Parchment Craft Technique Explained – Stippling

artnouveau rose


Stippling is an embossed, textured finish. The rose frame is stippled in the above card. It produces soft, delicate look which is just right for this frame.

Stippling is a really interesting effect, easy to do but takes a bit of time to achieve, the idea is to tap the single needle tool on to parchment to create an embossed effect, a tiny white dot – not piercing the parchment. Keep a single needle bold in your tool collection specifically for stippling.



Before you start, the pattern should be traced in white pencil.

1. Outline area to be stippled with a stylus or micro ball with an embossing mat under the parchment.

2. Change the embossing mat for a piece of dark card and on the back of the parchment start tapping the single needle tool in the area to be stippled. The tool is held in a vertical position to get a good result.

3. The stippled dots should be very close together to produce a texture, take your time.

4. Start in a corner and stipple around the outside then fill in, try to keep the texture even. Turn over and check the front.

5. Finish by colouring the back of the stippled area with a white pencil. This will improve the appearance of the area.


Other variations to try:

Lightly emboss the parchment before you stipple with an extra large ball tool.

Using fine sandpaper between the card and the parchment to help create an even texture.

Try stippling with other tools, such as the Arrow tool or Scriber

Very quick stippling effect can be gained by using a Star / Sun tool overlapping the impressions so that the dots merge.

Brilliant 3D Parchment Craft by Amanda Yeh


I am sure that most people will be amazed to see the wonderful, intricate parchment craft designs in this book, Brilliant 3D Parchment Craft. Amanda Yeh makes these designs completely accessible to those of us who might not normally consider such a challenging project by including fully illustrated ‘step by step’ instructions. I do find patterns a lot easier to make up when I can see the steps in a photograph.


This is a beautiful book with many 3D projects including:  a carriage which you can see above, cups, teapots, a pram, a tricycle, a birthday cake and goblet. If you enjoy gridwork and want to have a go at 3D designs this is a good book to get. The instructions and patterns are very  clear, there are 64 pages.


Essential Tools and Equipment to start Parchment Craft for Beginners

I often receive emails from people who don’t have a parchment tutor in their area and don’t know what basic tools and equipment they need to buy to get started.  I have written this guide to help those people find the essential items and information they need.

I am not an expert, but I know how daunting and complicated parchment craft can seem without knowing the basics. Once you have mastered these basics though, you will find out what a fantastic craft this is and create your own beautiful lacework and embossing. You will certainly never get bored, it is one of the most rewarding crafts I have tried, as  Pergamano themselves say – “Endlessly Challenging.” It is also very addictive – so be warned!


A lot of craft shops have closed down in the last few years. If you don’t have a shop near you selling parchment craft equipment the best option is to buy on the internet. A few years ago many people were  worried about buying online, these days however, things have improved and you will often find the best prices and deals online. Also ordering on the internet isn’t as hard as it used to be and there are many safeguards to protect your information.  A shop that specialises in parchment craft should be able to offer advice on what tools are available, so phone them up before you buy to answer any questions you may have.


If you are looking for a parchment craft tutor visit the website for ‘The Association of Parchment Crafters’ where they have a list of tutors in different locations. Some tutors even offer Skype tutoring now, (Skype is a free internet video chat service) which means that wherever you are in the world you can still find a tutor.


If you can’t find a tutor near you there are starter kits available from the two main manufacturers of parchment craft equipment ParchCraft Australia(PCA) and Pergamano.


The Pergamano Starter Kit is a simple kit with a couple of tools, A5 parchment paper, and embossing mat, a dorso crayon, a white gel pen and full instructions, everything you need to get you started. There are several beautiful patterns in the kit and should only take a few hours to complete. This kit makes a great present and allows a beginner to try out parchment craft without spending a lot of money on equipment.


The Parchcraft Australia (PCA) Bold Starter Kit contains three perforating tools (Unibold, Bold MiniStamp Edge and a Bold Quad), White Gel Pen, A4 Parchment Paper, Mini Perforating Mat, Instructions and a Pattern to make. PCA also have an Embossing Starter Kit available and a Fine Gauge Starter Kit.

Unlike the Pergamano kit, these kits only have one pattern, but they are thoroughly worthwhile and will help teach you the basics of parchment craft.


