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How to Marble Paint

Updated on April 2, 2015
Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

Glimmer has been writing about crafts online for almost 4 years. She is an avid crafter who has been creating for most of her life.

How to Paint with Marbles - Step by step tutorial with video
How to Paint with Marbles - Step by step tutorial with video | Source

A project that is perfect for all ages and abilities, marble painting is a quick and easy craft that everyone is sure to enjoy.

Similar to marbling, painting with marbles involves three items, marbles, paint and paper. Most people have these items on hand so it works well on a rainy day when the kids can't play outside.

It also works well with people who have special needs. I have done this craft with seniors, adults with special needs, and children, ages 5 to 13. They have all enjoyed it and they were able to do it easily. Note that this is not a good craft for very young children as the marbles can present a choking hazard.

Just use these step by step instructions and watch the video to find out how to do this fun project.

Marbling

According to marbleart.us, marbling "is the art of printing multi-colored swirled or stone-like patterns on paper or fabric."

Marbling has been around for over 1000 years, with beautiful examples in ancient turkish and japanese texts. It is known as suminagashi in Japan.

Today there are artists who specialize in ancient marbling techniques. Take a look inside the cover of a book you have on hand and you may see an example of marbling.

Marble painting supplies

Supplies needed for marble painting.
Supplies needed for marble painting. | Source

Fun color ideas for your marble painting

Theme
Colors
Valentine's Day
Reds, Pinks, Silver & Purples
St. Patrick's Day
Greens
Easter
Pastels
Patriotic
Reds, Whites & Blues or whatever patriotic colors your country has
Thanksgiving
Reds, Browns & Yellows
Christmas
Reds, Greens & Whites
  • Marbles
  • Paint - I recommend using washable paints. This project gets messy.
  • Paper - Use a heavier weight sketch paper. It will hold up well and is easily put up on the wall or framed.
  • Baking tray with a raised edge or a shoebox.
  • Scissors
  • Paper towels

Set up the paper and paint

Get paper ready for painting.
Get paper ready for painting. | Source
  1. Lay the paper on your surface. In the example in the photo I used a baking tray with an edge.
  2. Choose your paint colors and place drops of them around the paper. You can use as many or as few colors as you wish. I have found that using more than five colors tends to get muddied and the color ends up turning gray.

Hint: Don't use too much paint in each drop. It takes forever to dry and it is hard to roll the marbles around.

Put the marbles on the paper

Place the marbles on the tray.
Place the marbles on the tray. | Source

Put the marbles on the tray. For this example I used 5 marbles. You can use as many or as few as you wish, although I would suggest using more than one.

Start painting

Start rolling the marbles around.
Start rolling the marbles around. | Source
  1. Start rolling the marbles around. You can pick up the tray or just shift it around while it is on the table.
  2. Continue until you are happy with the look of your painting.
  3. Let it dry completely overnight.

Completed marble painting

Finished marble painting.
Finished marble painting. | Source

Video on how to marble paint

Craft for kids

Check out the video above to see why marble painting is such a great craft.

Kids will enjoy creating their own work of art, and you will enjoy displaying their results.

It can be done in almost any setting and works well with a group of people, or one-on-one.

The best part is that it is easy to do and you probably have the supplies on hand.

Paint with marbles to create your own masterpiece

Marble painting - a great craft for kids of all ages and abilities!
Marble painting - a great craft for kids of all ages and abilities! | Source

You may think that marble paintings look vaguely like paintings from the famed artist Jackson Pollock. He was best known for his "drip and splash" method of painting.

In a recent auction, one of his paintings sold for a whopping $58.4 million dollars. (source bloomberg.com)

Who knows, maybe you or your child will create a masterpiece one day.

Even your child doesn't create that million dollar painting, I bet they will feel like a million bucks when you proudly display their beautiful picture!

Jackson Pollock or your own?

Would you rather make your own marble painting or own a "drip and splash" one by Jackson Pollock?

