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Cricut Foil Transfer Tool: the ultimate guide

Note: the Cricut Foil Transfer tools in this post were gifted to me, with no obligation to share. All opinions are my own.

Have you seen the Cricut Foil Transfer Tool yet? It’s the craft tool you never new you needed! I promise, it’ll massively expand the scope of what you can make with your Cricut machine.

In this post, I’ll explain exactly what the Cricut Foil Transfer Tool is, what you can make with it, how to use the foil sheets and more. I’ll also share plenty of tips and things to watch out for.

But first up; if you’re new to Cricut, I’d recommend you start with my ultimate guide to Cricut. It will get you up to speed on what Cricut is all about. Then when you’re ready, hop back over to this page and keep reading – I’ll be here waiting!

I’ll keep this blog post updated with any future Foil Transfer updates. So make sure you save it to Pinterest so you can refer back to it later! Just hover or tap the image below, and click the Pinterest icon that appears. Thank you!

Cricut Foil Transfer Tool - The Ultimate Guide - Click through for more information


Cricut Foil Transfer Tool: quick links


The basics

What is the Cricut Foil Transfer Tool?

The Cricut Foil Transfer Tool is a nifty little tool that allows you to add foiled details to your craft projects. It literally transfers and fuses coloured foil accents onto the surface of your project. Cool, huh?!

The tool slots into Cricut machines (just like a blade). It’s controlled through Design Space, so you can use it seamlessly alongside your other Cricut tools to cut, score, deboss, perforate, engrave and now foil your makes. And, because it’s an official Cricut gadget, you know you’re going to get that insanely high level of detail and precision that they’re known for.

Cricut Foil Transfer System in the Cricut Maker – Click through for the ultimate guide

The tool comes with three tips: fine, medium and bold. These tips are easily swapped out of the main housing through a magnetic release system. The different thicknesses allow you to mix up your foiling for each project, depending on how bold or subtle you want it to be.

The foil tool was newly launched in 2020, but you’d be forgiven for thinking there was already one out there. The company We R Memory Keepers make a ‘Foil Quill’, which works with Cricut machines and does a similar job. It’s been out for years and is pretty popular. However, the official Cricut tools offer some significant advantages over it – there’s a detailed comparison towards the end of this article.

Here’s a quick video I made of the tool in action…

How does the Cricut Foil Transfer Tool work?

The power behind the Cricut foil tool is pressure. It uses the ability of Cricut machines to exert huge pressure – which means it needs no heat to transfer the foil.

It basically presses a foil sheet onto your blank project under extremely high pressure – wherever it touches, it transfers the foil. Once finished, the foil sheet is peeled away from the blank and leaves behind all of the areas that were pressed. It’s like magic!

Cricut Foil Transfer System my first makes - foil cards

Which machines does the Cricut Foil Transfer Tool work with?

The tool works with both the Cricut Maker and the Cricut Explore Air 2. This is great news for any Explore users, as the previous few innovations from Cricut have been exclusively for the Maker!

Although note that the Cricut Foil Transfer Tool does NOT work with the Cricut Joy. This machine is designed for simplicity; it lacks the power to exert the pressure needed for the foil tools.

Do the Cricut deboss tool or scoring stylus work with the foil sheets?

You might be wondering, can I use the deboss tool instead of the Cricut Foil Transfer tool? Or will the scoring stylus work instead of the foil tool? Since all of these tools work through pressure, it seems like they’d be interchangeable. But unfortunately, that’s not the case.

The foil tool has been specifically designed to transfer foil designs – everything from the shape, to the pressure it exerts. It simply does not work with the deboss or scoring tools – the results are patchy and irregular.


What can you make with the Cricut Foil Transfer Tool?

Materials it works on

The tools works with a pretty big range of materials, including (but not limited to!) the following:

  • Cardstock
  • Kraft board
  • Printable vinyl
  • Photo paper
  • Poster board
  • Vellum
  • Faux leather

A few notable materials that are NOT compatible are fabric and leather. I’ve tried them both and the results are not great, unfortunately. There’s a full list of materials that Cricut have officially approved, here on the Cricut site.

