The art of paper marbling is very old and no one knows for sure it’s origins, but some of the earliest known examples come from the 10th Century in Japan. We at the Frederick Book Arts Center love it so much because the paper can be used to make beautiful books. Oftentimes you will see marbled paper used as an endpaper, which is the decorative leaf of paper found at the beginning and end of a book fixed to the inside covers. Our resident 6-year old (now 7) has even used this technique to create one-of-kind unique covers for some of her books!
Watercolor paper or other thick paper
Spatula or large spoon
Small cups (for the paint and water mixture)
Paint brushes or wooden skewers
Pieces of cardboard
This project can get a little messy, so we started by laying everything out on a large piece of cardboard, but anything you have around the house, like newspaper, will work to protect your surfaces. You will want to make sure that there is enough space to lay your paper down and remove the shaving cream at the end. Once you have everything set up, you will need to mix your paints. Decide how many colors you want and pour some of your paint into the cups, like the picture below; you will be mixing it with water so you don’t need a lot. If you are using cups like we show in the pictures, you will only need to fill it about halfway with water and mix.