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Vellum Paper And Vellum Envelopes

Updated on February 6, 2010

Historically vellum paper was made out of specially prepared animal skins.  Vellum was the number one choice for documents, scrolls or books of any importance.   Vellum was desirable for such projects because it was extremely durable.   There are vellum documents in existence today that are as much as 1000 years old.  The British Parliament still uses this historical type of vellum for drafting documents.

Today  most vellum paper and vellum envelopes are made from plasticized cotton, and it is valued not so much for its durability as for it’s beauty and versatility.  Vellum is a favorite of  scrapbookers and  crafty people everywhere.  This gorgeous, translucent paper is acid free and photo safe so you can feel confident about using it with any keepsakes.  It comes in a wide range of colors and patterns as well as a variety of weights from light to heavy.

Use vellum paper to mat a photo or line a wedding invitation.  You can get a beautiful layered look with this paper or use it to make lampshades or faux stained glass.  The uses are endless, but if you’ve ever worked with vellum you know that it can be a little tricky to use.  Here are some tips for crafting with this paper

Adhesives Vellum is nonporous so it takes a little longer for adhesives to dry and because the paper is transparent the wrong glue will show right through. Glue sticks are a good choice. Use an acid free glue stick and apply a very thin layer of adhesive. There are also a variety of adhesive sprays on the market. These work beautifully. Just make sure you hold the can far enough away from the paper that the glue wont bead up. In most craft stores you can also find special vellum adhesives. These are similar to double sided tape. They’re the easiest adhesive to use for these projects, and they never show through the paper.

Cutting Use a very sharp cutting edge when you work with vellum. The paper creases easily and a dull pair of scissors will leave lines.

Writing or Printing You can use vellum in your computer printer, but again this paper is nonporous so let the ink dry for a few minutes before you touch it. This paper is perfect for tracing projects. When you write on vellum use a gel pen. It will dry more easily.

Wedding pages and invitations are an obvious fit especially if you‘re using vellum envelops, but try it for birth announcements and shower invitations. Create a frosty winter, wonderland scene where the translucency really adds depth. Let your imagination run wild when you work with vellum paper, but be careful, this stuff is highly addictive.

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