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How to Paint With Marbles

Claudia has been writing about crafts online for many years. She is an avid crafter who has been creating for most of her life.

How to Paint with Marbles - Step by step tutorial with video

How to Paint with Marbles - Step by step tutorial with video

A project perfect for all ages and abilities, marble painting is a quick and easy craft everyone is sure to enjoy. It works well on a rainy day when kids can't play outside and also with people who have special needs. I have done this craft with seniors, adults with special needs, and children ages five to 13. They have all enjoyed it and were able to do it easily. Note that this is not a good craft for very young children because the marbles can present a choking hazard.

Marble Painting Supplies

Marble Painting Supplies

What You'll Need

  • Marbles
  • Paint. I recommend using washable paints. This project gets messy.
  • Paper. Use a heavier weight sketch paper. It will hold up well and is easily put up on the wall or framed.
  • Baking tray. It should have a raised edge. If you don't have a tray, use a shoebox.
  • Scissors
  • Paper towels

Fun Color Combinations to Try

ThemeColors

Valentine's Day

Reds, Pinks, Silver & Purples

St. Patrick's Day

Greens

Easter

Pastels

Patriotic

Reds, Whites & Blues or whatever patriotic colors your country has

Thanksgiving

Reds, Browns & Yellows

Christmas

Reds, Greens & Whites

1. Set Up the Paper

Get paper ready for painting.

Get paper ready for painting.

  • Lay the paper on your surface. In the example photo, I used a baking tray with a raised edge.
  • Choose your paint colors and place drops of them around the paper. You can use as many or as few colors as you wish. I have found that using more than five colors tends to get muddied and the color ends up turning gray.
  • Hint: Don't use too much paint in each drop. It takes forever to dry and it is hard to roll the marbles around.

2. Add the Marbles

Place the marbles on the tray.

Place the marbles on the tray.

  • Put the marbles on the tray. For this example, I used five marbles. You can use as many or as few as you wish, although I would suggest using more than one.

3. Start Painting

Start rolling the marbles around.

Start rolling the marbles around.

  • Start rolling the marbles around. You can pick up the tray or just shift it around while it is on the table.
  • Continue until you are happy with the look of your painting.
  • Let it dry completely overnight.

4. Hang It Up

Finished marble painting.

Finished marble painting.

Watch the Technique

Marble painting - a great craft for kids of all ages and abilities!

Marble painting - a great craft for kids of all ages and abilities!

Create Your Own Masterpiece

You may think marble paintings look vaguely like paintings from the famed artist Jackson Pollock. He was best known for his "drip and splash" method of painting. In a recent auction, one of his paintings sold for a whopping $58.4 million dollars.

Who knows, maybe you or your child will create a masterpiece one day. Even your child doesn't create that million dollar painting, I bet they will feel like a million bucks when you proudly display their beautiful picture!

Jackson Pollock or your own?

© 2013 Claudia Mitchell

Comments

Claudia Mitchell (author) on January 25, 2014:

Thank you Hendrika - I bet your granddaughter would love this craft and like you said, you don't need too many supplies. Most people have everything on hand. Have a nice day.

Hendrika from Pretoria, South Africa on January 24, 2014:

I love this one because you do not have to using so many supplies. Another thing is my granddaughter is pretty impatient and wants to see results pretty soon so this is ideal

Claudia Mitchell (author) on June 15, 2013:

Hi rajan - I'm glad you enjoyed the craft. It's amazing how much kids enjoy doing crafts. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on June 14, 2013:

Fun craft and educative. I always did wonder how a marbled look was given to a sheet or fabric and know now how it is done. Thanks for this tutorial, GTF.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on June 07, 2013:

Robie - I think anyone can have a good time with this. One of the kids in Sunday school did not want to do it, but when I said he could stand up and shake it around like he was dancing, he loved it. Said it was a picture of his dance! Thanks so much for the nice comments.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on June 07, 2013:

Hi Mary Merriment - I hope you have a good time. It's so much fun. Thanks for the support!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on June 07, 2013:

Many thanks pstraubie. Hope your family enjoys it. I have some family visiting right now and it's rainy so I thought the kids could do it today or tomorrow. My daughter already told me she was "bored" and it's her 1st day of summer vacation. I appreciate the support.

Robie Benve from Ohio on June 05, 2013:

Great hub, I can just imagine the fun my kids will have with this activity! Even the boy, that is not fond of art can really enjoy marble painting. Thanks for sharing. Voted up and interesting - and pinned it!

Mary Roark from Boise area, Idaho on June 05, 2013:

I love this. I love this. I love this!

Thank you for sharing. I'm very excited to give this one a roll!

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on June 05, 2013:

How cool this is, Glimmer Twin Fan

You are just a bottomless well of clever crafts. My family will be visiting soon and we always do crafts so we will give this a try. Thanks for sharing...Pinned and voted up.....Angels are on the way...ps

Claudia Mitchell (author) on June 03, 2013:

Hi epbooks - Your friends' kids will love this craft. It's a good one if families are on vacation and stuck inside on a rainy day too, especially with summer vacations here now. Thanks for reading.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on June 03, 2013:

Oh I loved to finger paint. My daughter always did too, but the mess sort of bugged me. Thanks for reading aviannovice.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on June 03, 2013:

Thanks so much Eddy - This is definitely a fun craft to do.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on June 03, 2013:

I appreciate it Rebecca. I don't think I've ever done blow painting, but it would be great fun for kids too! Thanks for the suggestion and for commenting.

