Yesterday our small homeschool group made marbled paper. I had no idea what to expect beforehand but imagined something like putting a sheet of paper in a cake pan, squirting a few globs of paint and rolling marbles around by moving the pan. Was I ever pleased and surprised that this isn't what happened! :) (I did enough of THAT craft when I taught preschool.)
Marbled paper is a beautiful outcome with little work. It's a GREAT craft for everyone, especially really young kids, because it's fast, easy, fun and smells like Daddy.
1. Get some kids and trays (if you need help with this step, you should look for another craft). Protect your work area with newspapers or tablecloth, etc. We're using food coloring and if it stays on your hands for 3 days, you can imagine what it'll do to your carpet. ;)
2. Spray shaving cream into trays (one mom mentioned she's seen it done with whipped cream but I haven't tried that). We used good ol' Barbasol (apparently it's at the $1 store). You just want enough in there to cover the bottom well. Using a spatula, spread the shaving cream as even as possible (if you need help with this, see my cake-decorating friend Stacey). Then put a *few* drops of food coloring on the tray in various spots. I'd start with like 5 drops spread out nice and wide.
3. Run a straw through the drops and swirl all around until you find a pattern you like (if you need help with this, my artsy friend Mrs. Pivec can help!).
4. Take a piece of paper (we used about 5X7 size) and lay it on top of the shaving cream masterpiece. GENTLY tap paper down - enough to stick the cream to it but not so much that it comes over the edges. Then pull the paper out (another reason not to shove the paper down). You will have a lot of shaving cream on your paper. Colored paper also works well. We used both regular paper and card stock (if you need advice on card stock, my crafty/scrapbooking friend Jean would be willing!). They both worked nicely though the regular paper probably curled a little more.
5. Place paper (dry side down) on table and squeegee off the shaving cream (if you need help with this step, my friend Jen often acts like a human squeegee between work, kids and her new home business!). Be sure to use a nice squeegee for this - a cheapo one will make the job frustrating. This is when the beauty happens. It's amazing to see what pretty patterns show up under all that cream!
6. Hang to dry (if you need help with this, I'm sure my new crunchy online friend, Kez, would have some great ideas...plus, she would probably be a great one to 'hang' with in person!). They dry pretty quickly - maybe 30 minutes or less. Then you might need to place a heavy book on top of them for a while to reshape perfectly flat.
7. Now you have a beautiful masterpiece that you can write notes on, scrapbook with or just show off what a fabulous artistic mind your child has (just don't tell them how easy it was!). If you're still drawing a blank about what to do with the paper, check out one of my very favorite blogs, Making Books With Children, for ideas).
8. Swirl some more and repeat. Add some more colors and repeat. Just be careful - adding too much color and mixing too long will turn all of it brown. But you can take it quite a way before that happens.