Using Sandwich Paper in Your Altered Book


Many arts and crafts people incorporate sandwich paper in their projects.

sandwich paper

These altered playing cards are embellishments for an altered book. Each card contains a photograph that was printed onto sandwich paper, transferred, and affixed to the playing card using soft gel medium. The pictures are partially translucent, allowing the images from the playing cards to show through.

It could contain beads, glitter, sequins, tiny seashells, seeds, spices and dried herbs, colored sand, or any other small objects suitable for arts and crafts projects.

Also, you can make awesome backgrounds for your altered book,or for other arts and crafts projects with this paper.

What is Sandwich Paper?

It's the white, translucent paper that restaurants use to wrap subs, tacos, hotdogs and other take-out sandwiches. Sometimes its called deli wrap, deli paper, pizza wrap or sandwich wrap. It's sold in big boxes of about 1000 sheets, 12" by 12". The price is approximately $8 to $10 US. You want the unwaxed kind.

Where do I Get it?

Locating deli wrap for personal use can be challenging. In the US, I am told that certain grocery stores (i.e. Costco) as well as wholesale-to-the-public stores stock it. Restaurant supply stores or paper supply stores might sell it. Failing that, you might ask a restaurateur to sell you some.

Printing on Sandwich Paper

Cut your deli wrap to the width that your printer can handle, then print the usual way. Pictures and text print beautifully, in both color and black and white. When you affix your image to a background surface, the background partially shows through. In the playing cards above, note the heart that shows through the little girl's dress in the bottom right.

Sandwich Paper Transferences from Printed Images

Sandwich wrap is good for transferring images printed with an ink jet printer. You will find a Tutorial for Sandwich Paper Transferences, complete with pictures, at this art-related web site.

First, I have to tell you that this is a hit and miss process, since different ink jet printers give different results. For example, with some printers, you can use this technique for colored printouts. With other printers, only gray scale or black and white images will transfer. Also, the amount of gel medium needed varies with printers and images, and the drying time varies from image to image. You learn through trial and error. Expect to discard a lot of transferences that didn't work out.

  1. Prepare your computerized images by increasing the contrast a little. If you plan to use black and white images, you can either convert the image to grayscale in your image editing software, or you can set your printer to print out in black and white.

  2. Trim your sandwich paper to the size that will go through your printer. Print your images in the usual way.

  3. Take a second piece of deli wrap and smear soft gel medium over an area roughly the size of the picture to be transferred. I use Golden Soft Gel Matte Medium, but no doubt other brands would work equally well.

  4. Place the printed image face down in the medium. Burnish (rub) with your fingers. Light burnishing is sufficient.

  5. Wait for a short period of time, then peel the image away. The image will have transferred to the second piece of sandwich paper.

  6. Once dried, you can paint over your transferred image with mediums, paints, etc. It will not smear.

Sandwich Paper Backgrounds

Use sandwich paper the same way you would use tissue paper to make backgrounds for altered books or other arts and crafts projects. For example, you can stamp it, brayer dye inks on it, spritz it with water, crumble it into a ball then flatten out again, restamp, or any number of other innovative techniques that your muse comes up with.

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