Vellum is a transparent paper made from plasticised cotton that you can find in most craft stores and on the Internet. Although sometimes more expensive than standard paper, it can be worth the extra cost because of the special effect it can give to crafts. Vellum is available in a wide variety of colours and styles, such as embossed. Vellum's transparency lends itself to uses in many crafts.
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Working with Vellum
Adhesives and glues can show through vellum, so look for an adhesive designed specifically for vellum or hide glue marks with embellishments or punch outs. The paper can also smudge easily, so handle with clean hands and take care not to crease the paper unless that is the effect that you want to create. If printing on vellum, let the ink dry well before adding to your project. If printing more than one sheet, remove each sheet from the printer before printing another sheet to avoid ink smudges.
Vellum's transparency lends itself to many scrapbooking applications. You could use vellum to soften a photograph. You can trace quotes or pictures with it, for example, and then cut them out and add them to the scrapbook page for extra dimension. Because vellum is delicate, you can also tear it to produce a soft look. Try inking the torn edges to make them stand out.
Lampshades, Lanterns, and Luminarias
You can use vellum to decorate lampshades, or make lanterns and luminarias. To decorate a lampshade, cut strips of vellum and decorate by cutting notches or punching holes. Glue in tiers to a lampshade. To create a lantern, make a lantern frame from thick paper. Print a design on coloured vellum sheets and tape to openings in the lantern frame. Attach the frame to a light or place a candle in a glass holder inside the frame. For quick luminarias, use unseparated chopsticks or colourful bulldog clips to hold 8 1/2-by-11-inch sheets of coloured vellum together. Insert a candle in a glass holder between them.
You can use vellum in various ways to enhance your framed photographs. For example, you could print a relevant saying on a sheet of vellum and apply it over a framed photograph. You can even use vellum to trace a photo and turn it into a realistic painting. To do this, tape a photo to a light-filled window. With a sheet of vellum taped over the photo, use a pencil to trace the photo, including as much detail as you want. Remove the tracing and paint the resulting picture.
Vellum has many uses in cardmaking crafts. For example, you could use vellum to create three-dimensional flower cards. Simply cut the petals from coloured vellum and crease down the centre of each petal. Glue them to the card and glue beads to the centre.
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