Project DIY

DIY Marbling with Kirstie Allsopp

December 21, 2014

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The main reason I was keen to try out the marble effect is because I wanted a nicer, lighter backdrop for photographing small items on, such as make-up or accessories. My entire flat is all dark wood, bar one (quite dirty) white table. But I love the idea of the products looking like they are lying on a colourful and cool marble surface. Plus, I’ve been wondering for quite a while now ‘How exactly do you get the marble effect?’

Fortunately Kirstie Allsopp of TV Property fame has got a whole range of Amazing craft kits available at Hobbycraft, including a Marbling Kit* which I decided to try out. I had no idea about Kirstie’s background in interior design. Did you guys? I only knew her as a property expert. Hat’s off to Kirstie for using her skills to make some seriously decent craft kits. I imagine buying all the bits for this marbling process would get quite expensive. But Kirstie has boxed them all up into one product, costing just Β£15. The kit contains:

Marbling Inks
Reusable Ink Tray
Size Powder
Marbling Comb
Cards
Envelopes
Tags
Instructions

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(The kit itself is so cute; it comes in a really pretty box which I will certainly be using again, hmmmm, maybe to keep my nail varnishes in)

Although the kit comes with instructions, I will run you through the gist of it. The actual process – once you know what your doing – takes only a few minutes. But I’m going to be honest, making ‘the size’ formula is a bit tricky and definitely takes practice. I had a few attempts, and on my last I think I finally got it. But I’ll let you be the judge…

I started by covering my worktop with newspaper … well, technically it was an old copy of Stylist.

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Then I filled up my ink tray with 300ml of warm water. Followed by adding the size. This is the tricky bit. You have to sprinkle around 1.5 teaspoons of the size over the water and stir to get it to the right consistency. My first attempt had lots of chunks in, ooops.

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Once you think you have the right consistency (a smooth, slightly thick fluid) you can begin adding drops of ink. I started with Blue.

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Kirstie advises using different items to spread your ink, such as the comb provided, or a paintbrush, or a cocktail stick. I opted for the cocktail stick.

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Then add your next colour. The kit contains four colours, red, yellow, green and blue, which can be mixed to create tertiary colours such as violet and orange. But on this occasion, I just opted for red.

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I would at some point like to try marbling fabric, to make either a dress, or a scarf, but for now I stuck to the card provided so that I could make my background. I had to lay the card face down onto the surface of the size for a few seconds and then peel it off.

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Kirstie advises rinsing any excess size off with cold water, but this was where it seemed to go wrong. When I did this, it would either rinse off most of the ink or just spoil it. But I think this is to do with getting the consistency of the size wrong earlier on. Although a bit tricky, I think that when I come to try marbling on fabric this part of the process will be easier, as rinsing off anyΒ excess size would not ruin the design or ink.

Once you’ve rinsed and you are happy with how it looks, leave it to dry somewhere for a few hours. When it’s dry try ironing it but make sure to pile a few tea towels on top, you don’t want it to burn it!

Hopefully, if everything has gone right, you should have some nice marbled card. I had a few tries, and fails, and I played around with different colours …

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My first few attempts weren’t great…

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My next wasn’t bad, apart from the blotches…

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And I was quite pleased with my final attempt, although surprised at how light it turned out. I think was to do with rinsing off the layer of excess size…

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I can’t wait to play around with this kit again, hopefully on fabric, and maybe with some grey tones. I definitely recommend this kit for the arty & crafty out there.

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