Today, I’ll show you How To Make Marbled Paper With Shaving Cream And Liquid Watercolours. The process is fascinating and really easy. You simply press a piece of paper into shaving cream swirled with liquid watercolours and the colours and patterns are transferred to the paper, making it look marbleized. You can use this beautiful paper to make wrapping paper, homemade cards, book covers, and even paper snowflakes. The possibilities are endless!
Making marbled paper is one of my favourite easy art techniques for kids. The process is so simple, and the results are stunning every single time. Of all the marbling projects we’ve done here, this one is the coolest for sure!
Paper crafts are always fun, but when I first heard about marbling with shaving cream and food colour, I was skeptical. The idea that you could transfer a swirly pattern of colours onto a piece of paper just by pressing the paper into a pan of shaving cream kind of perplexed me. I had to try it to find out.
Not only did it work, it was fabulous! I was actually blown away! The hooligans and I have done the process several times since, turning our finished marbled paper into father’s day cards, homemade gift wrap and even these 3D paper snowflakes.
Check out this video I shot for you:
How to Make Marbleized Paper with Shaving Cream and Watercolours
- white paper (card stock or watercolour paper or printer paper)
- baking sheet
- shaving cream (foam, not gel) we always use this brand
- food colouring or liquid watercolour paint (or both)
- knife or spreader (for spreading the shaving cream)
- skewer or chopstick (for swirling)
- expired credit card (or something similar for scraping)
Ok! Let’s have some fun!
Begin by letting your child squirt shaving cream all over the baking sheet. You’ll need the white foamy kind of shaving cream for this. Shaving gel won’t work.
Spread the shaving cream all over the baking sheet in a thick, smooth layer.
Next, drip the food colouring and/or liquid watercolours all over the shaving cream.
Now, take your skewer or chopstick, and swirl the colour through the shaving cream.
In the picture above, our colours weren’t quite swirly enough for my liking, so we kept on swirling until we had THIS:
Doesn’t it look cool? The more colour swirls you have in your shaving cream, the more “marbled” your paper will turn out.
When you’re happy with how swirled your colours are, grab your paper.
You can marbleize any kind of paper!
We used watercolour paper for our project today, but we’ve also used white card stock and regular printer paper. We’ve even marbleized white cloth napkins but because liquid watercolours are washable, the colour washed out when I rinsed them under the tap. I need to experiment with food colours to see if those would be a good way to permanently marbleize a piece of fabric.
Have your child gently press the paper into the surface of the shaving cream, and leave it for a half-minute or so.
Then, lift your paper out of the shaving cream.
Just wait ’til you see what happens next…
You’re going to need your credit card now. You can use any sturdy object with a straight edge to do this part. A ruler would work or even a piece of cardboard. I always have a stash of expired credit cards in a craft drawer (we often paint with credit cards), so that’s what we use.
Have your child scrape the credit card over the surface of the paper to remove the shaving cream.
You can give it an extra wipe with a paper towel to get any last traces of shaving cream off.
Just look at what you’re left with! A beautiful piece of homemade marbleized paper!
Isn’t it amazing?
What can you use homemade marbleized paper for?
Just think of all the ways you could use it:
- cover or bind a homemade journal
- use as a mat in a picture frame
- cut out a bookmark, and cover it with contact paper
- border a piece of homemade art
- turn it into a handmade greeting card
I hope you’ll give this easy paper marbling process a try! It’s so quick and easy, and kids of all ages will be fascinated with their stunning results!
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Jackie is a mom, wife, home daycare provider, and the creative spirit behind Happy Hooligans. She specializes in kids’ crafts and activities, easy recipes, and parenting. She began blogging in 2011, and today, Happy Hooligans inspires more than 2 million parents, caregivers and Early Years Professionals all over the globe.
That was amazing! I couldn’t believe it worked so easily and looked great. Thanks for the idea. As you scraped off the shaving cream it was exciting revealing the image.
I actually got to do this in an elementary art class in college! So much fun! I may try to do this activity with my afterschool students!
Thanks for sharing and God bless!
Glad you love this one too, Patty. It’s a favourite here.
I wanted to have the kids at church make Father’s Day pictures from this. Can you write something on the paper before you dip it in the shaving cream and have it show through or would you have to do it after it dries?
I would wait until after to write on it, Jo Anne. The shaving cream might ruin the writing if you do it before.
Thin paper, such as printer paper, works as well! To my surprise, the paper didn’t become soggy or crinkly. But this tutorial is absolutely AMAZING!!!!!!!!!! Thank you and please post more.
How many different papers do you think you can make with one tray of shaving cream and coloring? Just wondering how many we would need to prepare per class of students.
how do you prevent the paint from smearing when your using the credit card to wipe away the cream?
It doesn’t smear, Mark. It stains the paper when the paper is pressed into it, and that stain sets quickly. When you wipe the shaving cream away, the stain is revealed. No smearing. 🙂
Didn’t try but I wonder if you write a note on paper with a white crayon if that would work to reveal a secret message underneath when you scrap the cream off. Just something to try out.
Ooo! Good thinking! That’s definitely worth trying, Marie!
I would like to try this with my kindergarten class. I was wondering if I need to worry about little hands becoming stained with color?
Food colouring can stain, but scrubbing with shaving cream afterwards usually removes it. Liquid watercolours are washable, so there’s even less chance of those staining. Have fun!!
Hi! Could you use metallic powder added to the liquid watercolors, or some type of liquid metallic paint to give the end result a shimmer? Also, all the results I see are matte. Is there any way to get a shine to your finished product? Thanks!
Ooo! Sounds like it could be interesting! You could certainly give it a try, Jennifer. Let us know how it turns out!
How long does this take to dry?
I can’t remember exactly how long because it’s been a while since we’ve made this paper. I know it doesn’t take that long though. Because the shaving cream isn’t terribly liquid, the paper doesn’t really absorb much moisture.