CardMaker - - Contents - By Kim­ber McGray

Vel­lum is not a new prod­uct to the craft mar­ket by any means, but this prod­uct has been mak­ing a come­back into the pa­per-craft world as a new trend, es­pe­cially in card mak­ing.

Vel­lum is a pa­per that was orig­i­nally made out of calf­skin in­stead of pulp like tra­di­tional pa­per. Vel­lum is a translu­cent or semi­trans­par­ent pa­per that can be printed on, stamped on, torn and ma­nip­u­lated much in the same way as reg­u­lar pa­per and trans­paren­cies. It’s a great prod­uct to use in place of ei­ther pa­per or trans­paren­cies.

The Ba­sics With Vel­lum

Stan­dard vel­lum is white, but you can also find it in dif­fer­ent col­ors and even printed with de­signs. There are spe­cialty vel­lum pa­pers that even have great foil and glit­ter fin­ishes ap­plied to them. In a nut­shell, what you can find in tra­di­tional pa­per, you can find in vel­lum.

Be­cause of its translu­cent char­ac­ter­is­tic, vel­lum is per­fect for lay­er­ing over a busy pat­terned pa­per or stamped back­ground to cre­ate a place for a sen­ti­ment or fo­cal em­bel­lish­ment. It mutes the pat­tern and color with­out hid­ing it like a layer of card­stock would. An­other fun use for vel­lum is cov­er­ing the front of a shaker box. In­stead of us­ing a trans­parency, use a piece of vel­lum. The items in the shaker can still be seen, but they are a bit hid­den, mak­ing your project a lit­tle more mys­te­ri­ous.

Stamping on Vel­lum

Stan­dard stamping meth­ods work with vel­lum pa­per, but you’ll want to use a quick-dry­ing, per­ma­nent or sol­vent-based ink pad. Vel­lum has a some­what slick sur­face with a bit of “tooth” or rough­ness so that you can use a dye-based ink on it fairly fa­vor­ably, but you will want to heat-set the ink just to be safe.

An­other great stamping tech­nique to use on vel­lum is heat em­boss­ing. Us­ing ei­ther a pig­ment ink or an em­boss­ing ink and em­boss­ing pow­der, you end up with beau­ti­ful re­sults. The vel­lum

can curl—or even burn—if the heat source is too close to the pa­per or if held in one place for too long. Keep the heat tool mov­ing and the re­sults will be lovely!

Stamped de­signs can be col­ored on vel­lum with sol­vent-based mark­ers such as Copic®. You can blend the mark­ers as you would on stan­dard card­stock if you move quickly. The mark­ers tend to dry more quickly on vel­lum then they do on stan­dard card­stock. Stamp the de­sign on the front of the vel­lum, then ap­ply color to the back side of your de­sign to elim­i­nate the pos­si­bil­ity of smudg­ing the stamped im­age. Dry-Em­boss­ing Vel­lum

If you’d like to add a de­sign or a lit­tle di­men­sion to your vel­lum, dry em­boss­ing will do the trick. For this tech­nique you’ll use ei­ther an em­boss­ing folder or a sty­lus. When vel­lum is em­bossed in this man­ner, the color will change a bit as a re­sult of be­ing “stretched” by the em­bosser. With ei­ther ap­proach to dry em­boss­ing, be cau­tious not to ap­ply too much pres­sure as you can crack or break the pa­per, just as you can with reg­u­lar pa­per. Vel­lum Ad­he­sives

One last bit of valu­able in­for­ma­tion to work­ing suc­cess­fully with vel­lum is know­ing how to at­tach it to your card or project. Be­cause it is translu­cent, tape ad­he­sives and foam will show through vel­lum. The trick is to hide the ad­he­sive be­hind an em­bel­lish­ment that is on the front/top of the vel­lum. An­other op­tion would be to fold the vel­lum over the top or side of the card and ad­here it to the back or in­side of the card. You can also se­cure vel­lum in place with sta­ples, stitch­ing or hard­ware like brads and eye­lets.

Vel­lum can be pur­chased at your local craft store or sta­tionery store, and is some­times avail­able at of­fice sup­ply stores. Pick up some vel­lum the next time you’re shop­ping for sup­plies and give it a try! You’ll love what it adds to your card de­signs.

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