Your kids are going to love making this DIY marbled paper from shaving cream. You know what? It doesn’t even have to be an activity for your kids. This marbled paper would be fun for personal stationary too. We love working with shaving cream as you can see in our shaving cream impressionism paintings, shaving cream bath paints and our homemade shaving cream puffy paints. This is simply one more idea inspired by shaving cream.
This marbled paper craft is one I learned was when I was taking my art education class back in college. I have a binder full of ideas, and this is one I pulled out a while ago when we were making our marbled Valentine hearts with shaving cream. The kids had a blast the first time we did it, and I wanted to make the cover for our kids art and activities binder for this school year. You can click back to see how I store my kids’ artwork and schoolwork or scroll down to the bottom for more links. This marbled paper will be a great decorative cover for the binder we are making for this year.
Materials Needed to Make Marbled Paper
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- Shaving Cream
- Food Coloring
- Heavier Weight White Paper
- Straight Edge
- Paint Brush
- Muffin Tin
- Medicine Dropper
- Tooth Picks or Spoon for Stirring Food Coloring
- How you cover your table is up to you. I used a jelly roll pan lined with foil to house the shaving cream. I used a brown paper bag to lay the paper on afterward and scrape the shaving cream off. I also covered my table in a disposable plastic table cover that I use over and over again for art projects.
How to Make Marbled Paper with Shaving Cream
1. Choose the colors of food coloring you want to use. I have a variety of gel colors because of my cake decorating, but you can use liquid food coloring as well. I used a muffin tin to sort the colors. I put a bit of color in each one, added water to water it down a bit (about half way full in the tins) and then mixed it with a tooth pick.
2. I lined foil on a jelly roll pan for easy clean up. Let kids squirt out shaving cream onto the foil. Spread it out using a spatula. Make the layer about 1/2 inch thick and make it slightly larger than the size of your paper.
3. Using a medicine dropper, make drops of food coloring all over your shaving cream. Have a glass of water next to you, so the kids can clean out the dropper after each color use.
4. Using a paint brush, kids can start twirling paint until desired swirl pattern. You want to encourage them not to over-mix, which will blend all the colors rather than having a nice swirl pattern.
5. Lay the paper down on the swirled shaving cream. Lightly press onto the shaving cream, making sure all the edges and corners are being exposed to the color. Do not shift the paper, simple press straight down lightly.
6. It is time for the magical moment. You will carefully lift the paper up. Don’t be disappointed. It looks like a mess of colorful shaving cream initially. Using a straight edge (We used a dish scraper), scrape of the shaving cream. Revealed underneath will be gorgeous marbled paper. Allow to dry.
Our marbled paper is beautiful and perfect for our art and schoolwork binders. I will add their initials or names with letter stickers. I will add the year as well.
Great Resources for other Activities for Kids
I, of course, would love for you to check out my craft or activities tab for more great ideas. I also have some wonderful blogging friends who have put together some e-books and printed books that can be another great resource to inspire creative activities with your kids.
- Weekly Activity Plans by Hands on As We Grow – There are four eBooks of 5 weekly plans of activities each that are perfect for ages one through preschoolers. Fun ways to get the kids moving, work on fine motor, do arts and craft projects and have fun as a family! Each weekly plan includes a handy supply list and activities broken down to know exactly what to do in a simple sentence or two. Get your weekly activity plans here.
- 101 Activites tant are the Bestest, Funnest Ever by Holly Homer- Whether your kid is 3, 5 or 12 years old, there are hundreds of fun, educational and engaging things to do in this book. When they ask to watch television, you’ll have the perfect solution.
- 150+ Screen Free Activities for Kids by Asia Citro – With the one-of-a-kind projects in 150+ Screen-Free Activities for Kids, your family will rediscover the spirit of imaginative play! These fun activities help develop your child’s creativity and skills–all without a screen in sight.
How We Store Our Artwork and Schoolwork
If you are curious how we store our artwork and schoolwork and other ways to decorate the front of your art binders, I encourage you to click back on the following posts to see my methods.
Cupcake Liner Art Storage Binders
So beautiful, thanks for the idea. Im so doing this today, my son loves shaving cream (he has some sensory issues) and we do a lot of things with it but never as art. Thanks again!!!
So glad to hear you are doing this today. Have a lot of fun with it! Thank you for letting me know. I really love to know when my content is being used!
Cool art That is the best i have seen and i am a artist.
Thanks so much. I am glad you like it. It is such a fun project to do with kids!
Hi there, I was wondering, for clarification,, by heavy weight paper, do you mean cardstock? Just want to make sure I get the right materials. Thanks so much for the great idea 🙂
Yes, we used card stock. I wasn’t quite sure what term would be most familiar to people. Have a lot of fun with it!
Hi I was wondering if this would work on a canvas? Looks absolutely amazing, would love to be able to do it as a gift on a canvas!
I’ve never done it on Canvas. However, I did have a Facebook reader try it and said it worked on canvas. Another one tried it on Fabric with fabric dye, and it worked too, but it was an awful mess. I hope that helps. 🙂
Hi! Just saw this on pinterest and love it! Question – can you use the shaving cream mixture more than once? I mean, once you lift the first sheet of paper, is it too messed up to use for a second sheet? Thank so much for the great ideas!!
I was able to get a couple sheets out of one batch. The first paper definitely turns out cooler, in my opinion. The second one is pretty too, just a bit softer and more muted in color. Have fun with it!
Would this work on a canvas, or only on paper?
I am not sure, but I imagine it would and would be so cool. If you do it, will you report back?
