Marble painting made easy


By Caitlin Murray Giles


Painting with brushes is fun. But painting with marbles is really fun. Everyone will love the abstract, Jackson Pollock-like finished product created by rolling marbles dipped in paint around a plain sheet of paper.


  • Sheets of plain, white paper
  • Tempura paints in various colors (it's important to use a washable paint for this project)
  • At least one dozen marbles (you can substitute rubber balls or other small, round objects that you have around the house)
  • Containers for paint
  • Forks or slotted spoons
  • Shoes boxes, rimmed cookies sheets or 9x13 pans
  • Scissors
  • Smocks
  • Newspaper to protect the work area
  • Tape


The marble-painting project can go in two different directions: you can either contain your marbles in a shoe box and shake it around like crazy or you can place the marbles on an open tray and carefully try to keep them from catapulting over the edge (all while practicing those important hand-eye coordination skills).

  1. Cover your work area with newspaper and don a smock because this project has the potential to get messy (though tempura paints are washable). Cut a piece of plain, white paper to fit the bottom of your shoe box or pan. You may want to tape the piece of paper to the bottom of the shoebox or pan to keep it securely in place.
  2. Pour several colors of tempura paint into various small containers. Dip a marble or two into each paint container. Using a fork or slotted spoon, scoop up a marble, allowing the excess paint to drip off. Place the marbles into the box or pan.
  3. If using a shoe box, replace the top and give the box several vigorous shakes (throw on a few tunes to get your little artists movin'). If using a cookie sheet or pan, roll the marbles back and forth across the paper (the goal is to keep those paint-covered marbles from rolling off the edge). Inspect the result and embellish as needed (usually more is better for this technique).
  4. Experiment with different techniques to create varied results. Try rolling one marble at a time, allowing the paint to fully dry between applications. Then try rolling different colored marbles together at the same time to see how the colors blend together.
  5. Once dry, you can cut shapes out of your marble paintings to make this project even more complex. For example, cut out the letters of your child's name for a cool nameplate for their bedroom door.
Kids Eat Chicago

Copyright 2017 Wednesday Journal Inc. All rights reserved. Chicago web development by liQuidprint