art & design

How to Make Marbled Paper

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Paper marbling is a method of aqueous surface design, which can produce patterns similar to smooth marble or other stone. This technique is normally done with kids but considering the amount of mess I managed to make I wouldn’t recommend it.

This paper marbling technique is really easy to do and you’ll get some interesting pages as a result. These could be used in other art projects or you could even use them as envelopes or wrapping paper.


  1. Paper.
  2. Cups for mixing paint.
  3. Turpentine.
  4. Paintbrushes.
  5. Oil paint. I recommend a cheap brand like Daler Rowney.
  6. Large tray (I used a baking tray).


  • Pour water into a large shallow tray. Fill it to about 2-3cm (approx 1 inch).
  • Squeeze paint into a cup with a small amount of turpentine then mix together until there are no lumps.
  • Load a paint brush then gently flick or drip paint onto the water.
  • Drag the end of a paintbrush through the water to create a marbled effect.
  • Hold the paper at both edges so it dips in the middle. Lower it onto the paint so that the center of the paper touches the paint first.
  • Leave the paper for at least 10 seconds so it absorbs as much of the paint as possible.
  • Lift the paper out then place it face up on a towel to dry.
  • When the paper is dry, iron it on a medium heat to flatten it out.

This technique is lots of fun. You could spend hours and hours trying out different paint combinations and different types of paper. I really enjoyed dipping coloured sheets of paper into the ink, this creates a really interesting result if the ink works with the paper colour. As you can see below I tried a number of different colour and paper combinations. I really love these results. They could almost work as a piece of art on their own.



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