FOILING 101: Mini Minc Foil Applicator

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Hello everyone and welcome to my blog! I am so excited to share with you a crafting tool that I won from a raffle from Bee Happy Crafts. It is an online store where I usually get my crafting supplies. They have great selections of stationery and crafting tools. Now, I have always had such rotten luck when it comes to raffles or any game of chance except for love, (lol) but bless my lucky stars! I won second price and got a Heidi Swapp Mini Minc Foil Applicator. I have always wanted to try foiling. It looks so simple yet elegant. I have seen tons of DIY videos on how to do foiling and I am so impressed and amazed on how they create flawless foiled designs. But we all know that reality is always different from expectation. Now that I have this awesome crafting tool, I have no more excuse in not trying this technique.

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Mini Minc Foil Applicator Machine includes a transfer folder, Heidi Swapp Transfer Foil, sample art laser printed images and a manual @creativemuseatwork

I am sure that most of you knows how this baby works but let me give a quick lowdown. The Mini Minc Foil Applicator allows you to apply foil to any kind of artwork or projects printed through a laser toner printer. (NOTE: It should be a laser toner printer, not inkjet otherwise the foil will not adhere in the paper) They come in two sizes, the Mini Minc which is the one that I have here, with a 6 inch foil applicator and the large Minc for large prints. The Mini Minc comes with the machine, transfer folder, transfer foil and sample art images.

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ICraft Transfer Foil by Thermoweb @creativemuseatwork

Heidi Swapp has her own line of foil sheets that comes in different colors but unfortunately, the Heidi Swapp Transfer Foil was not available at the time of my purchase so I bought several ICraft Deco Foils by Therm-o-web which according to some DIY videos are also compatible with this machine.

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Adventure and camera sample art image that came with the machine and my own thank you sentiment design printed on laser monochrome printer

I am definitely a newbie in foiling. I have never done this before so I have encountered tons of mistakes and disappointments. I have heard several horror stories that not all types of laser printer adhere the foil perfectly so for the purposes of this blog, I used this machine on both the sample art print that came with the machine and on my own design that is laser printed. I also used the sample Heidi Swapp Transfer Foil on the sample image and the ICraft Deco Foil on my printed design.

One caveat though: This is not a deep dive analysis of The Mini Minc or transfer foils and I am not some sort of a foiling guru. Everything in this blog is based on my experience so let’s start foiling!

HOW TO FOIL USING THE MINI MINC FOIL APPLICATOR.

Turn on the machine and press the gold button to select the proper heat setting. If you check the manual that comes with the machine, there are several recommended settings depending on how much heat you need for your project. The recommended setting is 3. You need to let the machine heat up and it will beep and the indicator light will turn green when it is hot and ready.

The next step is to prepare your design, you need to cut the foil about a quarter of an inch larger than your project just to give some wiggle room in case the design might shift a little once it rolls inside the machine.

Place the paper with the image with the foil on top inside the transfer folder. The image should be facing up, as well as the shiny colored side of the foil. Close the transfer folder and make sure that the foil is flat and not wrinkled.

Feed the transfer folder into the machine. The machine will automatically pull the transfer folder inside. It works like an ordinary laminator so you have to wait until it is completely done and it will roll out on the other side of the machine.

Open the transfer folder and gently peel off the foil from the image. The foil should adhere where the toner was printed.

RESULTS:

SAMPLE IMAGE THAT CAME WITH THE MACHINE USING THE HEIDI SWAPP TRANSFER FOIL

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The result was a disaster! I foiled both the sample image with the gold and silver foil that came with the machine and it was so streaky! There were some portions of the toner that the foil did not cling well. There were scratches on the foil and the paper had folds like as if it was scored when it went through the machine. I have no idea what caused the score lines and what is so weird is that there are foils in the score lines. I thought I did not properly insert the transfer folder, so on the second time, I made sure to  flattened it out before I feed it to the machine, but it produced the same streaky result with score lines and the foil did not cleanly transfer. At this point, I was so frustrated that I had to woosah myself for a couple of minutes! (lol)

MY OWN DESIGN PRINTED ON LASER PRINTER USING ICRAFT DECO FOIL 

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The result was magic! Aside from fervently praying for success, I did  the same exact process in this one. The foil adhered perfectly. There were no streaks, scratches or score lines. The paper was as smooth as it was. The transfer was so clean that you can actually use the negative foil for another project.

Based on this trial and error, I can say that The Mini Minc Foil Applicator is a great machine but you need to have quality supplies to achieve beautiful results.

FOIL – The Icraft Deco Foil by Therm-o-web is a better choice compared to the Heidi Swapp Transfer Foil that came with the machine. I think the thickness of the ICraft Deco Foil gives a more consistent and clean finish. It is easy to handle. The Mini Minc transferred the foil evenly on the toner.

PAPER – The sample image that came with the machine was printed in a glossy paper. I am not sure how heavy the paper is but it could be around 200 GSM – 220 GSM. The paper that I used for my own design is a white Bevania Splendorgel 220 GSM. This is the paper that I used in most of my projects. It has a very smooth surface perfect for inkjet and laser printing.

