I don’t really need an excuse to make a gold foil phrase sweatshirt about coffee (and in French mind you), so I don’t even think I have to give you a reason why I wanted to make one of these. It’s a “DUH” moment for sure. However, I’ve used some gold iron-on vinyl on fabric before, and while it works pretty well, I wanted to try this gold foil technique on a wearable item as well. The iron-on vinyl is probably better for a totally uniform look, but the foil has a really cool brushed-on quality that makes it fun to play with too. I chose a phrase that means “My coffee please” in French because, well, I like French stuff and coffee, but they also say it in An American in Paris a few times, so it’s something I like to yell around the house.
-gold foil roll
-X-Acto knife, ruler, and cutting mat
Print your phrase the size you want it to appear on your shirt (if you want it bigger than it will fit on an 8” x 10”, then print it on several pieces and tape it together). Trace the phrase onto the non-waxy side of freezer paper, and use an X-Acto knife to cut out the letters making sure to save all the middles of the “O”s and such.
Use an iron to iron the freezer paper onto your sweatshirt (you usually don’t need to spend more than 30 seconds on one area).
Once the paper is secure, brush on an even amount of foil adhesive onto the sweatshirt letters that are exposed through the freezer paper cutouts. Try to work quickly so that the adhesive on the first letters isn’t totally dry by the time you get to the end. You want to make sure you are covering the exposed fabric but don’t want globs of adhesive either.
Cut out a section of foil that is just slightly bigger than your phrase (but still smaller than your freezer paper stencil). Lay it gold side up onto the phrase, place a piece of parchment paper on top, and use the iron (on a medium/high setting) to adhere the gold foil to the sweatshirt. You’ll want to spend about 30 seconds passing over all areas of the phrase, making sure it’s sufficiently warming each section.
Once it’s adhered, remove the parchment paper and allow the foil to cool. Peel back the foil and then remove the freezer paper as well to reveal your phrase underneath!
This totally looks and feels like something I would have bought in a store rather than made at home, and I like that I can customize the phrase and font to whatever I wanted (and for all you French nerds out there, yes I know I left off the circumflex accent over the “plait” — I claim artistic license on that one). Since this gold foil is so bright and shiny, you could totally do this on black material as well and the gold would pop really well. Since gold foil tends to be more delicate by nature, I would definitely suggest a cold hand wash for this treatment, but if you feel adventurous, you could always try it on a cold gentle machine cycle. I can’t wait to make a few more of these guys. I’m totally doing one with this abstract face from my pillow DIY for sure! Stay golden! xo. Laura
Credits//Author: Laura Gummerman.Photography: Laura Gummerman and Elsie Larson. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.