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Vellum Printing Tips for Your Wedding Invitations

©Amy Roszak; all rights reserved

With these vellum printing tips you can get professional looking invites at home on a variety of shiny, pearlized, metallic and handmade papers!

What is vellum? Vellum is a slick, translucent paper which looks great for overlays by adding both elegance and whimsy to cards. While some vellums are sold specifically for inkjet printers, most of the colorful, pearlescent, metallic, coated, or embossed vellums are not very inkjet friendly; even inkjet vellum often takes a long time to dry.

Inkjet Printing Tips for Vellum

  • If you do not need a whole sheet of vellum, design your message focusing on the fonts and size but do not worry about location on your page. Using draft mode to save ink, print on regular paper until you are completely satisfied. Using the inkjet paper as a template, cut vellum to desired size and adhere it to the paper directly over the printing using temporarily repositionable spray adhesive or tape runner, or masking tape. Spray adhesive is recommended for vellum as it remains completely invisible, and it may remain tacky enough to go onto your project without applying any additional adhesive.

  • If you are using an imprintable, set the margins as directed by the manufacturer or hold the inkjet printout behind the vellum to check alignment.

  • If you are making 4.25" x 5.5" cards and want to make 4 vellum overlays per sheet of vellum, use your word processing program to create a 4"x 5.25" text box. When you are satisfied with the message, copy the text box and paste it 3 more times on the page. Print the page onto vellum. When dry, cut apart the four inserts.

  • Use the Perfect Printing Pouch to stop smearing and bleeding and make the printing crisp. Simply wipe the paper with the Perfect Printing Pouch to evenly distribute the powders onto the printing surface before printing. Shake or blow to remove any excess powder. The powders will bond the ink to the paper and also contain a drying agent so the ink dries almost immediately. If using the the Perfect Printing Pouch, set your printer for normal paper and print quality.

  • Print & let dry.

SUGGESTIONS for better printing (without The Perfect Printing Pouch):

  • TIP 1: Try printing on transparency setting as this puts out a lot less ink.
  • DRAWBACK: The printing will not be perfect, bold or crisp, and the ink may still dry slowly.

  • TIP 2: Use vellum made specifically for inkjet printers or office supply vellum which often prints fairly well.
  • DRAWBACK: Inkjet vellum can only be made in plain pearl, embossed, or metallic coating. No sparkle! Also, inkjet vellum tends to be more expensive and still takes a long time to dry.

  • TIP 3: Use the "right side" of the vellum. If you can find a less shiny side, use it.
  • DRAWBACK: You will probably be frustrated trying to find that side and waste a good deal of vellum in the process.

  • TIP 4: Experiment with your fonts. Thinner lines will dry faster and may look better.
  • DRAWBACK: If you want big, bold fonts, who wants to compromise?

  • TIP 5: Don't touch the paper until it is totally dry or use embossing powder and a heat gun. You may need to spread out your invitations to dry.
  • DRAWBACK: Waiting for hours can be frustrating and accidental smearing often happens. And while embossing can be attractive, who wants to have to do this?

  • TIP 6: Buy markers specifically made for vellum and stamp ink specifically designed to stick to more difficult surfaces.
  • DRAWBACK: Buying special inks and markers can be costly, and your storage space may be limited.

  • TIP 7: Buy pre-printed vellum, transparency film, ribbon and twill tape.
  • DRAWBACK: Pre-printed supplies can be expensive.

  • TIP 8: Buy inkjet transparency film.
  • DRAWBACK: Inkjet transparencies may not be acid-free and the ones that are may be expensive and difficult to find.

  • TIP 9: Buy shrink plastic specifically made for inkjet printers or use sand paper to rough up the surface so the ink adheres better.
  • DRAWBACK: Inkjet shrink plastic may be less commonly available and more expensive.

  • TIP 10: Reserve mulberry paper, shiny holographic, acrylic-coated, flocked, other specialty papers, clay, and wood for backgrounds and embellishments and don't print on them.
  • DRAWBACK: Limiting your usage means you'll have fewer opportunities to use these cool materials.

The Perfect Printing Pouch is the best solution for do it yourself printing on glossy surfaces such as vellum, metallics, cardstock and other specialty papers. You can also use it with markers, pens and stamps! An excellent crafter's tool and a must have for anyone doing their own wedding invitations.

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