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Marbleized Calligraphy-Ink Stationery

Traditional marbling requires a specialty materials, but this clever modern version uses one: calligraphy ink. Here, it's used to create beautifully patterned paper as well as to write on it.

marbleized calligraphy ink paper stationery

Photography: Maria Lane

Source: Martha Stewart


This idea comes from our friend Maria Lane. For this project, she suggests using thin smooth paper, a flex nib for greater letter thickness variability, and a thin paintbrush for a more intricate marbling pattern. "You can experiment with different ink and paper colors for added interest or stick to one color to create a chic and monochromatic set," she says.


As a supplemental technique to this project, learn How to Write in Calligraphy.


  • Small tray
  • Paper
  • Calligraphy ink by Winsor & Newton, $7 per 30 ml. bottle,
  • Paintbrush
  • Calligraphy dip pen and nib
  • Double-stick tape


  1. Fill a small tray with a thin layer of water. Gently drop a light swirl of calligraphy ink across the surface of the water and immediately lay a piece of paper on top of it.
    marbleized calligraphy ink paper stationery
  2. Let the paper sit in the water for about 10 seconds or until the swirled pattern starts becoming visible through the back of the paper.
    marbleized calligraphy ink paper stationery
  3. Lift the paper up from one corner to check the pattern has adhered to paper. (Tip: To maintain the clarity of the swirl pattern and to keep the ink from running, rinse off your newly marbleized paper right away with a little bit of clean water.)
  4. Set the paper aside to dry and repeat as desired. (Tip: No need to refill your tray with fresh water after each paper is made; the remaining ink from the previous one will sink relatively quickly to allow for a new swirl pattern along the surface each time.) Once dry, flatten your marbleized papers, either with a handheld iron on low heat under a towel or by placing them under a heavy stack of coffee table books.
    marbleized calligraphy ink paper stationery
  5. Using your calligraphy tools and ink, write messages across your marbleized paper such as generic phrases like "Congrats!" and "Thanks!" to create a complete stationery set.
    marbleized calligraphy ink paper stationery
  6. Adhere your dried and finished masterpieces to a simple set of blank notecards using double-stick tape.
    marbleized calligraphy ink paper stationery
  7. If presenting as a gift set, stack the cards and envelopes and tie with ribbon! Add a sprig of lavender or a bit of bougainvillea to give it a special touch.

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