Your kitchen can provide some great tools for stamping. You just need to look at what you’ve got in your kitchen drawers with your stamper’s eye!
Brayering Using Parchment Baking Paper
After reading VSN’s newest eArticle, “Brayer Techniques for Stampers“ Carol Getman of Mineral Point Wisconsin’s Oh So Much Fun! (Paper Arts and Rubber Stamps) emailed me, saying, “You’ve outdone yourself with the brayer techniques! WOW. Thank you very much!”
“You wrote [in the eArticle] about sealing projects with adhesive using a brayer. I have a tip: Fold a piece of baking parchment paper in half, sandwich in your work so that it is totally covered by the baking parchment and then brayer away.”
“Nothing sticks to baking parchment and your brayer/work are both clean. Should your brayer not be perfectly clean, the baking parchment will protect the project! I use baking parchment for many projects [to keep them] not only fingerprint free, but clear of other debris.”
Ironing and Folding Using Parchment Baking Paper
Carol adds, “I use the baking parchment sandwich when ironing things together and for folding light colored or touchy papers and the like.”
“When using a bone folder to make a slick crease, sometimes the bone folder leaves a shiny mark on your paper or cardstock. So, use baking parchment (as a sandwich again) when creasing. No shiny marks! (You can also use other thin papers to prevent a shiny mark.) Baking parchment has so many possibilities.”
What is Parchment Baking Paper?
Parchment baking paper is silicone-coated paper, usually either bleached white or a natural brown color. It is non-stick and heat resistant. Note: We are not talking about wax paper, deli paper or freezer paper. And we are also not talking about the parchment paper used for paper piercing and Parchment Crafts.
Parchment baking paper is used to line pans, as an alternative or addition to using spray oil. It is used when baking cookies, bread or pizza or in making candy or to wrap something packet-style for steaming or cooking in the microwave. It can also be used when rolling out pie crust. You don’t want to use it for broiling, but for most other oven tasks, it works great. And often, unless you are using it at higher temperatures or it gets really messy, it can be re-used multiple times. It makes it easy to slide a whole batch of cookies from the baking sheet onto the cooling rack or lift a cake out of a pan or slide a pizza off a pan onto or off of a baking stone. You can also cut it into shapes to use as temporary masks on the top of a cake while you sprinkle it with powdered sugar, sprinkles, etc. It is great stuff!
Look for parchment baking paper in your local grocery store, usually in the section where they sell aluminum foil and the like. It typically comes in a roll, so the paper you take out of the box tends to curl in annoying ways. If you use parchment paper a lot, I really recommend instead getting it by the sheet. I buy “baking parchment paper” in “half-sheet” form via mail order from King Arthur Flour. It fits the half-sheet pans (like cookie sheets) used in a typical home oven. KAF also sells a 9″ round version as well as rolled parchment paper. You could of course cut or fold it to whatever size you need.
Hot Techniques Using Parchment Baking Paper
Check the label on the parchment paper you have to determine its heat resistance. For example, the Reynolds Parchment Paper you find in the grocery store “can be used in a conventional oven at temperatures up to 420 degrees F. Always preheat the oven first. For safety, never touch the parchment paper to open flame or use with broiling unit or toaster oven.” It can be used in convection ovens but not under a broiler or in a toaster oven. It can burn if it touches oven walls. Temperature range can vary. (The unbleached “Environment Friendly Products If You Care” version shown in the picture above lists 450 degrees F as its max.)
Many people (including myself) have used parchment paper (I use King Arthur Flour’s) in baking up to 500 degrees F successfully, although any exposed paper will brown. A stampers’ heat tool can get hotter than this, but because you can emboss a card that is sitting on regular paper, heat embossing a card sitting on parchment paper shouldn’t be a problem. And using it instead of scrap paper on top of a craft project that you are ironing with a craft iron or home iron should be fine too as long as you keep the iron moving. You could use it to line the pan when baking polymer clay or shrink plastic shapes (although Reynolds says not to use it in toaster ovens. I’m not sure if that is because it would be so easy for it to touch the walls in such a small space.)
It can be used as a work surface when working with heated thick embossing powders like UTEE or Opals or with Friendly Plastic. Just keep in mind that parchment baking paper is heat resistant itself, but doesn’t protect the surface below it, so you’ll still want to protect your table when working with heat tools and other tools that get hot. Also, don’t leave a hot tool touching baking parchment paper as it can burn.
Other Stamping Uses for Parchment Baking Paper
You can use parchment paper as a work surface for other projects where you need a surface that won’t stick to what you are doing. It can be used as a quick paint or ink palette and should resist sticking to many adhesives.
I’ve also heard that some polymer clay artists use parchment baking paper to transfer laser print images onto polymer clay. (Although I’d be a little hesitant to run silicone coated paper through my laser printer, people have apparently done it successfully.)
Parchment paper looks a lot like tracing paper or translucent vellum paper, so you might be tempted to try and use it as an alternative to vellum. But the silicone coating on parchment paper resists inks. Stamped impressions tend to be mottled and the ink smears and at least partially wipes off. You could potentially use an ink like StazOn on it, either rubbing it directly on the parchment paper or stamping on it and then heat-set it, but why fight the silicone coating when you could just use vellum instead?
How Do You Use Parchment Baking Paper?
Have you used parchment baking paper as a tool in your stamping projects? What has been your experience with using this kitchen tool in the craft room? I’d love to hear what you are doing with it.
PS. If you enjoy VSN’s blog posts and want to be sure not to miss future posts, you can subscribe via the link in the right column. When you subscribe, you’ll get an email each time a new post goes up on the blog.