This art project teaches kids about Turkish marbling

We’ve embarked on many adventures here on Adventures in Learning—we’ve hopped across continents, turned our living room into a destination, became Latin American chefs, and made treasure boxes from our journeys—all using the power of our imagination.

Today, let’s use our imagination to take a trip to learn about a place that is rich in history and culture; where east meets west; old meets new. Let’s visit Turkey!

art of istanbul

For this Adventure in Learning, we’re going to try our hand at Erbu: the Turkish art of Marbling. Before we begin, let’s see how geography affects art:

The art of marbling is thought to have originated in Turkey, spreading west to countries throughout Europe and east to China, India and Persia. A quick look at a world map shows that Turkey bridges the continents of Asia and Europe. It’s also important to note that the Silk Road ran through Turkey, making it easy for art and culture to spread.

In traditional Ebru, paint is dripped onto the surface of water and a fine brush or metal comb is used to create marbled patterns. After a pattern is created, a piece of paper is gently laid on the surface of the water. The paint adheres to the paper, creating a marbled masterpiece.

To make this project kid-friendly, I consulted with my friend Carla Wiking who taught me a cool way to marble using shaving cream. Ready? 

You’ll Need

    • Shaving cream
    • Acrylic paint
    • Cookie sheet or aluminum pan
    • Popsicle stick or skewer
    • Butter knife
    • Card stock or sheets of water color paper


    Before we begin, Carla warned me that this project is a bit messy, so roll up those sleeves!

    how to marble using shaving cream

    1. Cover a cookie sheet in shaving cream.

    A lesson in marbling

    2. Drop paint onto the shaving cream.

    Turkish marbling using shaving cream

    3. Use a skewer to make swirls with the paint.

    marbling lesson

    4. Lay a sheet of card stock on top of the shaving cream. Press gently.

    how to marble using shaving cream - a lesson in art

    5. Remove the paper. Let sit for a about a minute.
    6. Scrape off the shaving cream.

    how to marble paper

    7. Let the paper dry.

    Turkish Marbling - art and culture lesson

    ps. Click here to watch Ebru artists in action.

    More Adventures in Learning

    Art Appreciation Game
    Soap Finger Paint
    Art History for Kids

About Jennifer Cooper

Jennifer Cooper

Jennifer Cooper is the blogger behind, an online resource for creative families.  Her favorite past times include: dancing around her living room, watching the Pink Panther with her kids and daydreaming. She lives in Baltimore, MD with her husband, photographer Dave Cooper, and two children. 

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