Ahhh…the beauty of marbled paper. I remember marbling paper in late elementary with oil paints and turpentine (ICK), and I really wanted to recreate that in a more kid friendly (and budget friendly) manner. I decided we could get the most use out of cards because I could also encourage my kids to write cards to people as well!
To start with we needed some heavy card stock cards, vegetable oil, and food coloring. Everything else you need you probably already have! A small bowl for each color you want to use, a fork for each color, and a shallow container filled with just an inch or so of water.
For each color we added about a tablespoon of oil to a bowl along with about 4 drops of color (you can use more if you like) and beat it with a fork…..HARD! The oil and food coloring don’t really mix because the food coloring is water soluble, but you can get it suspended well enough to drip in the water.
Next you want to put drips of whatever colors you want on the water. We slowly poured ours, but you could use a spoon or an eye dropper. The color will float on top as long as it is suspended in the oil, but it will eventually fall into the water, so you will want to work fairly quickly. You can gently move a fork through the water to create different designs with the oil too. All we had at the time was a blue container, but I think a white or light colored one would work better for seeing the colors and designs!
Once you are happy with it you gently lay your card (the face you are printing) on top of the oil for a couple seconds and then pull it straight up!
In order to not make a huge mess with the oil, we left the cards on paper towels to dry. At first, you can see, the oil spots are very obvious and greasy. I was worried they would stay that way!
Luckily after drying overnight most of the oily-ness had become less noticeable. It was still there if you held the card to the light, but you really didn’t see it otherwise. I was quite pleased with the color and marbling we got with the food coloring!
One thing we did notice about the color was when we added color to the water immediately before placing the card down we got more small points of color (see below).
But when we waited a minute before placing the card on the water it was a smoother result (example below).
Either way, I think they turned out beautifully, and I am sure my girls will be super excited to send them out!
And it just so happens that there is a holiday just around the corner that these would be lovely for (hint, hint….it’s Mother’s Day)!
Need more crafty gift ideas? Check out these Egg Carton Flowers
and these Watercolor Resist Silhouettes