Deli Paper 101: The 6 Different Ways You Can Use It

Deli paper, also known as wax paper, can be found in just about every kitchen across the country, but it is incredibly versatile. Deli paper might seem like a useless item that only serves to block your cabinets from splatters of mayonnaise and mustard. Still, there are other ways you can use deli paper in everyday life. Keep reading to learn about all the different deli paper applications you should know.

1. In Food Industry

If you’ve ever been to a deli, you’ve probably noticed the thin white paper used to wrap up your sandwich. The paper is called deli paper, and it’s not just for looks – it serves an essential purpose. Deli paper is used in the food industry because it’s moisture-resistant and robust, meaning it won’t break or tear easily. Custom deli paper is grease-resistant, so your sandwich won’t get soggy. Restaurants will also use this kind of paper as a doily on plates to keep them from sliding around when customers walk by.

It will also act as a serving tray: If you’re hosting a dinner party at home, you can use deli paper as a disposable serving tray for appetizers and desserts. Set out items like cheese cubes, sliced fruit, crackers, and dips onto sheets of deli paper on your table (to keep everything neat) before guests arrive!

2. Sketching and Drawing

Deli paper is perfect for sketching and drawing because it’s thin and lightweight, making it easy to transport. The smooth surface is ideal for various mediums, including pencil, pen, and charcoal. And if you make a mistake, no problem! Just crumple up the paper and start again.

If you’re looking for something more permanent, try using your favorite sketching or drawing utensil with water-based acrylic paint. You can also experiment with pastels and colored pencils – be sure to use an eraser so that your colors don’t mix in undesirable ways.

3. Painting with Watercolor

Watercolor is a beautiful and delicate painting medium. And while it can be challenging, it’s also gratifying. Deli paper is the perfect surface for watercolor painting, as it’s absorbent and has a smooth surface. Plus, it’s inexpensive and easy to find! While this is a technique best used on a large scale, don’t let that stop you from trying out small pieces of deli paper if you want to give it a go!

Just cut your paper into smaller squares, make sure they’re at least 1 inch by 1 inch in size, then paint away! If you’re an acrylic artist looking for an affordable canvas to experiment with, look no further than your local deli. Cut the deli paper into 8×10 sheets or smaller sizes depending on what you are working on (such as 4×6), then adhere them to your acrylic board using spray adhesive.

4. Stamping Images

Deli paper is a great way to add texture and interest to your stamped images! Adhere your deli paper to your cardstock with double-sided adhesive, then stamp over the top with your favorite ink. You can also use deli paper to create resists – stamp your image onto the deli paper, then color over the top with watercolors or inks. The stamped image will resist the color and remain white. There are many options when using deli paper!

5. Printmaking- Gelli Printing

Also known as mono printing, Gelli printing is a form of printmaking that uses a gelatin plate. It involves applying the paint to the plate and then transferring it to paper, resulting in a one-of-a-kind design. The type of printing is perfect for creating unique backgrounds for your paintings or mixed media art. It can also help to make DIY greeting cards or to create gift tags. If you’re feeling creative, you can use it to create personalized wrapping paper!

6. As a Base for Collage Projects

Deli paper is the perfect material to use as a base for your collaging projects. It’s thin and lightweight so that it won’t add too much bulk to your project. Plus, it’s easy to work with and comes in various colors and patterns. The process involves laying down pieces of deli paper on top of each other and gluing them together.

For example, you could place an image on top of a blank piece of deli paper, then glue another piece on top that has a different pattern or color. When the two papers are dry, you can remove the original base from underneath. The result is a finished collage that features several layers of different patterns and images.


Deli paper is an uncoated paper that’s often helpful in food service, like helping you grab some sushi. While it’s most commonly used to wrap sandwiches and other deli meats, it’s also crucial in art journaling, stamping, sketching, and other crafts. You can use deli paper as a stencil for drawing or painting when you don’t want the lines to be permanent. The applications are endless! However, it’s always crucial to source quality deli paper.