PRINTER – I have no idea what kind of printer was used for the sample image. But I was really expecting that it will foil effortlessly because it came with the machine, but sadly, it did not. The printer that I used for my design is a a high-quality monochrome printer. It is indeed important to use a monochrome laser printer so you can get the darkest black color for the foil to adhere.

I never thought that testing out this machine can send me to an emotional roller-coaster but I am so excited to make more projects with this machine! I have not yet made a comparison between an ordinary laminator and the Minc but I am just so grateful that I got this machine for free. I have to try this machine with a toner pen and on colored cardstocks in the future. You can also make your own patterns in Adobe Illustrator and foil it after to for your card backgrounds.

I hope this blog was helpful to those who wants to try foiling. It is a a great tool for this technique. The price point is much more expensive compared to ordinary laminators but with quality supplies, it does give wonderful results. See you next time and thank you for visiting my blog.๐ŸŒธ

WATERCOLOR: PORTABLE NOMAD PALETTE

Fresh Look:

WATERCOLOR: PORTABLE NOMAD PALETTE

Hello fellow crafters! I am back to share a watercolor I recently bought online. I have seen this product in social media sites and I just cannot resist the temptation on getting one for myself. I have to admit, I normally do not want to invest in too many watercolors. Among the coloring mediums available, I have always struggled with watercolors. I find that it is not as forgiving as color pencils and markers but I do love how it can achieve such wonderful artwork despite its delicacy and subtlety. I stick to my ever faithful Sakura Watercolors and Zig Clean Color Brush Markers and they always get the job done. Before I go on any further, I have a disclaimer, I am no watercolor expert. This blog is just for the purposes of sharing my thoughts and experience in using this product.

Nomad Watercolor Palette @creativemuse

Superior Watercolor Palette @creativemuseatwork

Superior Watercolor Palette

Superior Watercolor Palette description at the back @creativemuseatwork

The product is called Superior Watercolor but it is advertised as NomadArt Premium Portable Watercolor in Giftzania, the online store where I got this on Facebook. I cannot figure out the name of the manufacturer as everything in the front and back label are all in Chinese or Japanese characters. I also tried searching online for any website that manufactured this product but all I found are resellers and no company of origin. It was actually on sale and I got it 50% less than it’s actual price. It does not have a box but it is placed inside a thick plastic container covered in a bubble wrap. So without further ado, here is the low-down of this cutie:

 

Superior Watercolor Palette

Superior Watercolor Palette 42 vibrant colors @creativemuseatwork

It comes in 18, 25, 32 and 42 color sets. I got the 42 colors as I am a lousy color mixer. I also found out that this also comes in a pastel set of 18 colors and cocktail set of 25 colors. I would love to get my hands on the pastel set in the future.

It comes with a refillable water brush placed on the side, a foam on top with a velcro attached for brush cleaning as well as three small mixing pans.

It has color labels stickers at the bottom of each swivel containers ranging from C1 – C43. It is quite odd though that they skipped C41.

The watercolor set is quite handy and perfect for traveling. I can imagine myself using this in an airplane or in a coffee shop. The color pans are placed in a swivel container that swings when you choose the color you need. I was at first disappointed on how thin the color pans are, but then, I remembered that portability is the concept of this product. So yeah, I think I am fine with that. To put it on a dry run, I made a swatch of each of the colors in a watercolor paper, and here are my observations:

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Superior Watercolor Palette swatches @creativemuseatwork

The colors are bright and transparent and it layers well. I was actually surprised how nice the color payout was. It did not bleed and you can control the movement of the color in the paper. However, there are three colors that I struggled to work with: the colors black, C18-violet and C29-blue. The color black is not as intense as I wanted it to be. I am not sure if it’s just me or if they were not pigmented enough. Some of the colors also granulate, but this happens in some watercolors. I also struggled with the water brush included in the set. It is meant for big illustrations to color. It was too thick that it soaked in too much water and I can hardly get enough concentrated color. I wanted my swatch to show the color from its full strength and when it is saturated with water.

I also noticed that the colors in the pan are darker than it’s actual colors and the color labels do not match as well, so it is important that you make swatches that you can refer to when you are doing your coloring and make sure to mark them with their corresponding color codes. I also feel like the labels might come off when it comes in contact with water. It does not look like it’s laminated or has anything protecting it from moisture. I only use the sponge once I completely clean the brush. I don’t think they are refillable.

As I was swatching each color, I also noticed that it’s difficult to access the colors near the hinges. You have to swing the panels all the way up to access the colors otherwise you can only reach the sides of the color pans. The palette looks sturdy however, you may need a rubber band to hold the containers together.

Despite all these minor observations, I had fun using this palette. The colors are vibrant and easy to work with for a novice like me. I also think that once this palette is empty, I can use the container as a mixing pan or I can refill it with other watercolors. This is perfect for journaling, card-making and small illustrations and if you are into-adult-coloring books.ย 

I hope you have found my observations helpful! Till next time and happy crafting!