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Add your experiences and lesson ideas for using marbling techniques in the Art Workshop to teach Bible stories.

Pentecost Art Project

Pictured above: A technique that uses shaving cream and ink at Looks like Pentecost paper! Read more about it below.

Note: There are many similar "marbling" techniques. Some use shaving cream for more control of the colors. You can use a variety of paint-types, including inks, acrylics, fabric puff paints, and fabric dyes.  Some marble paper, others like this video demo use fabrics like pillow cases and discuss do's and dont's.

The inks and paints can be applied "as is" to the shaving cream base, or pre-mixed with a little bit of shaving cream to give them body as you dribble them into the shaving cream base.

Whichever paints you choose, you'll want your young artists to try MANY different colors and techniques, so set up more than one station.

The following video is one of many you can find on YouTube about marbling. We've selected it because it shows various techniques and papers.


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  • Pentecost art project
Last edited by CreativeCarol
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Marbling paper with shaving cream and ink

What? How!? I couldn't leave this alone so here's what I discovered.
The process of marbleizing 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 wonderfully described at Looks like fun and not as messy as I might have imagined. Here's one of several photos from A Beautiful Messes' "how to" page...

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

I am thinking it could be used to create marbelized paper reflecting on:

  • Story of Creation
  • Joseph's coat of many colors
  • 3 o'clock on Good Friday
  • Pentecost.

Here is a brief version of the shaving cream and ink "marbelizing" steps from the a-beautiful-mess site:

Step 1. Supplies needed:
-shaving cream
-inks (any type of bottled ink will work)
-a toothpick
-a flat tool like a spatula
-some plain white card stock to marble
-rubber gloves are optional but recommended (I completed this project with some ink stained hands that lasted for 24 hours—oops!)

Step 2. Creating a surface of shaving cream on a paper plate bigger than your paper.

Step 3. Use a spatula to smooth the surface.

Step 4. Sprinkle drops of ink over the shaving cream. Use as many colors.

Teaching Tip: Discuss what each color represents in the story.

Step 5. Use a toothpick to light stir or "marble" the ink by simply drawing patterns and shapes into the shaving cream.

Step 6-8. Press the paper down onto the shaving cream. Press it in a lot.

Step 9. Remove the paper and scrape the excess shaving cream off of the paper.

Step 10. Don’t run water over the paper. Place paper on flat surface or drying rack and let dry. Use a fan to speed up the process.

Follow up: What from the Bible lesson then could be DRAWN ON the dried marbleized paper?

Idea: While drying, you can draw on the paper using a toothpick dipped in ink, or the tip of a feather.

Joseph Note Card Idea: What "notecards" would Joseph write to his brothers?  What would he want to say to them? What DID he say to them?  Marbleize the backs of those cards after writing them using permanent markers.

God's Creation Story Notecard Idea:   Creation is God's message to us. What message is God sending to you by creating the universe and placing you in it? Either Marbleize the backs of those cards after writing them using permanent markers. Distribute to friends and church members. You could also write on top of the marblized paper using a white or gold "paint pen."

Other versions of this technique use dots of acrylic paint or puff fabric paint which take more swirling.

Posted by Krista Lovell regarding the suggestion for marbelizing Joseph's Coat:

Want "the process" of creating art to teach the lesson instead of just the result? Focus on the changes that take place during the marbelizing.

Mixing the colors and watching the swirls change was a great way to illustrate all the changes in Joseph's life! We created several different "types" of swirl patterns across multiple pans, then let kids press paper into their choice of three of them.

One pattern we experimented with was zigzag to represent the indirect route Joseph's life took to the place God wanted him to be. Another was a swirl that was a circle that swirled to the center -- representing the place God brought Joseph's life.  His brothers and family were represented with orange, and his Egyptian family was represented in blue. God's movement in his life was represented by yellow, which was stirred to whirl through all the other colors.

Again, the process, what we were doing and seeing helped make the teaching points - not just the "finished product." (It served as a reminder.)


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  • marbelizing paper with shaving cream and ink
Last edited by Neil MacQueen

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

Here's another "marbleizing video demonstration with vibrant colors and a variety of results. The artist notes that shaving cream is a wonderful "sensory" material (feel and smell) that heightens the experience and memory.

Unlike some other "demos" you can view online, this artist doesn't first smooth out the shaving cream, but rather, dribbles the paint on the relatively uneven spread of shaving cream AND THEN swirls it in.

The "notecards" she creates could have a Bible message written on them AHEAD OF TIME using permanent pens, then "marbleizing" them with colors and shapes that represent the story you are teaching.

Key: Don't over-swirl or you will end up with brown paint!

Tip: If you use primary colors, when swirled they can combine to create a secondary color (blue + yellow = green, for example)

Last edited by Neil MacQueen
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.

Here's a lesson that uses marbleizing with shaving cream, as well as construction paper and acrylic paints. It's located in our Esther - Art Workshop forum.

In the lesson draft, each class made marbleized prayer box paper for the next class that was coming into the workshop the following week. However, you can FIRST glue the paper to the box and then smoosh the box itself into the marbleing shaving cream and then scrape it off, so that the kids were making their own paper for their own prayer boxes. That way each side of the box could have a different color pattern. (Tip: Leave the bottom unpainted so that the box can sit and dry without sticking to the table.)  Blow dry with fan for about ten minutes, then wrap in foil to travel home (and further dry at home).

Add:  Have the kids write some prayer subjects on marblized paper to put in their box to go home.

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.


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Last edited by Neil MacQueen

We did this last year with puff fabric paints and shaving cream to make colorful "stone tablets" on which we wrote the summary of the Ten Commandments known as the "Great Commandment." They turned out amazing and the kids loved it.

The trick:  Before marbling, write your words in CRAYON before putting the paper "tablets" into the color-marbling shaving cream. The paint won't stick (as much) to the words. (write with thick lines of crayon wax).

Creating Ten Commandments Stone Tablets with Marbleized Paper


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  • Creating Ten Commandments Stone Tablets with Marbleized Paper
Last edited by Neil MacQueen

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