Marbled Paper and a Giveaway!

Hi everyone, it’s Mera & Katie together writing a post side by side!  We’ve been talking so much through emails and texts lately that we both had a moment of trepidation before we saw each other at the airport– much like people who have been internet dating and are about to meet in person for the first time.  Would we be attractive enough?  Cool enough?  Would we have that spark in person?  Turns out, yes, we’re still a perfect match and within 1/100 of a second together it was like we’d never been apart.

We’re spending the weekend at Katie’s mom’s house on the green and lovely Mckenzie River. In addition to doing blog housekeeping (check out our new Popular Posts page!) we decided to do a little craft project together to share with you.

Red House West||Marbled Paper

We’ve both been wanting to give marbling a try, so we bought this kit and decided to use it to prettify plain cards and envelopes.  It was to be a simple craft (and one that Mera did in grade school), but we definitely went through all five stages of crafting with this one:

(1) this is going to be so rad and beautiful;

(2) this isn’t working like we thought it would;

(3) this looks like sh*t;

(4) maybe it’s not so bad;

(5) oooooh, pretty!

In addition to the marbling kit, the supplies we needed were a shallow pan with 1 to 2 inches of water, a few utensils for swirling, inexpensive plain cards and envelopes, paper towels, and newspaper to protect the work area.

The kit includes small rounds of paper called floating paper that help to disperse the ink.  The first step is to submerge the floating paper and let it rise back to the surface of the water.

Red House West||Marbled Paper

Once the floating paper is at the surface, you gently drop ink onto the paper and let it disperse.

Red House West||Marbled Paper

Then you continue dropping ink onto the floating paper until you’ve added all the colors you want to include (we used 4-6 drops per batch).

Red House West||Marbled Paper

Once you’ve added your ink, you use an implement of some sort – like a pen, fork, or brush – and gently swirl the colors in the pan.

Red House West||Marbled Paper

When the surface looks swirled to your liking, you gently lay your paper on the water. We found that it worked best to start with one corner or side of the paper to avoid creating bubbles in the pattern.

Red House West||Marbled PaperFor us, the first dip in the water never turned out well.  We started using scratch paper for the first go round, and saved our cards for the second and third round.  Each batch of colors yielded about four cards, with the design getting progressively lighter.

After some trial and error, including early efforts that looked like an oil spill mixed with a sewage spill mixed with runoff from a breached tailings pond, we are really pleased with how they turned out.

Red House West||Marbled Paper

Red House West||Marbled Paper

Red House West||Marbled Paper

Red House West||Marbled Paper

We’ve had tons of fun this weekend together, and we’re really excited about the direction Red House West is headed.  We’ve got lots of new projects and content planned, and we hope you’ll visit the blog early and often and tell your friends about it too!

As a thank you to you, our wonderful readers, we are doing another giveaway!  Send in your good score submissions to us at or on Instagram by tagging #rhwgoodscore and you will automatically be entered in a random drawing to win a marbling kit of your own!  Entries must be received by Wednesday, September 24 and the winner will be announced in the Good Score post on Friday, September 26.

Red House West||Marbled Paper


Mera & Katie

9 responses on “Marbled Paper and a Giveaway!

    1. meramatthews

      It was fun as a grown up because of the company, but my memory of the results when I tried it as a kid is that it was AMAZING. This might be because as an 8 year old I was convinced everything I did was amazing, but still. That said, we did get it down after many attempts and we had a great time. 🙂

  1. Carol Crump Bryner

    How lovely to be able to do your project in that beautiful setting. I have some marbled paper that my daughter did (it might have been at Chugach, Mera) many years ago, and I still use it for collages. Your paper looks very professional.

    1. meramatthews

      Yes, I remember marbling at Chugach, mostly because I remember insisting that it be called “suminagashi” instead of marbling (which was obviously too pedestrian for the fine art I was producing in elementary school). Thanks Carol!

  2. y2knina

    1) Your paper looks awesome

    2) What a gorgeous setting in which to create with your BFF

    3) Your post is hilarious

    4) That last pix: awwwwwwww…….

    1. meramatthews

      Thank you! It’s amazing how easy it is to write posts when we’re side by side with our laptops. We just type the conversation we’re having, and voila! I’m trying to focus on being grateful that we had this whole long weekend together, but I really really wish we lived in the same town!

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