Preserved Gardens

How to Make Marbleized Papers

Marbled Paper can easily be made using various paints, dyes and inks.
Beautiful backgrounds can be created for pressed flower work with this method.


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How to Marbleize Papers

You need a container larger than the size of the paper you will marble. It doesn't have to be deep, just an inch or two like a cake pan and you're on your way to creating your own beautiful, one of a kind marble papers.

Add a drop of dishwashing liquid to the water so your paper takes the color better. The idea here is to have the color float on top of the water rather than being mixed in.

  • Cover your work surface to control messes.

  • Pour water into pan with a drop of dishwashing liquid.

  • Paints should be very liquid, so thin if needed. Gently drip colors onto the surface of the water so they float.

  • Gently swirl the colors with a straw, stick or anything that won't be harmed by the paint.

  • Hold a piece of paper horizontally with both hands and bring ends together so that the paper is curved into a "U" shape.

  • Lay the paper on top of the painted water surface by placing the center of the paper (bottom of the U shape) on top of the water and lowering both sides onto the top of the water.
    Handling the paper this way prevents air bubbles between the paper and the water.

  • Immediately remove the sheet.

  • Set with painted side up on an absorbent, flat surface to dry. If needed, you can place the dry paper in your flower press to flatten, or it can be ironed flat by placing between sheets of paper and then pressing with an iron.

Try different types of colors on small paper samples to see what works best for you and don't be afraid to mix these together. Here are some ideas:

  • Acrylic Paint

  • Oil Paint

  • Tempera Paints

  • Chalk Shavings

  • Pearl-Ex

  • Ink

  • Spray Paint

  • Wood Stain

  • Latex Paint

  • Easter Egg Coloring

  • Anything Pigmented That Floats on the Surface of the Water.

Make sure you let this paper dry completely before using it for your pressed flower art.

Soon I will share methods of making Marble and Jasper Paper using techniques popular in the 18th and 19th centuries.

I am fortunate enough to have a book that's over a hundred and fifty years old that gives detailed information about making marbleized and Jasper paper. I intend to transcribe these techniques

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