How to Make Marbled Paper – plus new Marbled Notebooks and Calendars from May Designs!

Making marbled paper is something that I’ve always wanted to try, but, thanks to the extensive supply list and unfamiliar ingredients, I’ve been too scared to even attempt. But today we’re in luck! Heather, Creative Director at May Designs, is here to demystify paper marbling and walk us through the entire process. The team at May Designs basically spent an entire day playing around with marbled paper patterns, with some seriously stunning results. We’ll start with Heather’s detailed tutorial (thanks Heather!!) for how to make marbled paper, followed by some photos of the GORGEOUS new May Designs collection inspired by their marbling experiments!

May Designs Marbled Notebooks / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Supplies

100% cotton paper

Alum

Methocel

Spray bottle

Measuring spoons

Whisk

Dish soap

Large shallow tray

Bucket or large bowl (must have a capacity greater than one gallon)

Acrylic paint

Small cups

Coffee straws

Clothesline + clothespins

How to Make Marbled Paper / May Designs via Oh So Beautiful Paper

How to make marbled paper:

Step 1. First, prep your paper. Fill a spray bottle with warm water. Add 2 tablespoons of alum and mix well. Let the mixture cool and spray a thin layer onto your cotton paper. Lay flat to dry! Make sure to mark the side that you sprayed because it can be hard to tell once it’s dried.

Step 2. Next, prepare the water bath. In a bucket, mix 4 tablespoons of Methocel with 1 gallon warm, distilled water, and one tablespoon of ammonia. Mix with a whisk. Find a shallow tray that is just a little larger than your paper. We found the perfect shallow tray to use for our water bath at a restaurant supply store (these trays from Amazon will also work!). Pour water mixture into shallow dish and let sit until all bubbles are gone! This can take a while, sometimes an hour or so.

Step 3. You’ll also need to add a dispersant to your water bath. To mix a dispersant, fill a cup with ½ cup water and a few drops of dish soap and mix.

Step 4. Gather up your favorite colors of acrylic paints and squeeze them into cups. Add water to each color until you have the consistency of whole milk. Add one drop of dispersant/dish soap mixture to each color of paint. (A coffee straw works well for this!)

Step 5. Next, add diluted paint to the water bath. This is the fun part! Using coffee straws begin to drop paint onto the surface of the water bath. Keep dropping paint onto the water bath until it is pretty well covered with color.

Step 6. Time to Marble! Take a clean straw and begin to drag it across the top of the water bath to create designs. You can also use the dispersant mixture you made to move the paint around, but only use a small drop to start. A little goes a LONG way.

Step 7. Once you have a design that you like, take your prepped paper and gently lay it face down on the top of the bath. (Make sure you are placing the paper, prepped side down). Pat it down to make sure there are no air bubbles and then pull the paper up out of the bath starting with one corner and peeling it all the way up.

Step 8. Rinse paper with water. Don’t be afraid to get in there and clean the paper off with your hands. The paint is there to stay. Hang paper to dry!

How to Make Marbled Paper / May Designs via Oh So Beautiful Paper

How to Make Marbled Paper / May Designs via Oh So Beautiful Paper

How to Make Marbled Paper / May Designs via Oh So Beautiful Paper

How to Make Marbled Paper / May Designs via Oh So Beautiful Paper

How to Make Marbled Paper / May Designs via Oh So Beautiful Paper

How to Make Marbled Paper / May Designs via Oh So Beautiful Paper

How to Make Marbled Paper / May Designs via Oh So Beautiful Paper

How to Make Marbled Paper / May Designs via Oh So Beautiful Paper

How to Make Marbled Paper / May Designs via Oh So Beautiful Paper

How to Make Marbled Paper / May Designs via Oh So Beautiful Paper

How to Make Marbled Paper / May Designs via Oh So Beautiful Paper

How to Make Marbled Paper / May Designs via Oh So Beautiful Paper

How to Make Marbled Paper / May Designs via Oh So Beautiful Paper

How to Make Marbled Paper / May Designs via Oh So Beautiful Paper

From Heather: We’ve been excited to introduce this fun trend as a pattern collection since spotting it at the National Stationery Show. We first envisioned it as a collaboration. We thought we might need an expert, to guide us through the process, so that we could get the results we desired for the collection. BUT, when Mica had the idea to incorporate the marbling process into our brand new Desk Calendars, it changed our timeline quite a bit and we decided to roll up our sleeves and get our hands dirty!

We set aside a day that same week to set up our very own marble workshop in the studio. We’ve hosted a few different workshops in the studio; calligraphy, painting, cocktail classes, etc., but this was my personal favorite. The process is so free and each piece almost creates itself! We collected tips and tricks from several different videos and blogs to create the process outlined in the tutorial above. Here’s a list of little things that we feel made this a success:

  • Cotton paper is a must! The other papers we tried broke down in the water bath
  • Don’t go on a crazy search for fancy “dispersant” – dish soap works the same way! Oh and remember, a little goes a LONG way!
  • Turns out, restaurant supply stores have the perfect large, shallow dishes for water bath. And they’re white!

