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Shaving Cream Marbling with Kids – Instructions & Tips for Success

by Jean Van't Hul
June 30, 2014

Shaving Cream Marbling - swirl paints on shaving cream

We LOVE shaving cream marbling. Love it. We love any marbling, really, but shaving cream marbling is especially fun (it involves shaving cream, after all) and beautiful liquid watercolors (the colors are just so vibrant)!

We’ve done shaving cream marbling so many times over the years, both on our own and with friends, for no special reason and to make handmade gifts. We’ve even done it with a variety of paints.

A couple weeks ago, when Maia was sick and sleeping away most of the day, she even requested a shaving cream marbling session during a brief awake and not-too-feverish period.

When I looked back at my old posts on shaving cream marbling, though, I realized that they were way overdue for an update.

Here’s a video showing Shaving Cream Marbled Paper in action! And don’t forget to scroll down for step-by-step instructions.

Shaving Cream Marbling with Liquid Watercolors

With better photos, added tips for success, and years of experience under our belt…

Shaving Cream Marbling - Materials
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If you’re wondering about the art trays in the photos, they are wonderful for containing art messes and we use them all the time! And those little paint cups in a base are great for holding liquid watercolors. You can read more about both in my tools for success post, but neither are necessary for this project.

Shaving Cream Marbling - smoothing the shaving cream

Step #1. Spray shaving cream

Spray shaving cream into your dish (if your kids are anything like mine, they’ll love doing this step on their own) then smooth the surface a bit with a spatula (or spoon, hands, etc).

Shaving Cream Marbling - adding paint

Step #2. Drop paint on shaving cream

Use the dropper to transfer the liquid watercolor paint to the surface of the shaving cream.

Shaving Cream Marbling - swirling the paint

Step #3. Swirl the colors

You can use a craft stick or wood dowel (shown here) to swirl the colors together to create a marbled effect. Or use the tip of your dropper (as we usually do).

Shaving Cream Marbling - pressing paper

Step #4. Press paper on shaving cream

Lay a piece of paper on the surface of the painted shaving cream.

Shaving Cream Marbling - lifting paper

Step #5. Lift paper

Gently lift the paper off of the shaving cream.

Shaving Cream Marbling - scraping off shaving cream

Step #6. Scrape shaving cream

Scrape off the shaving cream with a craft stick or a piece of cardboard.

Shaving Cream Marbling - marbled paper

Step #7. Dry

Set paper aside to dry and repeat with more prints!

Shaving Cream Marbling - doing it again

You can make several prints each time you add paint to the shaving cream. And you can add more color to existing colored shaving cream. When you’re ready for a clean slate, you can either add a new layer of shaving cream to the top (as shown) or scoop the colored shaving cream out with a spatula and start fresh.

Shaving Cream Marbling with Kids - playing in the shaving cream

If your kids are anything like my kids (heck, like almost any child who has been to our house), this will be the highlight of the shaving cream marbling experience—shaving cream as a sensory experience.

*5 Tips for Success

  1. When you buy shaving cream, make sure it’s the foamy stuff. NOT gel. I’ve made that mistake more than once. We’ve had more success with the traditional men’s shaving creams, such as Barbasol and Gillette, plus they can be cheaper. Whenever there is a sensitive skin option, I usually get it.
  2. You can do shaving cream marbling with just about any paints, not just liquid watercolors. We’ve done this with tempera paints, BioColors, food coloring, and acrylics. BioColors and liquid watercolors work especially well, though.
  3. Scraping the shaving cream off the paper right away is important. You don’t want to let the shaving cream soak into the paper. It’ll get gunky and stain the paper. For scraping, use something with a wide, straight edge. We’ve used everything from a piece of cardboard to the side of the table. This time we used a large wood craft stick, but I wouldn’t say it was ideal. A ruler would also work well.
  4. Keep a wet washcloth and/or bowl of water handy for washing shaving cream-covered hands.
  5. To make clean up easier, spray off all the dishes and art trays outside with a hose. Or use a rubber spatula and scrape it all into the trash first, then rinse off.

 Shaving Cream Marbled Paper

What to do with your beautiful new shaving cream marbling paper?

Ideas for Using Marbled Paper

Have you done shaving cream marbling with your kids yet? If not, it’s a must-try art project!

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