If you don’t want to buy a starter kit,  I would suggest that you would need the following basic tools to start you off:

For Tracing:

For Embossing:

For Perforating:

  • Perforating mat
  • 1 needle tool
  • 2 needle tool
  • 4 needle tool

For Cutting:

Note * There are also 2 and 4 needle tools that will cut the parchment for a quick finish: PCA Mini Stamp Edge/Stamp Edge and Pergamano 2Split/ 4Split


There are plenty of other tools but these will get you started, there is an Action pack of Pergamano tools which includes a range of embossing and perforating tools and a mapping pen. Although this kit is more expensive than the others, it could be seen as a good long-term investment if you are serious about getting into parchment craft.


I know when I started parchment craft I bought a pattern which was beautiful but rather advanced for a beginner and I found it a bit disheartening because I didn’t really know where to start. After a while I bought a Parchment Craft book by Janet Wilson which explained a lot of the techniques and had some beautiful projects to get me started.
This was one of my early attempts at parchment craft from Janet Wilson’s book ‘Parchment Craft’
There are some really good books  available now for beginners: The Techniques of Parchment Craft by Pergamano are small handbooks; there are 7 volumes each one concentrating on different aspects or techniques such as embossing , colouring with pencils, painting, gridwork etc. Below  is Volume 5, which has to be my favourite which concentrates on coloured pencil techniques – I think that the projects in this book are outstanding, here is one of my attempts at one of the patterns.


imageParchment Craft - The Techniques Volume 5- Using Coloured Pencils


The Handbook of Parchment Craft Basics (shown below) is also a great book to start you off, techniques are explained and there are plenty of up to date designs from Tina Cox and Linda Williams. It has 19 projects (all cards) for you to work on, they all have a really fresh, bright look and ‘step by step’ instructions on how to complete them. The techniques of tracing, embossing, perforating and cutting are covered in depth making this an ideal book for a beginner. There is also sections on using Multi-Grids and Stamping on parchment , as well as stamping techniques there are sections on how to colour the image with Perga Colours, Perga Liners, Dorso Crayons.


Tina Cox has also produced a beautiful beginners pack which includes patterns and a large techniques guide to get you started with parchment craft. These are her designs below and they are absolutely stunning. Tina has also made sure that the instructions for each design are clear and easy to follow.


If you just want a more interactive learning experience why not consider getting an instructional parchment craft DVD.  Christine Coleman has a range of DVDs available: A Beginners Guide to Parchment Craft, Painting on Parchment, Gridwork, Colouring with Pencils and Finishing Touches all these DVDs have over an hour of step by step tuition and demonstration leading you through each project, each DVD has four or five projects to improve your skills.
The Grid and Lace Work DVD uses the PCA Grids and Tools
Here are two cards that I made from the ‘Beginners’ DVD and the ‘Painting’ DVD.  The DVD is a fantastic way to learn at your own pace, you get to see an expert demonstrating and you can just rewind if you miss a bit!
The ‘Thank You’ card: The parchment is slightly coloured on the back of the parchment along the edge with oil pastels.  White Tinta ink and mapping pen was used to trace the pattern. The petals and leaves were embossed and gold Tinta ink was added to the ferns. The edge was embossed with Ball Tools/PCA Sun Tool and the edge was perforated and cut with parchment scissors.
The Rose is painted onto parchment using Tinta inks and is set into an aperture card with a simple grid work edging.
I hope that this will inspire you to get started on your first project.  Everyone I talk to agrees that when you are in the midst of a parchment craft project the hours slip by as it is such an absorbing hobby.If you have any questions Just leave me a message below.  If you are an experienced parcher please let us know how you got started in parchment craft.

New Parchment Craft book by Miki Green ‘Snowflake’


Miki Green’s new book Snowflake is a beautiful collection of parchment craft patterns themed on snowflakes. There are 38 projects, a huge variety of patterns with clear instructions, tools required and excellent patterns to trace. Miki states that she thinks that beginners can do these patterns with a bit of patience,  I think also you would need to have a little experience with cutting picot edges, tracing, stippling and using 1 and 2 needle perforating tools.


The designs are all lovely, they can be used as large or small snowflakes by reducing or enlarging the patterns, and they are so flexible – they could be used for Festive decorations and as cards or embellishments / toppers for cards, and also fabulous wall decorations – I bet you can think of more.



A brilliant book packed with projects from a very talented designer.

Pergamano Pattern Books

There are many beautiful and inspiring books and patterns available for parchment craft at the moment, sometimes it’s hard to know where to start. One of my favourite collections are from Pergamano M series Pattern Books. They are mini collections of themed designs, usually 6 items from some of the most talented Pergamano designers. Usually the pattern books have a theme, for example:  3D designs, wall hangings, lace work and then there are collections of animals, birds, fruit and flowers. Even themes such as hobbies, religious designs, weddings and christenings, oriental and asian. Also there are pattern books that teach a specialist technique, or using felt pens, inks etc.  I have made a quick list of my favourite, older pattern books, still available.