We hoped that by the end of the day, we would have 12 gorgeous pieces to work with, but the pressure was off. It was SUCH a fun day. Doors open, messy desks, lunch ordered in (of course) and selfies galore. A perfect exercise for our team to let loose and bond, and BONUS… we ended the day with walls covered in gorgeous marbled paper. We are so happy with the end result! The new calendars are are beautiful and the pattern collection for notebooks is a new favorite!

May Designs Marbled Calendar / Oh So Beautiful Paper

May Designs Marbled Calendar / Oh So Beautiful Paper

May Designs Marbled Calendar / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Photo Credits: May Designs

Post-it Brand Celebrates 35 Years!

I’m always writing little notes. Notes with little reminders, favorite quotes, and even little love notes to my husband and my kids. I’ve been writing little notes – to myself, to my family, to friends and co-workers – for as long as I can remember. And so many of those notes have been on Post-it® Notes! I usually keep a few Post-it® Note pads scattered around my office, and I love the bright pop of color on my desk. Post-it® Brand products have been a huge part of my life – from student to creative entrepreneur – and I’m thrilled to help them celebrate 35 years of helping great ideas take shape!

Post-it Brand Celebrates 35 Years! / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Believe it or not, Post-it® Brand launched in 1980 with the introduction of the original Canary Yellow Post-it® Note! Fun fact: To help introduce the brand new product, Post-it® Brand mailed packs of the original notes to Fortune 500 CEOs and their secretaries. Pretty smart, huh? Since then, Post-it® Brand has introduced everything from Post-it® Notes in new colors, shapes, and sizes to help us all create and collaborate, to Post-it® Note Flags and Tabs to help keep us all organized, to fun Post-it® Note Big Pads that help us when we need to dream a little bigger. Post-it® Brand products are an indispensable tool for anyone trying to create or stay organized, whether in the office, at school, or at home.

Post-it Brand Celebrates 35 Years! / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Post-it Brand Celebrates 35 Years! / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Last year, I partnered with Post-it® Brand to create a fun cocktail party menu made entirely of Post-it® Notes from the World of Color Collection! The Post-it® Notes come in a range of bright colors with 9 color palettes inspired by global design. We used the tropical-inspired colors of the Bora Bora collection, but I also love the bright neons of the Rio de Janeiro collection, the soft pastels of the Bali collection, and the candy colors of the Cape Town collection. It was such a fun challenge to think of a new way to use a product that has been a constant presence on my desk for so many years!

Post-it Brand Celebrates 35 Years! / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Post-it Brand Celebrates 35 Years! / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Post-it Brand Celebrates 35 Years! / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Post-it® Brand products have transformed the way we work, create, and even inspire achievement over the last 35 years – I’d love to hear the creative ways that you’ve used Post-it® Notes and other Post-it® Brand products in your life!

This post is sponsored by Post-it® Brand, helping great ideas take shape for 35 yearsAll content and opinions are my own. Follow Post-it® Brand on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and PinterestThank you for supporting the sponsors that make Oh So Beautiful Paper possible!

Pretty Paper in the Office: Perpetual Calendars

A calendar is essential in many workspaces – and the way you work can dictate the type of calendar you need. Nole has a great round up of calendars each year that I consult before making my own purchase. But there are other calendar options that don’t rely on the year. Today’s round up is all about the perpetual calendar; your tried and true friend that stays with you year after year.  – Julie
Pretty Paper in the Office: Perpetual Calendar Round Up / Oh So Beautiful Paper
1. SOVRAPPENSIERO

2. Kaufmann Merchantile

3. More Trees

4. Paul Koh

5. Sebastian Bergne

6. Bsiri

Pretty Paper in the Office: Globes

Whether you’re an avid traveler or have been eyeing one simply for décor (or both!), there’s no denying that there’s something enticing about a globe. As a child, I had a globe with topographical relief that I would spend hours with, studying the tallest mountain ranges around the world. Depending on the style, they can be beautiful and functional pieces of art or a touchstone to past adventures and future travels. I’ve put together a roundup of a few different globes you should take for a spin in your office space. – Julie

Pretty Paper in the Office: Globes / Oh So Beautiful Paper

1. Nendo

2. Kristoffer Zeuthen

3. CB2 cork globe

4. National Geographic

5. Anthropologie

6. Replogle

Pretty Paper in the Office: Business Card Cases

Amazing business cards should be collected like baseball cards. When you’re out and about making connections, the card isn’t the only thing that says something about you and your work. Why not treat yourself to a case worthy of those little paper pieces of yourself? – Julie

Pretty Paper in the Office: Business Card Holders / Oh So Beautiful Paper

1. russell+hazel

2. Tsubota Pearl

3. Kate Spade

4. Masakage Tanno

5. Tanner Goods

6. Kate Spade