Making Marbleized Artwork

Category Painting
Create beautiful marbleized artwork on paper using cooking oil and food colors or water and nail polish. This is a great project of kids as well; younger ones will likely need guidance. The instructions and photos follow.


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This is a fun way to marblize paper with food colouring and oil, using no harmful chemicals. Since oil and water don't mix, the food colouring only stains the paper where the oil doesn't settle, creating beautiful and exciting scenes. Hold the finished works up to the light and you'll see amazing patterns in your newly translucent paper. This is a fantastic and low-cost craft to do with kids.

Total Time: 20 minutes, plus dry time


  • cooking oil
  • food colouring
  • a cup or bowl per color
  • fork
  • baking dish filled with water
  • card stock or regular paper


  1. Pour a small amount of oil into the cups or bowls.
  2. Add some food colouring to the oil.
  3. Mix the colours and oils vigorously with the fork.
  4. Gently pour or drop the oil colours into the dish of water.
  5. Immediately lay a piece of paper on the water.
  6. Add more colours and repeat the process.
  7. To get different types of patterns or colour saturation, pour the oil colours directly onto the paper and let it roll around.
  8. Let the papers dry.
  9. Hold them up to the light for the beautiful translucence. This one was thinner paper.
  10. Thicker card stock pieces make for awesome backings to homemade cards.
Comment Pin it! Was this helpful? 4

This is a fun, simple way to create eye stunning and unique artwork without having to have any artistic talent. You can use this technique on countless objects to gain the same marbleized look, but for this project I've chosen canvas panels.


All you need is the object you want marbleized, a bin filled with water, and nail polish and you too will soon be creating beautiful artwork and decorations.

Marbleized Artwork - red and white artwork

Comment Pin it! Was this helpful? 3
Crafts PaintingNovember 18, 2019
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