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DIY results and Subway Marble Inspirations

by Haylie Waring

DIY results & Subway marble inspirations
Bye now! What a fun week I have had here on D*Sponge! It truly has been a whirlwind of a week and postings. Well, before I go I want to share my new found love for all things marbled. It all started with a recent Country Living article about a Rhode Island woman who collects graniteware, also known as marbled enamelware. The woman in the article had the most incredible collection of these marbleized odds and ends, and she inspired me to start my own collection of graniteware and other marbleized goodies too. There is just something so beautiful about marbling that strikes my fancy. For me marbling has replaced the ikat “fad”, I want marble texture everywhere! To go along with my newest obsession, I have included another DIY on how to make your own decorative marbleized paper. These papers would make great backings for bookshelves, or as drawer liners. They could also be a nice detail for table decorations for a dinner party.

Country Living article on Graniteware Collection & Graniteware paper

Marble Collection & DIY marbled paper


Step by Step

Marbling Paper
This process is fairly simple, but it does take practice. I recommend starting small, but eventually it would be great to do a run in the bathtub for bigger projects. I also recommend using paints specifically made for marbling, you can also find kits online, which would make things way more fool proof- trust me!
Materials & Tools:
-Marbling Paint
-Liquid Starch
-Large pan or dish that will fit a sheet of paper
-Alum Mordant
-Spray bottle or sponge
-Containers and stirrers for paint
-Pointed tool: sticks, picks, forks, needle
-Brush or eyedropper
-Paper towel
-Scrap newspaper

Step 1: Mix one tablespoon of alum with one cup of warm water. Then you either spray the mordant on or sponge it on to your paper for better adhesion of the paint. Let paper dry.
Step 2: Pour liquid starch into pan, approximately 1 inch deep
Step 3: Mix paint to desired colors. Each (8.5 X 11) print requires about 1 to 1.5 tablespoons of paint, so mix accordingly.
Step 4: Using a paintbrush or eyedropper, drip paint into starch. Hold dropper close to the surface of starch, to keep paint from sinking. You can randomly drip paint or make a pattern for consistency.
Step 5: Using your pointed tools, run the tip of point(s) through drops of paint, swirling & marbling the starch
Step 6: Now, take your dry paper, mordant side down and slowly lower it onto the surface of the starch. The best way to guarantee an even coverage is to hold the paper in a “U” shape so that the center of the paper touches first and then lower the sides to be flat. Only allow the paper to sit for 2 seconds or so.
Step 7: After 2 seconds, remove the paper, pulling up from one side quickly, and then lay paper down on top of excess paper to set
Step 8: Allow setting for 10- 15 minutes. Then rinse the starch off under running water, cool or lukewarm.
Step 9: Layout to dry & voila! Marbled paper, ready to use in any way you like.
I want to thank you all for reading and for the sweet comments, advice, and questions and thanks again Grace for having me!

Marble lined bookshelf

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  • can somone plese direct me to where i should go to unsubscribe? i can not find info on this newsletter – too many emails come from this newsletter for my email server.

    • cj

      d*s doesn’t send out a newsletter, but you’re probably subscribed to the RSS feed. just log into your feedblitz account and click “unsubscribe” where you see design*sponge, that should do the trick ;)


  • i’ve used marbling techniques to embellish hollow easter eggs. after blowing out the eggs contents, i ran a wood skewer through the holes, and rolled the eggs in the marbling pan. i used a simple technique: i just sprayed automotive paints onto water (in a shallow pan) , swirled with a stick, and because the paint is not water-based, the paint strands float.

    after the paint design grabbed onto the egg surface, i stuck one end of the skewer into a large styrofoam block, so the eggs could dry upright. you could later spray with a compatible clear, but avoid spraying the styro…sometimes the spray paint solvent dissolves the styro!

  • What kind of paper works the best for this? I don’t want to use plain old bond paper… would this work on cotton letterpress stock?

  • “The woman in the article with the most incredible collection of these marbleized odds and ends” is my aunt! She has an incredible sense of style and transformed that farmhouse and property into a magical place.

  • Thanks for sharing this technique! I’ve always loved the look of marble (& marbles) & this is a great way to get that look in a print. Thanks for posting.

  • could the author be a little more specific about what kind of paint she is using? i’m not coming across any specific marbling paint when i search.

  • I ordered the marbling kit from here. I’ve used it for two museum classes and two 4-H groups and still have plenty of materials left. With both groups we did a variety of papers starting with copy paper for their first few and moving to nice watercolor paper after they got the hang of things. We also did cloth. I cut and treated muslin squares and the 4-H kids used them in quilt/textile projects.

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