Our favorite DIY marbled paper technique for all ages is shaving cream marbling. In this post I show how to marble paper with shaving cream and watercolor paint (and include a video showing it in action). This is one of our all-time favorite art activities for all ages!
Updated January 2021
The best, easiest, and cheapest DIY marbled paper is done with shaving cream marbling.
This marbling technique is one of our all-time favorite art activities. Like raised salt painting and splatter painting—the other faves I mentioned the other day—it’s one that that the kids never tire of and that we’ve returned to again and again over the years.
I’m sharing the step-by-step instructions for doing shaving cream marbling, and you can find lots of great ideas for shaving cream art and play here.
First, here’s video I made showing the shaving cream marbling in progress. And scroll down for the step-by-step instructions and photos.
DIY Marbled Paper the Easy Way
- Shaving FOAM*
- Shallow baking dish, such as a pie plate
- Liquid watercolor paint (or watered-down food coloring)
- Stir stick, such as a chopstick or the bottom of a paint brush
- Card stock (or poster board cut into smaller pieces)**
- A scraper, such as a square piece of cardboard
*I say “shaving cream” marbling, but you’ll want to buy shaving FOAM, not cream. I like to use a low-smell, sensitive skin variety such as those made by Gillette or Barbasol.
**While you’d think watercolor paper would be best for this since it involves watercolor paint, you’ll actually get better results with a very smooth surface rather than the toothed surface that watercolor papers have. Use card stock if you have it or buy a sheet of white poster board and cut it down into small pieces as I did.
Time needed: 1 hour.
- Create a layer of shaving cream
First, spray a layer of shaving cream to cover the bottom of your baking dish.
- Add watercolors
Then, use a dropper to add drops of liquid watercolor paint on top of the shaving cream.
Note :: If you don’t have liquid watercolors, you can use watered-down food coloring. You can even do this project with other paints, such as tempera or liquid/craft acrylics, although the results will look a bit different.
Feel free to add several colors.
- Swirl the paint
Use a stick (a chopstick, the end of a paint brush, or even the dropper) to swirl the paint around for a marbled effect.
- Press the cardstock onto the cream
Carefully press a piece of card stock into the paint covered shaving cream.
- Remove card from shaving cream
Lift up the card stock and use a piece of cardboard to scrape off the shaving cream.
This reveals your beautiful new marbled paper!
You’ll get a couple of good marbled papers from the paint, then want to add more drops of liquid watercolor to swirl around and make more papers!
Note :: We like to keep a bowl in the center of the table while we’re working. The shaving cream we scrape off of the newly marbled paper, gets re-scraped into the bowl. And later, when we’re finished with the activity, we use a rubber spatula to scrape the paint-y shaving cream into the trash before washing out the bowls and dishes.
- Let dry
Allow them all dry. (Yes, this is a shoe rack. It works great for drying art!)
We’ve been punching out 2 inch paper hearts from our marbled paper with a heart punch like this one. The hearts are perfect for adding to Valentines!
You can see all the different things we’ve been making with our new DIY marbled paper in this post of 10 Valentine Craft Ideas to Make from Kids Process Art. (These ideas work well for repurposing any process-oriented art into crafts, decorations, and gifts.)
More Creative Painting Ideas for Kids
- How to Make Raised Salt Paintings
- Splat Painting – Action Art for Kids
- Blow Painting with Straws (with Video)
Pin It for Later