Rice paper is a super durable, versatile, and affordable craft medium. Today, you can experiment with rice paper to add a vintage touch to anything you can think of – from glass bottles and plastic containers to even wooden furniture.
Rice paper comes in all different sizes, shapes, and colors. You can use it for all kinds of projects too! It’s great for making cards, wrapping presents, making bookmarks, and more!
What are the best rice papers for crafting? Depending on the project, whether you’re applying rice paper designs on cardstock, wood, plastic, or glass, you can choose the right rice paper with the right density and design.
In this article, we’ll cover why you should use rice paper for your next project and some rice paper packs to help you step up your decorating game with this medium. We’ll also give you some free project ideas to get started.
Why Use Rice Paper For Crafting?
If this is your first time hearing about using rice paper for decoupage and other types of crafts, then there’s definitely a lot to learn. Here are some reasons why you should try rice paper for your next craft project.
It’s Super Durable
Rice paper is super durable, you can’t tear it, and even when water is applied, it doesn’t melt away like other types of paper. That means rice paper is great for traditional arts like calligraphy and watercolor.
The durability makes rice paper a wonderful medium for experimentation, especially when it comes to decoupage.
One of the best techniques for trying out different designs is wetting the rice paper completely and applying it to a surface such as glass or wood. You can see how the design will look on your surface, and if you don’t like it, you can peel it off and try again.
If you’re happy with the design, you can allow it to dry and apply a decoupage medium or clear glue to adhere the rice paper to your material. Super easy, right?
It’s Suitable For Various Materials
Thanks to its unique properties, rice paper is able to fit perfectly on uneven surfaces without folding or bubbling. This makes it an ideal choice for decorations, as it doesn’t show any signs of damage or folds.
That’s why you can use rice paper on so many different types of materials, including wood, plastic, and glass, as well as cardstock and regular paper.
You can also use rice paper with so many different art mediums, like watercolor, Sumi-e ink, as well as decoupage mediums, paint, and varnish. That means you can have room to experiment as much as you want, and the result will always be unique.
It’s Tearable When Wet
Rice paper is also quite superior to other types of paper because it’s tearable when it’s wet. That means if you have a design on rice paper, you can use a brush and some water to draw a water outline around the design and tear the design away when the water soaks through the outline.
This is a great technique for creating a feathery outline around a design on rice paper. If you don’t like the sharp edges created by cutting, then rice paper is definitely a great medium to experiment with.
It Adapts To The Background
Another fun aspect of crafting with rice paper is the fact that it is relatively see-through, which means the material that you apply the rice paper to will be able to peek through.
If you want the design to be completely opaque, you can apply the rice paper on a clean, white background. If you want to experiment with wood, plastic, or glass, you will find that the texture underneath can be seen through the design of the rice paper, creating a vintage, distressed look.
It Is Biodegradable
Rice paper is made from the rice plant’s pith, as well as other plants such as hemp and mulberry. It’s commonly used in Asian arts and crafts for its unique properties. It has been regarded as a material for artwork and writing for centuries in China and Japan.
You’ll also be glad to know that this paper is super eco-friendly and even compostable too. That means all the scrap pieces that you don’t use after a project can go into the compost bin, and nothing will go to waste.
If you are convinced that you want to experiment with rice paper in your next project, let’s take a look at how you can find the best option for your project.
First, let’s consider the purpose of your project. Do you want to use rice paper for calligraphy, watercolor painting, decoupage, or card-making?
Rice paper is super versatile, and considering the purpose of the project will decide what you’ll need to look for.
Rice paper comes in different sizes and designs and with different paper densities. If you want to use rice paper with watercolor or calligraphy, the rice paper will need to be plain and a bit thicker so that the paper will be more durable.
However, if you are using rice paper for decoupage, you will need to look for a design that suits your aesthetics, as well as use a thinner rice paper that allows the background to peek through.
Like all other types of paper, rice paper also comes in different densities, measured by grams per square meter (abbreviated gr/m2). This means how much the paper weighs for every square meter of paper. The higher this number, the thicker the paper will be.
The rice paper that you find in most stores comes in a density of 10, 14, 20, and 30 gr/m2.
For decoupage, we recommend going with the 14 gr/m2 rice paper. The thinner paper will allow the decoupage background, such as wood, to peek through and showcase the texture underneath.
For watercolor and calligraphy, we recommend going with the thickest paper that you can find so that the rice paper won’t accidentally melt when you create your artwork.
Rice paper also comes in so many different designs, and finding the right design for your technique can be a nice touch that adds to your creation.
For example, if you don’t want to cut using scissors to create sharp edges, you shouldn’t buy designs with white, sharp borders. Designs with borders that blend out seamlessly will blend wonderfully with the water brush and tear technique.
On the other hand, if you want to cut sharp edges using scissors, then using a design with clear guides and borders will make the job much easier.
