Marbling is the art of printing multi-coloured swirled or stone-like patterns on paper or fabric. The patterns are formed by first floating the colours on the surface of a liquid, and then laying the paper or fabric onto the colours to absorb them.
These papers or fabrics can then be used in craft projects ranging from stationary making to book binding. Marbling is the perfect activity for dads and kids to spend time together. It can be as simple or as complex as desired, and kids of all ages can participate and slowly progress to more advanced techniques, with dad’s guidance.
Shaving cream method
Dads can start out by using shaving cream, which they have ready access to. Shaving cream can be messy, but is part of the fun for kids doing the creating. Put foam-style shaving cream onto a tray or paper plate and smooth to form a flat surface. Squirt liquid paint such as tempera onto the shaving cream base and swirl with toothpicks into pretty designs. Place the paper on top the cream so that it adheres to the paper, then scrape the excess cream off, leaving the swirled pattern behind. The soaps in the shaving cream help the ink adhere to the paper.
Dads can also try crayons, which are well suited for kids. Crayons give bold colours and the designs are easy to manipulate, even for small hands. Dads can shave crayons with a knife or vegetable peeler. Let the kids sprinkle the different coloured shavings onto the paper. Place a piece of wax paper over the paper with the shavings in between, then dads can run an iron, set on high heat, over the papers. When wax paper is removed, the crayons will have melted to the paper in bold designs.
Here are some links for those ready to move on to more advanced techniques: