Hello! For this month’s Crafty Christmas Club Blog Hop, I’ve chosen to make something a little more traditional, but with a modern twist. I taught myself parchment craft a long time ago in the mid 2000’s and, every now and then, I like to revisit the parchment techniques, a bit like a trip down the crafting memory lane.
This design is a little different from the traditional style of white working parchment. Usually, all the lace design is hand pierced and hand cut but I recently bought the Tattered Lace Laced Edge Rectangles (ETL362) die and just had to try it with parchment. I was amazed at how much it looked like the traditional parchment craft results, but saving me hours of work, piercing and cutting.
But, before cutting the parchment with the die, I needed to check which side of the parchment was the “back”. Every piece of parchment paper has one side that will turn white more than the other when embossed. To figure this out, I simply put a dent in the very corner of the sheet with my fingernail. Whichever side makes the whitest mark when viewed from the opposite side is the “back”, and that’s the side I know I need to work on to get the whitest embossing marks. This may be the side I work on but it’s the side that will be put against the card base. In essence, I’ll be looking through the parchment to see the work I’ve done when the card is finished.
I die cut the parchment with the die on the “front” side of the parchment. I then drew two curved lines across the centre of the parchment, on the “front” side with a white pencil. I flipped the piece over, placed it on a firm foam embossing mat and began lightly embossing the white shading with a ball tool. While it is technically embossing, I think it’s better described as lightly scratching the parchment, just enough to turn it white. Embossing parchment with the same force you would a normal piece of cardstock will tear the parchment and ruin the entire piece so scratching it lightly to slowly build up the white colour is better, just to prevent the tool pushing through the thinner paper as you work.
Once I had the white hill lines embossed, I started the shading below them. This is where I do something completely different to most parchment crafters. I use a pottery ribbon tool that scratches the parchment without any fear of the tool pushing through the paper. When I was first teaching myself, I found the usual ball tool didn’t give as much “whiteness” to my strokes as this cheap pottery tool and it’s been my go to tool whenever I’m embossing larger areas ever since. For a white work beginner, buying basic ball (aka dotting), piercing and ribbon tools from a pottery craft department would be a much cheaper option than trying to invest in the tools in the more expensive parchment craft section. You could get all three tools for the price of just one dedicated parchment tool and they’re likely to be much stronger, but you can still always buy the parchment craft versions online.
Once I had added the shading to the snow covered hills, I used a very specific parchment craft tool, called a star embossing tool and pressed it into the sky section numerous times to create “snowflakes”. I came back and added a centre dot to each snowflake, using a 0.5mm ball stylus tool and added extra dots between each snowflake to enhance the falling snow appearance. I also added dots to the die cut border, using a 1mm ball stylus and centres to the flowers in the border with a larger 3mm embossing ball tool. All this embossing was done by carefully pressing into the parchment and emphasising the whiteness with gentle circular motions.
It was then time to create my trees. I cheated a bit here too, die cutting a piece of vellum using the Creative Expressions Sue Wilson Winter Tree dies (CED3041) and placing the die on the “front” of the parchment to make my cut. I left the die cut in the die and used a ball tool to emboss the inner tree embellishments into the vellum. I removed them from the die and gave the embossed areas an extra rub to enhance the whiteness of the embossing work a bit more before moving on to the rest of the card.
The next step was to decide the colour of my backing cardstock and how to mount the parchment onto it. After flicking through several card colours, I decided on a light maroon colour and to replicate the same edging as the die cut parchment. To give me a slightly larger cardstock piece, I traced around the outer edge of the die and fussy cut the cardstock by hand. I added Tombow Mono Multi glue to the back of the parchment, using this technique, and added it directly to the card. I did the same for the trees and glue them into place. This gluing technique is really the only cheap way to glue parchment and not have any of the glue showing through. I still don’t fully trust the glue to hold over time on its own so I added a brad to each corner just to keep everything in place.
I finished off by adding the front to a custom sized card base, one that gave an even border around the edge of the die and fussy cut pieces. I rounded the corners for continuity and finished off with a simple peel-off greeting.
I hope I’ve inspired you to give parchment white work a try. Thanks so much for spending time with me today, I look forward to next time. 😊
Crafty Christmas Club Blog Hop: