Making sense of Parchment Paper, Plastic Wrap, and Deli Sheets

Graphic that reads, "Polymer Clay Tip: Parchment Paper, Plastic Wrap, Deli Sheets. Which to Use?"

 It’s commonly suggested to use parchment paper or deli sheets with your polymer clay for a variety of uses. I consistently notice reader confusion on the subject, so I wanted to shed a bit of light on these materials. What is parchment paper, exactly, and how do you use it with polymer clay? What are deli sheets and why do some polymer clay artists love them SO much? And is there anything wrong with using plastic wrap with polymer clay?

End the Confusion over Parchment Paper and Deli Sheets!

  • parchment paper is the paper you use to line baking trays when making cookies or biscuits
  • use it with polymer clay to keep your projects from getting shiny on the back during curing
  • parchment paper is also known as “greaseproof paper” in the UK
  • you don’t need special paper for this; any plain paper works great
  • deli sheets come in a pop-up box and are used to pick up baked goods or deli items in a store
  • paper deli sheets are VERY different from plastic deli sheets
  • plastic deli sheets cannot be baked but have MANY uses with polymer clay
  • any paper will leach (dry out) your polymer clay
  • plastic sheets will not harm your polymer clay
  • waxed paper is something entirely different, it is waxy and cannot be baked
  • some deli sheets are called waxed paper, aren’t waxy, and work for burnishing
  • there’s a ton of confusion here, so read the full text for more clarity

What is Parchment Paper?

It’s commonly recommended to use parchment paper with polymer clay, but when I was new, I have to admit that I didn’t know what parchment paper was. In my mind, I could only think of that blotchy-looking paper they print diplomas on. You know…like the old-fashioned parchment made from sheep’s gut. But that couldn’t be right. So, what was this parchment paper that everyone seemed to be using? I asked at an art store and was sent to the expensive paper section. Um…nope…that didn’t sound right either. But I felt stupid for asking, so I didn’t find the answer for a long time.

Parchment paper is often recommended for use with polymer clay. It doesn't, however, offer much advantage over plain copy paper.
Baking parchment paper is also known as greaseproof paper in the UK.

Come to find out there’s this stuff (that my frugal mother never used when I learned to bake) called baking parchment. It comes in a roll and is used to line baking sheets for baking cookies, biscuits, scones, and other yummy carb-filled goodness. If you’ve never used it before, I recommend it. No more burned cookie bottoms. You buy it at the grocery store near the plastic wrap or sometimes in the baking aisle on the bottom shelf near the flour.

If you’re outside the US, you’re likely nodding your head right now and saying to yourself, “Oh, this is just grease-proof paper.” Yes, indeed. Same stuff. (Why do we have different names for the same stuff? Argh!)

Why Use Parchment Paper with Polymer Clay?

So, how do you use parchment paper with your polymer clay? As with any basic material, there are lots of ways that you can use this stuff. But here are some of the most commonly suggested ones.

Lining Baking Sheets

Polymer clay naturally sticks to all glossy surfaces. So if you bake your polymer clay on a smooth metal baking sheet or a ceramic tile, you’ll get a shiny spot on the back where the clay was stuck to the surface. To prevent this, just lay the clay down on a piece of parchment paper first. No, the paper won’t burn in the oven. And yes, you can use the paper over and over.

Parchment paper is commonly recommended for lining baking sheets. This prevents the back of your piece from getting shiny. You can use plain copy paper or index cards for this, though.
Parchment paper is commonly recommended for lining baking sheets. This prevents the back of your piece from getting shiny. You can use plain copy paper or index cards for this, though.

Non-Stick Work Surface

Many of us use a glass sheet or ceramic tile as a work surface. This is great because the clay sticks to the glossy surface, making it easier to do things to the clay without it moving around. But it also means the clay can be damaged when you lift it from the glass or tile. Especially if you need to work with a super-thin and delicate sheet of polymer clay, it is helpful to lay it down on a piece of parchment paper, so the clay doesn’t stick to anything. You can easily lift it from the paper when you’re ready to use it.

