Attention crafters: If you’re not familiar with vellum, it’s time to get to know this translucent paper. Vellum is thin, slightly white, and cloudy like frosted glass. Sometimes it’s called see-through paper or tracing paper. It was originally made from stretched and refined calfskin and used in Egypt and Babylonia as early as the 6th century B.C. Today, it’s usually made out of plasticized cotton rag fibers and used for architectural plans and other purposes where translucent paper is beneficial either for function or aesthetics.
Printing on vellum offers a relatively simple way to make elegant paper crafts at home. Vellum can be used alone as an intriguing alternative to cardstock, or it can be layered over images or artwork to give them a diffused look. It’s especially popular for save-the-date cards and wedding invitations because it provides a soft, romantic feel. In addition, it can be used to make other fun paper crafts. Ready to get started with vellum at home? Keep reading to discover five beautiful DIY vellum crafts you can create with your printer.
Whether you call them luminaries, luminarias, faralitos, or festival lights, these DIY lanterns were traditionally used as Christmas decorations in Mexico. You can give them a modern twist with this simple vellum project. All you do is print an ornate design on vellum, layer it over colored acetate paper, and affix both to the outside of a glass candleholder with double-sided tape. Insert a flickering candle, and you’ll instantly transform your next dinner or event into a celebration.
If the translucent quality of vellum reminds you of a butterfly’s wings, you’re not alone. In this project, you can fully transform vellum into a Monarch or swallowtail by printing mirror images of clip-art butterflies on vellum, cutting them out, and gluing them together with spray adhesive. These eye-catching butterflies dress up cards and letters and look stunning hanging on the wall.
Want professional-quality wedding invitations or save-the-date cards on a budget? Make these dreamy overlay cards. Just print a border design, logo, or your names on vellum and fasten it to the top of the card with a brad (a pronged stationery fastener).
Want to make gift tags that are as thoughtful as your gifts? These instructions and templates will help you make elegant party favor tags for a big event. Or you can customize them to make gift tags for holidays and birthdays.
Photo candle holder
Nothing says I love you like a personalized gift. Surprise your friends or family with a simple-to-make, custom candle holder. It’s as easy as printing a photo on vellum and affixing it to a glass pillar candle holder with double-sided tape.
Tips for printing on vellum
Printing on vellum is fun and worthwhile. However, vellum is delicate and printing on it can be tricky depending on your printer and vellum type. Paper jams, wrinkles, ink smudges, and other issues may be frustrating if you don’t anticipate them. If you’re new to vellum, expect a little trial and error before you discover what works best for you.
Try these tips.
- Always feed vellum into a printer tray one sheet at a time.
- Print in small batches and give your printer time to cool in between.
- If your printer jams or the vellum wrinkles, try a different printer tray. One tray may work better than the others.
- If you still experience problems, experiment with the settings on your printer. For laser printers, a lightweight paper setting may help prevent jams and wrinkles. If your printer allows you to adjust how much ink is used to print, use as little ink as possible on vellum.
- Allow the ink plenty of time to dry, especially if you use an inkjet printer. Leave it to dry overnight. If it doesn’t dry all the way, you may be printing on the less absorbent side of the vellum. Try turning it over next time.
- Consider buying HP ink, which is smear- and water-resistant (Original HP Ink is engineered to work with HP printers to provide quality, reliability, and value).
- Still not having any luck printing on vellum? Experiment with a different brand; all of them are a little different.
Printing on vellum may present a few challenges, but it’s worth the effort. This translucent paper will take your paper crafting to a new level. Before you know it, you’ll be making elegant, professional-quality vellum crafts at home on your printer.