diy project: marbled paper how-to with erica domesek!

Last month Amy and I hopped in a car and drove out to Montauk to film a DIY video with one of our favorite crafty ladies, Erica Domesek of PS I Made This. Erica’s first book, also called PS I Made This, just launched this month and we wanted to celebrate by trying a project that she assured us would be easy for even the newest crafter. So today Erica is teaching us how to create Marbled Paper and turn it into a cute paper lampshade! And, because Erica is the queen of making something beautiful out of almost anything, she even came up with a fun necklace DIY using the leftover marbled paper scraps (Instructions after the jump). Thanks so much to Erica for sharing this fun project with us and showing us a great time during our trip to Montauk. Click here to check out Erica’s website and click here to check out and order her fantastic new book online. xo, grace

Click here to pick up a copy of Erica’s new book

CLICK HERE for the written instructions and Erica’s Marbled Paper Necklaces after the jump!

Materials Needed for Marbling Paper

Materials Needed for Creating a Lampshade

  • paper lampshade
  • marbled paper
  • hot glue
  • clothespins

Project Instructions for Marbling Paper

  1. In mixing bowl, whisk methylcellulose with water. Let it sit for an hour, whisking every 15 minutes.
  2. Pour an inch of the methylcellulose and water mixture into a shallow container (We used a baking tray)
  3. If the mixture develops bubbles, float strips of newspaper on the mixture, pat the newspaper lightly and from one corner, peel the newspaper off the mixture – the bubbles should disappear.
  4. Thin your acrylic paint with water.
  5. Using a paint brush, sprinkle dots of thinned paint on the methylcellulose mixture in the shallow container.
  6. Using toothpicks, cardboard and masking tape, make a comb.
  7. Use this comb and/or a bamboo skewer to swirl the paint and create patterns.
  8. Float the 100% cotton paper on the swirled paint. Lightly pat the paper to make sure that all the paper is touching the paint.
  9. Lifting from one corner, peel the paper from the paint mixture and float the paper, paint side up in a second baking tray filled with an inch of water.
  10. Pour a cup of water over the paint to rinse it.
  11. Remove the marbled paper from the water and shake it lightly to remove excess water.
  12. Hang the paper to dry on a clothesline or lay it flat.

Project Instructions for Marbled Paper Lampshade

  1. Measure lampshade and trim paper to fit.
  2. Pipe hot glue around the top and bottom of your lampshade.
  3. Wrap the paper around the existing lampshape.
  4. Clip with clothespin until the hot glue has dried.

Project Instructions for Marbled Necklaces

  1. Using your excess paper, tear off pieces in shapes that you like. (Erica made tear drop shapes)
  2. Lay out the pieces of paper in a pattern or arrangement that you like.
  3. If you’re using cord, cut a hole in the paper with a hole punch so you can string it on the cord. Then tie a knot on either side of the paper (or just one side if you want them to be close together) to keep them in place.
  4. If you’re using a chain, use a needle and thread to stitch the paper on to the chain links in the desired order.

  1. Amanda says:

    I absolutely love this idea! I’ve been thinking of creating marbled wrapping paper for the holidays and this is a great tutorial. But, can you dip paper into the methylcellulose/ink concoction more than once? Or do you have to redo it for each sheet of paper?

  2. Caitlyn says:

    There is also a fun way to marble paper with shaving cream! This way is especially fun and easy for kids to do!

    Here’s one website on how to do it.

  3. Gotta love this crafty lady! I already have the book, and what’s really great about it is how accessible it is. Love how she customizes things to just add a personal touch. Sweet little video. Montauk looks so inviting!!

  4. These are great crafty ideas, customization and a personal touch go a long long way.

  5. Christin says:

    I was totally just looking up ways to make marbled paper today! Thanks for posting this how-to!

  6. Kimberly says:

    So fun! I actually learned to do this from ‘The Dangerous Book for Boys’ I had bought as a gift for my younger brother. Looks like I’ll just have to pick up Erica’s book for more crafty greatness!

  7. Maia says:

    This post made me so nostalgic, it reminded me of my 10th birthday when my Grandma bought me my first paper marbling kit and I still remember how engrossed I was in that kit for days. Signs of a future craft junky.

  8. erin / dfm says:

    oh, you two make the cutest pair ever. LOOOOOVE this post!

    (hi sweet erica!)

  9. What a wonderful little video! Can’t get enough of Erica and all of her projects… I’ve got to make time to pick up that book!

  10. RSA Online says:

    Ooh I love the necklace idea!

  11. Sarah says:

    This is a great project for all ages. I love the simplicity of the look and contless uses you can conjure with the marbled paper. Thank you, thank you , thank you.

  12. thanks for sharing. Marbling is fantastic!

  13. Petra says:

    I LOVE marbled paper. I never knew how easy it was to make at home. Sign me up!

  14. Katherine says:

    Oooh, takes me back to making marbled paper when I was little. You can definitely dip multiple sheets of paper, you’ll want to re-swirl the paint and possibly add more between sheets.

  15. Patty says:

    where can I purchase methylcellulose?

    1. grace says:


      you can buy it at most fine art stores. it’s also here:

      grace :)

  16. Jennifer says:

    did you see the new john deiran sp?
    crates at target? they have a marbled paper one…cute

  17. *Ashley Terese* says:

    Besides the shaving cream you can also shave some chalk pastels into some water and drape your paper onto the surface. It’s more subtle and less permanent, but you get some neat color blending.

  18. Amanda says:

    Wow this amazing ! I from Poland but I love this web :) ;)

  19. I always wanted to know how and now I know it. It’s soo easy thank’s Erica. BTW I bought your book! I love it.

  20. Thank you so much Erica for sharing this cool project of yours. I love hand made accessories they look simple but elegant.

  21. Georgiann says:

    Erica, is this process of marbling going to work for a glass vase as well as paper using the same technique? Can I use anything other than the metholcellulose?

  22. RSA Online says:

    It is fun n innovation. Lovely lampshade. I like your simple approach and instruction. Thanks a bundle!

  23. Voodhu Yui says:

    Very awesome! I just started working on my own method of digital marbling here:

    But I must say I do enjoy marbling in the classic sense a lot better and think it results in more of a unique final product!

  24. It’s a fabulous and ingenuous innovation from paper! The materials used are very common to find at home and Erica found a way to bring them all together to blend into a marble paper. It’s very beautiful! I’m gonna use it as lampshade.

  25. Alissa says:

    I love this project! What role does Methylcellulose play? Is it just there to thicken the water, or does it adhere the paint to the paper better? If it’s just there as a thickener…could cornstarch work?


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