Quick and Easy Marbled Paper




About: I love to make, craft, build, hack, and explode. Because i'm sorta poor, DIY and how to is second nature to me. So when I stumbled across Instructables it was love at first sight. I also love science. ...

After recently receiving a great gift from my aunt, I had to go about making her a thank you card. so I decided on making her a card make out of marbled paper.

so first off, what is paper marbling?
paper marbling is a method that you can use to decorate paper or fabric. it gets it's name because the finished product looks a lot like the rock, marble. the process involves floating ink on top of water, then laying a piece of paper on top of the water. then what you end up with is marbled paper

I am not a professional paper marbler(are there professional paper marblers?), these instructions are just simply how you can do it at home.

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Step 1: What You'll Need

You don't need a lot to marble paper. most, if not all of these things you will already have in you house. so here's the list.

  • A large tray or pan, don't use that you use for food unless you are willing to clean it thoroughly. I recommend using one of those aluminum ones that you can get at the dollar store.
  • Marbling ink. this stuff can be expensive, and I didn't have any on hand so I used India ink.
  • A piece of paper or card to marble.
  • Water.
  • a toothpick to swirl the ink.
  • a dip pen ( this one is optional)

And that's it!

Step 2: Starting the Marble

After you have assembled you materials, you can begin.

First, dip your pen into the ink. get a good amount on there. Then you lightly touch the pen onto the surface of the water. the ink will spread out in circles. do this a few times until you think you have enough ink floating on the water.

Step 3: Swirl the Ink

This is my favorite part! take your tooth pick, comb, or whatever you want so swirl you ink with and mix it up. now don't just do this step haphazardly! don't stir it like a spoon because it will turn all of the water will just turn a sickening gray. you have to experiment with this step, try drawing your toothpick from side to side, move it in a spiral, whatever you want.

Step 4: Get It on Your Paper.

okay, now you take the piece of paper or card and lay it on top of the water. let it sit there for a couple of seconds, and then you can take the paper off.
After that lay you paper somewhere sunny dry, and admire your work!

One thing I have found is that when the paper dries it will warp. you can solve that by ironing it! just be careful not to burn it

Step 5: Admire

Now use the paper for whatever you want! you could use it in book binding, for stationary, or whatever else you can imagine. I made mine into a card, and sent it to my aunt (she loved it!).



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    14 Discussions


    4 years ago on Introduction

    A great but very basic tutorial. For those looking for a little more 'depth' there are many different and more advanced ways of marbling that are still pretty easy to do at home... a good starting resource: http://www.ibookbinding.com/blog/marbled-paper-bookbinding-tutorial-and-photo-gallery/


    6 years ago on Introduction

    you can also use any old oil paint thinned to a liquid with turpentine. the more liquid it is the more it will flow like water, the best oil paint the colors always stay seperate, i didnt figure how to do that with oil paints but the result are still v professional. will have to read how they used to make it 200yrs ago for books.
    yes pro marbleizers use strong paint like spray pain for dyeing guitars and vases in yellow and black marble very proffnaly.


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    You can find it at most art stores in the printmaking or calligraphy sections; craft places like Michael's or Hobby Lobby will probably have it too.