Some of the clever people in the Curio Creations Facebook Group came up with the idea of using the WRMK Foil Quill on acrylic soon after it was released and I couldn’t wait to jump in and give it a try as soon as I got my Foil Quill. I’ve done quite a bit since then with various Silhouette and Cricut machines and learned a lot so wanted to share some of my results.
The good news is that foiling on acrylic is simple using the same settings that would be used for foiling card stock (draw/sketch setting, light pressure, slow speed). It’s important to be sure the acrylic is thin enough for your machine (recommended sources by machine below). Tape the edges so it won’t come up as the mat flexes, and you may also want to support the mat to minimize flex.
The bad news is that it can flake off if reheated, such as in a hot car. So unless you add some sort of coating, its not going to make a great key fob or luggage tag, but still works fine for other light duty decorative purposes.
I also don’t recommend using the fine tip Foil Quill. It is just too fragile for a thick, rigid material like acrylic.
All the foils look great on clear acrylic, and you can even do multiple colors. Single line designs look great, or you can use fills for a solid effect. Don’t mirror your image unless you want to view the uncolored, generally silver, side of the foil after it is applied.
Both the metallic and opaque matte foils look great on colored acrylic. Below is white matte foil on black acrylic done with the Cameo 3. (The photo was converted to lines using Maks Surguy’s SquiggleCam, one of many cool site you will find on my Online SVG Tools list.)
The happiest thing I discovered is that the translucent matte foils looks a lot like etching/engraving when edge lit in an LED light base, for instance, so its a great alternative for those of you who don’t want to, or can’t, use an etching/engraving tool in your machine. Its very subtle and ghosted, until you turn on the light. Image below is customized from a Silhouette Design Store sketch file, foiled with pearl matte foil using a Silhouette Cameo 3.
If you haven’t seen how beautiful the color changing effects with these light bases are, check out this video of a peacock from the Cricut Image Library made with pearl matte foil on an Explore Air 2.
Where to Buy Acrylic Blanks and Light Bases
Explore/Maker/Cameo users … I’ve worked with Craft Chameleon on a line of precut thin acrylics that work nicely for foiling (etching/engraving, too) in the Silhouette Cameo 3, Cameo 4, Cricut Explore series and Cricut Maker. These “CSD” kits come with illustrated instructions written by me, and files to help you with placement, too. Craft Chameleon also carries the light bases either in kits or separately and has great prices.
Special note for Cricut Explore One users … WRMK does not include an Explore One adapter for the Foil Quill, but I have provided a 3D print file at Thingiverse.
What about Silhouette Curio?…Craft Chameleon also carries a wonderful array of 1/8 inch acrylics you can foil (or etch) with a Curio, made even easier with their corresponding plastic templates. Here’s a video on how to foil acrylic on the Curio from Miss Mary.
Jerri Dyke says
Thank you Kay for the incredible insight into this great tool! I so enjoy reading and exploring through your teachings. Jerri
Linda Reynolds says
Did I miss a link to the light bases?
I love your creativity and willingness to share your methods and tools with us!
Thanks for your input. I clarified the links to make it clearer where to get the bases.
Liz A. says
Love this info, Kay, thanks for everything you do!!
Love the look of the foiled acrylic with those light bases! Very nice, Kay!
Paulette Campbell says
Kay I tried this method with my Cameo 4 and Christmas designs. I Would love to do the peacock – can you tell me where I can find the design please.
Oh, fantastic, Paulette! Unfortunately the lovely peacock is exclusive to Cricut. Here is a nice peacock from SoFontsy https://sofontsy.com/product/peacock-mandala-svg-cut-file/ref/83/ (aff link) I would probably line fill the body, though, otherwise it will be open space.
Paulette Campbell says
Thank you Kay. I went and got it. Haven’t lined filled but don’t think it should be too hard.
Emma H says
Wonderful:). Will this work with a Cameo 1 or Scan n Cut please?
Cameo 1 no, because there is not enough clearance for the acrylic. Not sure how much clearance the various scan and cuts have.