Using Pergamano or Parchment Craft in an Altered Book


Pergamano® is a registered brand name for products used in making Parchment Craft.pergamano

Arts and crafts people typically refer to this craft by the product brand name, rather than by the term parchment craft. Therefore, I wil be using these terms interchangeably.

I created the sample to the left using a Pergamano starter kit, then added ribbons and buttons.

I included the embellishment in an altered book. The book was a gift to a Scottish family who commemorated a grandson's birth with a ceremonial reading of Robert Burns' poem, A Man's a Man for A' That.

I am but a beginner; skilled Pergamano artists create designs that are much more intricate and beautiful.


Parchment Craft originated in Europe centuries ago. Monks and nuns used it to create Holy art works. Pergamano International re-introduced the craft in The Netherlands in 1987, where it gained instant popularity. The craft quickly spread to other European countries, and then to South America.

I see indicators now that it is spreading to North America. And no wonder. This is a beautiful, beautiful craft. It enhances any altered book, scrapbook, card or other paper craft project.

Video Demonstration


  1. Heavy parchment paper. The ideal parchment paper is thick enough to withstand relatively rough treatment. You will be subjecting it to a torture test of embossing and perforating. It must be crisp, but not too crisp. Overly crisp parchment paper will tear unevenly when perforating. Pergamano® paper is made specially for use in this craft. Vellum and parchment paper used in baking might work, but I have not tried them.

  2. A mapping pen. This resembles an old-fashioned nib pen. You fill it with Tinta ink and trace your pattern onto the parchment paper.

  3. Tinta Ink. Available in various colors, this ink is used with the mapping pen to trace patterns onto parchment. White ink appears to be the color of choice, at least for beginners.

  4. Embossing tools. Available in various shapes and thicknesses, these tools are used to create shades of white and gray embossing on the parchment paper.

  5. Perforating Tools. These are used for poking tiny holes in the parchment paper. The perforations can be used as decor, or to tear off excess parchment, as is the case in the layette above. Perforating tools are also used for stippling -- a technique in which you create raised bumps on the parchment paper rather than perforations.

  6. A Perforating/Embossing Pad. This is used to protect your table, as well as to provide the right surface for perforating and embossing work. A mouse pad or a self-healing mat might work. I have not tried.

  7. Dorso. These are waxy, crayon-like colors used for adding color to the back of the Pergamano project. In the layette above, I have used green Dorso to color the edges. You might want to make Dorso more "spreadable" by adding a little linseed oil, or by using special Dorso oil.

  8. permagano cardPinta-Perla and Pintura Paints. These are paints used for coloring the front side of a Pergamano project. I used Pinta paint to color the birthday card to the right.

  9. Patterns. You need a pattern to trace. Patterns can be purchased, found free on the Internet, or created by hand if you are sufficiently clever. I used a free pattern found on the Net to make the birthday card.

Where To Get Supplies

Pergamano supplies are readily available in Europe. Locating them in North America can be something of a challenge.

The following web sites advertise Parchment Craft supplies for sale online. I have not tried any of these sites, and make no recommendations.

Books at Amazon

Parchment Craft: A 15th Century Art Form by Janet Wilson.

Parchment Craft: Over 15 Original Projects Plus Dozens of New Design Ideas by Martha Ospina

Pergamano Parchment Craft (Step-by-Step Crafts) by Martha Ospina

Parchment Craft (Art of Crafts) by Carla Larter

The Search Press Book of Traditional Papercrafts: Parchment Craft, Stencil Embossing, Paper Pricking, Quilling by Janet Wilson

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