diymarblephotomats thumb

Hello there creative friends!  I hope you have kicked 2015 in the teeth so far.  Since 2014 was so rough for me it was easy to start off a little better in 2015. RAWWWR! In my previous post, I told you and showed you my word of the year in a cool string art form.  Today I decided to incorporate my word (rediscover) in a mini gallery wall above my nightstand trying a cool, new marbling technique for my photo mats.  This is a really fun, although messy, project that gives you a different result every time.  I just used photo mats and cardstock but I am sure you could use other surfaces as well.

DIY CRAFTS | Marbled Photo Mats


oil paint set

Turpenoid – used for thinning the paints

Flat pan


Bamboo skewers or toothpicks

Photo mats or cardstock

Small disposable cups

Disposable spoons

paper towels

Picture frames

Clear Sealer

1.  Start by squeezing a bit of paint into a small disposable cup and then add some turpenoid to thin it out.  Mix it well with a disposable spoon. You want it about the consistency of 2% milk.  You can also add more white oil paint to lighten the color.  Play with the color schemes you like and have fun making new colors.  Make sure to protect your work surface with some newspaper or dropcloth.

oil paints for marbling

marbling with oil paints

2.  Grab a flat pan, large enough to fit your largest mat or cardstock.  Fill halfway with water.

3.  Once all your paints are mixed slowly pour them on top of the water in the pan.  You can tell if they are the right consistency if the paints float on the top of the water.  Continue adding colors until there is no water showing.  If there is water showing it will be a blank area on your cardstock or mat.

oil paint marble

oil paint marbling

oil paint marble paper

4.  Once all your colors are added, take a bamboo skewer or toothpick and swirl the paint together filling all the gaps and creating a cool pattern.

marbling paper

oil paint marble swirls

marble with oil paints

5.  Now slowly set your mat or cardstock on top of the paints making sure to not submerge your piece.  It should literally float on top of the water.

photo mat marbling

6.  Pull your mat off slowly and then set on a paper towel to dry.

marbled photo mats

DIY marbling

7.  As you use the paints you can either add more paint or just continue to dip your cardstock until all the paint is gone.  You can see the variation from the pictures below.  Your marbled pattern will get lighter and lighter with each dip.  Here is a picture of the last dip.

do-it-yourself color marbling

8.  Since it is oil paint it will take a couple of days to dry. After about an hour cover each cardstock with another piece of cardstock and add some books on top of it so it will dry flat. Once dry spray your mats with some clear sealer.

how to marble paper

9.  Add them to photo frames and display.

marbled photo mats

Here is a close up of each frame.  You can see I used two marbled mats and then one piece of cardstock and added “rediscover” with some vinyl lettering on top.

DIY marbled mats

DIY marbled mat

A little encouragement for me to take 2015 by the horns this year!  Go get ‘em TIGRESS!

marbling picture frame mats

Print from Birch Box

They reside appropriately above my nightstand so I can see them every morning.  I am absolutely digging the amazing effect marbling gave the mats.  It is way better than a ho-hum white mat don’t you think?

marble mats


Originally published on: the-creative-spark-logoa partnership with Jo-Ann Fabric and Crafts

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  1. I’m SO impressed — and dying to try this. I’m assembling my gallery wall and this w/b a perfect addition –
    (altho’ we — in MA. — are pretty snowbound, so it may be awhile)!!

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