Marbled Paper

Marbled Paper

Scraping chalk lightly into a pan of water creates marbleized paper. You can use a regular knife to scrape the chalk, but for safety purposes we are going to recommend children use the edge of index cards instead. Before starting this activity, make sure you set up an area where the paper can lay flat to dry.

What You'll Need:

  • in a variety of colors
  • Water
  • Paper towels
  • Index cards or unwanted business cards
  • Several shallow pans, aluminum lasagna pans work well (1 per 2 guests)
  • Lots of 5 x 7 white paper, thick sketchbook paper works nicely
  • Towels or newspaper
  • Pens


Set up the supplies.
  1. Fill each pan with water and place them on the table. There should be one pan for every two children to share.
  2. Place several index cards, colors of sidewalk chalk and paper towels next to each pan.
  3. Provide each group of children a stack of white paper.
  4. Designate an area for the paper to dry and cover this area with newspaper or towels. The drying area should be away from fans and inside so that the artwork does not blow away.

At the Party:

To make marbleized paper, have the children do the following.
  1. Using a pen, instruct the children to write their names very small at the bottom of several sheets of paper. This is so they don't get mixed up while drying.
  2. With the edge of an index card, scrape one piece of chalk lightly so that chalk specs fall into the pan of water. Keep scraping this color for about 15 seconds until the whole pan has floating colored specs of chalk.
  3. Choose another color of chalk and scrape that color on top of the first color for about 15 seconds. You should try to scrape the chalk all over the water's surface to get a colorful design.
  4. Repeat, adding as many colors as you'd like but don't take too long or the chalk will sink.
  5. After adding a couple colors of chalk, carefully lay one sheet of white paper on top of the water for 2 seconds. Do not submerge the paper in the water! It should float on the surface.
  6. Carefully lift up the paper and you will see a brilliant design!
  7. Place your new marbleized paper in a quiet area to dry.
  8. Use a paper towel to clean the surface of the water in the pan before having the second child create their marbleized paper.
  9. Let the children make as many sheets of paper as they like! Each one will be unique.

  • If the chalk gets wet, it will not scrape very well. So be careful not to drop the chalk in the water.
  • If an index card gets wet or doesn't scrape as well, replace with a new crisp one.
  • The paper will take about an hour to dry, so you may want to do this activity first.

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