Paper Marbling: A Fun And Easy Art Project You Can Do With Your Children


Shaving Cream Painting

This picture is something Amanda and I made yesterday. It was done with a technique called “Paper Marbling.” We used the easy method which uses shaving cream. It was pretty easy and fun! It’s a cool little art project you can do with stuff that you just may have sitting around your house, and if you don’t it’s not too expensive to obtain!

So this is a list of the supplies we used:

-Can of shaving cream, cheapest you can get should work fine.
Acrylic paint in various colors.
Water, to thin the paint.
-Small cups to put your paint in. A Dixie Cup, for example.
Eye dropper, for applying paint.
-Paper. We used cardstock but you can probably use any paper, the thinner it is the more it will wrinkle up is all.
-A shallowish cake pan, large enough to fit your paper, or trim the paper to fit.
-A fork, a toothpick or something of the sort to swirl the paint.
-A dough scraper, for smoothing and wiping the shaving cream.

And that’s all we used to do it. Here’s how we did it.

First, pour some of the acrylic paint into a small cup. Then add water and mix it in to thin the paint. You want it thin but not too thin. I don’t know the exact ratio of water to paint, we just eyeballed it and it worked. Use your best judgment. Repeat this for however many colors you wish to use. Set these aside for now. Then take your shaving cream and spray it into the cake pan. You want a layer about an inch deep. It can take quite a bit of shaving cream so make sure your can is full when you start!

When you have your shaving cream sprayed into the pan so it’s about an inch deep, smooth the surface as best you can. The smoother it is the better it is for paint to paper application. You can probably make some neat effects with holes in the surface, but to start I would recommend you get it completely smooth. We used our dough scraper for this.

Now you have your surface prepared, it’s time to apply the paint. At first we used the eye dropper to apply drops in a precise manner. This was fairly effective, we rinsed it out between colors so they didn’t mix up too soon. We’d do plenty of that later. The eyedropper was a little too slow for my tastes so I went to just pouring it straight from the cup. This was too fast, at least if you didn’t do it carefully (I didn’t! HaHa.) What I found worked pretty good was to dip the fork in the paint cup and fling it all over. This wouldn’t work if you were trying to make some precise pattern, we were just randomly applying color so it worked for our sakes. It was fast and a reasonable amount of paint was applied. So you put down your paint in whatever colors you want. Then you take your fork or toothpick or what-have-you and make swirls or lines or any sort of designs you can come up with. We did some with swirls, some with straight lines, some with criss-crossed lines and some with just whatever. However you want your picture to look, you make the paint look like that.

Now, after you’re done swirling/decorating the paint, you take your paper, place it atop the shaving cream and press it down just a bit into the shaving cream/paint mixture. Not too hard, but you do want to make sure the paper is completely touching the cream and paint. On the white colored paper we used we could see the paint soaking through and see the designs it made. You leave it there for just a little bit, like a minute or so. Then you peel the paper away from the cream/paint and set it on a flat surface. You don’t have to worry so much about the paint smearing or anything as it has been absorbed by the paper and is pretty secure in there.

Take your dough scraper again and scrape the shaving cream off the paper. Be careful not to tear the paper as it is a little damp and would tear easy. Set the paper aside to let it dry. We used a wire cooling rack for some of them. Then we ran out of room and just put them on the tile floor. I wouldn’t put them on your carpet as there may be a chance the paint would seep into it. After that, all that is remaining is to admire your totally radical work of art that you made. Maybe hang it in a frame on the wall. Or magnet it to your refrigerator.

And that’s that. It was a fun project and super easy. It would be real fun for you and your children to do. Our little one, Eliza, is still too small for arts and crafts but she’ll be doing all sorts of Paper Marbling when she gets to the appropriate age. So I hope you will try it out. If you need any clarification on anything, let me know in the comments. Have fun marbling paper and have a great day!

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