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What are the Different Uses of Vellum?

Sheri Cyprus
Sheri Cyprus

As vellum has such an elegant, translucently-frosted look to it, it's often used for making invitations and displaying photographs. This makes it a popular paper for both scrapbooking and rubber stamping projects as well as greeting card making. Vellum can also be used for tracing paper and for folding into invitation envelopes.

Vellum envelopes are especially popular for invitations, as they show the invitation attractively before it's open. There are also many colors of this delicate, translucent paper available that will suit any occasion or party theme. The vellum used to fold an envelope can match that of the invitation; square envelopes and invitations can look especially attractive. There are several different ways to use this material when making invitations.

Vellum is popularly used in creating scrapbooks.
Vellum is popularly used in creating scrapbooks.

First, it can be used as an overlay to soften the effects of a darkened drawing or bold letters. Second, vellum used as a background such as being glued onto card stock to give it texture can create an interesting backdrop for a printed card or graphic image. Third, the translucent paper may be printed on directly and fastened into the invitation itself. A laser jet printer typically is best for printing onto vellum, as the ink tends to dry faster than that from the ink-jet variety which reduces the chance of smudging. No matter how the material is used, it may be torn to create a roughly elegant edge or cut with scissors for a clean, crisp appearance.

Some people like to use vellum with rubber stamps.
Some people like to use vellum with rubber stamps.

In greeting cards, this see-through paper may be used in similar ways to invitations. Sometimes, a border is created between the front and back of the card and paper. Strips of vellum are cut or torn and glued around the edges of the greeting card to form a pretty, translucent border; plain or text-filled paper typically covers this edging on both the inside back and front. Another way to use this material on a greeting card or other project is as tracing paper; it simply has to be placed over an image in order to trace the lines of the drawing.

Rubber stamped images can have an attractive appearance on vellum. Such rubber stamp techniques may be used in scrapbooking to create borders around photographs. The translucent material is also ideal for placing photographs on top of, so that a border, or matted frame, is left to enhance the pictures. Different colored strips of the see-through paper may also be woven together to frame or mat photos.

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Discussion Comments


Whenever I go the craft store and walk down the aisle with the vellum paper, I always have to stop. Just feeling the paper and looking at all the color choices gets my head spinning with ideas.

You can find vellum paper in many stores. I have even seen vellum paper in the office supplies aisle of retail stores.

I make and send a lot of my own greeting cards, and find myself using vellum paper a lot. It really helps make something like an anniversary or valentine card extra special.

When we were planning a 50 year anniversary celebration for my parents, we used vellum paper for the invitations. Many people commented on how beautiful the invitations were. Sometimes items made with vellum are hard to get rid of because they are so elegant.


I think vellum paper is one of the most beautiful and elegant papers you can use. Whenever I have received any kind of invitation on vellum paper, I am impressed.

I know that someone took the time and effort to make something look very special and elegant. I have received several vellum wedding invitations and love all the different soft colors you can find to choose from.

I also received an invitation once to attend a financial seminar. This invitation used vellum as on overlay for the main part of the invite.

I would have never thought of using something so elegant as vellum for a financial seminar, but it certainly got my attention right away. Somehow it made the seminar more appealing to me - maybe that was part of their intent.


@cloudel - I have had mixed results when using heat on vellum. The best thing to do is just give it a try and see how it works out. The pretty vellum paper would certainly give a nicer look than wax paper.

I have found vellum paper to get wrinkly when it gets damp. Sometimes this adds a special look to the project, but usually I don't want this to happen.

One of the most interesting things I did with vellum was to put images on candles with vellum paper. I printed the image I wanted on the vellum paper and glued it to the candle so it would stay.

Then I melted paraffin wax on the stove and dipped the candle in the melted wax until the vellum paper and image stuck on the candle.

It is an easy way to bring some creativity to an otherwise plain looking candle.


@Perdido – Vellum is awesome for making a variety of greeting cards. I have an idea that I have accomplished before using wax paper, and I'm curious as to whether I could use vellum instead.

I like to iron dried flowers and crayon shavings between two pieces of wax paper. The paper is translucent enough that I can see the colors through it, but I have a feeling that vellum would be even more transparent.

What is the difference between wax paper and vellum? Is vellum strong enough to hold up to the heat on an iron on a low setting?


My cousin used purple translucent vellum envelopes to hold her wedding invitations. I had never seen anything like them before, and they really made her invitations look special.

She had chosen a simple design for the actual invitations. Black cursive text went down the front of the invitation, detailing the time and place of the wedding. Dark purple orchids ran down the left side.

All of this could be seen through the vellum envelope. So, the recipients knew what they were getting before they even opened the vellum. One day, I plan to use vellum envelopes for my wedding invitations, because I love the special effect the provide.


I remember using translucent vellum paper as tracing paper in elementary school. Our teacher would give us coloring sheets with black outlines of characters and objects, and we would lay the vellum over the surface.

We would then trace the outlines meticulously. I guess the project was supposed to help us work on our drawing skills, but it just bummed most of the kids out, because they didn't get to use color.

However, I am glad that I learn to use vellum as tracing paper. Today, I use it to make greeting cards.

I find some clip art online, and then I print it out on regular paper. I trace over it with black ink on vellum paper, which I then glue to a card.


I love using vellum paper to make greeting cards. It automatically adds depth and visual interest to an ordinary card, and this makes it more special than a typical card you would buy in a store.

I made up some wedding invitations with vellum for a friend. She chose black, white, and green as her colors, and since black is such an intense shade, I decided to use green velum as a partial overlay.

The front of the card featured a black and white swirl pattern. Right across the middle, I used some neon green vellum and printed black script on top of it.

Inside the card, I used more green vellum to frame a photo of the couple. I pasted black card stock behind the photo that extended about a quarter inch beyond the vellum, making an attractive frame.

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    • Vellum is popularly used in creating scrapbooks.
      By: SilviuFlorin
      Vellum is popularly used in creating scrapbooks.
    • Some people like to use vellum with rubber stamps.
      By: Igor Mojzes
      Some people like to use vellum with rubber stamps.