Book Review – Parchment Perforating Guide by Tina Cox

The Parchment Perforating Guide is a Clarity book, Artwork by Tina Cox – it focuses on Gridwork using the Groovi Straight Border plate number 1, but has a huge amount of help and advice for beginners to parchment craft in a very clear, step by step approach.

The Groovi Straight Border Plate 1 has 5 basic gridwork patterns ready to use.



In this book there are 15 ‘easy to make’ card designs  ending with a final big project bringing all the skills you have learned at the end. The instructions are easy to follow and give you a list of the equipment you will need for each project.

A very handy spiral bound small book 6” x 6” . I like that it sits flat on your craft table and the size means that it won’t take up much space.

In summary this is a  great little book for beginners, a useful size, step by step clear instructions and photographs and loads of beautiful projects to work through making this a fantastic buy for anyone wanting to learn how to create decorative edgings for their Groovi projects.


PCA Templates for Parchment Craft – Part 3

PCA EasyEdge guide Templates  

What are PCA Easy Edge Templates and how can they help a parchment crafter?

When you have finished the central part of the card but still have the edging to create, PCA templates can really help. Or if you want to embellish an existing project with a straight line of embossed dots or suns, or if you want to edge a card with a straight row of holes, scallops or sun tool impressions or a combination of these – there are PCA EasyEdge guide templates to help. These ruler guides usually come in two lengths 130mm and 260mm.

The PCA Easy Edge guide is notched with equally spaced gaps that are sized for the different PCA tools available.  The template is marked with the tool name it is designed for.


The template above can be used with the Medium Ball and the Mega Ball tools.

Sun tools give a really pretty embossed “sun” shape, you may want to create a row on suns in which case you would need a PCA Easy Edge for Sun Tools


There are similar straight ruler guides for scallop edges and single needle holes or perforations.

There really are a lot of different guides to help you with card making. Here is a template to help you create a series of decorative perforations in an arc or semi-circle. The templates are made of transparent plastic so you can see exactly where to place them on your work.



Making an Aperture Card

If you want to make an aperture card with a scalloped edge there are templates with differents size apertures for both small and large fine scallop tools.

image-2 image-1

Choose the size and shape you want for the aperture, that is – oval or rectangle? and small, medium or large size of aperture?


So above you have a small size oval (40 x 60), the Edging Tool required is marked on the template as a Small Scallop and next to it, a small Rectangle also using the small Scallop edging tool.  PCA has created a youtube instructional video to help you get started.

The reverse template to the aperture is the oval templates with scalloped edgings – they are great for cameos, silhouettes or 3D elements to add to your cards. You can probably think of more uses.


There are many Easy Edge Guide Templates, I have only mentioned a few – here is one more rather useful template.

Wedding Stationery Place Setting

It is a pretty template for place settings with a scalloped edge, you can use your imagination to decorate these using parchment craft techniques.


This template uses the Large Fine Scallop tool for decorating the edges. There is an embossed area to place a name. There are more details on how to complete this project on a PCA You Tube video.

In Part 4 parts we will be looking at the new EasyCut Templates and Parchment Protectors.


PCA Templates for Parchment Craft Part 2

PCA Templates – Pictures and Motifs

Here is part 2 of the guide to PCA Template which is going to concentrate on picture and motif templates.

PCA have  a large range of picture templates:  butterflies, flowers, birds, a whole series of owl templates, fans, 3D projects, sport, hobbies and  celebrations like Christmas and Easter and loads more.

The templates can be embossed and used as greetings cards or on other projects such as gift bags, crackers, place settings, wedding stationery, house decor  or  as 3D elements on boxes or just as decorative additions absolutely anywhere. Here is a quick reminder on how to use the templates:

  • Take the template of your choice, place it with the tracks facing up.
  • Attach the parchment to the template with low tack tape or blu tack.
  • Wipe over the parchment with a tumble drier sheet or natural polish, this helps the embossing tools to glide over the parchment with ease.
  • Place some tissue (or use a parchment protector) under your hands as protection from finger prints on your parchment.
  • Using a micro ball tool or small ball depending on the template, start working from the centre towards the outside edge. Place the ball tool in the tracks and just follow the tracks this then forms the embossed line.


