"Rice Paper" Decorations

So, I'm building a Mill Creek for the Mrs.  I wanted to add some decorations to the deck and folks mention using an image printed on rice paper under the glass. The rice paper reportedly gets wetted out and disappears leaving the image.

A local stationary place sold me a Japanese sketch pad as "rice paper". The paper is very thin, but I'm wondering if it is thin enough.

I'm experimenting. The decals below are my test run. The one on the left was epoxied face down in case of running colors. The one on the right was epoxied face up. No problem with running colors, but as you can see the paper does not completely wet out or disappear. It will probably work, but will require me to neatly trim the image.

Any experience out there? Should I look for thinner paper?

Here is a picture of the project too.

Thanks in advance.


9 replies:

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RE: "Rice Paper" Decorations

I would get some real rice paper.  The stuff is cheap.  I bought some once and I have a lifetime supply.



RE: "Rice Paper" Decorations

I used tissue paper that I bought at the local drug store for wrapping a present.  You know the stuff you crumple and stuff into the top of a gift bag.  The white turns nicely clear.  On my first yak, it was not under fibregalss, just 1 coat of epoxy and 4 coats of varnish.  You have to work at to see the "halo"... the trick is to tape the tissue paper to a sheet of regular paper to run through the printer.  If you have a straight paper feed it works much better, check your printer a lot of them do.  If you printer does not it might be work the couple dollars to hit a local print shop.

 LOTS of great comments on this detail.

RE: "Rice Paper" Decorations

I too used ordinary lightweight paper - I think it was dressmaker's pattern paeper - for a similar purpose recently.  You will have to accept the very slight 'halo' or 'shadow' effect around the printed detail, but it will become all but invisible to you after the first few critical looks!   And the closer you trim around the edge, the more it will disappear.

One tip - in my case, the print was laid onto the first coat of deck epoxy while still wet: I then gave it (the print paper) a very thin over-coat of epoxy (all while the first still wet), then I ran the blade of a single-edge razor blade held at a shallow angle VERY LIGHTLY along the print - it squeezed the epoxy flat and somehow seemed to give that final nice smooth finish.





RE: "Rice Paper" Decorations

Wow, I guess I have been lucky.  I like Mr Kim purchased real rice paper online from an art store in CA and have a lifetime supply.  I also agree that you need to tape to regular paper to run through your printer.  I print the image on regular paper then tape the Rice paper over that and run it through again.  That way I am only using what I need.

Once printed, I think I am reading that I do things different.  After I wet out my first coat of glass/epoxy, I let it set up for the next coat.  I trim the paper in a cloud pattern around the graphic, no square edges or striaght lines.  I then place the graphic where I want it and punch epoxy over it like you do stenciling to get the paper completely wetted out, it will disapear right then, and once it disapears I continue applying the 2nd coat of epoxy, and 3rd.  I get a slight raised area from the paper and a shadow of the hallow, but then it is time to wet sand the whole boat anyway which smoothes that out, and finish with a (hopefully) final coat of epoxy.

If you check my blog and click on the different yak designs, you will see a "Whale" (Expedition Single), a "SeaHorse" & a name plate (Guillemot L) and a "Phoenix" (King)

I would think that having it under the glass you will see the glass weave in the sunlight, so that is why I put it on top of the glass just under the rest of the epoxy coats.

Good Luck,



RE: "Rice Paper" Decorations

Hell, send me an email and if you want to email me your artwork, I will print it out and mail it back to you.  Or tell me how big your graphic is and I will send you the paper for you to print out.  I do have plenty of paper, I can share.




RE: "Rice Paper" Decorations

Ok, so I've seen mention of rice paper and sewing pattern paper. 

I have tried an experiment using drafting tracing tissue paper (comes on rolls in either yellow or white, I used white).  It definitely leaves a halo, especially viewed at an angle.  I feel like I did a decent job wetting it out, and even glassed over it.  I looked at it the next morning and the halo is just as evident as it was in a previous trial using epoxy alone with no glass.. so, I am going to try one of the other papers mentioned.  My question is,

1.  Anyone who has used both, which is the best - sewing pattern tissue or rice paper?

2.  Where do you get ungridded sewing pattern tissue?  I have searched online quite a bit and found nothing.  The local sewing supply superstore doesn't have it either.  Lots of patterns though.

3.  If using rice paper - are there different thicknesses, is there a particular type to look for?  I have seen rolls of it advertised but am not sure if I'm looking at the right stuff.


The good news is, the ink in my inkjet printer does not bleed at all in the MAS epoxy I'm using so no need to reverse print.

RE: "Rice Paper" Decorations

HShanley, in answer to your #2 question, my wife is a quilter and she has a roll of sewing tissue paper she bought at a quilt shop, it is 12" wide and 20 yards long. It is called Golden Threads Quilting Paper. She paid $9.39.

 Their web site is www.goldenthreads.com

Hope this helps and good luck.

RE: "Rice Paper" Decorations

Sewing pattern tissue really works well.  A few pics from here then go to next:


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