Paper marbling has a long history in Asia, the Middle East, and Europe.  Part of its appeal is that each print is a unique monotype.  While there are many methods to creating marbled paper, using shaving cream provides an inexpensive and accessible process that is appropriate for all ages. 

  • Shaving cream- buy the foam kind, not gel
  • Aluminium baking trays
  • Paper or Cardstock that is narrower than the squeegee and cut to fit the tray-computer paper works well and is cheap
  • Squeegees, rulers, or long pieces of cardboard
  • Watered down Tempera Paint in 2-4 colours
  • Liquid Food colouring in 2-4 colours
  • Wooden skewers, toothpicks, chopsticks, forks
  • Rags, or paper towel for clean up


1. Apply a small amount of shaving cream to the tray.  Use the squeegee to create an even layer that is a little wider than your paper and about 1/4 " thick.

2. Evenly space 1 drop of each of the food colours or paint colours onto the layer of shaving cream.

3. Use a fork, toothpick, or other utensil to swirl the colours, spreading the colour out in streaks across the shaving cream.

4. Once you are happy with the design, lay the paper on the shaving cream and gently press to make sure it makes contact with the coloured areas.

5. Peel the paper off of the shaving cream and lay it on a clean surface.

6. Scrape the squeegee or the edge of a ruler across the paper to remove the shaving cream while leaving the colour behind.

7. Set the paper aside to dry and use a rag or paper towel to clean off the squeegee.

8.  Repeat the process, but be aware that over swirling will cause the colours to become muddy.

Have fun experimenting with different techniques. For this pattern I made holes in the shaving cream to create the areas of white.

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