Marbeling Paper submitted by Kirsten Krause
A simple inexpensive way to find out if paper marbling is something
for you. The following is a method which I have used with success.
A shallow tray. I use a white photographers developing tray (10x14)
but even a shallow cardboard box lined with a white large plastic bag will
A few bottles of acrylic paint. I use the cheap Apple Barrel Colors,
they seem to work best for me undiluted. Suggested colors which I know
work are black, yellow, true blue, pumpkin orange, bright magenta and
viridian green. You can always mix two colors together to get a new
A straw or a blitzer (a rubber bulb thingy) to blow colors around
with lots of newspaper.
Paper to marble on. I use copy paper (20 lb). Construction paper
works well too.
METHOD. Fill the tray with room temperature water about 2-3 inches
and add 1 Tbsp borax, stir and let stand about 30 min. Skim the
surface of the bath with a strip of newspaper the width of your tray
to remove any dust. Squeeze out asmall amount of paint on a disposible
plastic lid. Dip toothpick into paint then lightly touch the surface
of your bath with the toothpick to deposit some paint. (The paint
should float on the surface; if not, you need to add more borax). Keep
doing this all over the bath. Add more paint to toothpick as needed.
First you can't see any color on the surface but after a while,
especially if you are using more than one color, you can begin to see
a pattern on the bath. When you think you have added enough paint to
cover the surface blow gently through the straw or use a blitzer to
move the colors into a pattern. Now you are ready to marble.
Take a piece of paper holding it at opposite corners making a slight
valley in the middle and gently lower it to the surface middle part of
the paper first. (Try to avoid air bubbles as the paper will not pick
up the paint in those places). Let go for a few seconds then pick up
the paper holding it at the two corners of one long edge and let
excess water drip off. Place the paper flat on a stack of newspapers
to dry. Before more paint is applied to the surface skim the bath by
dragging another strip of newspaper across it. Start all over again by
adding more paint & continue the process.
When the papers are dry I usually iron them and keep them between some
heavy books for a day.
The above method yields paper which is not deeply colored, but light
enough for writing (or stamping) on. More intensely colored marbled
paper requires slightly (more involved) techniques.
I hope all of you enjoy these instructions. You can really make some