How to Marbleize Paper

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You can use marbleized paper as artwork, or you can scan your design and send it to a print center to be printed on canvas. Or upload the design to a service such as Spoonflower ( to get your custom design printed on fabric.

What You Need

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Two shallow glass or aluminum pans at least 2 inches larger than your paper (do not use plastic)
Alum (find it in the spice aisle at the grocery store)
Blank paper (thick, uncoated paper works best)
Acrylic paint in at least two colors
Liquid starch
Clothes hangers

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Step 1

Gather materials. In one pan add water, 1 cup at a time, to a depth of 2 inches. Mix in 1 tablespoon of alum per 1 cup of water.

Step 2

Submerge paper in the alum solution. (Alternatively, you can use a paintbrush or sponge to paint the alum mixture onto your paper.) Rinse lightly and let dry. Use an iron on the lowest heat setting to remove wrinkles from the paper.

Step 3

Use water to dilute the acrylic paint by 50 percent. Repeat this process for all of your colors. Tip: Remove half of the paint from a paint squeeze bottle and replace it with water. This makes it easy to apply the paint in the next steps.

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Step 4

In a separate pan add at least 2 inches of liquid starch. Test the weight of the paint by squeezing a tiny drop of diluted paint into the starch. If it sinks, dilute the paint further. If it floats, proceed to Step 5.

Step 5

Squeeze diluted paint in a swirly, random pattern onto the surface of the starch.

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Step 6

Add the other colors to starch, and use a toothpick to swirl.

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Step 7

Gently place paper on the paint for 8-10 seconds. Carefully lift the paper by one edge from the water. If desired, use tweezers. Try not to shift the paper or remove it quickly as the pattern could smear.

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Step 8

Hang the paper from a hanger using clothespins. Dry for several hours.

Try This: Stenciling
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