Friday, September 24, 2010

Creative High Party

My Creative High

I am sorry for not hosting the party last week. I apologize.

As some of you may recall, I am teaching art for our home school co-op. After the first week, we decided that I would do art once a week and reading/lit once a week. Last week we did a resist project which was a failure (I discovered that washable crayons do not resist water colors---OOOPS!))

This week we marbelized paper. We had so much fun. The kids thought it was the best and kept going on about how cool it was. I have to admit, however that on Wednesday night I wasn't sure I was going to make it work.

The first thing you want to know about marbelizing paper is that you need a surface on which paint will float. I looked into two different methods. One was from a kids craft book and it used vegetable oil. I didn't like that. We wanted to use these papers for more projects after we made them and I couldn't see trying to color or glue or draw on oily paper.

So then I went to this method that I found on Marvelously Messy. Missy uses a recipe that she found at Skip to My Lou. Their method involved diluting liquid starch with boiling water and adding alum. I really couldn't see doing that with little kids and I wasn't sure if the liquid kept well after it was cooled or not.

As I pondered my dilemma I decided that the liquid starch would be the equivalent of the oil in the kids craft book recipe. I thought that quite possibly the main reason for the water was to save money on starch so I experimented with using straight starch. It worked. So here is what we did. (I wish I had pictures of the kids doing this but I was very busy helping them and making sure we didn't get paint all over our host's basement)


Large pan (large enough to let a full sheet of paper float)
Liquid Starch
Acrylic Paints
Stir Sticks
Paper (I found that a slightly glossy paper works best - flat papers absorb too much water)


Pick several colors of paint that you want to blend together (I let each child pick three).

Dilute a small quantity of each color with water (this helps the paint to float on the surface of the starch).

Pour enough liquid starch into to the pan to cover the bottom of the pan.

Pour your colors into the pan and then use a stick to gently swirl them together.

Place your paper on the surface of the mixture and let it float there for a minute or two.

Rinse the paper off in the sink and let it dry.

Some Things We Learned And Did

I let each child pick their own paint so I rinsed that pan out 8 times but I wanted this to be personal for the kids so they would have more fun.

We discovered that primary and very bold colors work best and that metallic paints work poorly or not at all.

Be generous with your paint the more you use the better.

I have an amazing variety of paint. I filled a dishpan up with bottles of paint for the kids to pick from and I did not bring my whole stash.

It is great when your husband gets run off materials from the machines he designs. The semi-glossy light-weight card stock that we've been using for years was perfect for this project (and is (sadly) nearly gone).

The kids wanted to do this again so we will probably try it in the spring and hope that we can do it outside next time (it was pouring down rain all day).

The Creative High Winner From Last Time Is.....

Megan from Fowl Single File. The button lamb she made is the cutest ever an i so want to make one myself!!

The Rules:

1. Link to your specific post, not the main page of your blog. Link to something you made that shows off your creative genius; something that gave you a creative high kind of like the endorphin rush that runners talk about. It can be an old post or a new post but it needs to be something you made.

2. Give your entry a descriptive title.

3. Use my button to link back to the party or add a text link in your post.

4. I can't accept links to etsy shops or online stores but I will accept parties and give-a-ways.

5. By entering your link, you are giving me permission to use any part of your post including pictures in a spotlight at Those Northern Skies (appropriate credit and links will be given to you and your blog of course).

The Prizes:

1. Every Friday at the next party, I will highlight my favorite posts from the previous week.

2. My favorite entrant of the week will win an advertisement in my sidebar free of
charge for one month (four weeks). If you do not have a shop, I can put your blog button up or if you would rather I can put up a button for your favorite charity.

3. In addition, for those who make a project inspired by one of my projects or one of my tutorials, I will pick one winner a month and they will get to keep an advertisement in my sidebar for two months. Plus all inspired entrants will be part of a featured post at the end of the month.

I will be sharing this at:


  1. I've always wanted to learn how to create that effect, thanks so much for posting and for going through all that trouble to figure it out. I've had my share of failed crafts but in the end there is so much you learn with the process. I'll be printing these instructions to use later.

    Hope you have a great weekend!

  2. He Melissa- I figured you were pretty busy last week. Glad things are going well with your home schooling art stuff. The marbalized paper seems really neat I know the kids loved it!
    Have a great weekend!

  3. Your paper looks good enough to eat.

  4. ANother gorgeous post, Melissa! Your ideas are the greatest!
    HAve a happy weekend xxx

  5. Yes! I'm so glad you liked my button mutton! He was really easy to make and since I completed him I'm thinking I should make other critters in the same should try it out, too! Thanks for the feature and the tutorial for marbled paper.

  6. I've read that if you put a drop of liquid dish soap in the water, the colours stay to the surface and stick to the paper better. I know that marbled paper can also be done with shaving cream. I've never done marbled paper myself but I like how it looks.

  7. Wow! I need a "creative" day. Those juices are running dry. I love the marbled paper. Great party. I'm looking forward to seeing what these creative women come up with. Lisa~

  8. What a great art project for kids Melissa! gonna have to try that out sometime.

    that sheep is the sweetest! unfortunately my button stash is so small. but i hoard, i hoard, and make my own so it's slowly growing. :)

  9. Hey there!! Thanks for the shout out to me. Isn't marbelizing paper fun?? Glad the kiddo's liked it. The paper came out beautiful!!

  10. This sounds awesome! I'll definitely be trying it

  11. Love this marbelized effect. I've done it before with spray paint on the surface of a tray full of water, probably not kid safe, tho.

  12. Hi! I'm a homeschool mom too. Keeps me pretty busy, even if it is only my one child.
    Thanks for hosting this party.
    Oh, and thanks for the nice comment on my blog!

  13. The papers are so gorgioso! Thanks for the great how-to!

  14. I love marbled paper.. I'm sure I remember making it with paint on water as a child.. maybe oil paints on water..?

  15. First time visitor ... and just linked up my polymer clay crafts. Can not wait till next week to link up again ...
    Thanks for hosting such a fun party!