Meg’s Makes: Week 1 - Marbled Paper

Hello and welcome, fellow makers! Since this is our first post of the year, we wanted to kick it off with something fun.

Working in marketing on The Handmade Fair means that I get to spend lots of time admiring the fantastic creations of the best makers around, and in turn wishing I shared their enviable talents. Naturally, this also means I have built up a small obsession with the world of Pinterest - I’m always finding inspiration for things I’d love to make, but sadly rarely finding the time.

I’m making it a mission of mine to have a go at a fun DIY every week, and let you all see the true (and sometimes not entirely pretty) results of my efforts! I’m aiming to spend as little as possible on my makes, and will be using lots of bits and bobs I find around the house.

I thought it would be a fun project; firstly to remind us all of how much fun making is and that it’s worth finding a little bit of time for, and secondly to hopefully encourage those who might not call themselves ‘creative’ to get involved and try something new!

So please join me in taking my first step towards replicating the lovely things I find on Pinterest. Otherwise known as ‘Meg Vs Pinterest’!

<< MARBLED PAPER >>

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

  • Thick paper or card (the thicker the better)
  • Washi tape / masking tape
  • Foil tray (or just line a roasting tin with foil)
  • Shaving foam
  • Food colouring
  • Plastic spatula
  • Toothpick / small stick
  • Palette knife / ruler
  • Plastic chopping board / washable surface
  • Tissue or kitchen roll

TIME: About 15 minutes

COST: £1 - shaving foam

HOW TO DO IT:

1. Tape around the edges of the back of your piece(s) of card to protect the colour from sneaking around to the back.

2. Half fill your foil tray with shaving foam (make sure it’s white!) and drop in spots of food colouring across the surface.

3. Lightly stir the foam around with your spatula to create a lovely marbled effect with your base colour. DON’T OVER MIX - you’ll lose the intensity of the colour and it won’t print on the paper clearly. You want to keep some bold lines in there.

4. Add some drops of a second colour, or as many as colours as you wish, and lightly swirl the surface with your toothpick.

5. When you’re happy with the pattern, place your card on the surface of the foam and push down all across the surface to ensure all parts of the card touch the foam (don’t leave it for too long, as the card will get soggy).

6. Take one corner of the card and pull it away from the foam, then lie it on your surface and very quickly swipe the excess foam away with your ruler / palette knife in one movement. If you do this part too slowly, or in a few swipes, you might smudge the colour, which sadly happened to the corner of mine.

7. Lightly dab away any leftover foam with your tissue, and leave to dry for a few hours.

8. Sit back with a cup of tea (or chosen poison) and admire your gloriously jazzy paper!

MEG’S VERDICT

How easy was it? 4/5

It took 15 minutes from start to finish, using only a few bits from around the house. The one tricky thing is making sure you don’t smudge the colour when you scrape off the foam. I think that one will get easier with a few more tries though.

How much fun did I have? 4/5

It was enjoyable, colourful, easy, and a little bit messy - you can’t go wrong with that combo!

How useful will the skill it be in future? 4/5

Now that I’ve worked out that I should use much thicker card, and that there’s a knack to spreading the colour around, I will absolutely be doing this again. It’ll be a great skill to use for jazzing up the back of an invite, envelope, or menu for example.

Does Pinterest lie?

Not so much - obviously the photography is better than my dodgy iPhone snap (which always helps) but the image is pretty true to what I think you could achieve after getting the hang of it on your 3rd or 4th go. So let’s get practising!