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The big buzz in the crafting world this spring is the new We R Memory Keepers Foil Quill! It uses the write/draw function on your Cricut Explore or Maker (or Silhouette, Brother, or Sizzix cutting machine) with a heated quill to make beautiful foil designs on materials such as cardstock or leather. I’ve only had mine a short time, and I already love it.
What is a foil quill anyway?
If you’re like me, when you think of a quill, you think of some ancient person using a feather and dipping it in ink to write calligraphy. A “foil quill” is shaped like a pen, but made out of a heating element that is powered by a USB plug. The heated quill is used with sheets of foil that are heat-activated so that whatever it touches adheres to the layer beneath it. There are actually three sizes of quills that come in the kit depending on the thickness of the line you’re creating with the foil.
The Cricut thinks the foil quill is just a pen. That will be important to remember when you use it.
Supplies I used:
- We R Memory Keepers Foil Quill All-in-One Kit (Available now at JOANN or soon at Scrapbook.com)
- Scoring Stylus
- Bazzill cardstock
- Cricut Deluxe Paper Foil Embossed Sampler, Silver/White
- 3L Scrapbook Adhesives E-Z Runner Grand Permanent Refillable Adhesive Dispenser
Here are the steps to get started making gorgeous foil designs with the WRMK Foil Quill:
Create a Design
WRMK sells flash drives with designs for the Foil Quill, but you are certainly not limited to those. Any images that are formatted for write/draw then cut will work. There are hundreds of images in Design Space that are designed to be drawn with the pens that can be used with the Foil Quill. Most of these images are included in the Cricut Access subscription. I compiled a list of cartridges/image sets with drawn images and sentiments. Write then cut text created in Design Space will look wonderful when done in foil.
For this card, I used an image from the Agent Q Phrases and Sentiments cartridge.
This image uses two different pen colors, and so to keep it simple, I changed it to one color. I selected the blue layer and changed it to black in the color drop down in the edit bar. I clicked on the other image and made sure it was black as well. If I don’t do this, the machine will pause between colors because the software thinks I am writing and need to change pens.
I sized the drawn image to fit on top of the cut image, then selected the drawn and the cut images and then Align>Center.
With the images still selected, I attached the images and/or writing to the card or shape just as you would a regular drawn image or written text.
On the Prepare screen, I move the image down to the bottom of the mat. This will make it easier to remove the foil while the machine is paused. Make sure you have the mat with the drawn images selected before hitting “Continue.”
Install Foil Quill
Once you’ve unboxed your Foil Quill, you’ll need to select the tip you want to use – fine, standard, or bold. I used the fine tip for this project.
Select the “C” Adapter for the Cricut.
Prepare Foil and Use Quill
After placing the cardstock on the mat, cut a piece of foil large enough to cover the area of the image. I have found that the guillotine cutter is much easier than trying to cut the foil with scissors. Try to get it as smooth as possible on the cardstock and tape the edges. You can use the WRMK tape that comes in the All-in-One kit or is sold separately. I used blue painter’s tape to secure my foil.
When you are ready for the mat with the foil, remove the pen adapter from the “A” side of the carriage. Put the quill in the “A” side. Place the heat shield underneath the quill.
Place the heat shield under the quill.
Plug the cord into a USB plug or portable power supply and wait about five minutes for the quill to heat up.
Make sure you have the mat selected with image you want foil on it. Load the mat into the machine and press the “C” button. Pay attention to the status on the screen and be ready to hit the pause button on the machine when the “draw” step is complete.
When the Cricut is paused, remove the foil. Then, press pause again to resume and complete the cut step.
It’s possible to avoid pausing by splitting the process if you know how to use SnapMat on an iPad or iPhone. SnapMat was originally designed to cut shapes out of paper based on an image of the paper. You could use it to make the Cricut cut around the foiled image separately, but the pause method I describe above is much simpler, and the easiest option for me since I use the PC/Mac version of Design Space most of the time.
It’s kind of hard to tell in a photo, but the end result is very impressive – the foil really pops against the background. The Design Space file for this project is here.
This project has the rose gold foil on purple cardstock.
A Word about Warranties
You may have heard that using the foil quill can void your Cricut’s warranty. Here is Cricut’s statement to retailers on this issue. WRMK has said that if a machine is under warranty and is somehow damaged by the foil quill, that customers should email them at email@example.com for a resolution. To be on the safe side, I am using the foil quill on a machine that is out of warranty.
Here is a short video demonstrating the process for using the foil quill:
The above post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.