Can you embed paper in resin?
Yes! But it needs a bit of love before you can do it successfully. Stephanie here from Crafting in the Rain and we’re talking about a couple of ways you can prep paper for resin. Then you can choose the best method based on the supplies you have, and what paper you are going to seal in resin.
(NOTE: White or very light-colored paper can discolor over time in resin.)
Why is sealing the paper before necessary?
Since paper is a porous material, the fibers can absorb the resin or epoxy. This can create staining, darkening, or uneven patches. To prevent the paper from soaking up any resin, it first needs to be sealed so the resin remains on the outside.
For today’s experiment, I used sticker paper (blue floral), photo paper (purple pattern) and cardstock (yellow). I did epoxy pours on each type of paper after doing no treatment, a spray sealer, and decoupage glue.
I used EnviroTex Lite to pour over the paper samples in little plastic lids so I could see what worked best. Follow all instructions printed in the box, including safety guidelines, when mixing epoxy and resin.
Untreated paper in resin
Looking at each of these samples, they have darkened more than the treated versions. The sticker paper and photo paper, in particular, have several tiny bubbles that seeped out of the edges.
Option One: Resin Spray Sealer
I treated each sample of paper with a few light coats of Envirotex Resin Spray Clear Sealer. I did a few coats on the front. Then when the paper pieces were dry I flipped them to repeat on the back.
I really liked how this worked on the photo paper. The color on the photo stayed true and didn’t bleed.
On both the sticker paper and the cardstock, the resin still seemed to seep in and darken the paper a bit. If using a spray sealer on these types of paper, do several light coats, not just a few heavy coats, to be sure that the paper is completely sealed before casting in resin or epoxy.
Option Two: Ultra Seal
I placed each paper sample on a plastic sheet to protect my table, and to make sure I could easily spread glue to the edges. I brushed one coat on the top and then a coat on the back after it was dry.
Any dried glue that sticks out from the edges can be trimmed away with scissors.
The glue smeared the photo paper just a little, but it worked great on the sticker paper and the cardstock.
You can see that the blue and yellow are still bright and vibrant – the epoxy couldn’t get into the paper fibers.
I would also recommend sealing book pages, magazine pages and stamps with resin spray sealer. They would be more likely to smear ink, and also wrinkle with brushed glue like Ultra Seal. Thicker papers hold up to the glue well.
If your sealed paper item does wrinkle at all, you can press it overnight with heavy books after the sealer has dried.
After you have sealed the paper you can add them to your resin projects, like these pendants!
Have you worked with paper much in your resin casting? What other advice would you like to give?