See results

© 2013 Glimmer Twin Fan

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    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      How very clever and what a great activity for kids.

      There used to be a machine at some of the fairs...you put paints on a small canvas, and then placed the canvas on the turntable and it would swirl quickly, and the results were pretty cool. This reminds me of that old carnival crafting booth. :)

      Good job my friend. Have a great weekend.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 3 years ago from Massachusetts

      Glimmer, aren't you creative? What a great idea. Might have to try this with our grandson. Looks like such fun and so easy. Thank you for sharing this wonderful idea. Voted up, shared, pinned, etc...

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 3 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      How cool! And in time for those long, boring summer days after the fun of just getting out of school wears off!

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      Sounds beautifully abstract and most importantly, fun! Thanks, Glim!

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 3 years ago from San Francisco

      This is so clever. It looks habit forming. thanks

    • Ceres Schwarz profile image

      Ceres Schwarz 3 years ago

      This is such a creative and interesting hub. And this marble painting is definitely a fun activity to do especially for kids. The images you have on marble painting look really nice. It would be good to be able to create a masterpiece that can sell for millions of dollars.

    • Teresa Schultz profile image

      Teresa Schultz 3 years ago from East London, in South Africa

      Marble painting with actual marbels. Who would have guessed?! Looks like fun. I've tried getting a similar effect marble painting with dripping printer ink or runny paint onto paper, and then blowing the paint in all directions through a straw, but if one isn't careful and one gets too excited trying to blow for a long time or too hard, one may get a bit dizzy. No chance of getting dizzy with using marbles to make a marble painting. Great hub, voted up and useful, and shared with my HubPages followers.

    • europewalker profile image

      europewalker 3 years ago

      That is a fun and creative project for kids. Liked the video, voted up and useful.

    • purl3agony profile image

      Donna Herron 3 years ago from USA

      Love this idea!! I need to pin this :) Thanks for sharing!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

      Thanks Bill! I remember that machine too. Maybe I should open up a carnival stand and charge money! I could make a lot this summer at all the local fairs. Thanks for reading.

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 3 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      That's a different slant on marble painting and I love it. As you suggest, it's suitable for anyone to try. I think the aim would be to not overdo it as that's when the colours would be too mixed and lose their vibrancy. Might even try it myself!

    • CozyPozy profile image

      CozyPozy 3 years ago from USA

      Before I read your article, I had a completely different notion of what it would be about, but I love it! And I'd love to give it a try. Really cool!

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Looks like fun...I bet there are other things too to roll around in there for a different look, huh? I bet kids would really love this and would it ever keep them busy. Great idea, thanks for sharing. ^

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 3 years ago from America

      The marbling looks like a a lot of fun. Enjoyed your hub voted up.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

      Thanks so much Bill. I'm sure your grandson would love this. Especially if he is visiting and you are looking for something to do. Thanks for sharing and reading!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

      Hi Rebecca - Those days are right around the corner in my house. This is definitely one of those easy projects to fill in a couple of hours. Glad you enjoyed the hub.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

      Thanks so much for commenting and sharing Michelle. I appreciate it.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

      Thanks Martin! This is one of those projects one could do quite a few times. It's fun to see what kind of pattern you'll get.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

      Hi Ceres Schwarz - Boy I wish I could create an image that was worth millions, but this is fun too, especially with the kids. Many thanks for reading and commenting.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
      Author

      Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

      Thanks so much Teresa Schultz. I have never tired the method you described, but that would be fun too, except the dizzy part. I appreciate all of the support

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

      Thanks europewalker. I'm glad you enjoyed it and the video.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

      Thanks for the pin purl3agony. I'm glad you liked the hub and appreciate the comments.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

      BlossomSB - It can be easy to overdue the paints and then it gets muddied and gray, but to each his own. My daughter likes to put a lot of colors down and she adds lots more marbles. I think she likes the sound it makes when she shakes the shoebox. Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

      Hi CozyPozy - glad you decided to stop by and read. Hope you give it a try sometime.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
      Author

      Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

      Hi Jackie - I bet it would be fun to put other stuff in the shoebox and see what kind of effect it would have. That might be a good experiment on these long days of summer. Thanks for the idea and for commenting.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

      Thanks reading and commenting moonlake.

