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Marbilize paper with shaving cream and ink

What? How!? I couldn't leave this alone so here's what I discovered.
The process of marbelizing paper using ink floating on water is called 'sumingashi', put that into google or whatever and find out all kinds of fun facts.
The process of using shaving cream is described at Looks like fun and not as messy as I might have imagined.

So how would you incorporate this method into a workshop--what story would it fit?

I am thinking creation, Joseph's coat,

Posted by Krista Lovell

Want art to be "the process" instead of the result?
For the story of Joseph we did marbelizing. Mixing the colors and watching the swirls change was a great way to illustrate all the changes in Joseph's life! We swirled for most of the lesson time, then made our prints. Again, the lesson was in the process - not the "finished product".

maybe make journal covers in the fall to be used the rest of the year.

Moderator replaced dead link.

Last edited by Luanne Payne

Anything flowing like this could work for the Holy Spirit -- so maybe Pentecost.

The shaving cream is also a sort of barrier, which God breaks through (ink) to make something good and beautiful. That could be used for any number of stories -- Joseph, resurrection, conversion of Saul/Paul, etc.

I'm definitely going to use this one.


WOW! This is the COOLEST project! I just tried it and was surprised at how easy it was and how cool it looked when finished! Also the paper is dry when you wipe the shaving cream off! Yes, dry! So you can instantly make something with it! Go to this site for a step by step with photos:

and from it I quote:

  • You can do shaving cream marbling with just about any paints, not just liquid watercolors. We’ve done this with tempera paints, BioColors, food coloring, and acrylics. BioColors and liquid watercolors work especially well, though.
  • Scraping the shaving cream off the paper right away is important. You don’t want to let the shaving cream soak into the paper. It’ll get gunky and stain the paper.

We're going to be using this as an art rotation on Noah in September.

Advice: If you use food coloring, have kids wear disposable plastic gloves. Put down disposable tablecloths. Don't stir too much or it makes the colors murky.

Here's a link to the history of marbling:

I like that the Turkish version was called "cloud art" - to especially go with the shaving cream version ... and the story of Noah!

Shaving Cream Storytelling portion of Noah's Art -- I think we'll have the kids do the project a little at a time while telling the story ...
Clouds gathered = start adding shaving cream
Clouds = rain
Waters covered the earth = shaving cream covers the tray
Doesn't look like anything but a mess
But God made something good out of it, provided a rainbow promise = add food coloring and swirl!

We'll also be making bookmarkers, adding a dove punch or sticker, rainbow ribbon, and having the kids write the verse on it with a black sharpee marker. Since you can pull off multiple projects from one application, I'm thinking of having 2 kids work together and have each make 2, one to keep and one to give away to a new friend at school (and of course, share the verse and story).


Moderator rearranged text slightly for clarity.

Last edited by Luanne Payne
You can also do marbling with chalk that is scraped onto the surface of water and swirled carefully and then place the paper on top of it. Cuts cost but you cannot have kids with chalk allergies.
Another paint that works well for marbling is called "BioColor". It is a special tempera paint that remains flexible after it has dried, and doesn't flake off like regular tempera paints do. Biocolors can be dropped onto a piece of paper, then scraped off while still wet, leaving the color behind. They are available from The catalog, actually shows examples of different techniques using their specialty paints.

A lesson which makes use of marbleizing with shaving cream, as well as construction paper and acrylic paints is located here:  Esther - Art Workshop

Lesson Summary:  Learn about how prayer ties to the story of Esther. Create prayer boxes out of marbleized paper. Make marbleized paper for the next class to use.


Last edited by Luanne Payne

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