Handmade stationery looks eye-catching and professional. And the technique can be used to add colour to so many other things in your home

Stationery decorated with marbled paper

Use the marble technique to add a personalised touch to your stationery

To prepare surfaces before you marble

You will need:
✤ Alum powder
✤ Shallow rectangular tray
✤ Paintbrush
✤ Acrylic gesso
✤ Acrylic paint
✤ Masking tape
✤ Pencil

For paper

Mix 2tbsp alum powder to 500ml warm water in the basin. Mark one side of the paper with a pencil and, using the paintbrush, apply the alum mixture to this side of the paper.

Allow the paper to dry and then iron flat.

For wood

Use the same alum mixture as for paper. Mask around the edges of the wooden surface you want to marble with masking tape, then paint with gesso.

If you want a coloured background, mix a little coloured acrylic paint in with the gesso. Allow to dry completely, brush with the alum mixture and allow to dry again.

For fabric

Mix 8tbsp alum powder to 4ltr warm water in a basin. Prewash your fabric according to the manufacturer’s instructions and allow to dry.

Cut the fabric to the size of your marbling tray, then soak in the alum mixture for a couple of minutes.

Allow to dry completely and iron flat.

A pencil case decorated with marbled paper

To marble the surfaces

You will need
✤ 3tbsp Methocel powder
✤ 2tbsp ammonia liquid
✤ Pink and blue marbling paint
✤ Shallow rectangular tray
✤ Whisk
✤ Wooden skewer

1 Mix 9ltr water, Methocel powder and ammonia together in a tray using a whisk. Let the mixture sit for 30 minutes, until the liquid has a syrup-like consistency.

2 Drop the pink and blue paint on to the smooth surface of the liquid in the tray, swirling with a wooden skewer to create pretty patterns.

3 Holding opposite corners of the fabric or paper, place the material over the surface of the paint so it is evenly coated and gently press over any bubbles.

For the wood, slowly dip the objects into the marble. Carefully lift the paper from the size and allow to dry.

For fabric, rinse under a cold tap to remove any Methocel residue and allow to dry. For wood, wash the object in a water bath and then allow to dry.

Once the fabric is dry, heat set marble designs with a warm iron and remove any creases.

To Make A Mini Marble Pencil Case

✤ 20cm pink coil zip
(£1.85, johnlewis.com)
✤ Sewing machine with
zipper foot and presser foot
✤ Pins
✤ Matching thread

Marble a piece of fabric and cut into four rectangles, each measuring 10 x 20cm.

Stack one fabric rectangle right side up with the zip face down along the rectangle’s long edge, followed by another fabric rectangle right side down.

Pin and tack all three layers together along the edge and sew in place with a zipper foot.

Finger-press the fabrics back on themselves so they are wrong sides together. Repeat on the other side of the zip with the other two fabric rectangles.

Bring the two sides of fabric together to enclose the zip and pin all four layers together along the longest side.

Using a presser foot, stitch together with a 1cm seam allowance and then press seam open.

Undo the zip halfway and line up the teeth of the zip with the seam underneath. Pin and sew together the open ends with a 1cm seam allowance.

To create the box edges, pinch each corner in by 2cm. Pin in place and mark a stitching guide across the corner. Sew along the line and then cut away the excess. Turn right sides out and press to finish.

To Make Marble Envelopes

Marble a piece of light pink A4 paper. Once dry, trace around your envelope on to the back of the marbled paper.

Trace 1cm in from the edge of the shape and cut with a pair of scissors. Slot inside the envelope and glue to the folded section.

An envelope decorated with marbled paper