DIY Marbleized Paper

It’s a Classy Clutter Day in my neighborhood and I’m thrilled to be stopping over from Ciburbanity. Have you all seen the little pops of marbleized decor showing up more and more frequently in magazines and catalogs? I love it and would be delighted if this becomes the next fun trend!

Marbleized paper title

Real-deal marbleizing involves alum and sizing and inks and pigments and is generally too complicated for my impulsive DIY brain. Thankfully, there are plenty of suggestions on the world wide web for cheating a little bit and keeping marbleizing easy!

Wanna know what I happen to have a lot of leftover from my powder room redesign? Liquid Starch. Which is all you need to make beautiful marbleized paper in your own backyard. (Or kitchen… I did both.)

liquid starch

craft paint marbleizing

Fill a pan with liquid starch… maybe 3/4″-1″deep? Not much. I used regular ol’ craft paint and experimented with a few different ways to drop the paint into the starch. The method that worked best was to lightly ‘wave’ the paint back and forth over the starch so I had a scribble-like pattern. (When I just squirted it into the starch, a lot of the paint sank to the bottom like in this picture… the brightest pattern comes when more paint sticks to the surface of the liquid.)

paint on surface

Take a toothpick or a skewer and lightly run it through the paint collected on the surface and play around with what marbled patterns you like! Swirls or stripes or zigzags… whatever floats your boat. (See what I did there? Float…)

toothpick in paint

I had some heavy watercolor paper in my stash, so I cut it to fit the pan and then lightly laid it onto the surface of the starch. Gently pull it out and rinse off the starch. (Don’t worry… the paint won’t wash away even a little bit!)

paper after marbleizing

So yeah. Um, that’s it. Silly easy. (I sort of want to fill our baby pool with liquid starch and try to make big giant sheets of marbleized paper, but then the kids will want to go swimming so I’ll have to take the beach towels out of storage and then they’ll want to make forts out of them so I’ll have to move around the patio furniture which will probably mean sweeping the patio so I’ll look for the broom and notice that the hooks in the garage need to be replaced so next thing you know I’ll be building a new storage system out there, and well… that’s just too much. So no baby pool.)

two marbleized prints

marbleized frame

marbleized detail

Aren’t they SO pretty?! Think of the possibilities even without doing a baby pool sized paper… book covers, stationary, cute holiday gift tags, use thinner paper and cover a table with them, wall paper the back of a shelf with them… I’m going to buy more starch, y’all…

marbleized prints in corner

corner pair marbleized

Oh! If you want a way to marbleize with your kids… this shaving cream technique is amazing. Also? You should know that I’ll do any activity with my kids that involves shaving cream.

Check out these other posts of super duper simple ways to fake something waaaaay more complicated!

Leave a comment and let me know what you think? Are you on board with the marbleized trend? Ever tried it? Do you like ice cream? If so, vanilla or chocolate!

This is amazing!! Be sure to follow Charlotte on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Google+



  • Reply
    October 22, 2014 at 1:48 pm

    That is so beautiful and looks so easy!! gonna have to try!

  • Reply
    October 23, 2014 at 1:33 pm

    I am SO in love with marbleized paper! I have old books in languages I don’t read, because the end papers are marbleized. I bought a love seat at an estate sale because it was upholstered in pink-to-green marbleized polished cotton (this was 8 years ago, and the upholstery was old then, and now it really needs new fabric but I can’t give up the marbleized upholstery!). So, um, yeah, this project is at the top of my list. Thank you!

  • Reply
    Krista @thehappyhousie
    October 28, 2014 at 6:25 pm

    This is super gorgeous! Pinned and trying- thanks for the tute!!

  • Reply
    October 29, 2014 at 12:30 am

    I love this look! Did you apply anything over the paint before you framed it to keep it from sticking to the glass?
    Thanks for posting this. I am trying to figure out what I can use to do it on a larger scale

    • Reply
      Charlotte @ Ciburbanity
      December 20, 2014 at 1:03 pm

      Hi Sue, No… the paint dried fairly fast. And a kiddie pool could work for a big piece of paper. 🙂

  • Reply
    Sarah M
    November 9, 2014 at 11:08 am

    I actually did this in high school. One of my artsy friends taught me how. I glued the paper onto an accordion file, and I still have it and use it for house inspiration ideas. I was just thinking about how I wanted to find that technique again, so timing was great! It does hold up well- that project was about 23 years ago!

  • Reply
    January 4, 2015 at 10:47 pm

    Lovely. I enjoy your funny additions and narrative even more

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