Ready for More Fun:

hope cover flap open web

In this lesson, I will demonstrate how to marble pages using liquid starch and paint, such as the one above on the right flap of the Hope Journal

starch still 3 copy

Here is a photo of the supplies you need to marble with liquid starch: 


Here is the supply list of what you need to Marble with Liquid Starch: 

  • Cookie sheet or tray
  • Liquid Starch
  • brush made from broom (whisk broom, scissors, rubber band)*
  • Acrylic paint  in the colors of your choice ( I prefer Golden Fluid Acrylics or DecoArt Media)
  • Craft/butcher paper
  • Paper towels
  • Spray Bottle
  • Water container
  • Palette
  • small cups or containers for mixing paint
  • sheet music or other paper you want marbled
  • Journal Pages

I made marbling brush using scissors, a whisk broom and a rubber band. This video shows how:

The password for the video is: marble

The password for the video is: marble


Here is a PDF that shows the process to all the painting papers in this class. To view and print, click on the link:

Painting Papers, Marbling and More

Liquid Starch Painting

  1. Brush just enough starch onto a tray or cookie sheet to moisten the entire surface.
  2. Squeeze paint on palette
  3. With broom brush* dipped in water and then swirled in paint, spatter onto starched surface by tapping the paint-loaded broom brush onto another brush about halfway down the brush above the paint loaded portion.
  4. Thinned paint may also be dropped carefully onto surface with a small spoon or dropper.
  5. Continue layering spatters until satisfied
  6. Press paper to be printed face down onto surface
  7. Lift paper from one side and allow to dry. **

*NOTE: I made a “broom brush” by cutting some bristles off a natural whisk broom and winding a rubber band around one end. A mop brush would probably work too.

NOTE: **If there is too much starch on the surface the painted page will need to be rinsed off, gently. The down side is that it tends to wash off too much of the paint with it, so putting just enough starch to wet the surface but not puddle is important.

Any acrylic paint may be used for this technique.

 starch marble journal 2 copy









  1. From some of the questions on Facebook, I’ve noticed in some countries liquid starch. I have also used a product called Floetrol, a latex paint extender found at places like Home Depot here in the states. It’s a bit different, but I have achieved good results using the same methods and I don’t have to rinse it off, which is also why it is important for it to be a thin coat on the surface as demonstrated in the video. A little goes a long way. It takes awhile to dry since it is a paint extender. If you have spray starch you may want to try that, coating the cookie sheet with the spray. Since we may not have the same products it may require some experimenting, which you can do on paper other than the more expensive watercolor paper. One or both of the two I just mentioned should work.
    In researching, I have read that there is a good product XIM that does what Floetrol does, but I haven’t used it.


    Hi Valerie,
    I noticed in the video that both sheets of watercolor paper that you are using are clean. So I’m wondering about the journal. I see you use a short edge fold of the paper and then you use another clean sheet with what appears to be the 8X10 side and just marble the edge. I’m wondering if I need to have enough paper to make 2 journals. Are these just techniques or are you building your journal. Don’t want to get caught short on the paper and/or not follow what you are doing first time out. Make sense?
    Thanks. 🙂

    • I’m not sure exactly what you mean, but the one sheet of paper does make 1 journal the way demonstrated. I would suggest having two sheets on hand, especially when trying new techniques. Having more paper always frees me up from the fear of “messing up” and more space to try new things. I did end up making two journals for the hope journal, but it was because of filming loss, not because of painting mishaps. With that said, one of the things I always tell myself I can paint over it or layer up if it doesn’t turn out like I hoped.


      I think Valerie is also using papers she has on hand to build a “stash” of extra paper for using in this or other projects for collage. It is a great way to use up the paint already in the pan that would otherwise be rinsed away and at the same time these extra papers will come in handy someday.


    Should the above Shaving Cream Technique Step-by-Step actually be Starch as in the pdf printed version. It could be a little confusing unless you actually click through onto the pdf to find the step-by-step specifically for starch. Apologies if it’s just my pedantic mindset, it really isn’t any bother clicking through to the pdf for the instructions.
    Paula (PEP)

    • I don’t want to be confusing. I guess I put all the techniques on this one pdf thinking it would be easier to print to have it all in one place and look up the various techniques. I’d like to know if this is a problem for other people.

  4. Ana

    I was able to find the liquid starch. However, the bottle indicates it is a “concentrated” liquid. I’m not sure if I should use it full strength or dilute it. . . ” Can’t tell from your bottle whether it is also concentrated. The instruction indicates for heavy duty starch effect to use full strength for extra heavy starch effect. Any suggestions.

    • Yes Ana use the starch in concentrate straight out of the bottle. You don’t need much, just enough to moisten the surface with a very thin coat as shown in the video

  5. Ana

    Is the rinsing necessary or a matter of personal preference/design?

    • Hi Ana, the need for rinsing the starch off the surface of he paper depends mostly on how much starch is on the surface. If there are puddles of starch, it will crack when dry or folded. Those can also be gently blotted with a paper towel if you don’t want to rinse.

  6. arturwallz

    Valerie, I am following along as close as I can. Your instructions are so clear and you make it look quite simple. I am a little confused about what sides of which folded paper in the journal you marbled. During the first demo, you said it was the “Back and front fold of the journal that you were marbling. After that….. I got a little confused. I really want my first journal to look as close to yours as possible. Later, I will create my own designs. But for now….. I just want to learn. Hope you can understand the question! LOL. < Donna

    • Hi Donna,
      When I unfold the journal cover so the front and back covers are face up, the marbling is done on the back of the cover and the front flap. I hope that makes sense. Don’t worry if yours I’d different than mine. The possibilities are endless.

  7. Andrea

    Do you pre-treat the paper with a medium before doing any of the marbling techniques?

    • No. I do not treat the paper with anything before marbling. That way the marbling adheres to the paper.

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