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When you need to close the seam between polymer clay cane slices or smooth together the pieces shaved from mokume gane stacks, it works well to burnish the seams closed. To do this, just lay a piece of parchment paper down on the clay surface and rub back and forth with your finger or a doorknob (keeping the paper in place on the clay). This way you can smooth out the seams without distorting the design in the clay. I wasn’t joking about the doorknob. You can also use an espresso tamper, the back of a spoon, or the top of a candle jar.


To disguise fingerprints, it’s helpful to use a uniform texture such as with a coarse sponge or sandpaper. But sometimes you don’t want a visible texture. In this case, pressing parchment paper into the surface of the clay and burnishing will remove fingerprints, leaving the non-texture (or anti-texture) of the paper on the clay. It’s a nifty trick that helps you work more neatly.

Beware! Paper Will Leach Polymer Clay!

The “juice” of polymer clay is plasticizer and oils. Paper is absorbent, so if you leave unbaked polymer clay in contact with any paper, it will absorb the plasticizer and oils. This process is called leaching. Leaching can be a good thing if your clay is too goopy. But be aware that too much leaching will leave your clay dry and prone to crumbling. After baking, over-leached clay can be weaker and more brittle. (It’s the plasticizer in polymer clay that helps it to be strong after baking.)

Paper is great stuff, obviously, but remember that it’s not for long-term contact with your unbaked polymer clay.

Alternatives to Parchment Paper

Do you really need to invest in parchment paper for this? NO! I never, never use parchment paper with my polymer clay. If you’ve read any of my tutorials, you know how often I use plain copy paper for these functions. It’s cheap, it’s available, and it’s easy.

You can also use some other favorite papers, too. Layout Bond, layout paper, or marker paper is a favorite for artists who need to do a lot of burnishing and smoothing together of their polymer clay seams. Melanie Muir recommends this for her students, in fact. Layout paper is great because it’s very smooth and you can see through the paper to a degree so you can see what you’re doing. Freezer paper and butcher paper typically have a plastic coating on one side and therefore can’t be used in the same ways as parchment paper.

Deli paper can also work well for burnishing. Krithika Parthan raves about this type of pop-up paper for its smooth texture and ease of use. I agree…it’s great for burnishing and smoothing. But whenever mention of deli paper comes up, we end up with another one of those confusing questions. What, exactly, are deli papers and deli sheets?

What are Deli Sheets?

When you go to the deli or the bakery, there are these boxes of pop-up sheets that the staff uses to pick up the doughnuts or deli meats, right? Those are deli sheets! (Also called pick-up paper.) But wouldn’t you know it, there are two types of deli sheets. One is made from paper, and the other is made from plastic. But photos of the sheets look very similar, and online listings often don’t tell you which kind you’re buying!

Plastic deli sheets, when you can find them, are indispensable when working with polymer clay. These are like magic!
These plastic deli sheets are so handy with polymer clay that we should call them MAGIC SHEETS!

Paper deli sheets are just like I mentioned above. They’re great for burnishing, baking, anti-texture, and as a non-stick surface. But plastic deli sheets are a whole different thing. Plastic deli sheets are PURE MAGIC. Plastic deli sheets also come in a pop-up box, but they’re made of a thin, slightly frosted, sort of slippery type of plastic. They’re not very stretchy, and the plastic doesn’t stick to itself.

How to Use Deli Sheets with Polymer Clay

Deli sheets are plastic, so you can’t use them to line your baking sheet while curing your clay. But you can use them as a non-stick surface, plus a few more cool tricks. You can re-use plastic deli sheets, by the way, so they’re very economical.

