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Marbling on Paper with a Gelatin Mix

If you want to create some nice paper or card with all over backgrounds for your craft work, marbling on paper using a gelatin mix is one way to do it. 

You will have to prepare the Gelatin mix ahead of time (it needs to set a bit) and there are some limits to the type of patterns you can do with this method, but it is a great way to introduce the kids to this art form.

First you will need to make the Gelatin mix.  For that you will need:

  • 3 cups of hot water
  • 1 tbspn of Gelatin powder
  • a flat tray big enough to lay your paper in

Mix the water and the gelatin powder together in the tray until all of the powder has dissolved.  Set aside for several hours or until the mix has set.  When it is ready it will wobble - a bit little jelly...

What you need to make your Marbling on Paper Prints

  • poster paints
  • water to mix with the paint
  • paint pots
  • tooth picks to stir
  • A4 paper
  • bucket of water or sink


Once your gelatin mix has set, you can start adding a layer of paint splotches to the surface.

Once you are happy with the paint coverage, roll your paper onto the paint and gently tap down with your fingers.

Gently lift the paper off the gelatin mix and rinse off the excess mix and paint in a bucket of water or in a sink.

Be careful not to tear the paper when it is wet - it is rather fragile and tears easily.  Lay out your prints on a float surface to dry.

You can do as many prints as you like, the first layer of paint will last for quite a few and you can top it up with more as you go.  You can change the colours or mix new ones.  Most of your prints will be kind of abstract.  My first ones looked a little like splatter prints and became more solid prints as I added more paint.  There is no right or wrong way, just play and have fun with it.

You may need to iron your prints to flatten them.  After that you can use them to make all sorts of different crafts.

Would you like to print out an Instruction Sheet for this activity?

Click on the download button to get your copy of the Marbling with Gelatin Instruction Sheet.  The pdf will open in a new tab and you can either save it or print it from there.

Please do feel free to share this sheet with anyone who might like to engage their kids in this activity!

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