Shaving Cream Marbling

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Beautiful marbled trinket dishes

No doubt, the easiest, cheapest, and best homemade marbled crafts are done with shaving cream marbling. This marbling method is one of my all-time favorite art activities. You’ll never get tired of it and you’ll keep returning to it repeatedly over the years because everyone can do it…and I mean EVERYONE! I’ve tried out shaving cream marbling using unglazed ceramics, cardstock and fabric. So it’s time to get ready for some messy fun!

You’ll need to decide which object you want to marble. Personally, I think cardstock is the best place to start. Practice making several prints so that you can see which colors work best together. It is best to practice on paper first so that you can get a feel for the material. Once you’ve decided on what you like best, move on to something like an unglazed* ceramic piece or fabric. 

*glazed ceramic pieces do NOT work. The shaving cream needs a porous material in order for the ink to really sink in.

What you’ll need:


Before starting, be sure to put on gloves and a smock. Cover your table or surface – liquitex inks stain!


  1. Create a layer of shaving cream

First, grab some shaving cream and spray a layer to cover the bottom of your baking dish, foam tray or plate. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Perfection is the enemy of creativity! Level it out as much as you can using either a popsicle stick, spoon or spatula.

Add shaving cream to the styrofoam tray
Level it out using either a piece of cardboard or a popsicle stick

2. Add color

Add several drops of liquitex acrylic inks. (I have tried other paints like liquid watercolor and acrylic paint, but the inks definitely work best with the shaving cream because the color remains vibrant and saturated) Feel free to add several colors – but don’t overdo it! I typically drop 2-3 different kinds of liquitex acrylic ink onto the shaving cream (for an 8×11” tray I used about 5-6 drops of each color.

Add several drops of each color

3.  Swirl the paint

  Here comes the fun part. Grab a skewer like the kind you use for shish kebabs to swirl the paint around to create a marbled effect.

You can swirl in an organized fashion or you can just move in a circular direction

4. Press the object into the shaving cream

Carefully roll the unglazed ceramics into the paint-covered shaving cream and let the shaving cream mixture sit for about 5 minutes. For flat objects, you can simply push the object into the foam. For bowls, you can scoop up your shaving cream and push it directly onto the unglazed ceramic piece. 

*glazed ceramic pieces do NOT work. The shaving cream needs a porous material in order for the ink to really sink in.

Place your object into the shaving cream and press

5. Rinse off

Take your masterpiece to the sink and wash off all of the shaving cream. Wash off your ceramics to reveal the beautiful art you’ve just created.

RInse off all of the shaving cream

6. Repeat!

You can marble several pieces – this works with ceramics, natural fabrics, watercolor paper, and more. I encourage you to experiment!  Keep adding different colors and see how they pop.

rinse off all of the shaving cream

7. Seal

If you don’t love the way unglazed ceramics feel (sensory issues are real), I recommend sealing your piece with Mod Podge and a foam brush. I personally love the glossy Mod Podge, but it is personal preference as to what you like best! Let dry on wax paper or plastic tablecloth for 24 hours.

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