TIPS & TRENDS
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Vellum is a paper that was originally made out of calfskin instead of pulp like traditional paper.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.