Asked on Mar 15, 2015

Can anyone help me with advice on using vellum paper and mod podge?

by Lori
I just bought a fairly expensive book of pretty vellum paper, already printed, and I am trying to do some mixed media collage work with it. Is there a special rule for vellum? It just curls and wrinkles and sometimes I don't care but sometimes I want smooth.
Granted it is still wet but you can see the wrinkles. Any tips?
  19 answers
  • Duv310660 Duv310660 on Mar 15, 2015
    We used to use something like this back in the day before computers in our graphic design studio. I think that your glue method may be the problem. Are you opposed to using something like a spray mount? This will give you a thin layer that will not buckle. Or, if you want to use a glue that you are brushing on, cut yourself a flexible straight-edge from card stock or yogurt container lid or similar and (sorta) 'ice the cake' by moving all excess glue back & forth and off, leaving a thin coat. This option would require some resilience or weight to your paper since you are 'squee-geeing' it, but the spray mount handles even the most delicate papers easily. Anyway, I can offer some advice on pre-positioning and smoothing the paper down in place (it's easier to do than explain it in words), so if you think this is going in the right direction, let me know if you have more questions.
    • See 2 previous
    • Shawn Michael McKay Shawn Michael McKay on Nov 12, 2020

      Do not use any water based glue. Use a VOC clear sealer on both sides of the vellum before laying it on the wetted out substitute.

  • Duv310660 Duv310660 on Mar 15, 2015
    Spray mount is sold under a number of different names; some are 'heavy duty', some are repositionable... I'm guessing that your priority would be to dry invisibly. If it were me, I would get myself to a knowledgeable art store and ask. I don't know anything about the repositionable kind; with the permanent stick it's best to 1. position, 2. make a hinge with tape, 3. draw back paper to underside, 4. cover everything else up, 5. spray evenly, 6. remove cover, 7. use one hand to hold the side opposite to tape hinge up, and the other hand to smooth it down bit by bit (or use a folded cloth). Once it sticks, its stuck, so a little practice smoothing as you go makes it easy. We used to have a paper that acted as a release (it was the blue backing for sheets of letraset). Letraset is no more, but you could try something like wax paper, or ask a photo store that sells mounting products. With that technique, you just have it under the glued item laying flat and in position, and you just slip the release sheet out as you smooth your art down. If positioning tape is a problem, just adhere the tape to your jeans a pull it off again until it is sticky enough to stick, but will release without damaging the surface What you are working on is very lovely - I would hate for you to hit a difficult problem. I really think if you come up with a way of 'skim coating' your glue, you'd be in business. What about evenly coating the base (not the vellum), an then lowering it in a controlled way using techniques mentioned here? I hope you can carry on with the results you require...
    • Lori Lori on Mar 16, 2015
      Wow, thanks again. Maybe I will try just coating the base first and see how that works. When I bought this book of vellum, I was simply struck by how beautiful it was and "assumed" it would be perfect. I noticed last night, where it curled up and dried it is very rigid, almost like plastic, but I was able to rip the corner off. I may have to find another use for my pretty paper, but until then I will try your suggestions.
  • Jo Pell Jo Pell on Mar 16, 2015
    They make special adhesives for vellum that I use in scrapbooking and it works very well
    • Lori Lori on Mar 16, 2015
      Thanks Jo, can you give me a name? It might be my answer.
  • Linda Cody Linda Cody on Mar 16, 2015
    wrinkles are just great details. They add to the character of the piece
    • Lori Lori on Mar 16, 2015
      I understand and agree for the most part, but this paper is so beautiful and detailed that sometimes I just don't want to have it all wrinkled and distorted. I was just asking for ideas for those times. I am shocked that the vellum is so porous because it feels so waxy or plastic even. It will be beautiful wrapped around candles and vases, and background for pictures, as a mat.
  • Linda Cody Linda Cody on Mar 16, 2015
    I mod podged maps onto end tables and coffee table and have all kinds of wrinkles. It adds character and there is no way to get all of the wrinkles out
  • You313504 You313504 on Mar 16, 2015
    Back in the late 60s we used to spray our decoupage papers with a Krylon sealant then glue and varnish. It sealed the paper so it wasn't absorbing the moisture directly into itself and let us apply with a very flat smooth appearance.
  • Dolores DeLuise Dolores DeLuise on Mar 16, 2015
    If you use a brayer before you put decoupage medium on the top, the wrinkles will become flat and, in my opinion, decorative.
  • Maggie Ann Maggie Ann on Mar 16, 2015
    A brayer is a smooth roller, designed specifically for this sort of thing. They are carried at craft stores. Hope that helps! I sure do understand why you want the flexibility of applying the vellum smoothly rather than with wrinkles. :)
    • Lori Lori on Mar 16, 2015
      Thank you Maggie Ann, I will get one for sure. Maybe you know this as well, if you have a smaller ink pad than your stamp, is there a thing to roll in the ink to spread on the stamp? I did use a small paint brush and it worked but unevenly.
  • Maggie Ann Maggie Ann on Mar 17, 2015
    @Lori , I don't know muchh about ink stamps, unfortunately. Maybe someone else could help you with that question? And good luck with your collages!
  • Mommom49 Mommom49 on Mar 17, 2015
    try using a small foam roller which can be purchased at craft stores, probably where you find stencils. Roll over pad and then onto the stamp. Maybe that would work.
    • Lori Lori on Mar 17, 2015
      That sounds like it might just work, thanks.
  • Jo Pell Jo Pell on Mar 24, 2015
    Scotch brand tape makes one that will say vellum tape on it.
  • Lori Lori on Mar 24, 2015
    I will lookfor that, thank you.
  • Christina Christina on Mar 03, 2016
    Cheaper than a brayer is an old credit card or a toy rolling pin that has been polyurethaned.
  • Dolores DeLuise Dolores DeLuise on Mar 04, 2016
    I use a small wooden rolling pin with the handles removed--check thrift stores. Vellum resists sticking. If I use Mod Podge or Gel medium, I put a bit of glue (Art Institute Glitter Glue--sticks to everything, almost) around the perimeter and/or in the corners. You will get wrinkles if you tamp it down with a brayer, etc, but they will be flattened.
  • Denise Denise on Mar 22, 2017

