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.

PCA Templates for Parchment Craft Part 1 Frames, Borders, Corners and Backgrounds

PCA Templates for Parchment Craft Part 2 Pictures

PCA Templates for Parchment Craft Part 3 Edge Templates and Guides 

PCA Templates for Parchment Craft Part 4 Easy Cut Templates

PCA Templates for Parchment Craft Part 5 Parchment Protectors and Words /Sentiments

Using the iPad for Parchment Craft

I have come across two apps for iPad or iPhone that help me draw birds and flowers from my own photographs. The first one, called ‘CopyIt’, provides a grid overlay on a photo of your choice using the traditional grid drawing method to break down the picture into smaller areas of work and helps you to reduce, enlarge or just copy accurately. Choose the photo from your iPad and then choose the colour and size of your grid overlay, and then you draw onto a grid you have prepared in your sketch book using the reference gridlines.

The other app is called ‘Tracing Paper’, on this app using a photograph you want to copy, you actually trace the photo on the iPad with your finger. The drawing can then be printed or emailed to yourself for printing. This method is very quick but not as accurate as the other app. Please comment if you have come across any other useful software?

Designing Cards


Putting together a design that looks and feels right is probably more difficult than it seems. There are plenty of copyright free line drawings of flowers in, for example Search Press books and Dover Publications. Also photos can be transferred to drawings by using a grid of squares and transferring the outlines using the squares as guides. If you have and iPad you can get an app called ‘copy it’ which is a grid that can be sized up and set over your photo on the screen.

If you are creating your own flower pictures there is plenty of advice in art books on composition. It is however, important to group flowers in odd numbers as this is most pleasing to the eye. A triangle shape can be used as a basis for a collection of flowers making sure that larger blooms are at the base to balance the design.