Storing Canes, Sheets, and Misc Polymer Clay

Plastic deli sheets do not react noticeably with polymer clay, so they make an ideal material to keep your clay separated and lint-free. Plastic also does not leach, so you can leave it in contact with your polymer clay indefinitely. Because the plastic doesn’t stick to itself, it’s much easier to handle than plastic wrap. It’s straightforward to cut strips to wrap around your canes, keeping them from sticking together and getting dusty.

It works well to wrap polymer clay canes in strips cut from plastic deli sheets. It keeps the canes from sticking together and getting dusty.
I like to wrap my polymer clay canes in strips cut from plastic deli sheets. This keeps the canes from sticking together and getting dusty.

Burnishing to Remove Seams

You can use paper to burnish seams, but I much prefer using plastic deli sheets for this. Just spread the sheet with your fingers, then press it to the clay surface, being careful to avoid wrinkles. You can now use your fingers to press the clay together without any distortion to the clay’s surface design. Try it; it’s like magic!

Delicate Clay Management

If you have delicate sheets of clay that might get damaged or might stick to other clay, it helps to keep them separate by laying them on sheets of deli plastic. What do you do with a skinner blend sheet when you’re done with it? I set mine on deli plastic. That way I can peel the plastic off the back of the blend without damaging or stretching it. This comes in handy when dealing with very thin sheets.

Lining Your Extruder

Do you hate cleaning the barrel of your extruder? Even the Czextruder requires cleaning between colors. Try cutting a piece of plastic deli sheet to fit around your clay before you put it into the extruder. Make sure there’s no plastic over the end, of course. The extruder will push the clay out, and all that remains is a wadded-up piece of plastic. Just open the extruder, clean the disk, and repeat.

Domed Cutouts

When you use a cookie-cutter to cut a shape of polymer clay, the edges are squared-off, right? To get a nice domed surface, just lay a piece of deli plastic over your clay sheet (removing all wrinkles, of course), then press the cutter straight down. The plastic will stretch, creating a gentle dome shape, making the edges rounded. Try it; it’s fun!

Plastic deli sheets and plastic wrap can both be used to give a rounded edge when using cutters with polymer clay.
Plastic deli sheets and plastic wrap can both be used to give a rounded edge when using cutters with polymer clay.

Where to Buy Plastic Deli Sheets

Because you can’t just go to Walmart or Asda and buy plastic deli sheets, availability always causes some confusion. If you happen to have a kitchen or restaurant supply shop in your area, you can buy these there. Also, because businesses who use them need to buy cases of them, you typically can’t buy single boxes (and one box will last forever). So sometimes guilds go in on a group buy. But you can buy individual boxes on Amazon (US), with free shipping if you have Prime. In the US, especially if you’re ordering other claying supplies, I recommend Poly Clay Play and Linda’s Art Spot.

Outside the US, these don’t seem to be as familiar. Something very similar is sold as interleave sheets (Easy Leave Sheets) to put between frozen foods so they can be separated. In the UK, you can buy these at Lakeland and I’ve seen similar products at Morrison’s. I’ll bet there’s more. You can also use those thin, transparent, frosted shopping carrier bags. Cut out a section, avoiding the area with any printing on them.

Other Types of Plastic Sheets

Plain old plastic wrap can do many of the same things that deli plastic sheets can do. I like the Saran Wrap brand, but there are many brands. In the UK, of course, plastic wrap is called cling film. Some people have reported that their plastic wrap reacts with their clay and becomes gummy over time. Do make sure that you’re not using PVC cling film. Plastic wrap is increasingly made from LDPE instead of PVC because it doesn’t leach plasticizer into your food. But PVC is the same material that polymer clay is made from and the plasticizer from the clay will affect the integrity of PVC cling film.

If you’re using PVC plastic wrap or if you’re not sure how yours reacts with clay over time, use plastic deli sheets to store your polymer clay. For short-term contact, such as making domed cutouts, it shouldn’t be a problem.

