How to use Deco Foil on fabric

Deco Foil from Therm-o-Web is a fun product that can be used to add a little shimmer and shine to your projects. It can be used in all sorts of applications in scrapbooking – and of course it can also be used on fabric. This tutorial is all about how to use Deco Foil on fabric.

You will need:

  • 1 sheet of Deco Foil
  • 1 sheet of Deco Foil Hot Melt Adhesive
  • A piece of fabric
  • An iron set to medium heat (Wool/Silk setting), no steam
  • A smallish (4″-6″ square) scrap of fabric

How to use Deco Foil on fabric

First, cut a shape from the Hot Melt Adhesive. I chose to do a monogram for my younger daughter, Jasmine, using my Silhouette Cameo and the Studio software to create a “J”. It turns out that chunkier fonts are better than skinny fonts – it’s really easy to tear the adhesive while cutting it.

In the Studio software, be sure to mirror the shape you are cutting:

Cutting Deco Foil Hot Melt adhesive

Place the Hot Melt Adhesive paper side down on the cutting mat. The rough (adhesive) side should be up. Use a cutting mat that has been used several times before so that a lot of the stickiness is worn off. The adhesive is quite fragile when it’s been cut, so you want it to be as easy as possible to get it off the mat.

In the Studio cutting settings, I chose Copy Paper as the material to cut and modified the settings as follows:

How to cut Deco Foil Hot Melt Adhesive

  • Set your blade at 2. I used a new blade (after mutilating several pieces of Hot Melt Adhesive when using an older blade!)
  • Set Speed = 2
  • Set Thickness = 20

After cutting a shape from the Hot Melt Adhesive, cut a piece of Deco Foil that is a little larger than your shape.

How to use Deco Foil on fabric

Position your shape on your fabric. I used a ruler to get an exact placement on my finished project.

How to use Deco Foil on Fabric

Use your iron set to medium heat (Silk/Wool setting) to fuse the Hot Melt Adhesive in place. About 10 seconds of heat (apply in a circular motion to get full coverage) should work. Let the adhesive cool before removing the backing paper.

How to use Deco Foil on Fabric

Place the Deco Foil over the adhesive and then cover the foil with a sheet of parchment paper. You will find a piece in the Hot Melt Adhesive package.

How to use Deco Foil on fabric

Using your iron at the same medium heat setting, press using a circular motion for 35-40 seconds. Use a fair amount of pressure on the iron – more than for regular pressing.

Let the adhesive cool. Lay the fabric on a hard surface and use the scrap of fabric to rub over the foil. Pay particular attention to the edges of the adhesive. The foil is attached to a transfer film – you’ll see it starting to lift off in places.

How to use Deco Foil on fabric

Carefully peel the foil transfer film away…

How to use Deco Foil on fabric

I highly recommend practicing a couple of times using some small scraps before working on your actual project. And make sure that your fabric doesn’t have any stray adhesive on it! As you can see in the photo below, I didn’t follow that instruction before I started and ended up with a little decoration on my J 🙁

How to use Deco Foil on fabric

I love the shine on the finished J!

How to use Deco Foil on fabric

Do you have to use Deco Foil Hot Melt Adhesive?

I was curious what would happen if I used my regular fusible webbing, Heat N Bond Lite, instead of the Hot Melt Adhesive. It turns out that the Hot Melt Adhesive is between Heat N Bond Lite and Heat N Bond Ultra in stickiness – and there is a solid layer of glue on the Hot Melt Adhesive. Heat N Bond Lite has an even layer of glue, but it is not full coverage, as you can see in the photo below.

How to use Deco Foil on fabric

This can be used to create a completely different effect with the Deco Foil. If you press the foil again, after removing the transfer film, the glossiness of the foil breaks up leaving a much more textured effect.

How to use Deco Foil on fabric

Be sure to read the next two posts to find out how I quilted my fabric using designs from the Transformation Quilting Collection, and how I transformed my quilted pieces into super cut zippered pockets. I love the results!

Leave me a comment below and tell me – which finish do you prefer – the shininess of the solid Deco Foil or the speckled shimmer of the twice pressed foil?


  1. Pingback: Multiple Hooping with the Transformation Quilting Collection - Machine Embroidered Applique by Sarah Vedeler Designs

  2. Hi Sarah
    I’m a Bernina Dealer in Culpeper VA. I met you at BU along with many other Dealers. My husband was transferred to Exeter England and I am here with him reading your lovely email about walking in England on Boxing Day. I wish I had my mother to drag me out…ugh.
    I will be vending a show in Hampton Virginia February 2016. I’m inquiring about a trunk show. Do you have one?
    Noreen Smith

    • Giuliana Nakashima

      You know Sarah, I’ve had some foil around, but haven’t been exactly keen on using it. (why did I buy it then right? lol)but I love! the look of your sample with the heat and bond. I guess that’s why I bought it, just didn’t know you yet with all your good ideas. thanks

  3. Depends on what you’d use it on; Letters look great in the solid Deco Foil, but I love the speckled (twice pressed foil) look on the heart. Do you have any info on how this launders on projects:

    • Hi Marg,
      I have no idea how this would handle being washed. Having said that, the Thermoweb website says that it is washable on fabric!

    • I agree – they’re both pretty! I also prefer pdf’s, but have found if I open internet Explorer I can “print as a pdf” or print normally any selected area. I have a binder dedicated to Sarah’s tips, techniques & design collections. I did printouts & stitch-out samples (on sampler cloth) of every design in each collection I’ve purchased — it’s a large binder now!

  4. wish your info was printer friendly or pdf 🙂

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