Stepping out of the comfort zone, rice paper has proven itself to be a great tool in the world of crafting.
Be it for making origami, calligraphy, napkins or for designing clothes, you can use it for different purposes apart from wrapping foods.
Coming in 35 to 100 gsm, such paper can look more beautiful if you print designs on it. Yup, it’s certainly possible!
No idea about how to print on rice paper? Don’t worry.
You just have to grab some tools and keep some steps in mind. If all things are checked properly, then the rest of the process is easier. Read on to know more.
Tools You Will Need
1. Inkjet Printer
Any kind of inkjet printer will do unless you’re going to use the paper for food wrapping. For the latter, it’s essential to get a dedicated model that has been only used with food coloring inks. This mainly helps you avoid contamination from non-edible inks.
2. Edible Ink
Printer doesn’t come with default edible ink cartridges. If you don’t have one, then you can consider 5-Pack Mayway Ink Cartridge. Not only the inks are edible but pigmented too.
3. Rice Paper
Make sure to buy a good quality rice paper to withstand inkjet printing process. Xuan Paper Half Raw Ripe comes with 100 sheets in a package and each of them is premium.
4. Additional Tools
Regular Copy Paper, Pair Of Scissors And Double-Sided Tape, Acrylic Sealer (Optional).
How To Print On Rice Paper – The Steps
Step 1 – Prepare Your Papers
At first, you have to align both the rice paper and the regular copy paper. Usually rice papers come bigger than the latter, so make sure to cut them down the size 8.5 by 11 inches.
Step 2 – Double-Tape Them
Use double-sided tape at the edges of the copy paper and place the rice paper on top of it.
Step 3 – Load It Up
Place the paper on the inkjet tray. Make sure you put the copy paper side up. This way, the paper would run through the printer with the prints being on the rice paper side.
Step 4 – Select A Design
Now, you have to pick a design that you would like to print on the rice paper. It would be great if your design has lesser dark colors like deep red or black since they can cause bubbling.
Step 5 – Adjust The Basic Settings
Before you print through your computer or any other device, make sure to adjust basic settings. If you opt for default ones, the printer may use too much ink on the surface especially with the darker colors.
As a result, it would cause bubbling when the paper absorbs the ink.
However, if you’re still planning to have dark colors but want to avoid such issues, then you can adjust the settings to the ones I recommended here-
- Paper/Media Type- Matte Photo Paper
- Size- Letter 8.5 x 11 inches
- Uncheck Paper Abrasion
- Print Quality- Normal
- Choose The Color Settings According To Your Preference.
- Uncheck Fit Picture To Frame
Using such general settings would provide you with decent print quality. Not just that, it will prevent color bubbling to a great extent in the process.
Step 6 – Command Print
Now hit the print option. It would make the printer release your paper with the prints on.
Wait for at least 10 minutes to let the ink dry before you use it. After that separate the rice paper from the copy paper.
Step 7 – (Optional)- Make It Waterproof
If you think the paper will be exposed to water and you don’t want to ruin the design, then you can use clear acrylic sealer. Add several coats to both sides of the paper with the sealer to make it waterproof.
Since sealers are not food-safe, it’s recommended that you don’t mix the sprayed paper with food.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can You Use Edible Inks With A Regular Printer?
Using edible inks in your regular printer will end up clogging the print-heads that can damage its components. For this, I would suggest you use a printer that is compatible with food-safe inks.
Brands like Canon and Epson are well-known for manufacturing edible ink cartridges.
For suggestion, we think Canon iX6820 would be ideal for the job. One great thing about the printer is that you can remove the print-head for replacing or cleaning purposes.
2. Which Printer Is Ideal For Printing Rice Paper? Laser Or Inkjet?
You can print on rice paper with both laser or inkjet printers. However, both come with their own upsides and downsides.
Let’s start with the laser printer.
Since laser printer uses heat to stick the toner to the paper surface, there is a higher chance that your rice paper may melt during the process. That doesn’t mean you can’t experiment. If your laser printer spits out the paper successfully, you can have more details and vividness in the prints.
Now comes the inkjet printer.
The reason why we would suggest you use an inkjet model is that it’s a safer option. There is no way that the printer would melt the rice paper, although the paper may slightly get crinkled (a common issue with the laser model too).
One small downside with inkjet printers is that they may not provide you with well-detailed prints unless you use pigmented inks. Also, you have to wait for the ink to dry before using the paper.
3. Can You Make Edible Ink For Printer?
Yes, you can. It’s easy to make edible ink for your printer. However, you must make sure the machine supports a variety of edible inks rather than the proprietary ones.
To make one, prepare the liquid at first. You can use beet juice, prune juice, concord grape juice or red wine. Such liquids will have the pigmentation to make edible ink more vivid.
After that, use a heavy-bottomed saucepan and pour the liquid into it. Cover the saucepan with its lid and place it on a stove burner. Lastly, set the temp to medium heat and wait for the liquid to boil.
After it gets boiled. Turn off the burner and let the liquid cool.
4. Which Rice Paper Side Should I Be Printing On?
If you want to get premium results, make sure to print on the smooth side of the rice paper. However, textures won’t make big difference. You can get decent-quality prints on the other side too.
Starting from printing an image for the cake to using for decoupage projects, rice papers make a great choice for different creativities.
Now that you know how to print on rice paper, it would be easier to experiment with it. Just make sure to consider all the factors that we have explained here in the steps.
Once you follow them properly, you can get yourself a nice, very well-detailed print on rice paper.