You and your children will enjoy this fun and easy technique for marbling paper. Instead of expensive materials that could be bad for you, this method uses shaving cream and food coloring. Not only is it inexpensive and nontoxic, it smells great and makes terrific designs! Molly the Artsy Corgi has put her paw of approval on it!
In this post you’ll find:
- Supply list
- Step-by-step directions
- Helpful hints
- Clean-up tips
- Variations and adaptations
- Ways the activity aids children’s mental, physical, and social development
- Don’t miss a link at the end to my post on Sally Matheny’s blog, Tell the Next Generation. It’s called Children’s Activities: Using Picture Book Layers
- And as always, a cute photo of Molly the Artsy Corgi
Let’s get started!
- Old baking sheet
- Computer paper, cardstock, construction paper, etc.
- Foam shaving cream, gel doesn’t work
- Food coloring
- Knife or spatula
- Stiff cardboard or plastic square
- A thin stick, such as the end of a paintbrush handle
- Paper towels
- Spread a thick layer of shaving cream over the baking sheet, kind of like frosting a cake!
- Drop food colors in drops all over top of shaving cream
- Use stick or end of paintbrush handle to swirl colors on top of shaving cream
- Lay paper on top of design and gently pat all around it so the paper touches the shaving cream. Do not push it into the shaving cream.
- Peel paper off and lay flat on paper towels
- Use the cardboard or plastic square to scrape off and discard the shaving cream
- Sometimes the food color smears a little, but it just adds to the design!
- Repeat with other paper until the shaving cream design gets too dry
- To make a new design, scrape up the used shaving cream from the baking sheet and discard
- Then spread a new layer of shaving cream and repeat the previous steps for new designs
- After patting the paper, leave for a few seconds more to absorb the colors
- Also wait for a few seconds after removing the paper before scraping off the shaving cream
Clean up Hints:
- Cover your work surface with a plastic table cloth
- Have lots of paper towels for the scraped-off shaving cream. This shaving cream will have food coloring in it.
- Have a lined wastepaper basket very close for all the paper towels filled with globs of shaving cream and food coloring
Variations and adaptations:
- This activity is fun for all ages, and even the discarded shaving cream is pretty, with swirled-in food colors
- Try different color choices.
- Try different types and colors of papers
- Try using a fork or comb to swirl the colors
- Use the designed papers for cards or covers for reports, etc!
- If you have larger baking sheets, make larger papers to use for book covers or wrapping paper
4 Ways this activity aids children’s mental, physical, and social development
- This activity encourages experimentation with colors, designs, and tools.
- Making art enhances creativity and refreshes minds and eyes tired from screens.
- Making choices in creating art, enhances problem-solving skills.
- Discussing the process of making art and their choices builds vocabulary and social skills.
I hope you’ll check out my article “Children’s Activities: Picture Book Layers,” on Sally Matheny’s fantastic blog, Tell the Next Generation to find lots of ways to enjoy picture books with your children! :
Molly hopes you enjoy marbling paper with this fun and easy technique, and will come back for our next Artsy Corgi fun and easy art activity.
Molly posed for me on some rocks near our house , and we enjoyed these warm-colored wildflowers nearby.
And Before You Go
If you’d like more activity ideas for art, history, and nature, curriculum connections, and links to more resources, be sure to sign up for my newsletter and receive a free guide to 5 Ways Art Benefits Children’s Cognitive, Physical, Spiritual, and Social Development, with a Few Fun and Easy Activities for each Benefit
Visit my website where you’ll find free downloadable puzzles, how-to-draw pages and coloring pages for kids and a list of my hands-on workshops, chapels, and presentations for all ages.