Using Scrap Foil
For Hobby, Pastime, and Profit
A very interesting little practised craft, is creating effects with scrap foil. It is a cheap medium to work with, supplies being obtained freely from the wrappers of sweets, chocolates, biscuits, cigarettes, and other articles. If one prefers to use new foil, it may be obtained quite cheaply, and there is not waste at all.
Pictures of your own design, calendars, trays, advertising signs and firescreens are but a few of the articles that can be made in a wide range of patterns and colors. Materials required are few, and consist of a piece of glass, the size of the article being made, cardboard, Indian ink, photographic paste, and passe partout binding.
As an example, let us begin with a colorful picture of a basket of flowers, selected from a glossy magazine. Most pictures are suitable for this type of work, but those with small details should be avoided.
Transfer the main outlines of the design on a piece of tracing paper, then place the blank side of the paper against the piece of glass; back it with cardboard, and secure the whole with elastic bands or paper clips to prevent movement. The design should now be seen reversed, as in a mirror.
Thoroughly clean the front of the glass to remove any fingerprints of greasy patches. With Indian ink, black out all of the background, leaving the parts that will show the foil clear. When thoroughly dry, apply a second coat of ink. After allowing that coat to dry, the paper and card may be removed. Cut the foil roughly to the shapes required, and using photographic paste, place the pieces in their respective positions on the inked side of the glass, and smooth the foil gently. If the foil slightly overlaps the ink, it does not matter; it will not show.
Build the picture up from the center to the outside, and finish one color before starting on the next. Cover the finished work with paper, and smooth gently but thoroughly all over to ensure that every part is firmly fixed. When dry, coat with clear varnish, and leave to set.
Place the backing cardboard into position again, not forgetting to fix any hangers if they are required, and then bind the edges with passe partout.
Even the smallest piece of foil left over will have a future use, and every bit however small, should b e saved. In the case of buildings, remember that light windows should be shown in silver or gold foil, an skies should of course be blue, grass green, etc.
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