Paper Marbling Tutorial 101

How to Marble Paper
Imaginative Crafts, Do-It-Yourself Projects and Video Tutorials by Robert Mahar,
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Suminagashi marbling inks*
White construction paper
*Online source for Suminagashi marbling inks:…

Shallow tray & water
Scrap newsprint paper
Two paint brushes
Paint palette
Drinking straw
Paper towels

1. Fill a shallow tray or pan one half to two thirds full with water.

2. Select a couple of ink colors and place five drops of each into separate compartments of your paint palette.

3. Take your two brushes, one in each hand, and dip them each into a different ink color, allowing the ink to soak up into the bristles.

4. Gently touch the surface of the water with one of the brushes. Be mindful to just touch the surface of the water versus dipping the brush down into the water. Next touch the surface of the water with your second brush. Alternate between the two brushes, building up a pattern of concentric rings on the surface of the water. When it appears the brushes are running out of ink, return to the paint palette and reload the brushes. Build the pattern on the surface of the water as large as you’d like.

5. You can create your print leaving the inks as they (in a concentric ring pattern) are or you can manipulate them on the surface of the water. One method is to take the handle of your paint brush and gently swirl it through the inks. Another method is to take a drinking straw and gently blow onto the surface of the water causing the inks to swirl and move.

6. Now carefully lay a sheet of paper onto the surface of the water and allow it to sit for three to five seconds. Lift the paper off of the water, holding it by the corners, and lay it on paper towels. Blot excess water off of the paper with additional paper towels. Set it aside to dry on a flat surface.

7. You can use the same tray of water to create multiple prints — however, between each print you need to clean away the excess inks. Take a strip of scrap newsprint and skim it along the surface of the water and then you’re ready to add new ink for your next print.

Helpful Tips:
• Your paper may warp and wrinkle during the drying process. If so, place the dry marbled paper under a stack of heavy books overnight to help flatten them.
• You can use your finished marbled paper to create all manner of projects: collage, gift wrapping, book making, paper chain garlands and more! Some of your prints may turn out so well you want to simply frame them!
• Consider using a 9″x 13″ baking dish or a dish pan as your water trays.