Velvety, elegant vellum is a beautiful choice for wedding invitations. If you are hoping to make your invitations yourself, vellum can be a little tricky to work with. Its near-waterproof surface is smooth and nonporous, making fresh prints prone to smearing. Following a few simple tips, though, will make sure your prints turn out lovely.
Choose thin vellum, which is easier for printers to grab onto. If you have the option between a glossy or duller vellum, opt for the duller of the two. Its surface will be more porous and less prone to smearing. There are also brands of vellum specifically made to print on at home. While they don’t have patterns or a pearlescent sheen, they are the perfect choice if all you want is a simple pastel or white.
Once you have chosen a paper, consider your invitation design. Thin lines will dry much more quickly than thick ones. Unless you don’t mind waiting a few days for your ink to dry, choose fonts and patterns with thin lines. You also want a margin of at least 1″ around your design. That margin gives your printer space to ‘cling’ to this slippery paper.
Both inkjet and laser printers can be used for printing on vellum. Laser printers are ideal because they use heat to adhere the toner to your pages, reducing the amount of smearing. However, an inkjet will also work just fine.
Vellum printing may be one of the only times you will want to pick a cheap ink for a craft project. Cheap ink has a lower pigment concentration and will dry more quickly than quality, high-pigment ink.
The ideal print setting for vellum uses the least amount of ink possible. Less ink means a faster dry time. Depending on your printer, there may be a few ways to go about this.
First, explore your printer’s paper type options. If there is an option labeled ‘transparency’, select it. If not, leave it set on ‘plain paper’.
Regular printers will often have a ‘draft’ or ‘economy’ setting. They use less ink in order to print quickly and are ideal for vellum. Photo printers sometimes have even more options available. There may be a slider that allows you to tell the printer to use less ink or a faster dry time. Always choose the fastest setting and lowest ink consumption.
When the time comes to print, always do a test print on plain paper first. Examine it for typos and sizing errors. You don’t want to realize something is wrong after you’ve used 25 sheets of vellum.
Feed the vellum into your printer one sheet at a time, removing each page to a drying area when it’s done. If your vellum has a shiny side and a duller side, print on the duller side.
It will take your ink a minimum of twenty minutes to dry. Drying time can vary between paper and designs, so be ready to sacrifice one of your prints to ‘dryness testing’, keeping track of how long it takes the design to dry. A hairdryer can speed up the drying process if you don’t mind the tedium.
About the Author: Tina is a major contributor for 123inkjets.com, a discount retailer for all types of printer ink. On her free time, she likes to scrapbook, longboard with her dachshund, and upcycle thrift store finds.