Mixative Marbling

by Dina Kowal

Create marbled surfaces using Metallic Mixatives.


  • Container
  • Water
  • Ranger Metallic Mixative
  • Heavy cardstock, watercolor paper, photo paper, matboard or any surface that will take a little water
  • Alcohol inks (optional)
  • Palette knife or skewer
  • Other supplies as needed to complete the project (please see gallery entries for specific products)


  1. Step 1

    Find a container slightly larger than your paper panel. Add plain water (about an inch deep here).

  2. Step 2

    Add several drops of Ranger Metallic Mixative to the water. The Mixative will spread and create a film on the surface. (Photo shows one drop of Mixative. Add more as needed to fill the surface in your container.)

  3. Step 3

    Lay a piece of dark cardstock or matboard onto the surface to marble it. The Mixative will adhere to whatever is dipped into it or pressed against it.

  4. The film will be broken with the first dip, but you can usually get a second background out of the remaining smaller pieces.

    Set the panels aside to dry completely.

  5. Step 4

    Add more than one color for a different look. Use a palette knife or skewer to gently pull the colors around the surface if they are trapped.

  6. You can also add color to the marbling with alcohol ink.

  7. Step 5

    Remember alcohol inks will adhere to non-porous surfaces! This is a plastic egg with a finish similar to a ping pong ball.

  8. Step 6

    When the ink is dry, use the marbled pieces to complete cards or other projects.


Your Turn

You've seen the tutorial, now you try it! We've got a section of the gallery set aside for Mixative Marbling. Try this technique, then upload your artwork to the gallery. Show us your creations!

***Please note - Internet Explorer/Edge is not a supported browser, and will not allow you to see the videos. Please use Chrome, Firefox or Safari to view our tutorial videos.

Questions and Comments

We'd love to get your feedback or questions. Leave your comment below.

I loved both videos! What fun!
muscrat  |  Tue Mar 31, 2020 at 8:40 PM
Thank you for this video, I will have to get some of these inks.
Grannanny  |  Wed Apr 1, 2020 at 4:20 AM
Such a great technique. It seems like the leftover water & mixative/ink could be used to spritz or splatter with a paintbrush onto Distress Oxides for a pretty effect. I'll definitely be trying this soon.
vgpeterson  |  Wed Apr 1, 2020 at 5:35 AM
Great tutorial! I’ve got to try this. I really enjoyed the commentary. They did a great job!
Experimental  |  Wed Apr 1, 2020 at 5:36 AM
This is a wonderful way to add the amount of color to a background. And, it's never the same! TYFS
tiffanyrose  |  Wed Apr 1, 2020 at 6:09 AM
I've got my pieces done but I will need to spray fixitive on them and then wait for them to dry before I can make my card.
muscrat  |  Wed Apr 1, 2020 at 6:22 AM
Dina, great technique with endless possibilities! I thoroughly enjoyed your sons narrative, especially the repeat of their beautiful mother. I can't wait to give this technique a try.
asweetjewel  |  Wed Apr 1, 2020 at 7:32 AM
What a fabulous technique. LOVE LOVE LOVE the video with the boys. It warmed my heart and brought me a big smile. Thanks guys. Thanks Dina.
kab  |  Wed Apr 1, 2020 at 9:11 AM
Loved your vid. Dina. However, those 2 broadcasters doing a demo were terrific!
CorgiCali  |  Wed Apr 1, 2020 at 11:40 AM
This is so cool! I love that teakwood & gold piece, but they are all terrific. Thank you for sharing such a fun technique.

djc  |  Wed Apr 1, 2020 at 12:39 PM
Fabulous Dina! Thanks so much for demo-ing...What fixative spray do you recommend?

Thank you,
shirlb19  |  Wed Apr 1, 2020 at 5:59 PM
I have done this with nail polish and the results are so much fun!

Loved the first video!
janesprando  |  Wed Apr 1, 2020 at 9:45 PM
Shirl, I used krylon fixatif but you can even use hairspray or that stuff in a jar that Kristina werner uses. It's a paste you rub on and wipe off.
muscrat  |  Sat Apr 4, 2020 at 7:17 PM
Now I know what to do with my mixatives. I never really liked how they worked with the AI. Can’t wait to try this technique. Your boys were adorable by the way.
gobarb26  |  Mon Apr 20, 2020 at 3:48 PM
What an excellent technique. Will be trying this as soon as I can get the mixative and alcohol inks. I have neither at the moment. I've done the shaving cream marbling and I love that, but this looks much better as a background for most anything. TYFS
tiffanyrose  |  Thu Mar 11, 2021 at 2:27 PM

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