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Craft Recipes

Craft materials from the kitchen

Handmade Waxed Paper

Make paper translucent!
Waxed paper samples
What you will make:

Make your own custom waxed papers! Learn the technique of waxing paper, and in no time you'll be making waxed papers in any colors or designs you like. Waxing paper not only makes the paper water- and oil-resistant, but also adds a degree of translucence, darkens the paper, and changes its feel.

After you wax the paper, it will be thicker, stronger, and less absorbent. You can use waxed paper in place of vellum in many crafts. It can be used to make bags, paper flowers, delightful charms for gift wrapping, windows clings and stained glass effects. Its translucent nature makes it a natural for luminaries!

Waxing paper is for adults or teens only!! Caution: Hot wax and hot iron can burn.

Here's what you need:
  • Papers to wax: computer paper, origami paper, craft paper (printed or plain)
  • Parchment paper
  • Wax: pieces of white candle or tea lights
  • Scissors
  • Plastic sandwich bag
  • Hammer, mallet or large spoon
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Old towel
  • Paper towels or plain white paper
  • Optional: Paraffin wax, wax chips or melts, paring knife, temporary or repositionable glue

This project is rated EASY to do.

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Before you start
  • Make a place to work.
  • Read all of the directions.
  • Gather everything you need to do the project.
  • Think about the project. Imagine how it will look and what you will do with it.

How to Make Waxed Paper

Read all of the steps before starting.
Step 1: Prepare Paper and Wax
Break-up the wax with a hammer

Select papers to wax. Thin papers work best: computer paper, origami paper, or scrapbooking/craft paper. Plain or patterned paper can be used. Apply wax to papers that have been printed on an inkjet or laser printer, and the possibilities for designs are endless! It is particularly fun to upcycle scraps of paper left over from other craft projects by giving them the wax treatment! Or try Aunt Annie's patterns for Paper Charms and Gift Tags or an ePaper download.

For waxing paper you will need small bits of easy melting wax. White candles or tea lights are perfect. It only takes a small amount of wax to get started—a stub of a candle or two tea lights. Place the wax in a plastic sandwich bag and seal it closed. Use a hammer or mallet to break the wax into small bits. The wax crumbles easily and only requires a few hits. Open the bag and discard the wicks. Tip: Paraffin wax can be used in place of candle wax and is preferable for food use. Paraffin wax doesn't crumble easily, so use a paring knife to shave small curls of paraffin wax onto the parchment paper. (Find paraffin wax in a grocery or craft store.)

Cut a sheet of parchment paper three to four times the size of the paper you are waxing. Fold the parchment paper in half. Tip: Your paper needs to fit inside the folded parchment with plenty of room to spare.

Step 2: Melt Wax
Sprinkle wax on parchment paper

Set your iron to the low setting with no steam. Layout the old towel on top of your ironing board and place the opened parchment paper on top of the towel. Sprinkle a small amount of wax crumbles on the right side of the parchment paper.

Melt wax by ironing parchment paper Fold the parchment paper and run the iron over the back of the parchment to melt the wax. It will only take seconds to melt the wax!

Tip: The wax will spread quickly and can easily run out of the parchment paper. This is why you need a large sheet of parchment and an old towel!

Check melted waxOpen the parchment to see if the wax is melted in an area large enough for your paper size. If not, add more wax crumbles and iron again.

Step 3: Apply Wax to Paper
Apply wax to paper

Place your paper on the melted wax. Fold the parchment paper over the paper and iron for a few seconds. If needed, use the side of the iron to push wax toward the paper.

Add more wax bits if neededOpen the parchment and check the waxed paper for even and complete waxing. If more wax is needed, add a few crumbles of wax and iron again.

Step 4: Complete Waxing
Blot excess wax

Place the waxed paper between two sheets of white paper or paper towels. Iron to remove any excess wax or wax clumps. Feel the paper's surface to see if it is smooth. If not, iron it more to remove excess wax.

See the tips section for ideas on using your waxed paper.

That's it! Your paper is waxed!
Waxed paper samples

Charms punched from waxed paper are unique embellishments!
Waxed paper charms

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