Also it’s worth noting that when you go through to the make screen of Design Space, only the compatible materials will be available – the others will be greyed out. This means there’s no risk of foiling something that is incompatible.

Things you can make

The Foil tool is so versatile! Personally, I love to use it to make greetings cards and simple, elegant wall art. That little shimmer of foil really elevates a simple paper-craft project.

But that’s not all! You could also experiment with making boxes/packaging, candle sleeves, bookmarks, gift tags, invites, faux leather coasters, jewellery, vinyl stickers and so much more.


How to use the Cricut Foil Transfer Tool

Tools and equipment you’ll need

  • Cricut Design Space app on a desktop or laptop*
  • Cricut Explore or Maker machine
  • Foil Transfer Tool
  • A sheet of Cricut foil
  • Foil sticky tape (comes with the foil sheets)
  • A blank to apply foil to
  • An adhesive Cricut mat

*Note: the new tool only works on the desktop/laptop version of Design Space. At the moment, it’s not compatible with phones or tablets.

Step-by-step guide

1. In the Design Space app, find an image to foil. A good tip is to search the image library and filter the ‘Art type’ option to only show ‘Draw’ images. These filtered images are perfect for foiling.

2. Insert the image to your canvas, then change the image to a ‘Foil’ type.

3. Place your blank material onto your adhesive Cricut mat, just like you would to cut it.

4. Place the foil sheet over the blank material, with the colour side of the foil pointing upwards. Careful – the adhesive of the mat can damage the foil, so make sure they don’t come into direct contact!

5. Use the tape that’s included with the foil sheets to stick the foil to the blank. Make sure you stick the foil/tape to the blank, and not onto the mat. And keep the foil as taught and flat as possible (i.e. no wrinkles or baggy sections).

6. Insert the foil tool into the blade port of your Cricut machine.

7. Next, click the green ‘Make’ button back on the Design Space app. Follow the on-screen steps to foil the design.

8. Once the design is finished, eject the mat. Carefully peel the foil away to reveal the transferred design.

How to change the tips

The foil tool comes with three interchangeable tips: fine, medium and bold. This allows you to get pretty creative with your foiling, so you can achieve different results in your projects. It’s easy to tell the difference between them all, too – fine has one silver strip on the end, medium has two, bold has three.

All three tips fit into the same housing, and they’re really easy to swap! Simply press the plunger button on the top of the housing – and the tip will fall out. You can then put another one in, and it will snap in place with a magnet within the housing.

How to use the Cricut Foil Transfer System in the Cricut Maker - click through for the ultimate guide 4

Key things to watch out for

I’ve been playing with the new tool for a little while now, and I’ve picked up a few tips and tricks to get the best results!

  • Don’t line your design up to the very edge of the foil. Rather, make sure you leave at least 1cm border around the edge. If it gets too close to the edge, it tends to not be taut enough to imprint the design perfectly.
  • Make sure your foil is stuck down really well. I tested it with just a small amount of sticky tape – and it all shifted out of place and ruined the project. Whoops! So don’t skimp on the amount of tape you use. 🙂
  • Because the foil sheets are so thin, they tend to attract to the tape through static. So just be careful when sticking it down, it can be a little fiddly!
  • The tape that is included with the sheets can be reused a few times, so don’t throw it away immediately. It’s handy to keep it, just incase you need some extra at any point.
  • The tape can be a little too sticky for some more delicate materials, like cardstock. It helps to stick it onto your clothes a few times before using it, to reduce the stick a little.
  • If you run out of tape, you can use Cricut heat-transfer tape or strong masking tape as an alternative.
  • Cut off any excess foil after you have used it, then keep it to use again! Although note that any sections that have been foiled already cannot be reused.

Cricut Foil Transfer Tool vs the ‘Foil Quill’ by We R Memory Keepers

The key difference is how the machines work. The Cricut tool works through pressure, whilst the Foil Quill works through heat. Because of this, the Cricut tool has a few key benefits:

  • Safer (no risk of burns)
  • Quicker (no need to wait for it to heat up)
  • Simpler (no extra cables)

The Cricut tool also integrates seamlessly with Design Space, and the system will recognise it as a tool option. This isn’t true of the Foil Quill – so it’s not as easy to use it alongside cutting, scoring etc.

