Make gorgeous marbled paper with a fascinating and easy art technique that requires only shaving cream and food colouring!
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! And so, the hooligans and I have done the process several times since, turning our finished marbled paper into greeting cards, stationery and bookmarks.
I thought I show you how to make marbled paper again since Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are approaching. Your kids and students can try out this fantastic art project, and turn their results into a card or a gift for a parent or grandparent.
To make your marbled paper, you’ll need:
- thick white paper like card stock or watercolour 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.
Make sure your paper is thick!
It’s worth mentioning again that you need, thick paper for this project. I’ve never tried marbleizing thin paper (like printer paper), but I suspect the paper would become soggy and limp. Thicker paper doesn’t. We were using watercolour paper for this project.
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?
And just think of all the things you could use your marbled paper for! You could bind a homemade journal with it, use it as a mat in a picture frame, cut out a bookmark, and cover it with contact paper, use it to border a homemade piece of art, or 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. In 1997, Jackie stepped out of the corporate world to start a family and to open her own home daycare. She began blogging in 2011, and today, Happy Hooligans inspires more than 2 million parents, caregivers and Early Years Professionals all over the globe.