    Hi Lori, A lady called Deb has posted a wrinkle free decoupage method on this site. If you search "wrinkle free decoupage" her post should come up. She uses golden medium but it does require investment in a craft iron. Anyway, I hope her post helps in your search for a technique for your lovely vellum.

    • Lori Lori on Mar 22, 2017

      Hello Denise, thanks so much for taking the time to help. I will check it out for sure.

  • Candace Jean Candace Jean on Jun 26, 2017

    What ended up working best for you?

    • Lori Lori on Jun 26, 2017

      Hi Candice, I just gave up on the idea. We sold the house and I don't have room in the condo to do all my practising. The piece I showed ended up being a great drum.

  • Patti Reece DelGrosso Patti Reece DelGrosso on Aug 27, 2017

    what is the weight of the vellum? I just did a bunch of decoupage with vellum. It was 29lb. Curious what you have. I am loving working with the vellum but I would definately note recommend for an amateur. It was work for me and I have done lots of decoupage already. But the finish...oh so beautiful. Nothing else will give me the finish the vellum does.

    • See 2 previous
    • Dani Dani on Jul 16, 2019

      Okay. so tried the size adhesive. I tried painting some on thinner and thicker cardstock. Letting it dry. Then applying vellum. First. The vellum does go on smoothly, BUT. The adhesive is weak. i can pull it right off.

      Second. The vellum makes better contact where the glue was applied thickest . So. You can see the brush strokes of the size adhesive. This might be fixed by using a sponge to apply the glue. Not sure.

      But either way. Its a weak bond.

      I'm looking to glue vellum together. Layer it.

      I think it will need sealed somehow, but not sure how to do this since it wrinkles up with any moisture.

      Perhaps thicker vellum may be better. Not sure. dont have any.

      If I do get some and the size works. I'll let you know.

  • Emily Emily on Aug 27, 2017

    Oh, boy if I had (and I do) something made out of vellum, I would not monkey around with it.

  • Jeanetta Liptrap Jeanetta Liptrap on Dec 01, 2019

    Vellum doesn't play well with wet adhesives. There are some specialty products for vellum that should be easy to find at craft stores, scrapbook or stamp stores, Amazon etc. You need dry methods like vellum tape, glue dots, double side adhesive sheets. Staples, eyelets, brads... you get the idea. Otherwise maybe copy the design onto different paper. Good luck.