Big and small butterflies!

PCA Christmas Templates

There is a huge range of Christmas PCA Templates available featuring Trees, Baubles, Sleighs, Santa, Reindeer, Holly borders, drinks Coasters and much more.

image-12 image-1


Above are three of the many Christmas themed PCA templates. They all have individual matching borders and motifs that can be added to your designs in the way that you want.

PCA Peacock Templates

Fabulous designs for peacocks which look beautiful as embossed line art and you can also add colour using inks or pencils, paint or pens.




Embossed work by kind permission of Sharon Mills (Parchment Craft Designer and Tutor)


Here are some examples of adding colour to an embossed image. Colour can be added to the back or the front of parchment craft paper. This can be by Dorso or Oil pastel crayons, Pencil crayons such as Faber Castell polychromos, inks, acrylic or water colour paints.


image-14 wp

Colour can also be achieved by placing a coloured backing paper or parchment behind the embossed picture.

Mix and Match

Mix and match the border templates with the picture templates.


tp3149e_easy_emboss_simply_flowers_4__61270_zoom tp3149e-easy-emboss-simply-__98154_zoom

This card uses the Daffodis in the PCA Template “Simply Flowers 4” surrounded by a border PCA Template  Diamond Border 2 and looks absolutely gorgeous.  Use Ball Tools or Shaders to add light and shade to the images.

Part 3 of this series will concentrate on the Template Guides and Easy Edging Border guides and also the French Curve Templates.

PCA Templates for Parchment Craft – Part 1

PCA (Parchcraft Australia) Templates

PCA have an very large range of Parchment Craft Templates – this is just a quick guide to what they are and how to use them, a beginners guide to PCA Templates. They are perfect for beginners to parchment craft and will make your projects look clean and professional, they are also brilliant for experienced parchment crafters to provide quick borders and frames and accurate spacings when using the parchment craft tools. Part 1 of this series is concentrating on the Frames, Borders, Corners and Backgrounds and a special instructional guide by Sharon Mills (Designer and Parchment Craft Tutor) how to prepare and emboss on the parchment using a PCA Template.

PCA Frames, Borders and Corners

Using an embossed circle or oval is a great way to frame a central motif. You can choose a single frame or two together is stylish.


Here are some of the scalloped versions available. The small scallop shapes in the centre can be used for cameo frames or labels to add 3D interest to your designs


These borders can be used for the outside edges of a card, I have used the rectangle in the card below – it is fairly easy to extend the frames a little bit if required. Once the  scallop is embossed it can be perforated on the outside using a twin needle and then cut with parchment scissors in the usual way. The centres of the scallops can be further decorated with a sun tool.


PCA Backgrounds

There are a large number of backgrounds: from the finest embossed mesh looking like fine lace to bold weave designs. Use them along with parchment craft techniques such as perforating cutting and colouring and you will create some stunning designs:

image-9 image-6


Backgrounds can be used to surround your central motif. The card above uses the oval template to frame the central design  and then a background template embossed up to the oval which has been perforated and cut out.

How to use PCA Templates by Sharon Mills

  • Take the template of your choice, place it with the tracks facing up.
  • Attach the parchment to the template with low tack tape or blu tack.
  • Wipe over the parchment with a tumble drier sheet or natural polish, this helps the embossing tools to glide over the parchment with ease.
  • Place some tissue (or use a parchment protector) under your hands as protection from finger prints on your parchment.
  • Using a micro ball tool or small ball depending on the template, start working from the centre towards the outside edge. Place the ball tool in the tracks and just follow the tracks this then forms the embossed line.

