Working with Velvet and Velour Papers
Do you love paper? There are so many specialty papers out now that were not available even two short years ago. We can now dig into all the mulberry, metallic, velvet, velour, crimped, faux fur, embossed, and velum choices as never before. It is great to see so many new products booming and all the creativity that stems from using them!
Sometimes we feel just a little shy about using a new form of paper. What can you do with it? Is it versatile? Perhaps you bought it because it was beautiful and you just HAD to have it...but now you don't know what to use it for? How can you make a personal statement with it in your own albums? If you feel this way about the new velvet and velour papers--read on! I hope you will find a few answers and something that sparks your interest here!
What is velour or velvet paper? It is called by these two names by varying companies and in different regions of the USA. It actually is a paper with a raised "nap" to it. It is similar to velvet, velveteen, and velour fabric you see in the fabric store. Velour paper has a raised surface and it feels fuzzy to the touch. Many scrapbookers paper piece with it and use the raised velour paper to portray an animal's fur or a baby's blanket. It can be used for Santa's suit or paper doll clothing.
You may wonder "What else can I do with it? I bought some....now what?" Of course, you can punch with it and paper piece with it. But you can also go beyond those uses to some fun techniques. The possibilities with velour paper are really endless. Let's get started!
There are many colors to choose from these days! Paper Adventures and several other brands make them. Make sure the brand you choose is acid free and archivally safe and says so on the packaging. You can also find velour papers online at sites like this one! I like to keep several colors on hand so that I have lots of shades to choose from. You never know when inspiration will strike!
PRINT ON IT!
You may not have thought about computer printing on velour paper but it can be done! Simply insert the paper into the paper tray of your printer. If your printer can feed through thin cardstocks, then it can feed through velour paper as well. Print a few titles out on a light color of velour paper. Good paper colors for computer printing are white, light yellow, gold, tan, pale green, and light blue. You can either print in color or just print outlines of the letters you want with black.
BRUSH MARKER IT!
When doing my Big Horn mountains layout title, I printed outline letters and colored them myself with brush markers. Markers are a great way to add shading and detail to velour paper piecings or lettering. Velour paper takes brush marker very well but it does take about 10 minutes to completely dry. Using brush markers to fill in the centers of the letters allows you to make two or three tone lettering and to choose colors you prefer. I prefer brush marker to chalk for velvet papers because you can control the brush marker better. But chalks also work on velour paper for coloring broader areas.
USE DECORATIVE CUTS!
Velour paper cuts like butter and this is the perfect time to dig out those decorative scissors you have tucked away! The dimensionality of the velvet paper is an excellent mix with a pattened scissors! I used a giant deckle on my title blocks to simulate the jagged stone of the mountain rock.
RUBBER STAMP ON IT!
Lettering can also be rubber stamped on velour paper and then cut out. Since velour paper does take ink and the paper will absorb almost any brand well, you can rubber stamp some bolder designs onto it. You can also use the new Versamark ink pads which have no color themselves but just leave a slightly darker tone-on-tone look on any color velour paper.
I do not recommend using very tiny detailed stamps because the nap of the paper interferes with tiny detail stamping. But any design that is moderately bold can be stamped on velour papers. Here I have stamped a white spiral on light blue paper to simulate wind in the sky.
TEAR IT UP!
Don't be afraid to apply other techniques to velour papers. Tearing is usually associated with cardstock but try it on velvet paper! It is a great effect! You can even tear around letters and mount them on another color velour paper as in the Big Horn titles above. Tear a frame, a border, or a paper piecing instead of cutting them out. Cut your basic frame with a paper trimmer and then go back and tear out about 1/8 to 1/4 of an inch inside the frame and outside the frame.
Freehand tearing works well with velour papers. I tend to hold it in my right hand and tear away from myself with the left hand. This is so the usually lighter paper layer underneath does not show. Tear a sample of your own paper toward you and away from you to see which you think looks best for the design you have in mind. Tear it to make beaches, mountains, water, lettering, or mats. Whatever you would tear out of cardstock can be torn out of velours. My mountain scene is torn from several tones of brown.
Punches can be used with velvet papers and give an elegant look to any design. Be sure to punch only one thickness of velour paper at a time. If you have a hard time punching through or need to do many of the same design, I recommend a puncher's helper like the Power Punch or a Punch Aid. Punch art done with velvet papers is exquisite and well worth the effort!
DRY EMBOSS IT!
Larger pattern brass embossing templates will work with velour papers. And you can also make your own templates if you own a punch you like and an embossing stylus. Simply punch the design you like into a piece of thick cardstock. Then use that cardstock piece just as you would with a brass template. A light box will aid you in seeing where to emboss with the stylus. I have done this below with the southwestern border punch.
BORDER TEMPLATE IT!
You can also use your stylus to 'draw' an embossed line down the outer edge of a thick plastic border template. Press the embossing stylus into the back side of the velvet paper. This will create a long dry-embossed line that can be seen and felt from the front. Simply done, yet a nice border or frame detail.
IRON EMBOSS IT!
Another embossing technique that looks so elegant and dimensional with velvet papers is to use your rubber stamps to heat set an impression into the velour paper. Set your dry iron (no steam) on medium heat. Lay your rubber stamp upside down on a firm table or surface. Place the velour paper with the fuzzy side down onto the rubber stamp.
Now press the velvet paper's backside (which should be facing you). Hold firmly down about 5 to 10 seconds. When you lift the iron and look at the velvet paper, you should see the subtle design of the rubber stamp impressed into the velvet. I have seen lovely heritage layouts done with florals in this technique repeated on a velour photo mat.
On my layout I iron embossed the green grass and the navy blue lakes. Stamp embossing adds a delicate depth to the velvet paper. I am not sure how well it will show up in scanning but here is the grass sample:
WET/GLUE EMBOSS IT!
Rubber stampers are familiar with this technique! Simply apply a touch of fine glue where you want the embossing powder to stick. Pour just a touch of embossing powder on the velour paper right over the glue. Tip the paper and tap off the extra powder. Use a small, dry, clean paintbrush to dust off any extra embossing powder. Then use a heat gun to melt and "set" the powder from the top. The more you repeat this process and "stack" layers of embossing on top of itself, the shinier it gets. I think this wet embossing technique would be nice for dance or prom photo mats. The dimensional contrast between the velvet fuzz and the shiny smooth embossed area is upbeat, yet classy!
Another fun addition similar to ink embossing is puff paint. On my layout, I put some white Liquid Appliqué puff paint pen on the white velour paper to create a slightly shiny mountain top of snow. I love the dimension it gave when heat set. It looks like real snow! This would be great for Santa hair, tree leaves, or any surface you want 'raised'.
There are so many possibilities with velour paper. You don't have to use ALL these techniques on one layout as I did on my sample. I have used them on all one outdoor theme here just to display them for you. Decide on a technique to try out, and see what you think.
With different stamps, markers, patterns supplies, and colors, you can do anything from a wild carnival theme to a dignified heirloom photo with velvet papers! Take out some velvet papers and try a few of these techniques with your own photos today! Don't be afraid to experiment! The more you work with this medium, the more you will think up new ideas for it! Have fun and ...