How To Use Marbling Inks in 9 Steps

Marbling is a trend that never seems to go away. Here in 9 steps, we show you how to create unique and beautiful marble art, using our favourite Pebeo Marbling Inks.

What is Marbling?

Marbling is a method of decorating paper or fabric to imitate marble and other stone where colour is suspended in a thickened liquid and manipulated into various patterns. Paper or fabric is then laid upon the mixture and the pattern prints onto the surface.

This technique requires patience and attention, as well as a little practice. You may not get it quite right straight away so marbling is definitely a case of practice definitely makes perfect.

To do this tutorial, we are using Pébéo’s Marbling Inks. Their marbling colours are used according to a technique inspired by Japanese marbling on rice paper in the eleventh century, Suminagashi, and then in Europe by nineteenth-century bookbinders. You often find gorgeous old books and diaries with marbled papers in them.

It can be used in creations on all light surfaces: fabric, paper, card, recycled paper, wood, plaster and more. If you want to marble on fabric you will need to fix the inks so they don’t run when they get wet. The best way to fix the colours is to iron after drying.

In 9 steps, we are going to share our top Marbling tips & techniques and you will learn how to create your own marble effects. You can apply this technique so you can create beautiful patterns on fabric, cards, ceramic & more. Warning – this can get addictive and you may not be able to stop.

Cyan, White and Black, ready for a shot of Bengal Pink
to really bring this marble creation to life.

Let’s Get Marbling:

You will need:

  • A large tray with deep sides ( bigger than the items you are printing with
  • A large jug of cold water
  • Marbling Bath solution
  • Marbling Inks in different colours
  • Thin paper or fabric or something to print on
  • Wooden skewers
  • A table cloth ( this can get quite wet and messy)
  • You can use small tongs
  • A place to let the results dry


Instructions:

  1. Using the jug prepare the bath by adding 2 heaped tablespoons of the bath solution to 1 litre of cold water and stir thoroughly – this will allow the inks to float on the surface rather than sinking.
  2. You will need patience as you need to leave the water bath combination to stand for 2 hours before pouring a 1 – 2cm layer of the bath into a flat tray or plastic tub. This should create a gel-like substance.
  3. Using the pipette lid carefully drop your coloured marbling inks onto the surface of the mixture.
  4. Let the colour spread and settle before using the skewer play with the pigments, be careful not to touch the bottom of the tray and try not to overwork it.
  5. You can premix some of your colours for more shades or mix them in the bath.
  6. When you have your pattern place your paper onto the surface of the bath by rolling it on rather than laying it down at the same time, making sure it is completely flat.
  7. Make sure the paper doesnt go under the water.
  8. Leave it for 10 – 15 seconds before carefully lifting out by rolling back out of the bath.
  9. Quickly rinse under running water to remove excess ink and dry flat.
Pebeo's Marbling Inks

Practice

You may not get to grips with this straight away. It may take you a few tries to get the consistency right. You may want to try a class and have a teacher explain how this all works. Or you may get it right first time. The results are amazing and it’s really fun. Just make sure you have a nice stack of papers and bits to dip.

Practice definitely makes perfect and you will also learn what appears and objects marble best. Pebeo has a video you can watch and we’ll include their PDF Gift Wrap Instructions below for you to try yourself.

Don’t forget to share your creations with us using #craftyartscommunity. We’d love to see what you make.

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