    • Mike Robbers profile image

      Mike Robbers 3 years ago from London

      Such a creative and fan activity! The painting pictures are also great. Nice hub Glimmer!

    • Suzie HQ profile image

      Suzanne Ridgeway 3 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi GTF,

      Love the simplicity of this and that it is good for kids and special needs. What fun it looks and reminds of a style I do with watercolors and salt.

      Many thanks for a fun easy craft anyone could do! Votes, shared and pinned!

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 3 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      How cool! This reminds me of some projects we used to do in school, like blow painting, where you blow the globs of paint around with a straw.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

      Thank you so very much for this wonderful gem.

      Eddy.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

      Thanks so much Mike! It's a fun project.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      This looks like fun. Remember when we used to fingerpaint in the old days?

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

      Hi Suzie - Thanks so much for your support. I really appreciate it. Your craft sounds like fun too. I love working with watercolors. Have a nice Sunday.

    • epbooks profile image

      Elizabeth Parker 3 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      I never heard of this before. Great idea for my friends who have children. Thanks for posting! Voted up useful and interesting!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

      I appreciate it Rebecca. I don't think I've ever done blow painting, but it would be great fun for kids too! Thanks for the suggestion and for commenting.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

      Thanks so much Eddy - This is definitely a fun craft to do.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

      Oh I loved to finger paint. My daughter always did too, but the mess sort of bugged me. Thanks for reading aviannovice.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

      Hi epbooks - Your friends' kids will love this craft. It's a good one if families are on vacation and stuck inside on a rainy day too, especially with summer vacations here now. Thanks for reading.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 3 years ago from sunny Florida

      How cool this is, Glimmer Twin Fan

      You are just a bottomless well of clever crafts. My family will be visiting soon and we always do crafts so we will give this a try. Thanks for sharing...Pinned and voted up.....Angels are on the way...ps

    • Mary Merriment profile image

      Mary Merriment 3 years ago from Boise area, Idaho

      I love this. I love this. I love this!

      Thank you for sharing. I'm very excited to give this one a roll!

    • Robie Benve profile image

      Robie Benve 3 years ago from Ohio

      Great hub, I can just imagine the fun my kids will have with this activity! Even the boy, that is not fond of art can really enjoy marble painting. Thanks for sharing. Voted up and interesting - and pinned it!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

      Many thanks pstraubie. Hope your family enjoys it. I have some family visiting right now and it's rainy so I thought the kids could do it today or tomorrow. My daughter already told me she was "bored" and it's her 1st day of summer vacation. I appreciate the support.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

      Hi Mary Merriment - I hope you have a good time. It's so much fun. Thanks for the support!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
      Author

      Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

      Robie - I think anyone can have a good time with this. One of the kids in Sunday school did not want to do it, but when I said he could stand up and shake it around like he was dancing, he loved it. Said it was a picture of his dance! Thanks so much for the nice comments.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Fun craft and educative. I always did wonder how a marbled look was given to a sheet or fabric and know now how it is done. Thanks for this tutorial, GTF.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
      Author

      Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

      Hi rajan - I'm glad you enjoyed the craft. It's amazing how much kids enjoy doing crafts. Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • Hendrika profile image

      Hendrika 3 years ago from Pretoria, South Africa

      I love this one because you do not have to using so many supplies. Another thing is my granddaughter is pretty impatient and wants to see results pretty soon so this is ideal

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

      Thank you Hendrika - I bet your granddaughter would love this craft and like you said, you don't need too many supplies. Most people have everything on hand. Have a nice day.

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