Elizabeth Parker from Las Vegas, NV on June 02, 2013:

I never heard of this before. Great idea for my friends who have children. Thanks for posting! Voted up useful and interesting!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on June 02, 2013:

Hi Suzie - Thanks so much for your support. I really appreciate it. Your craft sounds like fun too. I love working with watercolors. Have a nice Sunday.

Deb Hirt from Stillwater, OK on June 01, 2013:

This looks like fun. Remember when we used to fingerpaint in the old days?

Claudia Mitchell (author) on June 01, 2013:

Thanks so much Mike! It's a fun project.

Eiddwen from Wales on June 01, 2013:

Thank you so very much for this wonderful gem.

Eddy.

Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on June 01, 2013:

How cool! This reminds me of some projects we used to do in school, like blow painting, where you blow the globs of paint around with a straw.

Suzanne Ridgeway from Dublin, Ireland on June 01, 2013:

Hi GTF,

Love the simplicity of this and that it is good for kids and special needs. What fun it looks and reminds of a style I do with watercolors and salt.

Many thanks for a fun easy craft anyone could do! Votes, shared and pinned!

Mike Robbers from London on June 01, 2013:

Such a creative and fan activity! The painting pictures are also great. Nice hub Glimmer!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on June 01, 2013:

Thanks reading and commenting moonlake.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on June 01, 2013:

Hi Jackie - I bet it would be fun to put other stuff in the shoebox and see what kind of effect it would have. That might be a good experiment on these long days of summer. Thanks for the idea and for commenting.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on June 01, 2013:

Hi CozyPozy - glad you decided to stop by and read. Hope you give it a try sometime.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on June 01, 2013:

BlossomSB - It can be easy to overdue the paints and then it gets muddied and gray, but to each his own. My daughter likes to put a lot of colors down and she adds lots more marbles. I think she likes the sound it makes when she shakes the shoebox. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on June 01, 2013:

Thanks for the pin purl3agony. I'm glad you liked the hub and appreciate the comments.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on June 01, 2013:

Thanks europewalker. I'm glad you enjoyed it and the video.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on June 01, 2013:

Thanks so much Teresa Schultz. I have never tired the method you described, but that would be fun too, except the dizzy part. I appreciate all of the support

Claudia Mitchell (author) on June 01, 2013:

Hi Ceres Schwarz - Boy I wish I could create an image that was worth millions, but this is fun too, especially with the kids. Many thanks for reading and commenting.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on June 01, 2013:

Thanks Martin! This is one of those projects one could do quite a few times. It's fun to see what kind of pattern you'll get.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on June 01, 2013:

Thanks so much for commenting and sharing Michelle. I appreciate it.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on June 01, 2013:

Hi Rebecca - Those days are right around the corner in my house. This is definitely one of those easy projects to fill in a couple of hours. Glad you enjoyed the hub.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on June 01, 2013:

Thanks so much Bill. I'm sure your grandson would love this. Especially if he is visiting and you are looking for something to do. Thanks for sharing and reading!

moonlake from America on May 31, 2013:

The marbling looks like a a lot of fun. Enjoyed your hub voted up.

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on May 31, 2013:

Looks like fun...I bet there are other things too to roll around in there for a different look, huh? I bet kids would really love this and would it ever keep them busy. Great idea, thanks for sharing. ^

CozyPozy from USA on May 31, 2013:

Before I read your article, I had a completely different notion of what it would be about, but I love it! And I'd love to give it a try. Really cool!

Bronwen Scott-Branagan from Victoria, Australia on May 31, 2013:

That's a different slant on marble painting and I love it. As you suggest, it's suitable for anyone to try. I think the aim would be to not overdo it as that's when the colours would be too mixed and lose their vibrancy. Might even try it myself!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on May 31, 2013:

Thanks Bill! I remember that machine too. Maybe I should open up a carnival stand and charge money! I could make a lot this summer at all the local fairs. Thanks for reading.

Donna Herron from USA on May 31, 2013:

Love this idea!! I need to pin this :) Thanks for sharing!

europewalker on May 31, 2013:

That is a fun and creative project for kids. Liked the video, voted up and useful.

Teresa Schultz from East London, in South Africa on May 31, 2013:

Marble painting with actual marbels. Who would have guessed?! Looks like fun. I've tried getting a similar effect marble painting with dripping printer ink or runny paint onto paper, and then blowing the paint in all directions through a straw, but if one isn't careful and one gets too excited trying to blow for a long time or too hard, one may get a bit dizzy. No chance of getting dizzy with using marbles to make a marble painting. Great hub, voted up and useful, and shared with my HubPages followers.

Ceres Schwarz on May 31, 2013:

This is such a creative and interesting hub. And this marble painting is definitely a fun activity to do especially for kids. The images you have on marble painting look really nice. It would be good to be able to create a masterpiece that can sell for millions of dollars.

Martin Kloess from San Francisco on May 30, 2013:

This is so clever. It looks habit forming. thanks

Michelle Liew from Singapore on May 30, 2013:

Sounds beautifully abstract and most importantly, fun! Thanks, Glim!

Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on May 30, 2013:

How cool! And in time for those long, boring summer days after the fun of just getting out of school wears off!

Bill De Giulio from Massachusetts on May 30, 2013:

Glimmer, aren't you creative? What a great idea. Might have to try this with our grandson. Looks like such fun and so easy. Thank you for sharing this wonderful idea. Voted up, shared, pinned, etc...

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on May 30, 2013:

How very clever and what a great activity for kids.

There used to be a machine at some of the fairs...you put paints on a small canvas, and then placed the canvas on the turntable and it would swirl quickly, and the results were pretty cool. This reminds me of that old carnival crafting booth. :)

Good job my friend. Have a great weekend.

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