top of page

Paper Marbleizing

The Paper Marbleizing group was a success. Thanks to all who attended! There was a fair amount of prep work and patience involved in getting everything ready, however it was blast and the paper turned out amazing! If you would like to try out paper marbling for yourself here are some instructions based on my experience:

What You'll Need:

  • Uncoated (non-glossy) medium weight paper

  • Paintbrushes

  • Clothesline or string and clothespins

  • Acrylic paints

  • Small containers for the paint (I used empty yogurt containers)

  • Whisk

  • Small bowl

  • Large bowl

  • Measuring cups and a tablespoon

  • Knitting needle or skewer

  • Toothpicks and cardboard

  • 1/4 cup methyl cellulose (a thickening agent)

  • 2 tablespoons of alum (helps paint adhere to paper)

  • One shallow 14-by-16-inch baking pan (use larger pans if you are using larger sheets of paper) or trays (such as photo-developing trays)

  • An iron and ironing board

  • A bucket of sorts that will fit in your sink

  • A significant amount of time

Preparing the Paper and Your Space

Start by finding a space where you can set up your clothesline. Paper marbling can get pretty messy so find a spot that will be easy to clean up afterward. You will also want to make sure you choose a spot with a sink. Put up your clothesline making sure you there is plenty of room to hang lots of paper.

Then you can begin to prepare the surface of your paper: Dissolve 2 tablespoons of the alum in 2 cups of warm water.

Use a pencil to mark one side of the paper, then brush that side with the alum mixture. (The pencil markings will indicate which side you prepared, as the solution will dry clear.) Hang on a clothesline (about 1 hour) to dry; when dry, iron sheets on a medium setting to flatten.

Set up your tray near the clothesline and close to the sink.


Mix the Marbling Solution

(AKA the goop)