Pergamano Pattern Book M1 has six fabulous Japanese themed designs by Randi Hanson, each card is distinctive and beautiful. These cards are created mainly with painting and dorsing techniques.


Pergamano Pattern Book M55 is called ‘Natural Glory’ from designer Hiskia Wittenaar 6 lovely designs inspired by flowers and butterflies using whitework borders and whitework and painted central motifs.


Pergamano pattern M39 has a beautiful A3 Art Nouveau design wall decoration and four other lacework designs which are all themed as ‘home decorations’. They are all gorgeous designs that you could frame and put in your home.


Pergamano pattern M76 is called Golden Yellow Lacework by Siri-Anong which was inspired by traditional Thai Culture , whitework with gold Tinta ink, beautiful delicate lace.

I have found the books have good, clear instructions, guiding you step by step. They are all exceptional designs and even though they have been around a while there are always new people discovering parchment craft. I hope you like them too.

Four Seasons II Works of Naoko Yamanaka


Four Seasons II is the second book in a parchment craft series by Naoko Yamanaka. The designs in this book are themed around Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. The  instructions are arranged in a simple 5 steps  for each design,  you are also directed to more detailed lessons and step by step photos, which are given for techniques and processes that are common to many of the projects. The text for the book is in both English and Japanese. It is easy to follow, but probably not a design book for a complete beginner.



There are many projects: 3D boxes, winter festive decorations and treasure chest. Fabulous wall decorations and card designs, a complete decorated alphabet that can be used to personalise pictures, cards, wall hangings and more.


A very flexible design book, I think the designs are unique and many of the pieces can be mixed and matched to create your own individual cards, boxes and wall hangings. There are 49 pages,   design and the gridwork patterns are in the back of the book .


Parchment Fairies


Parchment Fairies is a parchment craft pattern and inspiration book, it is written in Japanese but for the experienced parchment crafter this would not be too much of a problem as the designs and grid patterns with English translations of the tools required are clearly shown in the back.


The theme of this book is Artist Trading Cards, each designer has created 6 / 8 / 12 mini cards or toppers with a theme. The themes include, Christmas, Art Nouveau, Flowers, Blue and White. Some mini cards have been designed as a part of a larger design.


The book has 65 pages and a huge number of projects from 32 designers. The individual patterns are all the size of ATCs which are very popular at the moment, but of course you can always increase the size and make these individual cards. A fabulous book.

Sakura – Japanese Parchment Craft by Tatsue Shibata

Sakura is Tatsue Shibata’s third book, she has also written ‘The Language of Flowers’ and ‘Love and Roses’. There is also a brilliant YouTube video of her work.  My overall impression of this book is that it is definitely a book for parchment crafters who know the basic techiniques as there is no instruction.  It is not too difficult, however, if you have a bit of experience to use the excellent detailed photographs and pattern together with a list of tools required to make the various projects.
There are patterns for cards, 3D patterns for candle holder, basket, lampshades, box and much more, all themed on the beautiful Japanese Sakura flower.

I particularly like the the teapot ‘welcome’ card and below the cup and saucer card.

 This book of patterns enables you to show off all the techniques of parchment craft the designs are all distinctive and beautiful. The cost of the book is quite an increase from the usual parchment craft book prices but the Japanese books are always a bit more expensive.

I am definitely going to buy myself a copy of this book!

25 Years Pergamano – Anniversary Book

The new Pergamano Book ’25 Years’ is an anniversary book which has 25 projects by 25 Pergamano teachers and enthusiasts. This is an outstanding book with projects for cards, wall decorations, fan, dreamcatcher, boxes and calyx for a tea light.  There are plenty of Anniversary cards, I particularly like this one designed by Linda Williams.

There is a huge variety of projects and designs from 25 authors, definitely something for everyone.

There are 79 pages with full instructions for each design and patterns at the back of the book.

A lovely book with a lot of variation of designs and different projects for you to make.

Parchment Craft Free Pattern – Bookmark

Parchment craft free pattern for bookmark

Here is my new free pattern design for a bookmark. There are instructions for both the coloured and whitework version of the bookmark. Download the bookmark free pattern and feel free to change and bring new dimensions to the design. I would love to see what you have created so send me a picture and I will put it in the gallery.