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Copper Foil Dispenser Loading and Use

Copper Foil Dispenser Loading and Use

Copper Foil Dispenser Loading and Use.

This foil dispenser makes it so easy to foil.  It is self peeling if loaded correctly.

If you look at the area where the holes are at the front of the dispenser you will see numbers.  The numbers are the size of the copper foil that will flow through the hole and fit in the slot quite well. 

  1. I open the foil and lay it on the table flat. I round it by pressing it on the outer edges, sometimes it is egg shaped and that does not work well in the dispenser.
  2. It is important to leave the foil roll on its’ side on the table flat until after the threading is complete. The foil can become unraveled.
  3. With an Xacto knife I separate the foil near the beginning from the backing.
  4. I peel back the foil from the backing about 10”.
  5. I fold over the end about 2”.
  6. I feed the folded end into the correct grove for the size of the foil and stick the foil to the front of the dispenser. I leave the sticky end folded due to that makes it easier to un-stick it when I am ready to foil.
  7. I then carefully pick up the foil roll and roll it into the slot of the dispenser.
  8. I trim the backing so that it hangs just about an inch over the back of the dispenser. By doing this it does not thread itself into the dispenser when foiling. 

How I load my dispenser is:

In the 7/32” slot I place 7/32” Copper front / Copper backed foil in this slot.

In the next slot to the right I place 7/32” Copper front / Black backed foil in this slot.

In the next slot to the right I place 7/32” Copper front / Silver backed foil in this slot.

***  By loading my foil dispenser like this; it makes it easier for me to switch from one backing to another during my foiling session.

  • I do have a piece of each that is about 2” long hanging off of the edge of my dispenser to use as a visual on the glass to be foiled to help me decide what backing of foil I wish to use for the glass in hand.

Copper Foil Dispenser Use:

When I am ready to foil I set my dispenser at the edge of my sheet rock board or create a stop by pinning a ruler in front of the dispenser.

  • By putting something in front of the dispenser it keeps it from trying to come to you while pulling the foil to you.

I pull the foil straight towards me and begin to foil.

  • If you lift the foil while you are pulling it towards you then the foil will want to stick to the dispenser.
  • If that happens grab the roll and roll it backwards to help un-stick it from the dispenser.

When done foiling then grab the roll and reel in the foiling that is hanging out of the delivery slot.  Fold the end about ½” and stick the end to the front of the dispenser for easy access for your next foiling session.

How I apply copper foil:

Most of the time I foil evenly; having the same amount of foil showing on each side of the glass.

Storage of Copper Foil:

I suggest you store your copper foil dispenser that is loaded in a good closing/sealing zip lock type of bag works terrific.

  • I keep all of my things used for foiling in the zip lock bag and so when I am ready to foil all I have to grab is the bag.
  • Do store in an upright position so that the foil does not fall out of the dispenser.

Opened copper foil that is not in the dispenser should also be put in a zip lock type of bag.

  • If we keep the foil in a protective bag sealed shut then the foil is less likely to tarnish and the glue will stay good.


If the foil has tarnished it does not want to take a solder very well.  To clean the tarnish off of the foil I use the tarnished foil on the glass then prior to solder I rub Whiting onto the foil.  That cleans it very nicely.

If the glue is not sticking well then I warm my glass and then the glue becomes much more active during the foiling process.

Silver back foil is one that does not want to stick well and so in knowing this I just warm up the glass prior to using silver backed foil. 

  • It is very nice to handle warmed glass while foiling.
Wishing you happy art times,
Irene – The happy glass gal that has been creating glass art since 1980.


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