How to Marble an Egg

Drying eggs

To let eggs dry, I place them on a pysanky drying board. Which is a board with a bunch of nails from the bottom in groups of three like little tripods. I take a paper towel and place on top of the nails and push it thru to the board to catch the drippings. Then just throw the dirty paper towel away protecting the board from build up finishes and paint. You could also use a cardboard and push thumb tacks thru.


Onionskin dyed eggs

From Lucille

Save onion skins and try to keep the pieces as big as possible. The different varieties of onion skins will give you different shades from light to dark browns and tans on the eggs. I used clean empty eggs. Place the skins in water and cook just enough to make the skin soft and pliable, remove the skins from the water and let cool.

Wrap the skins around the egg until it's all covered and tie with thread or string. Wrap in all directions. In a few of the eggs I tucked under the skins here and there a little blueberry jelly since it was not berry season. And a bit of yellow mustard. At one place the mustard was abit too close to the blueberry and made a beautiful shade of green.

Place the eggs in slowly simmering water for about a half hour. Since the eggs are empty, you will need to place something on the eggs to weight them down so they are all covered with water. I used the cover from a smaller pan. Some people will add a little vinegar to the water to help set the color. When it's time, remove the eggs from the water and let cool. When cool enough to handle, remove the skins from the eggs and drain out the water.

And voila! marbled eggs. You can do a search for natural dyes and finds lots of thing you can use to tuck under the skins for different colors. You can have fun experimenting.


Other methods to marble eggs

From Terry

First you have to use the ink and pen I tell you! Nothing else works (so far). I keep trying to find a cheaper way. You need panatone tria ink. It comes in 288 colors and can be bought at rubber stamping stores.

The pen looks like a jumbo marker and comes in gold, silver or copper. It is a krylon leafing pen.   When you take the lid off the pen you will find that the tip is spring loaded.

Now first seal your egg with a spray, once dried, you take your pen and put it on the egg and push in until you leave 3 mm dot of metallic ink. Continue to do this all over the egg maybe ten or fifteen times?!?

Right away (before the metal ink dries) take a makeup sponge and pour a little tria ink on the sponge and start dabbing quickly until you whole egg is covered. You will notice right away the egg starts to look marbled.

Let the egg dry and then why not add a second coat, maybe a different color. You will need quite as much metallic ink with a second coat and you will notice that it looks like you have sprayed a finish on the egg.

Make sure you use a clean sponge for each color you use. I suggest you experiment with a duck egg first, just to get the feel for it also the duck eggs do not need to be sealed first. I guess they have more oil in their shells.


Linda Hebert
Artist, author and teacher with Decart Inc.

Demonstrates the ancient art of marbling paper, which originated in 17th-century Japan, then spread to Europe.
Linda explains how to marble paper and gives examples of other uses of the process.

If you can soak it in alum, you can dye it.


  • Deka Marbling Medium. Deka Permanent Fabric Paints. or acrylic fabric or textile paints
  • Nonabsorbent paper such as pen-and-ink paper White vinegar
  • Clear ammonia
  • Alum
  • Rectangular plastic washtub
  • 9" x 13" aluminum baking pan
  • Small test bowl
  • Paper cups
  • Craft sticks
  • Clothes rack or clothesline
  • Comb (teeth randomly cut out)
  • Strips of newspaper approximately 3" wide
  • Paper towels
  • Optional: rubber gloves
  • The night before, mix 2 1/2 to 4 tablespoons of Deka Marbling Medium per gallon of water. Linda prefers using the lesser amount for marbling paper and fabric, and you may wish to experiment to find the best amount for you.

    Add 2 teaspoons vinegar and 2 teaspoons ammonia per gallon to the mixture, and stir. Put a small amount in the test bowl, and allow the mixture to sit overnight. After you have prepared the marbleizing medium, prepare the paper or item to be marbled.

    In a second container, mix 2 tablespoons alum per 1 quart warm water. If using paper, put each piece in one at a time. Leave in 3 to 5 minutes per side. Remove and allow to dry overnight on a rack.

    Mix equal amounts of paint and water. Stir with a craft stick. Test the various colors of paint mixture in the test bowl by placing a drop of each on the surface. The paint will spread out 1" to 2" in about 30 seconds. The color that spreads the slowest should be the first color you apply.

    Note: If the paint sinks, it's too heavy. Add a little more water to thin it out, and retest. Prepare a rinsing tub by pouring warm water into a rectangular plastic washtub.

    Pour the medium mixture into a 9" by 13" aluminum baking pan to a depth of 1/2" to 1". Using a craft stick, drop dots of the first color onto the surface of the marbling mixture in rows

    Drop dots of the second color in rows between the dots of the first color.

    Gently drag a wide-tooth comb across the surface of the dye. Begin at one edge of the pan, and move the comb horizontally to the other side, then lift the comb, and drag it across the surface back to the beginning side.

    The motion is similar to that used in marbleizing the frosting on a cake. The teeth should penetrate the surface by 1/2". Now comb the surface vertically in the same manner. Gently place a sheet of paper down on the surface of the gel, smooth side down. Carefully tap the paper down to make sure no air bubbles are underneath.

    The edges will shows signs of curling. Carefully pick up the paper by its edges, and place in a tub filled with warm water to wash off the gel. Begin by placing the paper in the water face down. Then turn it over, and use your fingers to remove the excess gel.

    Don't be afraid to touch the paper: you won't remove the marbling. Remove the paper from the warm water and place flat or hang to dry. Before starting the next sheet of paper, clean off the surface of the gel mixture by skimming a strip of newspaper gently across it.

    Repeat if necessary. Some paint will sink to the bottom. This will not interfere with the next piece of paper that is dyed. Continue using the mixture until too much of the gel has been removed and the surface tension isn't sufficient to allow the paint to float on top. Try these patterns and suggestions: Random, using a toothpick.

    Wings, using a comb in one direction and a toothpick in the opposite direction.

    Nonpareil, using a comb and a toothpick in a random pattern.

    Photo album: A store-bought photo album can be enhanced with marbled paper.

    Tennis shoes may be dyed too. (SO CAN EGGS)