Best Rice Papers For Crafting
If you have a project in mind already, let’s take a look at some wonderful rice paper options for your craft project.
|1.||Art Advantage Rice Paper 100 Sheets||Plain paper, 9” x 12” roll|
|2.||ITD Collection - Rice Paper Creative Set||Set of 11 sheets, A4 size, 30 gr/m2|
|3.||Stamperia A4 Rice Paper Pack||1 sheet of A4 paper|
|4.||Rice Paper for Decoupage||2 sheets of A4 paper|
|5.||Atelier des Arts - Van Gogh - Rice Paper||1 sheet of A4 rice paper|
1. Art Advantage Rice Paper 100 Sheets
The Art Advantage Rice Paper is the perfect paper for all types of drawing, calligraphy, or Sumi-e (black ink painting).
Its soft texture is perfect for watercolor or ink, and it’s very receptive to water-based ink without melting when absorbing water. On one side, the paper has a delicately textured surface, perfect for holding ink and brushstrokes, while the other side is perfectly smooth.
This bundle includes 100 sheets of 9″ by 12″ rice paper, which is great to use with your watercolor brushes or Sumi-e ink.
2. ITD Collection – Rice Paper Creative Set
This is a vibrant collection of 11 pieces of A4 rice paper, printed with a multitude of beautiful garden patterns. This set is perfect for all sorts of creative techniques, including decoupage, scrapbooking, and card making.
These beautiful rice paper sheets will help you create stunning projects. Use the rice paper to decoupage, cut out images and add texture. The garden pattern on each sheet is printed with care so that it shows consistently throughout the whole paper.
The paper thickness is 30 gr/m2, perfect for projects that need a bit of substance, especially when decoupaging on wood or cardmaking.
3. Stamperia A4 Rice Paper Pack
This is a stunning vintage Japanese design printed on durable rice paper.
Whether you’re decorating your home, creating decorative pieces, or making original art, this sheet of A4 rice paper is a perfect way to add sophisticated texture and dimension to all your creations.
This brand also has a wide range of rice paper products.
They have various printed designs, so you can totally mix and match them to create a unique artwork that’s perfect for you.
4. European Excellency Rice Paper for Decoupage
Made from premium rice paper, this package contains two separate sheets of beautiful floral designs printed on each sheet.
Each sheet is A4 size and is perfect for any mix-media projects, decoupage techniques, scrapbooking ideas, and other art projects.
Beautifully printed with flowers and garden scenes, this is a beautiful set for cardmaking and scrapbooking.
There are also so many design options for you to choose from, including full-page designs as well as separate flower elements that you can cut out to mix and match on the page.
5. Atelier des Arts – Van Gogh – Rice Paper
Want a Van Gogh painting in your home?
This Rice Paper is the perfect way to display your favorite paintings and make crafts that are full of life.
Each A4 sheet is printed with a beautiful Van Gogh painting, and you can use it to create beautiful artwork for your home, as well as add a classic touch to your mixed media project, art journal, and even scrapbook.
It’s an easy way to add some vintage style to any project!
If you want to experiment with rice paper but are not sure what to make yet, let’s take a look at some great (and free) project ideas and tutorials below.
Glass is an incredibly difficult material to recycle, and chances are, you probably have some glass jars and bottles lying around your house that you don’t know what to do with.
This is a beginner-friendly tutorial that shows you how to decoupage a glass bottle with rice paper to create a vintage, sophisticated look.
Depending on the design you pick, you can upcycle your glass bottle into a fancy, vintage vase or even add some string lights inside the bottle to create a unique lamp. The rice paper will allow the light to peek through, and this is super fun and unique way to showcase your style.
This tutorial shows you how to create a vintage-looking glass bottle that looks like it came straight out of a period film.
The tutorial is a bit more complicated than the first one, and you’ll need to use the liquid pearl to add texture to the ‘frame’ around the design on the rice paper, but the result is so worth it. If you like a bit of a challenge, then definitely check out this tutorial.
You can also use the same decoupage technique to add vintage framed paintings on so many other surfaces, not just a glass bottle. If you have a plastic jewelry box, for example, you can totally use the same technique to make it a vintage, expensive-looking jewelry box!
Rice paper and wood is a super popular combination because the rice paper complements the wood texture perfectly well.
This tutorial shows you how to decoupage a wooden lazy Susan with rice paper, and the result is a beautiful decoupage design on wood that still honors the wood texture underneath.
If you don’t have a lazy Susan, you can use this technique to decorate other wooden items in your home, such as wooden trays or coasters. These are super quick projects that can really add some personality to your kitchen.
Rice paper comes in some wonderful designs and even famous artworks. Adding rice paper to a canvas board is an easy and affordable way to create artwork for your wall – all you need is some rice paper in the design and size of your choice and a canvas board.
There are so many options for rice paper printed with famous artworks, like the Van Gogh Rice Paper mentioned above. If you love these artworks and want them in your home, then this is a great DIY option that also allows you to showcase your skills.
If you love making collages, then this tutorial is also useful for creating one-of-a-kind artworks that showcase your unique style and art!
This is the biggest project on our list, but if you love the distressed look of vintage furniture, then this is definitely an affordable way to achieve the aesthetic without breaking the bank.
By adding rice paper to the wooden furniture, you can create a vintage aesthetic while still allowing the wood texture to shine. This technique is great on wooden dressers, tables, chairs, and even cupboards.
To complete this project, you will need to use some paint and varnish, but the more time you spend on the project, the more realistic and amazing the vintage texture will look. This project is super fun, and you can really create a conversation piece in your home!