Creating marbled paper is a really fun and easy craft idea that you can do at home.
There are many different ways of doing it using the different supplies you may have available to you. Marbling is essential like tie-dye but on paper and card and make for great backgrounds of drawings, posters and even homemade cards.
Marble paper is the asset to your home decorations that you didn't know you needed. They are quick to make a super kid-friendly - so get crafting!
Top Tips for Marbling
Whether this is your 1st time or 30th time marbling there are always new and fun ways to do some paper marbling. Like most other crafting methods there is a possibility it won't go exactly to plan but as the old saying goes: practise makes perfect! Here are some top tips for getting started:
- Work quickly with the water-based methods so that your colours don't have time to settle to the bottom of your shallow tub.
- Stay clean: make sure your little ones have some protective gear to avoid stains and messy clothes and lay down table cloths and newspapers to avoid unnecessary cleaning up!
- Ventilation is important! Some of these methods include paints or spirits which are very strong smelling and not very good for you to be breathing in so ensure if you use any of these methods that you stay in a very well ventilated room (or do it outside) or are wearing masks to protect yourselves!
This is probably the best method for your younger age groups, not only because it's easy but also because shaving cream is super fun to play with! All you need to create your shaving cream marble paper is a shaving cream (obviously), food colouring or paint, a long and thin utensil e.g a stick, chopstick, skewer or even a little finger and a ruler. Then follow these easy steps:
1) Spread some shaving cream across a tray of any kind, bigger than an A4 piece of paper. Spread it out with a spatula so that it creates a flat surface.
2) Then use your food colouring or paint in splodges across the surface of the shaving cream.
3) Then use your utensil to make swirl patterns in the shaving cream.
4) Then place your A4 paper or card on top on the tray so that the underside is fully covered with shaving cream and paint.
5) Then lift off your paper and place it down, shaving cream side up.
6) Scrape off your shaving cream with a ruler and let it dry.
This should print your shaving cream pattern onto your paper and leave you with beautiful marbled paper.
Oil Paints and Water
This is a super-easy way to do marbling which is fun for the whole family. There is a wonderful youtube tutorial (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekrgY6RdYww) to help you create the best marble paper you could want and it even features a 5-year-old guest star just to show how child-friendly this activity is. The lady in this video discussing using 'resintints' which is simply an oil-based paint so any oil-based paints should work in this tutorial. All you need is a rectangle bucket or washing up bowl of water and your paints and paper!
Acrylic Paint and Washing Up Liquid
Woodland way has a great method for creating marble paper. This is super fun as it involves blowing bubbles into some painty water however, this method is probably better for slightly older children e.g. 8 and over, in case your child accidentally sucks up through the straw instead of blowing as I am sure the water-paint solution doesn't taste very nice!
Cooking Oil and Food Colouring
Another 3 ingredient method that simply needs cooking oil, food colouring and water. The only utensils you will need for this is a straw and a swirling tool e.g. a toothpick, skewer, etc. The method is simple:
1) Mix half a tablespoon of oil with half a teaspoon of food colouring in a small bowl and beat hard with a fork to make sure it is properly mixed.
2) Repeat step 1 with multiple colours.
3) Fill a shallow pan or bucket with enough water to cover the surface of the bottom.
4) Use your straw to suck up some of the colour; you can do this by sticking your straw in the bowl and then covering the top of the straw with your finger. This will keep the liquid in the straw so you can move it over to your pan or bucket to drop the food colouring into. Repeat this with all your colours
5) Use your swirling utensil to make patterns in the water.
6) Place your paper gently on top of the water and let it sit for about 30-40 seconds. You should see some oil coming through the paper.
7) Remove the paper and set aside to dry.
A slightly less quick-drying method for marbling paper. This is a more permanent method which means it is great for making marble effects on lots of things, not just paper. Why not trying to use this method on boxes, tags or notebooks! This is a slightly more challenging method for your little ones due to the strong nature of nail polish's smell and the possibility for stains. However, if you take this method outside on a sunny day, there is no reason why this can't be adapted! Here's the method:
1) Fill your tub with a couple of inches of water.
2) This method is about layering nail polish on top of each other as it spreads quickly so start with a lighter colour, pouring some of the polish into the water.
3) Quickly add droplets of different colours on top of each other to create your desired look.
4) Gently press your paper into the polish-water bath and the remove it and leave it to dry. The polish will dry quickly, and excess water can simply be wiped away.
Design Mom gives a good step by step tutorial with helpful pictures if you're finding this method particularly tricky!
This method is great for older kids and teens to create fun and intricate marbled paper designs. This method needs a set of oil-based paints, turpentine (white spirit) and paper as well as a few pieces of equipment similar to all the other methods. Rookie Mag has the perfect tutorial to follow for this fun and creative method!
At Kidadl we pride ourselves on offering families original ideas to make the most of time spent together at home or out and about, wherever you are in the world. We strive to recommend the very best things that are suggested by our community and are things we would do ourselves - our aim is to be the trusted friend to parents.
We try our very best, but cannot guarantee perfection. We will always aim to give you accurate information at the date of publication - however, information does change, so it’s important you do your own research, double-check and make the decision that is right for your family.
Kidadl provides inspiration to entertain and educate your children. We recognise that not all activities and ideas are appropriate and suitable for all children and families or in all circumstances. Our recommended activities are based on age but these are a guide. We recommend that these ideas are used as inspiration, that ideas are undertaken with appropriate adult supervision, and that each adult uses their own discretion and knowledge of their children to consider the safety and suitability.
Kidadl cannot accept liability for the execution of these ideas, and parental supervision is advised at all times, as safety is paramount. Anyone using the information provided by Kidadl does so at their own risk and we can not accept liability if things go wrong.
Sponsorship & Advertising Policy
Kidadl is independent and to make our service free to you the reader we are supported by advertising.
We hope you love our recommendations for products and services! What we suggest is selected independently by the Kidadl team. If you purchase using the buy now button we may earn a small commission. This does not influence our choices. Please note: prices are correct and items are available at the time the article was published.
Kidadl has a number of affiliate partners that we work with including Amazon. Please note that Kidadl is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.
We also link to other websites, but are not responsible for their content.