Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Marbled Backgrounds with Copic Various Inks

Hi All - this week I'm going to share something fun that you could even get the kids involved with if you want to!  Though I must warn you, once you start playing this can be a little addictive, and it only gets worse once you realise all the things you can use it on!  I'm talking about marbling with Copic Various Inks of course :)

To try this for yourself you will need:
  • shaving foam (the cheaper the better) 
  • a flat surface, tray or dish that is longer than the object you'd like to colour
  • 3 or 4 colours of Copic Various ink, I used: BG15, BG34, BG49 and YG07
  • a palette knife, spatula, and maybe a toothpick 
  • and if you'd like to include a little luxury a pearlescent or metallic ink, I used Silver iZink
  • things to marble, paper, card etc.

 Spread the shaving foam onto a flat surface using a credit card or palette knife, I make sure mine is about 3cm thick so I can make a few different marbled items.  Once the surface is relatively flat, drip the various ink on top, making sure to keep each drop separate.  I like to use only 3 - 4 colours at once or you run the risk of making mud - my most successful patterns have either been all cool colours or all warm colours, BUT if you are careful you could use all the colours of the rainbow - you just won't be able to make as many prints.  

You can add a few drops of metallic or pearlescent ink for a luxury look,
a few drops = delicate swirls of metallics, lots of drops = pure luxury!  I just added a few.
The Various ink will eat into the foam a little, don't worry this won't be a problem.

Using the tip of a palette knife or a toothpick, draw parallel lines through the shaving foam.  Then rotate your project 45 degrees and repeat the process, keep rotating your project and drawing parallel lines through the foam until you have a pleasing pattern.

Place your cardstock onto the surface of the foam and lightly press down with your fingers, you need to make sure that all of the card makes contact with the foam or you will have blank spots on your design.  Some of the foam may squash around on to the back of your page - don't worry, just wipe it off later.

Gently peel the card from the surface of the shaving foam - don't worry this isn't the design that will be on your card.

Place your paper foam up onto some newspaper and use a paper towel to gently wipe to foam off the paper, I've also tried a spatula to remove the foam, but it can damage the paper surface and drag colour across the design - so I prefer a paper towel.  This step is really messy so be careful.  Once the shaving cream is removed, the design printed onto your paper will be revealed, the FIRST print will look something like this, notice the white space and clean lines.

Now if the pulled pattern left in the foam looks really pretty like this one, then grab another piece of paper (or your journal) and place it onto the foam - no need to waste it, and yes I've placed a double page journal into the foam - messy but so pretty!

Your print may look something like this, wouldn't this be an amazing and unique background for a scrapbook layout, page or a card.

Hmm - there is still a LOT of shaving cream and ink - I like to draw more lines add a little more ink and create a 2nd generation marbled print - notice this one has less white space and the pattern isn't as crisp, the lines are all softer and this second print has more of a watercolour appearance - still beautiful though!

To be honest I just keep dipping pages into the ink until either the ink or the shaving cream run out, it's messy, fun, unpredictable and completely addictive.

Wondering what else you could use this on?  Following is a brief list of things I've marbled:
  • journal pages
  • scrapbook pages
  • card backgrounds
  • chipboard letters (this looks AMAZING!)
  • ribbon - oooh this looks yummy
  • doilies
  • Easter eggs
  • notepaper
  • envelopes
  • handkerchiefs - though this was a bad idea as it's so pretty I've never used it!

I hope you've enjoyed this tutorial on marbling with Copic Various inks - if you have felt inspired to give this a go we would love to see your results over on the FaceBook page.

Back with more soon,
KatePin It


  1. I don't have refills for my copics but can you use other reinkers? I love what you have done and would love to try it.

    1. Absolutely you can Linda, if it will sit on top of the shaving foam without drying then you can make it work :)

  2. Wow, this is awesome! Thanks for this gorgeous tutorial. I would like to make one with this technique for our Colourstock blog in the Netherlands! I will reveal the source!!! Hope that's okay
    hugs Yvonne

  3. This looks AMAZING Kate!! What a fabulous tutorial! :)