On the other hand, it’s worth noting that the Foil Quill can be used with a wider range of foil sheets. It’s compatible with both the We R Memory Keepers sheets, and the Cricut sheets – whereas the Cricut tool can only work with Cricut sheets. So it’s worth keeping that in mind, especially if you see a We R Memory Keepers foil sheet that you really like.

Here’s an overview of the main comparisons:

Cricut Foil Transfer ToolWe R Memory Keepers ‘Foil Quill’
How it worksThrough pressureThrough heat
Sizes available3 sizes (fine, medium, bold)3 sizes (fine, medium, bold)
Foil sheetsOnly works with official Cricut foil sheetsWorks with Cricut foil sheets and We R Memory Keepers foil sheets
Machine compatabilityCricut Maker
Cricut Explore Air 2
Most cutting machines, including Cricut Maker, Cricut Explore, Silhouette, Brother and Sizzix
For more information, see the Cricut and the We R Memory Keepers websites.

Where to buy

The Cricut Foil Transfer Tool is available NOW! You can buy it using the following links – they’re affiliate links, so I’ll get a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for using these links. 🙂


I hope this guide to the Cricut Foil Transfer tool has been helpful! I’ll be sure to add more tips and tricks as I use the tool more, and I’ll be sharing some detailed tutorials using it soon.

Don’t forget to Pin the below image to Pinterest so you can easily refer back! And if you have any questions about the new tool, just drop me a comment in the box below.

Happy foiling! 🙂 – Mike.

Cricut Foil Transfer Tool - The Ultimate Guide - Click through for more information
About Author

Hello, I'm Mike! I started this blog in 2013, and it's since become a part-time job for me. I've always been obsessed with crafts (my very first memories are of making things... and I've never grown out of it!). So it really is a dream come true that I can now share this joy with people like you, every single day. Thank you for being here! READ MORE

7 Comments

  • Anonymous
    September 8, 2021 at 2:32 am

    Hi thanks for this but I’m having issues with mine.. It wouldn’t transfer. Followed instructions but it just wouldn’t transfer esp the bold tool.. Troubleshooting in cricut website did not help.

    Reply
  • Talie Colbourne
    March 3, 2021 at 10:46 pm

    Hi there! Thank you so much for this guide, reading through it has been really helpful!

    I just had a few questions I’ve been searching for the answer to and was wondering whether you could help me with. Do you know if the foiling is compatible with designs that are not Cricut draw designs (e.g. if I had drawn something in a third party app and imported it into Design Space as an image, would they come up with a draw option similar to the cut one)? Also have you tried any third party foils (e.g. deco foil or any others) and know if they are compatible with the foil kit?

    Thank you in advance!

    Reply
    • Mike
      March 14, 2021 at 9:47 am

      Hello! Yes, you can definitely use your own custom imported designs with the foil tool – simply import it as usual, then change the line type to ‘foil’. I’ve not tried any third party foils, but I don’t think they will work… the Cricut foils are designed to work with pressure, whereas most others are activated by heat. So I’d recommend sticking with the official Cricut foils. I hope this helps! 🙂 – Mike.

      Reply
    • B
      July 9, 2021 at 12:15 am

      I have used the Spellbinders Glimmer foil with the Transfer Kit, and it worked just as well. It’s also much cheaper, but the rolls you get are pretty narrow; so some creative placement is needed for bigger projects.
      Also; custom artwork is best created with a single line path, because the foiling operation will only make the outline of each individual line, which can cause finer artwork to look a little bulky. It still looks great with a regular line drawing; but just something to note!

      Reply
  • Shirl
    January 1, 2021 at 9:50 pm

    Thanks for walking me through the process. I just got the kit along with some extra foil for Christmas. So excited!

    Reply
  • Anonymous
    October 17, 2020 at 10:38 pm

    Thanks for the handy overview!

    Reply
    • Mike
      October 25, 2020 at 9:13 pm

      Glad you enjoyed it! 🙂

      Reply

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