Marbled designs are back in fashion and we have come up with a simple method that you can try on fabric or paper to make marbling part of your décor.

Materials you will need:

  • paper or fabric that you want to print on (paper in this instance)
  • enamel paint in the colours of your choice (two or more)
  • shallow metal or plastic container
  • plastic spoons
  • latex gloves
  • cardboard
  • double-sided adhesive tape
  • toothpicks for the comb
The steps below are a simplified version of a traditional method and can be used for fabric and paper. The oil-based paint floats on the surface and doesn’t mix with the water, which means you can draw designs in the paint and transfer them onto your fabric or paper. It’s the combination of colours that creates the marble effect.

Step 1

First make a comb to pull through the paint to create the marble design, Cut a strip of cardboard 20 x 5cm, stick a strip of double-sided tape along the bottom edge and stick toothpicks onto one half. Fold the cardboard in half to make the comb.

Step 2

Make your container two-thirds full with cold water. We used an oven-roasting pan that had an a4-size sheet of paper fits into comfortably. Put your gloves and drip a little of each paint colour onto the water. Some of the paint may sink to the bottom, but this should not affect your printing.

Step 3

Pull the comb through the paint to create a marbled pattern. You can also do this with a single toothpick if you find it easier.

Step 4

Place a sheet of paper onto the water surface and rub your hands lightly over it to remove any air bubbles.

Step 5

Lift the paper carefully out of the water by two of the corners and place it to one side

Note: the first print is usually thrown away as it is just to blot the excess paint.

Step 6

use your comb or a single toothpick to swirl the remaining paint around before you create your second print.

Step 7

Place a clean sheet of paper onto the water and rub to remove any air bubbles.

Step 8

Lift the paper from the water. This second print should be lighter than the first one and have a nicer design. if you now wish to print on more sheets of paper, you will need to drip more paint into the container.

Step 9

Leave your sheets of paper to dry overnight before you use them in your projects.

Top Tip: To clean your tray, first ‘blot’ the paint with newspaper then place a fabric remnant in your sink before you throw out the water. This will prevent the paint from blocking the sink and drain.

Good idea: you can print on fabric using the same technique.

Lampshade with a pattern

Print a strip of fabric with a marbled design (follow our steps above) and use it to cover a lampshade. Ours is black and white, but you can use any colours that match your décor. We painted the lampstand’s feet pink, for a splash of colour.


Referenced from Gallo images / IDEAS Magazine

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