How to Make Marbled Paper With Food Coloring

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Creating marbled paper is simpler than you might think. All it takes is an afternoon and a few supplies that you may already have in your home. You can experiment with all kinds of color combinations and patterns to create one of a kind pieces of art. Children will love this project too because it's so easy, and the results are fascinating!

(Image: Bethany DeVore)
(Image: Bethany DeVore)

Things You'll Need

  • Thick paper (like card stock)
  • Painter's tape
  • Shallow baking dish, 13" x 9"
  • Shaving cream
  • Knife
  • Gel food coloring in various colors
  • Ruler 

Step 1:

Gently press painter's tape all around the edges of the paper, on the back side. This will help create a barrier on the back of the paper so you won't have bleed through around the edges. It will also make the edges sturdier.

(Image: Bethany DeVore)

Step 2:

Fill a baking dish with shaving cream and spread it around with a knife until you create a relatively smooth surface.

Tip

  • If you want to use a larger piece of paper, you will need a larger dish or other large flat surface to spread the shaving cream. A sturdy piece of cardboard should work well.

(Image: Bethany DeVore)

Step 3:

Squeeze small drops of gel food coloring all over the surface of the shaving cream. You can use just one color or a mix of colors, depending on the look you are trying to achieve.

(Image: Bethany DeVore)

Step 4:

Use a knife to gently swirl the dots of food coloring together. Be careful not to over mix the colors, just try to create a nice swirled pattern.

(Image: Bethany DeVore)

Step 5:

Press a piece of paper face down on top of the shaving cream mixture. Apply gentle, even pressure to make sure that the entire surface is covered.

(Image: Bethany DeVore)

Step 6:

Lift the paper off of the shaving cream and turn it shaving cream side up. Don't worry if it looks messy at this point.

(Image: Bethany DeVore)

Step 7:

Start at one corner of the paper and use a ruler (or other straight edge) to push the shaving cream mixture off of the surface of the paper. You will want to press down firmly to make sure you remove all of the shaving cream. If some of the mixture is left behind, you can scrape the surface again.

(Image: Bethany DeVore)

Step 8:

Lay the paper out on a flat surface and allow it to dry completely. If the paper is wrinkled you can place stacks of books on top of it for several hours to achieve a smoother result.

The possibilities are endless with this project. You can easily pop the paper into a frame to create instant artwork. You can also use it to make homemade wrapping paper, cards, or other craft projects.

(Image: Bethany DeVore)
(Image: Bethany DeVore)
(Image: Bethany DeVore)
(Image: Bethany DeVore)
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