I've been wanting to try out paper marbling for oh-so-long but have been put off by the complicated process of it. The special chemicals and paints and even just the idea of boiling up cornstarch for my water was more than I wanted to do.
Well, sometimes laziness is the mother of invention: I tried out quite a few different methods and did a few experiments and came up with this method. A few really funny failed experiments, like my oil and water one. Yes, oil will float on water. Yes, oil paints mix well with oil. Yes, my finished papers looked like greasy paper towels. At least they're colorful! These above and below pictures are of my lovely experiment that worked, though.
Well, after trial and error, I decided to just use something I had in my cupboard: flour! Oh, joy, a project that doesn't require me to add to my overflowing arsenal of seldom-used craft supplies!
Just craft paint and flour and water. You can even use latex house paint or acrylic paints from a paint set. I've heard of some people painting their papers with alum water before dipping. As alum is a mordant, it will act as a fixative for the color and give you a deeper saturation. I don't doubt that, but as I just wanted to have fun and not get in too deep, I didn't use alum. I also didn't rinse the papers after dipping, which is another reason to use the alum- it prevents the colors from rinsing off. Go ahead and try it if you'd like, though!
YOU WILL NEED:
latex or acrylic paints
2 cups water3/4 cup flour
Thick paper (watercolor paper works best)
Pour the water into a measuring cup or large bowl.
Measure and dump the flour into the cup.
Whisk the flour into the water to make sure that there are no lumps.
Pour the flour and water mixture into a shallow pan.
Next, mix a little bit of water into your paints. I used paper cups and wooden skewers for easy cleanup. You'll need a ratio of about 1 part paint to 4 parts water, but you may have to experiment around depending on the consistency of your paint.
Use the wooden skewer to flick paint onto the surface of the water mixture. Dip it into the paint then tap it against the side of the cup.
You can make small little splatters by tapping the skewer quickly, or larger ones by dipping it frequently and tapping it slowly. Layer colors on top of each other- you can repeat colors for more depth, too.
You can also swirl the pattern with the skewer or draw lines into it. This is the fun part, so experiment around and make it your own!
Lay the paper on the surface of the water gently. You don't really want it to get submerged, but it's okay if it does a little on the edges. I found that it was easiest to hold one side and gently set the other end down, letting it kind of roll onto the surface.
Once the paper has completely touched the surface of the water, slowly lift it out, pulling up from one side. I used a motion that is like peeling a piece of masking tape off of the wall after painting.
Just set the pages out flat to dry. You may want to stir the water in between pages to make sure that the flour is still suspended.
Once they're dry, you can iron the pages. Turn your iron to the cotton setting and iron the back side of the page. You can use steam on really ornery ones if you need to.
Have fun making things with your fancy schmancy marbled paper!