Saturday, December 25, 2010

Marbleized Paper

I posted this for the 1st time almost a year ago....right when I was beginning to blog and hadn't much a clue how to do it. But, in the busyness of the holiday season this year I have not had much time to make a new post so I thought I would feature an oldie of mine.

I first saw some marbelized paper craft on one of my favorite blogs Skip To My Lou and I was immediately intent on doing it. So, I did.

The Basic Recipe:
  1. Alum
  2. Liquid starch
  3. Paper
  4. Casserole sized pan
  5. Acrylic paint
Turns out, Alum isn't the greatest thing in the world for you, so bear that in mind if you've got some little ones running around the house. You won't want them sniffing/playing with is something that is used in making pickles and Big Macs, but the jury is still out on whether is is okay for regular consumption (because pickles and big macs are irregular consumption....right?? **fingers crossed**). You can find it in your local Hannaford's spice aisle. The liquid starch (also NOT FOR KIDDO'S) was by far the hardest thing to locate on the list. I spent a lot of time zipping up and down the detergent section with no luck. I ended up making some of my own from cornstarch and hot water and it did some FUNKY stuff to the results. A few days after I tried the homemade starch, I found the liquid starch at our Renys store in town. The paper I got at A.C. Moore (it was a set of 50 ivory colored blank cards and envelopes). I buy those sets religiously every Christmas to make my cards. I found a cheap aluminum casserole pan at the grocery store at well. The acrylic paint was already at the house in great quantity.

The FUNKY Starch Recipe:
  1. 1/2 cup Cornstarch
  2. 1/2 cup cold water
  3. 2 cups boiling water

I mixed it all really well and added 2 tsps of alum, mixing it again. This was then poured into the disposable casserole dish.  The acrylic paint, I had read in many places, should be watered down or it will sink to the bottom of the starch mixture.  So I watered it down and put several different colors each into their own small bowl. To get the paint onto the surface of the starch I just used a large paintbrush and tapped it high over the mixture to get some little droplets to fall down. Once I had all the colors I needed, I used some toothpicks to swirl the paint on the surface and make the marbelized design. But, I hit a snag. Somehow my homemade mixture didn't want to work the way that I had intended it to. The paint wouldn't just stayed chunky and congealed on the surface. I decided to try putting the paper on it anyway and I actually really liked how it turned out!!


Here is an image of one of the cards from the basic recipe made with liquid starch:

When placing the paper on mix, you put the side you want marbelized down and let it float on top for a minute or so. Then you rinse off the excess paint quickly (and easily) under the faucet. Lay it on some newspaper to dry and when it is completely dry you can flatten each folded card and pile them together and lay something heavy over them to "iron" it out. Or, you could do the real thing and actually iron. (I know....people DO THAT?!?!?)
I used these for some very funky holiday cards this season....and I was thrilled with the results. It's a fun, messy, marvelous project for those of you who like to get your hands a little dirty.

I shared this link at these fantastic parties!!

Punkin Seed Productions

Its So Very Cheri
The DIY Show Off
The Girl Creative
Keeping It Simple
mmm button
DIY Club
The Boardwalk Bragfest

Show and Tell Green

Make it Yours @ My Backyard Eden


Beyond The Picket Fence
Katie's Nesting Spot

Chic on a Shoestring Decorating


  1. the results look really cool! I'll bet this paper would be fun to frame photos with...

  2. How fun is this?! I love it. My kids will love doing this. Thanks so much!!!

  3. So creative! Thanks for sharing at the Boardwalk Bragfest! I love it!

  4. I glad that you reposted this project! My mother and I were just talking about marbelizing. I did something back in the fall with the kiddos but I took the easy way out and used food dye and shaving cream! My mother was wondering if this would work on wood?

    I would be honored to have you add it to my blog party

    Amaze Me Monday Blog Party

  5. Happy to see this post. I haven't made marbleized paper in many years. i used to do this with my students when I taught school. Always a fun project!

  6. A fun and addictive project. Thanks for linking up to Beyond The Picket Fence.

  7. When I was in fourth grade, we had someone from the district come in monthly to teach us different art projects. This is the only one I remember. We did it for Mother's day to make cards. I haven't heard anyone mention it since then so it's really cool to find a "recipe" for it after all this time.


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