Thursday, September 15, 2016

Marbling Technique

One of the challenges I like to participate in every month is the CAS Mix-Up Challenge with Bonnie and Loll.  It's always fantastic to see all the entries in this challenge and I often learn a new technique when participating.  This month the Challenge is to use Stamping, Marbling and my choice which means I am definitely planning to use some "spray" (Shimmer Spritz).

Having only done this technique once many years ago, I wanted to play a bit to refresh my memory about a few different things and try it in some new ways. So I used cardstock, glossy cardstock and watercolor paper for my marbling and I definitely learned a thing or two along the way.  The most important thing was learning not to mess with it too much or you'll lose your white space.  It's pretty easy to get the first couple of panels marbled but as you re-use that bit of shaving foam, it gets more and more mixed up and you don't have as much clean foam left to preserve the white space.  It's all in whatever you like.  I just happened to find that I like to preserve some of the white.  Watercolor paper took the color okay, but it wasn't worth the extra cost.  Glossy cardstock didn't take the color very well at all but if you wanted something subtle, it would be a good option.

The shaving foam is only the medium which carries the ink to your cardstock. This is the one thing that I take to my kitchen to do rather than doing it in my studio.  I have good counter space there and all the necessary items; a cookie sheet or paper plate, a sink and paper towels. Since you need to get enough shaving foam to do the job, you might just as well do some additional marbled panels while you're at it.  I did a few yesterday and a few today.

Start by putting some shaving foam down in the bottom of a paper plate or cookie sheet.  If you use a cookie sheet, you can put down a piece of waxed paper to keep the mess contained better.  This is the cheapest can of shaving foam there is -- 98¢ at Walmart. As long as it is foam, not lotion or gel, it works.

The next step is to add a few drops of re-inker in whatever coordinating colors you want to use.  Just add them randomly. Mine is a combination of Vintage Jadeite and Tropical Teal and I could have used more of the Jadeite.

Find something to swirl the ink around in the foam with.  I used a plastic fork, but you could use any kind of plastic silverware, a bamboo skewer or just something long enough not to be dragging your hand around it.  A toothpick isn't tall enough.  But silverware washes so you could use that and just wash it off.  It is ink after all and will stain your clothes or fingers so be careful.  Make sure not to over mix -- if you want white space in your panel, you have to have some of the foam still be white. I found I liked my results best when I had lots of streaks of color.  Each time you pile that foam back up to mash your card panel into, the color mixes a bit more.  I can easily do 4 panels with each plate of foam.  You could probably do more if you wanted to use them for some kind of mass production such as note cards you're making to give as a gift. Four panels is plenty for my needs and I did a few different color combinations as well so all together I have 12 of them now.

Here's an example of the first one I did in the teal and green with the last one I did. As you pile the shaving foam back up to put your next cardstock panel into, the foam and ink gets more mixed up and there is less white space. I like both looks.  It's a fun way to bring a ton of color to your card and make people wonder how you did that. I personally feel that 3 colors is about the most you can use or it starts getting too distracting. Once you've put your cardstock down into the foam, lift it up by the corner and start scraping the foam off with a knife or scraper.  I have a Pampered Chef scraper that I use and that's perfect as it's wider than the width of a card. Your paper will need to dry, but it's not very damp.

If it curls up a bit, just run it through your die cutting machine when it dries with the embossing sandwich, making sure the pretty side of your panel is the side that is facing the uncut cutting plate.  If you use a cutting plate that has cut marks on it, those will transfer to your paper.  Again, I keep an unmarked cutting plate separate from the rest of my die cutting plates to use only for this purpose. Since I like to douse almost every background panel in some type of shimmer mist, I do the flattening exercise a lot!  If I kept the unmarked pad laying there, I would eventually accidentally pick it up and use it and not realize until it was too late. This is a super easy technique, just a bit messy.  I clean as I go to avoid accidental contact with something not intended.

To put the rest of my card together I stamped the blooms from Altenew's Beautiful Day with Versamark, Heat embossed them with Simon Says Stamp Antique Gold Embossing Powder, and used a technique I call "Watercolor Detail Stamping" using Peacock Feathers Distress Ink.  I also stamped and heat embossed the leaves with the same embossing powder onto Vintage Jadeite Cardstock so that I would have exactly the right color to match my background. I cut the pieces out with the Beautiful Day Coordinating Dies.  The sentiment is from the Altenew Sentiments and Quotes Stamp Set and is a favorite.  The gold accent piece is cut from Spellbinders Labels 42 and Labels 42 Decorative Elements.  They fit snugly into each other.  Everything is attached to a Rustic White Top Folding Card Base.

In addition to entering the CAS Mix Up Challenge, I am entering this into the Altenew Ultimate Blog Hop Challenge and the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge with the theme of Clean and Simple.

Thank you so much for stopping by today to check out my blog post.  I hope you'll give this technique a try and if you do, let me know what colors you used that you liked.  I'm about to start the note card sets that I give to my sisters-in-law for Christmas and would love to hear some of your color combinations.  I appreciate every positive and encouraging comment you leave for me.  I'll be back soon as I have several other projects on my desk right now.


  1. Vicki, TFS your very detailed marbling adventure. It is a fun technique with very interesting results. I still have several pieces left over for future projects. Your finished card turned out beautifully. Thank you for sharing your photos of your various pieces too. So pleased you joined us at CAS Mix Up. Hugs, Nancy

  2. Great job with marbling Vicki. And a great picture tutorial along with lots of tips. I love both the marbled pieces you show. What a difference between the first pull and the last. Equally beautiful, but totally different. I'm glad you had fun trying the technique. And now you have lots of backgrounds to make even more cards. :) Your card design is gorgeous with the marbled paper. And of course, Altenew's beautiful stamps. Thanks for sharing with us at CAS Mix Up!

  3. Great job with the marbling and I love all the tips you've added, Vicki! Very helpful! I think marbling is lots of fun and at least it's a good smelling mess! I can't say that for all the techniques I've tired! LOL These colors make pretty marbling and your die cut flowers are so pretty! Thanks so much for sharing this with us at CAS Mix Up!

  4. Gorgeous card Vickie! It's so pretty & the background looks lovely.
    Thanks for joining us at Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge
    Mandy xx


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