This is a fun and easy crafting project that results in beautiful marbleized paper. You start with shaving cream, dot on some ink, swirl it around, smoosh paper into it, then squeegee the shaving cream off the paper and that’s it! You never know exactly what you will get until you scrape off the layer of shaving cream but the results are usually delightful. Clean up is super easy which is another plus.
I crafted with my friend Margaret today and we were having so much fun that we didn’t want to stop. Playing with the lemon lime scented foam and the beautiful colored ink was both relaxing and satisfying.
Update: For a look at marbleizing using gouache and acrylics, check out the blog by Wayside Artist where she experiments by replacing the ink with thinned down gouache and acrylic paint.
Marbleized Paper with Shaving Cream
Rimmed Baking Sheet for your work surface
Shaving Cream (not the gel type – and I prefer the lemon lime scent)
Reinkers in several colors (small bottles of ink used to re-ink stamp pads – mine are from Stampin’ Up! and are water-based dye inks, but I’ve read that alcohol-based inks also work)
Plastic Spoon for smoothing out the shaving cream
Chopstick or popsicle stick to swirl ink in shaving cream
Squeegee, plastic scraper or rubber spatula to scrape shaving cream off paper
White Card Stock or White Printer Paper – cut to size for your projects – 8 1/2 x 11 cut into quarters is usually a good size for greeting cards, but some projects will need a larger size sheet.
The baking sheet is your work surface. One one half you will have the shaving cream and on the other a relatively clean surface to squeegee the shaving cream off the paper.
Spray some shaving cream onto one half of the baking sheet and smooth it out into a rough rectangle a little larger than the size of paper you will be coloring. Smooth it out with a plastic spoon and drip some ink onto it.
Now use a chopstick to swirl the ink around. You don’t want to mix it completely, but just swirl the ink lightly into the surface of the shaving cream.
Once all the ink spots have been swirled around, lay a piece of white paper on top of the shaving cream and tap it into the surface so the paper is fully in contact with the shaving cream.
Lift it off and lay the paper face up on the clean side of your baking sheet.
Using a squeegee or other scraper, gently scrape the shaving cream off the paper, revealing the beautiful marbleized design.
A quick wipe with paper towel will get any excess shaving cream. Set paper aside to dry.
The colored shaving cream can be re-used, often without adding more ink. Just swirl the chopstick around through the inky shaving cream and if desired add a few more drops of color and swirl again.
I find it best to stick with two or three colors in adjacent shades. As you mix more ink into the shaving foam your base or background color will be a light version of the original colors which can be even more stunning. If your colors are too far apart on the color wheel, your shaving cream can become muddy-looking pretty fast.
I also tried this method with food coloring.
The colors aren’t the same as the ink refills, but it still produced nice results and folks are more likely to have it in their kitchen.
When you’ve got swirled ink covering all your white paper or your shaving cream has become loaded with so much color that you want to start fresh, it is quite easy to wash the inky shaving cream down the drain, rinse off your utensils and start again.
You’ll end up with inky fingers and a bunch of beautiful paper that you can now use to cover little notebooks, line envelopes and make cards, like this!
Try it out! Thanks for the visit. And thank you, Margaret, for being being a willing hand model and great crafting partner today.