Printing on Deli Paper

Printing On Deli Paper for Mixed Media Projects vicki-robinson.comIt’s been awhile since I shared my Documented Life Project journal pages. Now, I know you’re not sitting on the edges of your seats, eagerly awaiting my next post about the DLP, but I did want you to tell you that I’ve been in a DLP drought – dryer than the brown hills around my home here in water-starved California. I’ll have more of an explanation in next week’s post, but the good news is that my creative drought appears over – although my State’s drought is not as easily remedied and water rationing has begun in my County. We’ve got a bucket in our shower to collect “waiting for it warm up” water!

In the meantime though, I thought I would show you how I’ve incorporated my digi kit “Lighter Than Air” into my DLP Journal.Printing On Deli Paper for Mixed Media Projects I really loved some of the elements of the kit and thought they would work perfectly on backgrounds I’d already made in my DLP Journal. I tried printing them on copy paper and card stock, but I just wasn’t happy with the way they looked. And then it hit me – I reprinted on deli paper and once cut out and adhered to the pages the deli paper basically disappeared!  A little doodling and slight shading around the edges and I had what I was looking for – bits of the backgrounds showed through the deli paper here and there and the pages looked really cohesive!

I get my deli paper at Costco – it’s called that because it’s the paper your local deli uses to wrap up your sandwich. Waxed paper is not an alternative, but if you can’t find deli paper, tracing paper or parchment paper would also work – although they are not quite as translucent as deli paper. To print on this kind of paper, you’ll need removable tape (masking or scotch), regular copy/printing paper and, if you don’t have a laser printer, you’ll need some sort of “fixative” so the ink from your ink jet printer doesn’t smear. I use very cheap hairspray (think Aqua Net – remember that??) in an aerosol spray, not a pump. And lastly, you’ll need some sort of glue. I use gel medium, but you can use anything that dries clear – even a glue stick.

Printing On Deli Paper for Mixed Media Projects vicki-robinson.comTape a sheet of deli paper so that the top edge of the tape falls about an inch or so below the top of the copy/printer paper. It generally doesn’t matter which side of the deli paper you print on, and it doesn’t matter whether you place the fold in the deli paper horizontally or vertically – whichever way works. Trim the deli paper to just inside the margins of the copy paper, making sure neither the paper nor the tape hangs over the edges. Insert the taped paper into your printer tray. My HP prints on the underside of the paper as it feeds Printing On Deli Paper for Mixed Media Projects vicki-robinson.comthrough, so I have to load my paper deli paper side down in the tray.

Open your image editing software (I use Photoshop or Photoshop Elements, but any program that can print a PNG file – which has a transparent background will work). Create a new document the size of your printer paper – mine is 8.5 x 11 – making sure you have a transparent background. If your background is white, click the little eyeball on the layer thumbnail to turn off it’s visibility. Place your PNG file (I’m using one of the transfer images my from Lighter Than Air Transfers) on your document. My transfer image is very large, so I’ve sized it smaller and I’ve placed it down far enough that it won’t print on top of the tape. If you want print multiple images on one page, you can do so, just remember that you need to keep the images inside the deli paper.

My printer is set to print borderless on 8.5 x 11 paper – although the borderless setting isn’t really necessary since my image is so small – so I’m ready to print. If using an inkjet printer, spray the deli paper liberally – in a well ventilated room or outside!!! – with your fixative/hairspray. deli3When completely dry (usually in just a few minutes), carefully remove the deli paper from the copy/printer paper and trim around your image – as close as you’d like. I usually leave less than a quarter-inch margin. Adhere to your page and watch the deli paper pretty much disappear!  If you plan to add more paint to your page, you may want to lightly and carefully put a touch of gel medium on top of your image – it shouldn’t smear if you used enough fixative and it was completely dry. Add some doodle outlines and/or shading around your image and you’re done!  Pretty cool?


15 thoughts on “Printing on Deli Paper

  1. I’ve looked on Costo’s website and there are a few choices of deli paper. Can you tell me the name brand – size – number of sheets so I know I have the correct product for printing.
    Thanks, this is a great idea.

    • Hi Ginger! I no longer have the box my deli paper came in, but look for DRY-waxed or UN-waxed. Mine were folded in half, but you may find some that are just flat. As to size, you’re going to need too cut it down a bit to fit whatever paper size you print too – so the closest you can come to that. I think my box had 250 sheets, which I am still working on using up. I also use the sheets to lay under journal pages, so I don’t get paint on other pages as I’m working. And if I’m impatient to start other pages before I’m sure they’re dry. Does that help?

  2. What a wonderful and fantastic idea! My daughter paints and does mixed media with acrylics. I’m going to share this with her and see how she adapts it as well! 🙂 Thank you for sharing your ideas! I hope your yard gets some water soon. xoxo

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    • Sorry I didn’t respond sooner, Zelda – I didn’t get a notification of your comment. I’m wondering if the deli paper you are using is actually wax-coated? The only time I had printer ink smear was when I inadvertently bought the waxed deli paper.

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  5. When I was a girl, moms sprayed our hair rather relentlessly with hairspray for special occasions, and never in a well-ventilated room or–horrors! outdoors–it would have been scandalous! It’s good advice, but it makes me laugh nonetheless!

    • I know exactly what you mean – I STILL do that! It’s really not the hairspray though – those fixatives are pretty toxic! Thanks so much for stopping by my blog!

  6. So glad i found your post. I hadn’t realized that deli paper & wax paper are not the same. I’d love to dry this technique. Will look for it when I next visit Costco. Your work is beautiful I love it all.

    • I’m so glad you found the post helpful! Thank you so much, Paula, for your kind words and for stopping by my blog!

  7. Your work is amazing! Thank you for sharing your talents. My friend is planning a rehearsal dinner for her son’s wedding and would like to create customized deli wrappers for the baskets. Do you know of a way to print on the deli wrappers and use them with food?

    • Hi Dena! Thanks so much for your nice comments – I truly appreciate them! Because the mediums used on the deli for this work are toxic, I’d never use them to hold or wrap anything that is meant to be eaten. Even if you scanned the finished deli prints and then re-reprinted onto deli paper, there’s a risk of the printer ink somehow seeping into the food, although if you first wrapped the food in plastic wrap and used the deli paper as an outer wrapping that might be ok. Let me know if you end up with safe solution! Thanks again for your comments and for stopping by my blog!

  8. Thank you so much for this! I have also been in a DLP drought (as has my yard), but I just got some deli paper and a few ideas started tickling the back of my brain. This is a great help and inspiration! 🙂

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