How to Print on Vellum Papers in 5 EASY STEPS

Due to its delicate, unique finish, printing on vellum gives prints an elegant look. Better still, the paper’s translucent appearance makes it ideal for various projects. For instance, you can use it to make scrapbooks, greeting cards, and tracing designs.

Unfortunately, printing on vellum isn’t that simple. The non-porous nature of the paper prevents it from absorbing the printer ink. As a result, you may experience issues like paper jams or ink smudge during the printing process.

That’s exactly where the question arises how to print on vellum papers!

We’re about to walk you through a comprehensive step-by-step tutorial on how to print vellum for your scrapbooking or crafting project like a pro. And just before we head into that, it’s vital to know a little more what vellum paper is!

How to Print on Vellum Paper

Can you print on vellum paper? Well, you’re probably wondering because of the unique features and non-porous nature of the vellum paper. But the answer is, yes you can print on it. Provided, you’ve got an inkjet or a laser printer from reputed brands like Canon or Epson, it’s easy to print on this type of paper.

However, you should always read the specifications before buying a printer for vellum paper. Now that you know it’s possible to print on vellum, get some vellum papers you intend to use. While doing so, make sure you choose the papers with the suitable weight to hold the printer ink. Next, follow these steps;

1. Load Vellum Paper

Regardless of its uniqueness, vellum is loaded like standard printer papers. Thus giving you several options for printing on it including texts, pictures, icons, logos, etc.

However, since each machine is different, it’s good to familiarize yourself with your model. For instance, you should know about its weights and types, paper trays, and drivers.

You can easily get this information in the printer’s manual. On the same note, you should test the machine beforehand to know about its settings.

2. Adjust Printer Settings

Talking of settings, laser and inkjet printers require different adjustments for printing vellum.

To start with inkjet devices, various settings deliver flawless vellum printing. They include; short dry time, draft/ regular/ economy print mode, and paper selections. Draft/ regular print mode ensures that the machine uses the least ink amount possible.

The short dry time option helps you use less ink without compromising the print quality. How do you check if your machine has the ‘short dry time’ setting?

  1. Go to File
  2. Select print > printer properties
  3. Custom settings
  4. Finally, ink drying wait time

The last inkjet printer setting is to choose a different media/ paper type. In essence, they’ll have different paper handling options. But the default setting is usually the ‘plain paper’ option.

Change this setting to transparency, glossy photo paper, or fine art. Interestingly, this paperweight option can apply to laser printers as well. Laser printers do not have as many printing settings as their inkjet counterparts. But as I’ve already stated, changing the paper weight setting will be effective.

On the same note, you can choose a thinner paper setting in the paper thickness option. This will prevent common issues in laser printers like print coverage and paper jams.

3. Test Printing

Before you start printing on vellum, use regular paper to test your printer. For instance, you can print a picture, text, or design and hold it up against a vellum sheet.

This will allow you to check how the printout will align on your vellum paper. If necessary, adjust the margin settings then proceed to your vellum printing project.

4. Print on Vellum

Once everything is set, navigate through your computer and open the location of the file you want to print. Make sure the file is sized properly to ensure that it will fit onto the vellum paper. Now, double-click on the file within the picture viewer app and print.

5. Let the Printout Dry

Since vellum sheets don’t absorb ink, don’t take out the printer right away. Otherwise, that will cause the ink to smudge on the paper. This is why you should always set the printer setting to economy/ draft mode in the first place.

More importantly, let the printed vellum paper stay in the printer for about 10 to 15 minutes. In addition to preventing ink smearing, this will allow the ink to dry properly. Alternatively, you can carefully pick the printed vellum sheet and lay it on a level surface to dry.

Once the sheets dry, use them to make invitations, scrapbook pages, greeting cards, and more.

Important Tips for Printing on Vellum Paper

Apart from following the above steps, there are tips you need to observe while printing on vellum. Or else the process will be quite frustrating when handling these delicate papers. Some of those instructions are;

Make Sure You’ve Got the Right Printer

Although there are many printing machines, not every device can print on vellum paper. So, before you start your project, make sure your device is compatible with vellum. It needs to be compatible with waterproof and smudge-resistant ink.

Use Settings that Produce Less Ink

To help the ink on vellum paper dry faster, always use the setting that produces little ink. Also, avoid adjusting the printer to settings that produce high-quality prints. Such prints require more ink, which translates to more drying time.

Still, on settings, remember that vellum is very different from the regular paper. For that, make sure you change the paper type option to fine art or photo paper. As for laser printers, choose the ideal paper thickness and weight for better printing. For instance, selecting a lighter-weight option will prevent issues like paper jamming.

Let the Paper Dry after Printing

Vellum papers have a plastic-like finish, preventing them from absorbing the print ink. Hence the need to let the paper dry before you touch it. Otherwise, you’ll increase the chances of smearing the ink.

Fortunately, there are various techniques you can use to allow the printed vellum to dry. As an example, you can leave the paper in the printer or place it on a flat surface to air dry. Also, you can use a hairdryer or a heat gun at a low heat setting to speed up the drying process.

Print in Small Batches

Printing many vellum papers at once will cause the ink to smudge on the other sheets. For that reason, it’s always to print the sheets in small batches, probably one vellum paper at a time.

More importantly, let the printer rest after printing some vellum papers. Continuous printing will affect the print quality and the printer may jam.

Use Superior Quality Vellum Papers

Always use high-quality vellum papers for your project. Such papers will produce good quality prints and dry faster. Also, the ink adheres fairly well to these papers as compared to other specialty papers.

Use Big Spaces And Wide Text Fonts

Using smaller fonts in the text will increase the chances of ink smearing. As a result, the printed words will overlap, making them hard to read. However, you can easily avoid this problem by using wide fonts and large spaces between words.

Don’t Print Dark Images on Vellum

Vellum sheets produce the best prints when your images are light-toned. So, avoid printing dark images on these transparencies.

Print on the ‘Right Side’ of the Paper

Another thing worth mentioning is that the vellum has a ‘more’ and ‘less’ absorbent side. Note, you can’t print on both sides, and there is the ‘right side’ you’re supposed to use. Unfortunately, determining the ‘right side’ isn’t that simple.

Well, here’s the secret, always choose the less shiny side, since it’s more permeable. Alternatively, you can rub both sides with a damp finger to determine the stickier side.


In the end, we strongly believe that now you know the answer to your question; how do I print on vellum paper? We hope that you’d also be able to print pictures on vellum paper following the same techniques mentioned above.

Just remember that this process of printing requires special care and attention. Other than that, it’s an incredible media type for making greeting cards, invitations, and scrapbooks. So, feel free to use it to give your project that special touch!

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People Also Ask (FAQs)

1. Can you use vellum for screen printing?

Vellum papers have a unique finish that works with some inks for screen printing like discharge ink. So, yes, you can use vellum paper for screen printing.

2. Do I need to change the printer settings when printing on vellum?

Most printers are set to ‘plain paper’ by default, which isn’t suitable for vellum printing. Change this option to transparency, glossy photo paper, or fine art before you print on vellum.

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