A Step-By-Step Guide to Paper Marbling

Paper marbling. A recent, however, well loved hobby of mine. It all started when I took a class at Paper Source this Thursday. I instantly fell in love with the art, and bought the kit immediately. Oops. Anyways, I decided to make a step-by-step instructional guide to figure out just how to do paper marbling, because it can initially look pretty intimidating,

Supplies You’ll Need:

  • A shallow tray of water
  • Water inks (I used this one)
  • Cardstock or paper you want to marble
  • A pencil or something to make your design
  • A surface to dry your paper


Start by filling your tray up with water and getting all of your supplies ready.

Ignore my plant in the background.

Once you have everything ready, place your floating paper in the water (it helps the ink to spread out evenly across the surface) and make sure it’s submerged, but still somewhat towards the top. Pick out your first color, and place one drop of it onto the piece of paper.

Add your drops of color one at a time, until you’ve reached your desired amount.

After you’ve added all your colors, use your pencil/other object to swirl the ink around.

When you’re happy with the design that you’ve created, place your paper carefully into the water.

Once your paper has fully touched the surface, quickly and carefully remove it from the water and place it face down onto your surface to dry. It’s important to smooth down the edges to make sure that you don’t stain your paper with runoff water from other areas.


After giving your piece a fair amount of time to dry, it should be all ready to go! Looking at mine, I did get some air bubbles (due to a pretty small container of water) but overall I loved the way it turned out. An important thing to remember when paper marbling is that practice is key, and nothing is ever going to be perfect. If marble was always the same, it would get boring!

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