Paper Marbling with Shaving Cream

Paper Marbling

Here’s a fun art project that’s a good one to do outside as it can get a little messy: paper marbling! It involves shaving cream, tempra paints, and a lot of fun!  This is what you’ll need to get started:

  • A can or two of shaving cream
  • Wide, shallow pan, such as a 9” x 13” baking pan (can use a disposable pan)
  • Food coloring or tempra paints
  • Paint brushes
  • Paper Towels
  • Toothpicks, forks, and/or combs
  • Heavy white paper, such as cardstock

To begin, have your child fill the bottom of the pan with a layer of shaving cream about an inch thick.

Then, have the student choose the colors for the artwork. You can use wither tempra paints with some water added to them or food coloring.

Paint the color onto the shaving cream. For best results, fill most of the surface of the cream with color. Children can add the color randomly or in patterns such as stripes, semi-circles, or concentric circles.

Next, run the pointed tips of the toothpick, comb, or fork through the color to create patterns and swirls in the shaving cream.

Now, carefully place the cardstock directly on top of the shaving cream, patting it gently so the whole piece touches the cream. Pull it up and wipe it off with a paper towel. Set it aside to dry.

Ready to do another one? You can use the same shaving cream to make another picture. Simply mix the paint into the cream until the surface looks clean again.

While using shaving cream for paper marbling is a rather modern method, other techniques have been around for a long time. For more information on the history of this art form, check out these sites:


Photo by Harry R


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