People will also rave about Glad Press n Seal wrap for storing their clay. This plastic wrap has a coating which allows it to stick to itself on one side. This means you can press two sheets together with your clay inside. You can see this in action in Cindy Lietz’s video here.

Another type of Deli Sheet?

Now here’s where it gets REALLY confusing. If you’ve already done some searches for “deli sheets” you’ll notice that the term also applies to squares of waxed paper. Except that they’re not waxed. But then some are. Yes, I know that makes no sense. Read on…

Patty Papers

When you buy pre-made hamburger patties, they come with a little square of paper separating them. These are called patty papers, but some people call them deli sheets. (I told you this gets confusing.) Patty papers are very similar to baking parchment papers and can be used for the same things. In fact, true patty papers are incredibly convenient and sized perfectly (6 x 6 inches or 15 x 15 cm) for polymer clay. But unless someone gives you the EXACT one to buy, it’s a bit like playing roulette, and you never know what you will get. Sometimes what comes is waxed paper. (Yes, never mind that patty paper is also called waxed paper…there’s no wax on it. Confused yet?) And yes, you can spend a lot of money ordering various squares, trying to get the “right stuff.” Ugh.

Patty paper is quite similar to squares of parchment paper and can be used for many of the same purposes with polymer clay.
I’m quite fond of this brand of patty paper. It’s similar to thin parchment paper and works well with polymer clay. But contrary to what the name would imply, this is not waxed paper!

Waxed Paper Squares

Back in the days before plastic wrap was commonplace, people used waxed paper to wrap their sandwiches or keep their doughnuts from getting crunchy. Waxed paper indeed is coated in wax, and you can feel it on your fingers when you rub it. (An aside, did you ever melt crayon shavings between waxed paper using an iron? Cool!)

Some of the boxes of “patty paper” that I ordered while researching this article were actually waxed paper squares. You can use them to freeze your hamburgers, of course. But people commonly use them to wrap sticky candy pieces such as salt water taffy or kisses. But these sheets aren’t so good with polymer clay. Waxed paper will smoke and the wax will melt if you try to bake it, so you don’t want to use it the same way you use parchment paper. You can’t burnish with waxed paper. But you CAN use waxed paper to wrap around your canes for storage. In fact, Ivy Niles of iKandiClay uses waxed paper for all her beautifully wrapped canes. Even though waxed paper is paper, it doesn’t seem to leach plasticizer. That’s probably because it’s already saturated with wax.

Waxed paper does work well to wrap and store polymer clay canes.
Ivy Niles of iKandiClay wraps her canes in strips of waxed paper. It is durable and works well to protect the canes from dust.

Lisa Pavelka’s Deli Sheets

Even more confusion! What is this?? Many polymer clay sites carry Lisa Pavelka’s Deli Sheets. Funny, but they’re not patty or parchment paper, they’re not deli sheets, they’re not plastic…but what ARE they? These nicely-sized sheets seem to be a (plastic?) coated paper. The closest thing to compare them to is the backing from sticker sheets. Lisa recommends using these sheets to burnish her foils to the surface of polymer clay. Because they’re non-stick, you can use them as a non-stick surface in the same way that I use plastic deli sheets. (Note that in this case, you want to move the paper back and forth, sliding it over the back of the foil, rather than keeping the paper stationary as when you burnish clay seams closed.)

Do you print a lot of shipping label stickers and have a lot of the backing sheets? Katie Oskin uses these for lining baking sheets, mixing paint, and many of the same things I suggested for using with parchment paper. I’m all for recycling!

Summary of Parchment Paper, Deli Sheets, and Waxed Paper

So, the next time this subject comes up in a polymer clay group discussion, send people here to help clear up some of the confusion. I wish everyone used the same words for the same products, but that doesn’t happen. Hopefully this article will help shed some light.

Which products do I recommend? In my studio, I use plain copy paper and plastic deli sheets for everything mentioned. I think I will also be using that box of patty papers as it’s just so simple to grab a sheet and now I already have the box.

