Acetate Paper is a transparent material that is made by reacting cellulose with acetic acid in the presence of sulfuric acid. Manufacturers form it into sheets that are 0.1 mm to 0.5 mm thick. This nonflammable mildew-proof material is easy to dye and is available in many colors. Acetate paper is available at baking, craft and office supply stores. It is inexpensive and easy to cut with a craft knife or scissors.
In crafts projects, you can use acetate sheets to make overlays or windows in greeting cards and scrapbooks. This technique is used in Eric Carle’s book, “Dream Snow.” In this book, transparencies partially cover an animal with the snow. When the reader turns the acetate page, she reveals the entire animal. Preprinted and colored acetate papers are available at craft stores.
You can also use acetate sheets as a tool for decorating cakes with chocolate. Bakers spread tempered chocolate onto these sheets; after the chocolate has cooled, it can be cut into the shape of specific logos, patterns and designs. The acetate sheet works as a transfer sheet and the baker peels it off the chocolate after the chocolate is placed onto a cake. When you remove the acetate, the chocolate is glossy. Food grade acetate paper is sold in bakery supply stores.
Acetate paper and an overhead projector are helpful when making a large banner or wall mural. Users can draw the design directly onto the sheet of acetate or photocopy it onto the acetate paper. Place the acetate paper on the overhead projector to make an image that is the right size for the banner or mural and trace the lines on the banner or mural. Office supply stores sell acetate paper that is compatible with photocopiers.
Acetate paper is used to make book covers for financial, business and school reports. Transparent report covers protect the report from fingerprints and scratches. The title page is visible through this type of cover. Report covers add color, sophistication and protection; they also keep report pages straight and organized. Reports that are organized clean and professional looking will be well received by a teacher or employer. Office supply stores sell these covers.
Sheryl Beyer's first publication was in 1993 in "Bioresource Technology.” Currently Beyer is a substitute teacher. Having earned a Master of Science in food science from the University of Wisconsin, she has an interest in food processing and nutrition. She has taught chemistry and microbiology at a technical college and to homeschooling families.