In the back of my dresser drawer, I found a pack of 60 notecards that I’d bought long ago. The note cards are in ten muted colors with a little embossing on each. They’re pretty, but I decided to glam them and package them in six sets of 10. My first try was to use this marbling tutorial that I found at Honestly WTF: http://honestlywtf.com/diy/diy-paper-marbling/. And all it cost was $1 for shaving cream at Dollar Tree.
You can read the tutorial at Honestly WTF, but I had a few tweaks and lessons I learned. The tutorial recommends you mask off the inside of the card so the marbling won’t bleed into the part where one would write. CRAP ALERT: That’s a perfectly wonderful idea, unless you have messy hands and actually touch the inside with them! You squirt shaving cream into a baking dish, swirl gel food coloring (see above — I used purple and orange), and dip the front of the card into the shaving cream. The tutorial recommends that you use a straight edge to then scrape the dyed cream off the card, but that left an unimpressive mottled design. Here’s the card after I played with it a little. Not bad, but not exactly marbled.
I nearly stopped right there, but I’m glad I persevered. For the next several cards, I placed the card face down, tapped it a little to make sure that the shaving cream adhered to the paper, and then pulled it up. I found all I had to do was blot off the little bit of shaving cream that remained. I was pleased with the marbling effect, and I liked how the embossing was evident.CRAP ALERT — A few words of warning.
- Unless you are much more careful than I am, your hands will get stained. Wear gloves!
- The food dye got all over my counter. It cleaned up easily with a Clorox Wipe, but I can’t promise that it will if your counter is porous. Protect your countertop.
- Give them plenty of time to dry. Patience is definitely not my virtue when I’m being a crapsman, and I tried to take the tape off much too soon. The tape removed easily, but I got more dye over my hands and consequently over the writing surface of the paper. Be patient!
I’ll try this again another day soon with different colors of food dye. This was a fast, easy, and cheap project, but beware of the mess!