But everyone is different and everyone works a different way. What works for you might be very different from what works for me! In addition, each country has slightly different products and what makes sense and is obvious in one location will be utterly unavailable in another. You should have seen my (British) husband’s face when I asked him what they use waxed paper for in the UK. He didn’t seem to know what I meant. (Really? There’s no waxed paper in the UK??) Share your observations in the comments, especially if you’re from outside the US and have a different kind of paper, sheet, or plastic that you find to be very useful with polymer clay. We can all learn from each other!

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54 thoughts on “Making sense of Parchment Paper, Plastic Wrap, and Deli Sheets”

  1. TIP
    The box of 1,000 sheets I bought last October on Amazon went from $16 to $25! So today when I went to the grocery store I stopped at the deli counter and asked if they would sell me one of their boxes. Tada! Got a box same quantity, bigger size sheets for $5!! Hope it works for you too.

  2. I can’t thank you enough for providing the links to the “right” kind of paper. I had already done some searching and was overwhelmed with the confusing results.
    You’ve made my life a whole lot easier and I truly appreciate it.

  3. Yo. Im still confused about deli paper. Im in South Africa. Dont even know if you get it here. When i started i used waxed paper, but only the 1 side is waxed..which makes it nice for baking on the unwaxed side and storing and burnishing with the eaxed side. Or just the normal plastc bags which comes in diferent sizes. Somewhere in all the videos ive watched i have picked up to use plastic sheets for files for clay to roll thin between the rollers. They dont crinckle and you get different thickness.
    Clay in South Africa is very exspensive so things have to be done on a tight budget.
    Thank you for a great article. At least I know im not loosing out too much on things that i dont know if its availible in South Africa.
    Sorry for any spelling mistakes. Little Hazel the cat(1 of 28) wants her attention NOW with her sharp claws.

    1. I understand about Little Hazel. I have similar difficulties. While I tried to explain the differences in all these papers according to what’s in the US and possibly the UK, I can’t see/feel what’s out there in the world, just like you can’t see/feel what we have here. It’s frustrating for sure. But as long as you’re getting the results you want, then it doesn’t matter, right? Enjoy the clay!

  4. Jocelyn White Conforti

    Maybe next year, you would consider doing an update noting all the brands/types you’ve painstakingly researched, plus all those new regional treats discovered in the comments. For me, it was eye opening research, but, an overwhelming read, so maybe incorporating a chart format might be better when redone?

    I just used the deli paper from my local grocery shop. A few pieces at first, then, I bought them a box at a time.

    I had no idea there were so many other types available, and would love to try them.

    Thank you Ginger for another wonderful email.

    1. It IS a confusing issue! It’s down to confusing terminology and the way it’s not standard around the world. Hopefully, my article has opened people to the idea that there’s more out there and then they can research what’s available in their area.

  5. Ellen Lipscomb

    Ginger: I left a post on Facebook about paper and baking and your site blew me away. I wish I had found you instead watching many videos that confused the situation. But, videos are a good research tool, but you are expert source for someone like me. Thank you for what you do…Helping people understand this art.

  6. Nika van Tilburg

    Last week Ibought the plastic deli sheets you recommended from Amazon. They are wonderful! Good thing they come in a package of 1000 as I’ve already found a dozen uses for them. Thank you so much for the recommendation!

  7. You can’t buy the deli sheets from the restaurant supply link that is listed. For a $6.00 box of sheets they want $25.99 in shipping.

  8. Because I have never managed to find Patty paper/deli sheets in the stores, I just buy rolls of baking parchment, and cut it up into various sizes ranging from 2×2 inches to about 5×8. Then I can just grab a piece any time I need it. I find that it doesn’t leech clay as fast as copy paper, so I can leave the clay on it for much longer (or at least I can’t see the oil mark…). I use a mini Altoid tin to burnish.

  9. That PattyWax looks a lot like glassine. Have you heard of glassine for use with polymer clay? It’s used both in the food industry as well as for wrapping up artwork since it’s acid free.

  10. I’ve been able to find the plastic sheets at a restaurant supply store called “Cash and Carry”, results may vary, not sure if it’s a regional or national chain- website is very meh and different locations have slightly different things). As for the waxier sheets (that people use for burnishing)- I’ve found those at a Business Center Costco (different from regular Costco). I use good old regular wax paper for using Sculpey Light. I buy parchment paper at the Dollar Tree. It’s probably not cheaper in the long run per foot etc… but it’s a manageable size for my fumble fingered self. 😉 Next to just basic copy paper, my favorite thing is blank index cards I pick up at the grocery store. They are small, portable- and you have a built in ruler (3×5 in this case) 😀

  11. In Australia, we have wax coatec greaseproof paper, a non waxed one, baking paper for lining cake tins (so you don’t have to grease them), freezer go between plastic and cling film. Deli items are wrapped in a printed plastic film that is quite crisp like paper. No deli sheets here that I have found.

    1. I think that (in Australia) Glad Go-Between is very similar to the deli sheets people were using for polymer clay when I visited the US – I certainly use that in the same way I saw the US deli sheets being used.

      1. Carolyn, we don’t have Glad Go-Between here in the US, which might be why we’re so wacky about the plastic deli sheets. But I have a feeling they’re the same, or very close. Thanks for verifying that.

      2. Thank you Carolyn… I was getting confused… Coles sell them, I know where I’m heading tomorrow

    2. In Australia what I think is parchment paper in the US is Baking paper here, with the silicon coating. I want Deli paper for mixed media use with paints etc. Does anyone know if unwaxed ie greaseproof paper is the same? Or is waxed paper the same- very confusing. It sounds as if the Glad Go-Between might be the real equivalent for us Aussies

      1. Deli paper in the US is like thick tissue paper. It’s what is used to pick up doughnuts and pastries. It’s not waxed.

        US waxed paper is paper coated with wax. You could scrape wax off of it with your fingernail. It’s the same stuff that Life Savers are wrapped in (hoping that translates), and if you had a bag made of waxed paper, it would stay closed if you creased it.

        We also have another kind of waxed paper here, not available to the consumer, though, and it’s called “dry waxed” paper. It’s a bit like baking paper, and it’s what a deli cafe would use to line a basket and set a burger or sandwich on. I suspect that’s what people in the UK call waxed paper.

        Greaseproof paper in the UK is just like parchment paper here, but not quite as thick and generally not silicone coated. (But that might be changing.)

        Glad Go-Between is not the same as any of the above. It’s a plastic film. It’s the same thing as plastic deli sheets (wonderful stuff!) and in the UK is called “interleave sheets” for inserting between frozen steaks and such. There is no consumer equivalent in the US. But it’s what is often used in the deli section to pick up a wad of ham or sliced cheese when you order at the counter.

  12. Hello
    I have used cling film to lay sheets of fimo. And left them for several days /maybe 1week. Turned my fimo soft to crumble and imposibile to conditioning. It just wouldn’t stick to it, cracking wen mixing. The cling film turned in something similar to jelly.
    Cling film is no good to store Fimo. But can be used for that day.

    1. It depends on what the cling film is made of. Years ago, vinyl was used. Nowadays that has been prohibited and different plastic is used (LDPE). It doesn’t conflict with the clay. Perhaps you’re using some of the older cling film?

      1. It was bought from Poundland Uk maximum 4 months ago. It is polyvinylchloride PVC and it is widely used în UK. I is sold even în Mark and Spencer at this moment label în bold PVC…..

        1. I’m so sorry, Maria. The information I found about cling film was obviously incorrect! We can no longer buy PVC film for food use in stores here in the US and I assumed this was universal. (It is, however, used to wrap pallets in warehouses.) I’ve adjusted the info in the article to be more accurate. Thanks for bringing this to my attention. Learning is a never-ending activity!

