you solder your piece together.) Also, it comes in a lot of sizes... 1/8', 4/8", 7/8"... there's even one that comes in with a scalloped edge! I'm pretty sure you can buy it in sheets as well. You could lay a pin piece on it and have it come up around the edges... giving it a copper back. This stuff WILL oxidize though... so be sure cover it with a finish to seal it. Hmmm.... I've never even THOUGHT to use it with polymer! At any rate, you can find it at ANY stained glass store... and there are dozens of them online. Joanie :o}
I used it to make magnets. I'd take neat little pictures out of catalogs... or bits of lace... and sandwich them between reeeeeel thin (1/16") sheets of glass... and wrap the edges of the glass to lock the images in & give them that nice copper frame. Slap a magnet on the back and you have a really nice magnet! Quick and easy. Well... you DO have to cut the glass to fit, but that's not so hard once you know how. They'd probably show you how for free, at a stained glass shop, if you were going to buy a glass cutter. Joanie :o}

(...for crackling with leaf, paints, inks, or clear liquids like Future, see above, or on relevant pages)

Misc info re foil used in photocopiers

MISC. LESSONS & PROJECTS for using foils in photocopiers:
...cut foil just large enough to fit over any text/etc. that you want to be foiled (or it will foil dark areas you don't want foiled)
......hold the foil in place on the copier paper with the sticky dots provided with the foil ...then pass the copier paper through the copier (best to use the hand feed)
...instructions for using transfer foils in copier foil photocopies

...projects and ideas using photocopier with foils
...some of the copy shop owners might frown on doing this with their copiers...the potential for jamming is there with improper set ups.Barbe
......(must adhere the foil, or you'll have one ver
y badly jammed photocopier)...could use tape or other temp. adhesives? heat a problem?

....I always put the whitest white paper I can find on the copyglass as my original ...both my Canon photocopiers work well
....standard smooth papers work best... textured or grained paper won't be even...for best results use 28 lb (or lighter) paper. Barbe
.... if you cut a foil piece too big, it will
bleed over onto type/graphics next to the one you are trying to foil
.....if you get a spot of
no color, you just cover it with a small piece and run it thru again. can use different colors of foil to make a rainbow effect too nice thing about the these foils is that whatever scraps of foil are unused from foiling in the copier, can be used for polymer too.
ncreased heat increases the foil through after your copier has warmed up and printed several sheets.
.......after removal from copier, leave foil in place for 30 secs
ower the toner density level for the original copy to reduce stray toner... and clean the glass bed, even at a copy shop
It also used to come with a glue called Plexi Glue which even allowed fabric to stretch with it.... I don't know if Foil Glue is still available in the stores or not. suggests using the foil on candles, picture frames, ornaments, stationary as well as crafts and clothing. Patty B.



leaf and foil??
Valerie's cracked gold foil & blue heart (gone)
(either leaf type) Kris Richards' lesson on Jones Tones onlaid strips, etc.
(website gone)
Christel's larger pieces of leaf under translucent (gone)
PoRRo’s bead shapes with cracked leaf (website gone) (website gone)
Byrd's (at least 3) pendants with crackled leaf effects (website gone)

Marie's translucent layering, some with foil (website gone)

(see also Mokume gane, Glues, Transfers, )