Make Your Own Wrapping Paper

In This Article:

Page 2

Project: Marbleized Paper

Level: Easy

Age: 5 and up (with adult supervision)

Materials needed: One disposable foil roasting pan, sheets of plain white paper, enamel oil paints in assorted colors, water, paint thinner or turpentine, a comb, pencil, and/or stick, squeeze bottles or eyedroppers for eachcolor (optional), old newspapers


  1. Cover your work area with newspapers. Leave some room to lay your finished paper.

  2. Fill the disposable roasting pan with water. Drop a small blob of each color into the water in different places or try some short strips of color. (Use your squeeze bottle or eyedropper if necessary.) If the paint is too heavy and sinks, thin it a little in a glass jar with a little paint thinner or turpentine.

  3. Using your stylus (comb, pencil, stick, or other household object),swirl the colors in the solution.

  4. Lay the paper on the surface of the water immediately. The best way is to hold opposite corners and touch the surface of the water with the center first, then let go of the corners.

  5. Wait three to five seconds, then gently pick up the paper by the corners, allowing the excess water to drip off. Hang the paper to dry (spring-type clothes pins work well) or lay it on newspaper face up.

  6. When the paper is completely dry, you can lightly press the back with a warm iron, then use it to wrap your gifts.

Note: Start with fresh paint after two or three pieces of paper have been painted. To remove the old paint before adding the new, drag somenewspaper over the top of the water. Try experimenting with different papers, different paints, different colors, and making different patterns.

Marbleizing paper and fabric can be much more involved than the simple process I've given you, with exciting results. There are several good books you might want to consult to get into this beautiful craft further:

  • Techniques for Marbleizing Paper by Gabriele Grunebaum

  • Marbling Techniques: How to Create Traditional and Contemporary Designs on Paper and Fabric by Wendy Addison Medeiros

  • Marbling Paper and Fabric by Carol Taylor, Patty Schleicher, Mimi Schleicher, and Laura Sims

For paper and cloth marbling supplies, (and lots of other neat stuff), contact Educational Innovations at 151 River Road, Cos Cob, CT 06807, (203) 629-6049; Web site: http://

Other suppliers are Talas, 218 W. 35th Street, New York, NY 10001-1996, (212) 736-7744; and Colophon Book Arts Supply, 3-46 Hogum Bay Road SE, Olympia, WA 98506, (206) 459-2940.

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Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Crafts with Kids © 1998 by Georgene Lockwood. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit the Idiot's Guide web site or call 1-800-253-6476.


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