Marbled Paper: Do-it myself

Oh, I am so frustrated with blogger! I had just worked very hard on a post, and then it lost it! Then I tried uploading pics again and it lost them! I am very, very aggravated. It's never done that to me before. Oh well, here goes another try!

I've always wanted to make marbled paper, so when I saw a marbled paper project in Mom's Martha Stewart craft book, I decided the time had come. Unfortunately, I didn't really like her instructions, and I didn't have some of the supplies, so I poked around on the internet and read many many articles on how to make marbled paper. Unfortunately, there were many different methods out there, from the traditional method with expensive specialty supplies, to a stupid kid's craft with shaving cream and food coloring! The ones somewhere in between there was what I was looking for, and eventually I just cobbled together my own, from what I had read.
This is my workspace. The catalog pages were to sop up the mess (haha!), and the white sheets of paper are the ones to be marbled. First of all, however, everyone agreed you should brush a alum solution on one side of them, which is supposed to make the color absorb better. Alum is just some white powder thing that people use to make pickles (and marbled paper), and you can get it in the spice aisle.
These are my paints. They're just regular acrylic paints that I watered down a little. To start I had red, blue, copper, and light green, but I added some other ones later, in place of the copper and green, because they were so light they didn't show up much.
I had to let the alum-coated paper dry, but I'm rather impatient about such things. So I decided to iron one, just to see if I could speed the process up a bit. I didn't know whether or not you could put the iron directly on the paper, so I ironed between a scrap of cloth instead.

Finally! Time for the good part. At first, I couldn't get the paint to stay on the top. Really you were supposed to thicken the water with liquid starch, or something like that, but I didn't have any. Eventually I got some to float on the top.

At this point, I got super excited, because I could finally get the paint to stay where I wanted it. It was so much fun swirling it around! It didn't stay blotchy like this for long... I swirled it with a toothpick.
At this point my photographers (Sam) failed, and accidentally took a movie instead of pictures. So you don't see me swirling it, or lowering the paper down onto it, but here is the final result. I could not for the life of me get a good picture, but in real life it has a really cool pattern. The colors were not half as bright as I wanted them, though.
I did four or five more sheets. This is my workspace when I was done. The water was a very thick plum-colored substance, and the table had various colors of paint flung on it.

And here is the finished result! Not terribly impressive, mostly due to the fact that the colors weren't very bright, and my papers refused to have their wrinkles ironed out. But! The process was a lot of fun, and I fully intend to do it again. Next time, however, I will either buy brighter colors, or ones that are made specifically for marbling paper.

In conclusion, I have five halfway decent pieces of marbled paper, and I have finally attempted to make marbled paper! Hurray, for me. :-)

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