Hand Marbled Paper

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By General Crafts Contributor Michelle

Learn a fun technique to transform ordinary paper!

Here’s a simple and fun way to create your own custom patterned paper.  With a few inexpensive supplies, you can create fancy looking paper to use in your crafting and decorating projects.

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Here’s what you’ll need to make your own:

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First, we’ll make the comb that we’ll use to do the marbling.  To begin, cut a strip of cardstock that it is about half as long as your container is wide, about 3-inches wide.  Fold it in half lengthwise.  Evenly space your nails, point side down, along one open edge.  Tape in place to hold, then use hot glue to stick the other edge of the paper down, to hold the nails in place.  Now your comb is complete.

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Squirt a small amount of acrylic  paint into a paper cup.  Mix enough water with the paint to thin it to the consistency of heavy cream.  Repeat with all of your colors.
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Fill your container with about an 1/2-inch of liquid starch.  Use a paintbrush to drip your different paint colors onto the liquid starch.

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Continue adding colors until you’ve covered the surface.

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Using your skewer, draw lines into the liquid to create feathery patterns.

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Next, using the comb you made, draw the comb in lines, only in one direction, across the surface of the starch.  Then, if desired, pull the comb in lines across the paint perpendicularly across the first set of lines you made with the comb.

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Carefully lay your paper onto the surface of the liquid.

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Let it sit for a few seconds so the paint can absorb.  The edges may curl up, and that’s okay.  Carefully pull your paper up off of the starch by one corner, and hold over the starch to let the excess liquid run off.  Gently rinse your paper in a container of water, dipping it, rather than rubbing, to remove the excess starch from the surface.  Resist the urge to blot it dry with paper towels, and it can muddy the paint.  When dry, you can carefully iron the papers to instantly flatten them, or you can set them under something heavy (like a stack of books) for awhile to flatten them, as well.

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You can use the starch over multiple times, adding more paint after each print you make.  When you’re finished, everything is water soluble, so you can just clean up with water in the sink.

Try using different amounts of paint, and making different patterns with your comb and skewer, or try simply printing just the blobs of paint that you’ve dropped onto the surface, for a neat spotted design.

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Printing with lesser amounts of paint will give you more delicate lines.

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Adding  lots of paint, and pulling only the wooden skewer through the paint, will give you feathery designs.

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And using the comb will give you a traditional marbled design.  The more times you pull the comb through, the smaller the ripples will become.

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I tried printing a design on a piece of paper grocery bag, and loved the result using the darker paper.  I decided to paint a design onto the paper with a bright gold paint.

Marbling Paper Techniques

How could you use hand marbled paper in your arts and crafts projects?


Happy crafting!

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2 thoughts on “Hand Marbled Paper

  1. Judy Carter

    I love marbled paper to frame and use as room decor. The sky is the limit. These steps are easily understood, and I know will lead to awesome works of art!

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