How to Make Printed Wood Jewelry Using Nail Foil


Susan of TurtleSoupBeads is an excellent polymer clay instructor on her youtube channel. Sometime ago, I shared her awesome tutorial on how to transfer nail foil prints onto polymer clay. 

That got me thinking about doing the same but for my laser cut wood pieces – I make them in all different shapes.  Her idea does definitely work for wood as you will see from my experimentation below. 

The process is actually very easy – glue down the nail foil to the wood and then almost immediately,  slowly peel away the backing foil.   But first I had to test which glue would work best.  

The first thing is to prep the wood. I sanded and then stained them with water based wood stain – I like the Saman brand. Acrylic paints will work too – dilute them with water if you want a wood stain look.

As Susan pointed out – not all nail foils will work. You must choose patterns with clear areas, not solid patterns.  

I sprayed each adhesive on the stained pieces of test wood and waited a few minutes. Then I used either my finger or the back of a plastic spoon to rub the foil onto the wood. 

I spent about a minute rubbing. Then I carefully peeled off the foil.   I replaced it if I saw the transfer was not complete and continued rubbing.  Once the image was fully transferred, I sealed the wood with a couple of coats of spray varnish like Kamar Spray Varnish. Once dry, earring findings are then added.

Only the tacky type of glue worked for me. I am not quite sure why this is the case. Perhaps it is because it’s designed to work on flexible surfaces?


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