Friday, April 22, 2011

Linda Ledbetter: Paper Marbling with Liquid Pearls and Shaving Cream

We're celebrating the Far East all this month at Gingersnap Creations, and I used this as an excuse to explore an artform I've always admired: Japanese Paper Marbling, or suminagashi. I played with the traditional method of floating special inks in thickened water, and enjoyed it a lot, but I wanted to share a far less traditional method that uses products we all have on hand. Plus, it's a blast to do! I've seen variations of this technique in several books and on quite a few websites, so I have no idea where it originated, but high-fives to whoever thought it up!

Here's what you'll need:
Regular foamy shaving cream
Several colors of Ranger Liquid Pearls
A craft squeegee or big rubber scraper
A large cookie sheet with shallow sides, or a flat-bottomed pan or bin
A few bamboo skewers or chopsticks
Heavy white cardstock or watercolor paper
A big bowl of water for quick cleanup
A junky towel, also for quick cleanup

Dispense a blob of shaving cream onto the cookie sheet, and smooth it out as much as possible with the craft squeegee. The layer of foam should be about 1/2" thick, and larger than the cardstock you'll be decorating. 

Drop two or three colors of Liquid pearls onto the shaving cream. The drops are about the size of Tic Tacs. 

Using a bamboo skewer or chopstick, gently drag the paint across the surface of the shaving cream into swirly patterns. Don't cut all the way through to the cookie sheet; just use a light touch and keep the paint floating on top of the foam.  

When you have a pattern you like, simply press the cardstock onto the surface to pick up the paint. Make sure there are no air pockets underneath or you'll have blank spots. 

Peel the cardstock off the shaving cream. It will look like a big, messy gob of smeary paint...

... until you squeegee the shaving cream off the card. That's where the magic happens. Your lovely pattern will appear from beneath the foaminess. Use your old towel to gently wipe off any leftover foam.

This is SO easy to do!

To make more, just scrape the painted shaving cream into the big bowl of water and start fresh with a new batch (and different colors, if you wish!). 

I love the shimmer you get using Liquid Pearls for this technique, and these samples were made using it. However, any acrylic paint will work. 

Have fun!!!


  1. Great effect - thanks for sharing this technique!

  2. what a weird and wonderful combo of pearls and shaving cream but it works a treat thanks for sharing

  3. Wow, that is brilliant I am gonna try this,thanks so much for sharing,

  4. Great idea with the Liquid Pearls Linda and it looks fab. Annette x

  5. What fab results, colours are gorgeous (thanks also for adding in the clean up tools!) x

  6. Love this effect, Linda! Plus it smells so great, too!

  7. WOW Linda... what a neat technique... gotta give this a try.... thnx :)

  8. Great tutorial Linda!!! Now, I'll have to get some liquid pearls LOL but I may try acrylic paint with some shimmer spray. I'll let you know if I do!!! You made some beautiful background papers!!!

  9. Linda, fabulous tutorial; can't wait to try this out! Thanks

  10. Fabulous tutorial and beautiful results, Linda! Thanks for sharing your technique! :)

  11. This looks like so much fun, i may just have to give it a go.. now where is the shaving cream!!
    love your results xx

  12. Love your results with using pearls with the marbling technique! Fantastic idea! Beautiful project!

  13. The scraping off the foam photo made me smile...I LOVE that kind of technique. Suprise results are great!

  14. Going to have to try this right now!!


Thanks for your wonderful words!

Other Articles Which May Interest You:

Blog Widget by LinkWithin