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.  

I decided on spray glues because I thought the brush on ones might not be evenly applied.  I had three kinds on hand.  A strong Gorilla spray adhesive, a spray-on Modge Podge and a light glue used as a sticky note spray - an easy tack or temporary adhesive might work too.  You will have to experiment with the glues you have if yours differs from these. 

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?

As you can see from my designs for my CraftaGems, you can place the designs symmetrically or not!

Here is my video on the whole process on my TikTok - and the same thing soon on my Instagram.  Just the music is different!

@beadinggem Use nail foil to make easy printed wood earrings! #beadinggem #tutorial #jewelrymaking #crafty #craftdiy #earrings #woodjewelry #jeweryprocess #jewelrydiy ♬ I'M FEELING LUCKY - Ellen Once Again

I used  my iPhone 8+ for final product photography in natural light. I used the Orangemonkie studio which comes equipped with LED lights - for artificial light photography and videos in my windowless basement studio. The Foldio2 Plus is excellent . I use the Foldio3 because I need the room for tutorial photography. My online class Easy Guide to Smartphone Jewelry Photography is now available. Read more about it here.  

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Original Post by THE BEADING GEM