The Paper Kind

Creative living.

How to Make Marbled Paper

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.

diy paper marbling

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.

paper marbling materials


  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).

mixing oil paint with turpentine

  • Squeeze paint into a cup with a small amount of turpentine then mix together until there are no lumps.

paint mixture and water in container

  • 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.

result of paper marbling

  • 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.


examples of paper marbling

21 responses to “How to Make Marbled Paper”

  1. I love people with expertise in artistic/crafter/artisan skills. Your creations are so lovely. These kinds of talents are so useful for someone who loves vintage clothing and accessories, too. Thanks for visiting and LIKING my fun! Daily photos from my own true vintage closet. . . . . . . . . . . . . .


  2. I have seen this long ago on a TV craft show. It looked fun then :D, I am not big on crafts nowadays but will surely try it out sometime for cards or something. By the way, can we not put the paint directly from the tube on a brush and put it in water? and then put on drops of turpentine oil over it?


  3. Oh man, this looks like so much fun. And I actually feel like it might be LESS messy than the ever so popular nail polish marbling… and you get to keep the final product!


    • I would post a link to the photos I took of my hands after my first attempt at paper marbling but I think they are still on my camera. But from what I can tell nail polish marbling is definitely less messy than paper marbling.
      I was still washing paint off my arms 3 days later.


      • Damn! I was kind of hoping it wasn’t that bad, because I managed to make a right mess of everything when I tried nail polish marbling. My kitchen table still has blotches of nail polish all over it… I so love the effect… the mess not so much.


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I’m Emma. I am a designer, calligrapher, and content creator, sharing my love for paper goods. Expect pens, pencils, and some really fancy paper!


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