  13. Pingback: Deli Wrap, Anyone? | Tallahassee Polymer Clay Art Guild

  14. Brilliant article. Thank you
    btw Plastic Deli Sheets are known/sold as Counter Wrap in the U.K. apparently.

    1. Ah, thank you! I knew that it was available because I’ve seen it used. Interestingly, a search for “counter wrap” brings up a huge variety of wraps including butcher paper, chippy paper (newsprint), and foil-backed paper for wrapping hot sandwiches. I guess the problem of messy names is a problem in the UK a well!

    1. See, more confusion. Dry waxed paper is like parchment paper and the patty paper I show in the green box. Wet waxed paper refers to the waxy paper similar to what we get on a roll called Cut-Rite. And it’s funny that you say “most of us use”. Because I think you mean the paper kind, but it’s the plastic kind that most people actually mean when they talk about deli sheets. Or at least that’s what I’ve found. If someone has never seen the plastic deli sheets, they think the paper ones are the “real” deli sheets, and vice versa.

  15. Thanks for this article, Ginger! I have been using a bake-able Patty Paper over my tiles to prevent shiny backs. But, I have always used Vellum to burnish/smooth seams. Unfortunately, Vellum is another term that can cause confusion. Vellum used for printing is uncoated and has a tooth to it (it can make an interesting suede texture). The Vellum I use for burnishing is sold in the scrap booking or fine art sections of craft stores. It’s translucent and smooth, but expensive.

    I would also like to add that a cake smoother can also be used as a burnish for larger polymer clay projects. I lay the Vellum on the clay, then use the cake smoother to burnish. I was a cake decorator for many years, there’s a lot of overlap between cake decorating and polymer clay techniques and tools!.

  16. Great article Ginger, really interesting. We do have waxed paper here in the UK. we buy it from Quilt shows and it is imported from the USA, and branded Reynolds! The quilting bit of me bought it, but the Polymer Clay chunk of me uses it! Andrea Moorhouse, West Yorkshire

    1. Now I’m curious how it’s used with quilting? I’ve heard of using freezer paper for templates, you just iron it onto the fabric to make cutting neater and more precise. But I’d think that waxed paper would stain the fabric? See, this is the problem with having all these loose terms…we’re not always talking about the same thing! Just for curiosity, I did a search and found this thread. It sounds like we’re still not talking about the same thing. Oooh it’s all so confusing!

      1. Ginger, waxed paper or freezer paper is different from baking parchment/grease-proof paper.
        And yes ideal for things like sewing or for transferring images to for example painted furniture because you put it through you printer and the burnish on to whatever you want ( really popular at the moment with the shabby chic upcyclers )

        However it is NOT generally available in the U.K. or Ireland There are a very few haberdasheries who might stock it but, compared to US supermarket prices, it’s outrageously expensive.

        Hope this helps

        1. Yes, this is stated in the article. 😉 Also, waxed paper and freezer paper are NOT the same thing. Waxed paper (such as Reynolds Cut-Rite) is tissue paper that has literally been coated on both sides with candle wax. It cannot be run through the printer (it will melt) and it cannot be ironed without the wax melting off and leaving a puddle of wax. Freezer paper a fairly heavy white paper with a plastic coating on one side. It can be ironed onto fabric and later peeled off with no residue.

          Being married to a Brit and having spent a fair bit of time in the UK, I am well-used to the issue of words referring to completely different things in our “languages”. It goes far deeper than most people realize. For example, I just used the term “candle wax”. In the US, we call that paraffin. But I couldn’t write that or I know you’d think I meant kerosene (paraffin oil).

  17. You can also use two layers of deli paper or baking parchment to put very thin sheets of clay through the pasta machine to make them even thinner. It helps prevent the rippling that some machines incur at thin settings.