Special PCA Background Templates

The following background template is a Bold Easy Cross Background, there is another for the Fine Easy Cross. Use this template to create a pattern of crosses by using the template and a Micro Ball tool. Leave the pattern as it is or enhance it by perforating the cross with a Quad tool or a Bold Easy Cross tool.  If using the Quad tool you can then cut the perforations in the usual way with parchment craft scissors or snips.


PCA Templates enable you to use your own imagination to create beautiful, original designs. The next issue (Part 2) of this series will concentrate on the pictures and motif templates and how to use them.

Freehand Embossing in Parchment Craft by Amanda Yeh

Freehand Embossing in Parchment Craft


Here is a closer look at the beautiful new book from Amanda Yeh called Freehand Embossing. There are ‘step by step’ fully illustrated guides to the projects and very detailed illustrated guidance to embossing.


The book starts from basics “how to emboss a single line” and then works through a further 12 lessons to improve your embossing. These skills can then be used when constructing the beautiful 3D projects patterns in the back of the book.



There are beautiful boxes, pretty cards, exquisite bookmarks and a dress and jacket model plus mini bags.


Amanda Yeh is an incredibly talented designer and this beautiful book is a great addition to her series of books on 3D parchment craft.

NEW Parchment Craft book for 2016 – Wonderful Lace by Miki Green

Wonderful Lace by Miki Green


Wonderful lace is a fabulous book from Miki Green packed full of brand new designs for cards, ornamental mats or doily and a beautiful fan.  I will add a few photographs of the projects to give you and idea of the gorgeous projects Miki has designed for us to make.


There are 22 projects and they are all illustrated with clear instructions, Miki encourages everyone to have a go at her patterns from beginners to the more experienced. This is definitely a book for parchment crafters who like grid-work but there are also plenty of designs that require embossing.


Coloured Pencils – Faber Castell Polychromos or Prismacolor


Prismacolor colour pencils are the major brand in the US but are difficult to find in the UK, Faber Castell Polychromos pencils are most popular in the UK but there are quite a lot of differences between the two sets of pencils and many parchment crafters end up with both sets.

Prismacolor is a set of 132 colours  the pencils have a soft wax core making them easy to blend but they can be difficult to sharpen. Polychromos pencils are a set of 120 pencils they are slightly harder than Prismacolor and therefore are easier to sharpen to a fine point.

The range of colours are very different: Prismacolor have 12 more pencils than the Polychromos selection. Prismacolor has a large selection of neutral colours, Polychromos has a good range of greys and a large range of reds and yellows.

Both makes of pencil blend and  layer well.



Ten Tips for using coloured pencils

  • When buying get the biggest selection you can afford, you always need the colour you haven’t got
  • Use a big make up brush to clear away the bits – do this frequently when you are colouring
  • Hold the pencil as near vertical as you can to prevent breaking the point
  • Always lay colour down with a sharp pencil , sharpen your pencils frequently while colouring
  • Brush the point of the pencil with a brush after sharpening
  • Layer the colours – place one colour on top of another blending as you go
  • Always colour towards the centre of a flower
  • Make a note of the colours you are using, so that you don’t forget
  • Use a pencil extender – or glue two ends together, when your pencils get a little small
  • You can use polychromos pencils instead of dorso crayons, just apply the colour using the side of the pencil to apply a broad stroke then use a medium to smooth it out as usual

Coloured pencils – other items you will need

You will need to invest in a really good pencil sharpener as the pencils need a sharp point!


This Trio sharpener collects the bits until you are ready to dispose of them.

Also an eraser, a pencil eraser can neaten up the edges if necessary, if you are colouring on parchment and get a light transfer of colour from your hand you can use a kneadable putty eraser – which is like blu-tack – to remove the colour. Just press it onto the area and it will pick up the unwanted colour.


Lastly, if you want to burnish the colours use a Lyra Splender Blender, which is a colourless wax blending pencil. Just apply over your colouring for a burnished finish.

lyra splender blender