Marbleizing Stationery

Marbleizing Stationery

My friend Kendra made some stationery with her daughter a while back, and I was blown away by how beautiful it was. I am the world’s worst crafter, but Kendra promised me it was easy. “Anyone can do this and make it look really good,” she said. Here, she shows us the simple steps…

Marbleizing Stationery

You’ll need:

An old dish or cake pan
2-3 nail polishes (this is great for those colors you’ll only use once or twice)
Blank notecards
Paper towels

1. Get everything ready: Find a dish that’s a little bigger than the card you’re going to marbleize. Fill it with an inch or two of water. Spread out paper towels to place your wet cards on later. Shake up the nail polish and unscrew the caps.

2-3. Quickly pour a little of each polish into the water. (Here, I used pale pink and dark grey.)

4. Drag a toothpick back and forth in the polish a couple times. This will look pretty no matter what, and you can experiment to see how much you like it mixed.

5. Dip your paper quickly. Press down to submerge it just barely under the surface, for just a second. I’m only speedy enough to do three pieces of paper. (The first piece of paper that you dip will get a lot of color, the next one will get less color and the last one will get the least amount of color.)

6. Then, put the paper face up on the paper towel to dry. Blot the notecard to help the water dry off. If you want it to be completely flat, stack books on top of it while it dries. If you’d like to make more cards, just repeat the process.

Marbleizing Stationery

Aren’t these beautiful? They’d be lovely for Mother’s Day or thank you notes. Thank you, Kendra!

P.S. How to arrange supermarket flowers, and Kendra’s beauty uniform.

(Photos by Seth Smoot and styling by Kendra Smoot for Cup of Jo.)

  1. Beautiful! How inspiring.

  2. these are beautiful and so simple to make!

  3. Looks so fun and easy!

  4. Laura says...

    What a cool craft idea! Thanks for the creative inspiration.
    You have rad friends!

  5. I can’t wait to try this. What a neat and simple way to use up old nail polish and have an excuse to send snail mail!

  6. Melissa says...

    So pretty…but I’m wondering if the paper ends up having a strong nail polish smell?

    • I tried it last night, and they don’t have a strong polish smell this morning… similar to painting your nails, once it dries, it doesn’t really smell. Mine didn’t turn out nearly as awesome as the ones above, but practice makes perfect (hopefully). Note that polish does get stuck to the pan and your hands!

  7. This is such a cute and pretty idea! Something I may be able to attempt and not actually fail at!

  8. It is looks genuinely lovely; how to get a batch of note cards?

  9. It looks lovely and genuine; how to get one batch.

  10. Reagan says...

    My kids and I have done a version of this with shaving cream and liquid watercolors. It’s a really fun project. Look up “shaving cream marbleization.”

  11. wow, I have to say these look unbelievable! What did you use to flatten them? Won’t the wet cards stick to a book?

  12. Margaret B says...

    These look so good- I was just thinking I needed to clean out my old/unused nail polish collection, and this would be a great way to get one last use out of the colors I love! I do wonder about the texture– the ones here look so beautifully matte and sheer, but would this also work with a glittery or shimmery polish? Do you have trouble with the nail polish clumping or ending up really thick in some places?

  13. Oh my goodness I need to try this out! I love that marble is such a huge trend right now because it’s so minimalistic and clean!

  14. nohatnogloves says...

    I am doing these this weekend. It is a promise to myself. Too many old and half used nail polishes. Now an excuse to buy new!

  15. Kadija says...

    Love this! I recently found a shaving cream (I think?) version on Pinterest for kids crafts and immediately thought “DIY wedding stuff!”. Oddly enough, I’m definitely not engaged haha! As always, thanks for this!

    • Em says...

      My daughter and I just did the shaving cream marbling on our Easter eggs as well as some paper. It looks awesome!

  16. This looks so simple and yet the result is gorgeous! I can’t wait to make it <33

  17. This stationary is so beautiful! What a lovely way to create custom stationary.

  18. Looks great!

  19. This is a brilliant idea. I’ve got loads of old nail varnishes and the effect is so amazing yet to simple to achieve. I’ll definitely be trying this out!

  20. My daughter does this on her nails, and I never thought to try it with paper. I used to buy the most gorgeous marbleized stationery in Florence, Italy.

    • Kate says...

      I love that paper and those shops!

  21. Melissa says...

    Beautiful! You can get the same effect with shaving cream and food coloring to make it kid friendly! I may have enjoyed it more than my toddler ;)

  22. No way! I literally made these this morning…I searched Kendra’s Instagram because I remembered seeing them…how crazy that you’ve posted them this afternoon!!!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      That is so funny!! Great minds haha. Hope they turned out well!

  23. This looks so coooooool! I live a country away from all my friends and family so letter-writing and sending is big for me & i have heaps of nail polish – what a great way to liven up paper :)

  24. Alicia says...

    Does the paper end up smell like nail polish?

    Thanks for the great idea!

  25. Laura says...

    amazing! one to try for sure :)

  26. This is so beautiful and modern looking. I love that it is something I could make in an afternoon. Thanks for sharing this!

  27. Shannon says...

    This can be done with children using shaving cream instead of water (oil based) and liquid water color or food coloring (water based). The procedure is about the same, but it’s non-toxic and the kids can scrape the fluffy shaving cream off with a popsicle stick or spatula to reveal the marbleized paper!

  28. LOVE this! We were in Florence Italy and met the most lovely shopkeeper at Il Papiro on the ponte de vecchio. He spent an hour showing my kids how to make marbled paper. They loved it and have such a fond memory of that day with him nearly 2 years ago. Thank you for this post! I’ve been wanting to try this at home ever since. Beautiful!

  29. These look so gorgeous! My daughters are both under 2, so we’re still working on very basic crafts, but I can’t wait until they are a bit older and make beautiful things like this together! Lovely!


  30. Beautiful! I am not the type to even attempt to make stationary but this is inspiring and just easy enough where I might try it! Great post!

  31. Mary says...

    Oh, so beautiful!

  32. This Kendra of yours is a wizard. I love everything she comes up with.

  33. Amy says...

    Love this idea! I have sooo many nail polishes that ended up clashing with my skin. But they would look awesome on paper!

  34. This looks amazing! And such a good use for the nail polish I buy and never use (why am I so bad at painting my own nails?!). I just wonder if it truly is easy… ;)

  35. Nina says...

    I wouldn’t do this with nail polish. It creates a slick, shiny surface that is almost impossible to write on. I’ve done this for mixed media art. You could probably use food coloring (I’ve never tried) or you can use japanese paints just for this…they are pretty cheap and so much fun. Called Suminagashi – here’s one on amazon –

    • Kate says...

      I thought the idea was to fold the paper in half and use it like a little card, so you wouldn’t be writing on the coloured surface