Does the shaving cream soak thru the paper and you are using the scraper on the back of the paper to remove it
I use heavier card stock paper for this, and it hasn’t been a problem. The scraper is used just to wipe away the top of the paper. You can use a paper towel to wipe away any excess on front or back and then let it dry. It should have too much on the back – just the part that slipped over the sides. I hope you have fun. I want to create a YouTube tutorial to make it all clearer, so be looking out for that.
Should work fine. Can also try bleeding tissue paper. Have had my family draw a self portrait in permanent marker then filled a canvas with squares of bleeding tissue paper and water. Looks great! Spectra brand is a good brand for bleeding tissue paper – found at art stores. Tissue paper bought in the gift bag areas is non-bleeding.
Thanks so much for your input. Super helpful information.
Do you think 4 year olds would be too young for this?
Not at all. I’ve done it with my son a few times. You just want to be there helping with every step along the way. I hope you have a lot of fun with it.
Can this paper be used in scrapbooking? Or will it bleed onto the photos? I’m planning to teach scrape booking to my GS troop, and this would be fun paper to create and use in their books.
I do not believe it will bleed into the photos, but I have never tried it. I imagine if it got wet, you could run into issues. Other than that, I believe you’d be fine. Have fun with it.
Thank you that’s really helpful 🙂 I’ll let you know how it goes 🙂
I’d love that. Thanks.
After the paper has dried would you be able to put it in the printer and use it?
Ooo – I don’t know. I don’t know if I would be comfortable trying it. I just would get paranoid even though the paper seems pretty legit . Let me know if you do try it and whether it works.
Hehe! My kids are all grown up but I can’t resist this project! Looks like fun for
us oldsters too! I’m going to give it a whirl!
Let me know how it goes. It looks like a lot of people are having fun with this project based on the Facebook response. I know it’s a kid project, but it’s absolutely fun as an adult too. It would be great to do for cards or stationary. Have a great time!
This is so cool! I think my kids would really enjoy this 🙂
I think you’ll have a lot of fun. Let me know how it goes.
Love this! I have always wanted to make marbled paper with my students, but did not like the idea of oil paint. This is perfect! I will be doing this with my students and my summer day camp kids. Thank you!
Yay! It’s so much fun. I hope you have a great time with it and am glad you found an option that will work for you. 🙂
I have to tell you that my students at school made this the other week. It was a BIG hit. Had to share how great they turned out on Facebook. Gave you credit for giving me the idea. Thank you, again!
Yay! So glad you had fun with it. Thank you so much for checking back in to let me know!
Have you looked up chalk marbling? Scraping chalk across a metal edge of a ruler, swirl with a wooden sewer stick, roll paper on from one side and pick up smoothly. Hang to dry, watch for drips on the floor. Does leave chalk on top of paper so can smudge, fingers will be dirty when picking up clean paper. Use colored papers too.
I’ll look it up. That sounds fabulous.
Have you tried it with cool whip instead of shaving cream? It would then be edible/nontoxic.
I have never tried it. It would be a good experiment for the reasons you said. Let me know if you try it. 🙂
Have you tried using sticker letters and doing this over them and then peeling off the stickers to spell name or word? Just thinking ahead to Mother’s Day and wondered if you had tried this technique? Thanks
Spelled my own name wrong ? It’s Belinda
No, I haven’t. I have tried to do sticker letters on paper before without much success. I find that it pulls away the the paper it, tearing it away a bit. Maybe I’ve used the wrong stickers. I imagine vinyl letters would be the best. Some people have reported success doing this technique on canvas, and I’m thinking that might work really nicely with the stickers. Will you report back if you do it so that the readers can see your comments and know what works. Have fun with it! This makes me think i might want to try it on canvas with letters for Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day. Thanks for the inspiration.
Use a white crayon so the colors don’t stick much easier than peeling stickers off later
Great advice for those wanting to do a relief. Thanks so much.
Yes I will report back. If I can find some cheap canvasses to practice on I will def give it a try. One thing I did think about was just stencilng a dark color or even black over the finished dry artwork so we shall see
Oh yeah. That’s a good idea. I wonder if it would work with a white crayon or something else that would work as a resistance to the color. Let me know how it goes.
How long do you leave the card stock on the shaving cream?
You don’t leave it on long at all. Just press it into it for maybe 10 seconds and then pull it off. Have fun with this!
What is the water down colors for in the muffin pans.
This is watered down food coloring. I found the muffin tin an easy way to separate the colors. The food coloring mixed with the shaving cream is what dyes the paper underneath. Is that helpful? Let me know if I can help further. Thanks!
I teach crafts at a retirement home to active seniors. I’m going to have them make this paper and then in the next session cut it up and make paper beads and a necklace! Yippee skippee! I’m always looking for paper crafts because they are less expensive and not something too “kiddish” for my seniors to try. Thanks!! Em
I love this! I have had a couple people tell me that they’ve done my projects with seniors, and it brings joy to my heart. Thank you for taking time to love and serve them well!
I am going to do this with my adult PWS students! They will love the tactile. Am going to change it up to have warm and cool colors on separate papers then use the made papers to create a Jim Dine inspired Heart Art. Rip/cut a heart of either warm or cool colors then place it in the center of the opposite set of colored paper. Makes for great contrast!
That sounds perfect. I love your adaptations. There are so many possibilities for different occasions. Have fun.
Will be trying this
I hope you have a lot of fun with it.
I am wondering what is the ratio of “watering down” the food coloring. I see you used gel coloring. If I use regular food coloring, how much is watering down?? 1tsp to 1/2 cup water??
1 Tbs to 1/2 cup water?
There’s not a huge science to it. I don’t think you have to measure. I probably put a couple Tbsp of water into the bottom of the muffin tins. Then I just added a small glob of the gel food coloring. I hope that’s helpful.