Monday, February 20, 2017

Gwen's Gems: Stenciled ICE Resin Paper Art Journal

Hi everyone! It's Gwen back again this month with another edition of Gwen's Gems! For this month's project, I experimented with a technique that's been on my to-do list for a long time... making resin coated stenciled papers with ICE Resin. Of course I couldn't just stop at making the papers; to really highlight how cool they are, I made them into window pages and covers for a hand-bound art journal.

To start, I picked out some stencils I wanted to use along with the papers. One of the really cool things about this process is that when you coat certain types of paper with ICE Resin, the un-stenciled areas become almost completely transparent. To take advantage of that, I chose rice paper, tissue paper, and glassine paper.

I cut the papers to the sizes I wanted (so that you don't waste your resin by coating areas you aren't going to use) and then used acrylic paints to stencil on them. I chose acrylics because I knew that they wouldn't bleed into the paper and that the color wouldn't lift as I coated the papers - it worked great!

Left to right, top to bottom, these are the stencils I used for this part:
Once the stenciling is done, it's time for the resin. I didn't do a full step-by-step tutorial of this part since there are already some really good ones out there. Here are two good places to get details on this process: How to Use ICE Resin on Paper, and a video tutorial by Jen Cushman for Stampington.

Here's the short version - you need gloves, a trash bag (trust me when I say that a grocery store plastic bag will NOT work, even if that's your version of a trash bag!) and a sponge. I just used a cheap cosmetic sponge. What worked best for me was to put a silicon mat on my work surface to apply the resin, then to transfer the coated papers to a trash bag laying on the floor. This way I could drag the trash bag into another room so it could be out of the way while it dried and not monopolize my work station.

Start in the middle and work out, dip your sponge into the cup rather than pouring - it saves resin, and coat both sides. I mixed up 1oz of resin and it was more than enough for all my papers.

Here are all of my coated papers, laid out on plastic and ready to start curing (this was round 1, where I gained the wisdom to tell you NOT to use grocery store bags.)

While the resin is still wet, you can sprinkle in some add-ons... I used some of the fun gold glitter mix-ins that you can get from ICE Resin.

Once that's done, carefully pull the bag out of the way to someplace where it will be safe and untouched until it's cured; I found that they needed a minimum of 18 hours until they were no longer tacky. Don't try and pull them off until they're totally dry... when they are, they should just peel off the trash bag and are ready to use!

See how cool they are? The colors can intensify while the background is almost clear. They're SO COOL!

Next, it was time to start putting together the window pages for my art journal. I took some specialty papers and some thin chipboard and cut them into 6"x6" squares and then cut squares out of the middle for the windows. I had two matching pieces for each page so they would look good from both sides. 

Here you can see how I applied adhesive along the back of the first piece and then adhered the resin coated paper and sandwiched it with the top piece.

Finished page:

For the chipboard pages, I painted the fronts and backs with matte paint. (Autumn Fire Fresco Finish Paint by PaperArtsy, black gesso from Liquitex, Turquoise and China Red Background Paint from Matisse.)

Once the base layers were dry, I stenciled them - no plain frames in my book!

When those were dry, I repeated the process to sandwich pieces of stenciled resin paper in each frame set.

Now all of my window pages are ready to go! I added some cardstock pages to go in between each of the window pages / covers where I can do some actual art journaling, and with that it was time to bind the book.

To bind these types of pages where there aren't signatures there are a few methods you can use, but I like to do a Single Sheet Coptic Binding. I learned my favorite way to do this binding in a class with Sharon Payne Bolton, but you can find some decent tutorials on the web - I've used this one from Boundary Press with some success in the past. You can also do a search and find some videos if you prefer to watch the process.

I started by prepping my pages for binding - I made a template and punched all my holes, then added eyelets to make it cleaner looking and easier to turn the pages. (I have long-shank eyelets for bookbinding that I used for the thicker chipboard pages. The others were old scrapbooking eyelets.)

Then I got my tapestry needles and waxed linen thread and started sewing the pages together:

Now I have a book!

I embellished a bit by putting washi tape around the edges of some of the pages, edging with a gold marker, and adding some glitter here and there. On the cover, I used a molded escutcheon that I'd made with leftover ICE Resin. I painted it gold and then glazed it to get it darker in the nooks and crannies.

Doesn't it look like it might actually be metal! I glued that onto the front cover of my book. 

Now I have a fun new art journal, all ready to be used!

Here are some of the inside pages so you can see what they look like before I start working on the blank pages:

(I'm skipping photos of some of the back-sides... they look almost the same but in some cases are a little less translucent.)

Last two spreads...

Here you can see the entire book again - I love the glimpses of light through the windows inside!

I'm excited to start experimenting in the book and seeing how I can take advantage of the windows as I work on my pages. It's going to be so fun!

Have you ever used ICE Resin to make your own resin-coated and stenciled papers? What did you use them for?

I hope you enjoyed today's project and that you give ICE Resin a try at home - it's so much fun and so addicting! The hardest part is really waiting for the resin to cure so you can play :)

Until next time, happy stenciling!


  1. Love your spin on ice resin on paper. Bring on the weekend!

    1. Thanks so much! I hope you get a chance to play with this over the weekend - it's really fun!

  2. Gwen, this is so pretty, I love the framed up pages, they are indeed 'gems.'

    1. Thanks Mary Beth! I loved how these turned out... the resin pages are so cool that I spent hours pulling the grocery bags off the backs of my first batch so I could salvage as much as possible. lol. (Stubbornness can sometimes be an asset? Maybe?)

  3. I've used excess resin on book text. Love your ideas here!! Beautiful!

    1. Thanks Kathy! That's a good idea for excess resin - I usually go straight for my molds, but next time I think I'll pull out some paper too. I bet it would be especially cool on vintage text... or maps! Oooh... Can't wait to play some more :)

  4. It was all fascinating! Which type of paper worked the best of three you tried?

    1. Thanks Candy! They all worked really well... the rice paper was really cool, but I think I liked the glassine the best - it had such a cool finish to it when it dried.

  5. Replies
    1. Thank you! Yes, it was definitely a lot of fun. I'll definitely be doing another batch again soon :)

  6. Love Love Love these ideas. I use ice resin on a lot of things including butterfly wings, leaves, favorite quotes, atcs, etc. Can't wait to try this.

  7. This is so cool!!! Love the book and the frame idea - it has been a while I plaid with Resin- now you made me wanna play with it again :) Thank you!

  8. this is fabulosity as its best! I cannot wait to try this! thanks so much for sharing your project!


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