    I use deli plastic to contain embossing powder or (dare I admit?) glitter when I’m first blending it into clay on my work surface: fold it so the loose material stays between the sheets until it’s worked into the clay and trapped, and can then be moved to the pasta machine.

    You know what they call glitter….

  18. Thank you for explaining this so thoroughly! It is confusing and easy to order the wrong thing, which I have done. I need some MAGIC SHEETS!

    Something I’ve found I like are cellophane sheets used by candy makers. I bought some Crinklee Clear 4.25″ X 4.25″ sheets in a package of 1000 through Amazon. It’s thin, doesn’t stretch, it’s absolutely clear, non-absorbent, doesn’t wrinkle like plastic wrap and doesn’t stick to itself.

    It would not work for doming because it would crinkle.

    At first I didn’t know what I’d use them for, but now I reach for them all the time to set clay on to move it, for burnishing and for storing small veneers. It’s nice to really see what’s happening underneath and I can easily peel it off without bending my polymer.

    I haven’t tried baking them. It says they’re real cellophane made from trees, not cheap plastic, so maybe I should see what happens.

      1. I baked a sheet at 275˚ and it didn’t melt or catch on fire. The edges curled a little. I upped it to 300˚ and it got small ripples in it and turned a little amber-colored. I’ll try it with clay next to see what happens.

  19. Thanks for the great article, Ginger 🙂
    As you already noted – most of what you describe is not available here in the EU. At least to my knowledge. I usually buy my paper and plastic deli sheets when I’m in the US as we don’t have them here. Our stores use prongs to pick up the baked goods (seems a lot more eco-friendly, btw).
    What we in Germany use is mostly:
    parchment paper – we call it baking paper (Backpapier)
    cling film – we call that Frischhaltefolie (translates roughly to keep-it-fresh-foil)
    and of course standard printer/copy paper

    1. I agree about the tongs vs the deli sheets. They do that in some places, yes, but I think for sticky things like doughnuts they use the deli sheets. And thank you for the German translations for the various materials. Very helpful!

    2. I too was stumped when trying to find deli papers here in Germany. If I remember correctly, I had seen the brand ‘Satin Pac’ as a photo an earlier article from Ginger and, figuring that was a safe bet, looked for that specific one. I found a carton of 10 boxes of 1000 sheets each (power-users, lifetime supply, share with friends?) on through their global shipping program – the quoted prices include all costs, both for shipping and automatic customs clearance. I have just checked and they are still on offer, best price at the moment is ca. €65. (These sheets are polyethylene, i.e. plastic ones.)

  20. Thank you Ginger! Another great article from the “world” of parchment-simile-paper!

    As always here in Italy there is lack of some useful products that are available USA/UK but mainly because they are not commonly used in our kitchens: never seen Deli Paper on my supermarket shelf… even if I imagine probably in big cities (Milan/Rome) big-box stores (superstores) some sort is surely available… (instead in Switzerland these products have been available for years…)

    Actually when you buy sliced meat at a supermarket they usually wrap it in large foil of waxed paper… ham slices are layered with trasparent plastic wrap but I have seen even some sort of deli plastic sheets…

    curiosity: common partchment paper in italian is called literally “oven-paper” = “carta da forno”

    1. We can’t generally buy deli sheets in most stores. I think in some wholesale-type warehouse stores (such as Costco) you can find it. It’s very much an item that regular people don’t use and only restaurants and food stores will use it. It sounds like the transparent wrap that ham slices are layered with might be the same thing we use here, deli sheets. Check them out and see if they look like the ones in my photo.

      1. Also, if you live near a store called “Smart & Final” you can get deli sheets there. I’ve been using theirs for years And they are great. They come 500 to a pop up box and the sheets are large enough to cut for smaller pieces. I also use them in my extruders.

          1. Wow – I just now saw your response! So sorry! They are paper with a very smooth finish – almost like wax paper but not.

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