Decorated with dense, intricate patterns, marbled papers are some of the most alluring papers to use in your art. These colorful sheets were traditionally prepared by hand: An artisan used a stylus to comb through or rake pigments floated on a solution, then transferred the pattern to paper. The results, wavy and flowing, were often used for bookbinding. Today the centuries-old art form has been adapted for quick manufacture, with many papers simply printed with marbled designs. But if you’re willing to invest a little more, you can still find handmade sheets. Whether you’re looking for affordable decorative papers for scrapbooking or carefully processed ones for memorable artworks, our picks will help you find the best option for the job.
1. ColorBok Cardstock Marble Paper Pad
Featuring an impressive variety of vibrant papers, Colorbok’s pad can be used for many different occasions. You get 30 square sheets of printed marbled paper in cheerful colors like hot pink, bright yellow, and turquoise, each one with soothing, mesmerizing swirls. The paper has a satisfyingly smooth texture and is sturdy, with a thickness between that of copy and card stock paper. Each is also printed with a dotted line for you to cut along to remove it from the pad.
2. Ilopa Journals Marbled Paper Collection
Historically, marbled paper has been used to create gorgeous book covers and endpapers. This collection gathers 20 sheets printed with scanned reproductions of vintage endpaper so you can give you projects a classic look. Sourced from 18th- and 19th-century books, the patterns are handsome and filled with rich detail that have transferred very well to these 100 gsm papers. Our main gripe is that the sheets are quite difficult to tear away as there are no perforations or guide marks. Each page is also printed on both sides with different patterns, which might not be ideal for certain projects.
3. Paperhues Marbled Handmade Scrapbook Papers Collection
These papers marry manual and manufactured techniques to yield dramatic designs in a diverse assortment of color palettes. The sheets themselves are first handmade in India from recycled cotton rags, making them more earth-friendly, and then printed with patterns. The resulting papers carry a range of textures, with some feeling like card stock and others almost fabric-like. Part of the fun of this product is discovering all the different unique characteristics of each sheet.
4. Paperkiddo Marble Pattern Origami Paper
Like Colorbok’s papers, Paperkiddo’s product is packed with brightly colored, vivid marbled patterns. But the paper is lighter, making it more suitable for precise folding and shaping into complex structures. We also like how varied the patterns are, with some featuring large swirls and others more subtly streaked; some papers even have gold accents.
5. FineArtStore Marbled Paper
The best marbled paper is handmade from start to finish and stands as a work of art on its own. These are inked and stirred by hand in India, and their large format allows you to closely observe and fully appreciate the artistry of their makers. The sheets are well structured, made of thick fiber, and no two are alike. Many of the patterns seem inspired by nature, such as fan-shaped motifs prompted by wildflowers, swirls that recall sunspots, and pools that resemble green lagoons.