Printed Heart Ice Cube Tray: Quick Printed Backgrounds, Part 1

print on paper-step 5 done


As you may or may not know, I’m a self-proclaimed love child of MacGyver. I can turn just about anything into a printing or stamping tool and I get a kick out of seeing what new things I can find to use.


heart ice cube tray 1


I get especially perky around the commercial holidays because I can find interesting things at the dollar store or the dollar sections of chain stores that make great printing tools. Since this is a heARTfest Valentine Tutorial, I thought it was a perfect time to print with those heart-shaped ice cube trays.

In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to use them to get nice, grungy backgrounds in your journal, or on loose sheets of paper that can then be used in your art work. Let’s start with a loose sheet of paper.


  • paint palette
  • acrylic paint
  • sponge brush
  • heart-shaped ice cube tray (I found this at Target!)
  • paper or wax paper to protect your table
  • loose sheet of paper (I like to use pages from old books.)


print on paper-step 1 apply paint
Step 1: Place something down to protect the table, then place your paper on top of it. Squirt some acrylic paint on your paint palette, and use the sponge brush to apply it to the top of the ice cube tray.


print on paper-step 2 print
Step 2: Place the ice cube tray onto the paper and push down with your fingers to print all of the flat areas. Be sure to get in between the hearts too.


print on paper-step 3 lift
Step 3: Carefully lift the corner of the tray, checking to see if everything printed. If not, place it back down and work the unprinted areas some more with your fingers.


print on paper-step 4 print again
Step 4: Add more paint, and print the next section. It can be printed the same direction as the first time, or rotate it 180 degrees to print it the opposite direction.


print on paper-step 6 done
Step 5: Continue printing until the page is covered. After the paint is dry, it can be used as the background for other artwork, collage material, or to make a Valentine’s Day Card.

Now let’s print it in a journal for a quick background. You need the same materials, except this time you need a journal instead of a loose sheet of paper.

ice cube tray printed journal w- title for blog

Here’s a short video tutorial I made of me printing the ice cube tray in my journal. If you can’t see this video, click here.

ice cube tray printed journal

Now, my journal is ready for some action! As I start working in it, if I feel the hearts are too bold for writing or distracting from whatever else I put on the page, I can do a wash of color over it, or even add a thin layer of paint.

Print & Stamp Lab

Stay tuned for Part 2, printing on fabric!

If you like this kind of printing, you’ll love my book  Print & Stamp Lab. It has 52 different techniques for making your own alternative printing & stamping tools! You might also like my other book, The Art Journal Workshop.

This tutorial is part of the ArtSparks 8 Day heARTfest Valentine Tutorial Blog Hop. Be sure to check them all out

8 Day heARTfest Valentine Tutorial Blog Hop


Posted in blog hop, tutorial and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .


  1. This is awesome. Ran out after work and cant find these ice cube trays at the Dollar store or Walgreens. Will try Walmart or Joann Fabric this weekend. I love your idea’s and the way you use things in alternative ways.

  2. I checked Target on-line and got weird. Ended up paying more on Amazon but just couldn’t waiting to find them cheap. I’m getting squares, stars, numbers, etc. Can’t wait!

  3. your backgrounds for journals are so incredible i am doing my degree and started this January your background and other creative styles are so nice and gives so much of ideas keep it up!

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