Marbled Paper: Boxes + Ideas

By Kate Riley September 5, 2012

Lately, I’ve become obsessed with the patterns in marbled paper.  I recall making it as a kid in art class years ago and now it has reentered my life as I’m currently fixated on its random medley of swirls, stripes, and colors.

I made these marbled paper boxes for office supply storage in my oldest daughter’s room last week, but now I’m so crazy about them, I want to make more just for me!   Good news though, they’re incredibly easy to make.

diy stacked marbled paper boxes cg


This is an simple DIY project that adds a lot of panache to a plain box or magazine file.  You’ll need a few boxes and some sheets of marbled paper (sources below) plus cutting tools and glue.  I worked mostly with spray adhesive and a little craft glue too (not shown).

supplies for marbled paper boxes


If you’re working with a jewelry box like this one from a craft store, first remove the clasp and hinges.   For the second flatter box, I also used a old photo album box from Papyrus.

remove hinges


You could use decoupage medium, but I like the thinness of spray adhesive.  Spray adhesive works great on the larger flat surfaces but it can be messy so I sprayed it on the bottom of the box while outdoors then brought it inside to lay the bottom flat on top of the marbled paper.

adhesive to bottom


Next, I simply used the edges of the box to establish a crease then trimmed it where the paper was folded.

fingers to crease paper


I wrapped the corners the same way, using the edge to form the fold then trimming with scissors. For the wider surfaces I used spray adhesive, but a dab of craft glue works better to secure the corners.

trim corners


Reattach the hinges for the jewelry box for a folding lid – the clasp is optional.

secure hinges


Each one takes about fifteen minutes and when you’re done you have beautiful boxes for storage or for gift giving.  They’d look fantastic on a bookcase too, right?

stacked marbled paper boxes cg


marbled paper wrapped boxes cg


I can’t resist the appeal of these colorful papers, here are a few more amazing ideas for its use!

Follow Martha’s instructions for making marbleized paper.

how to marbelize martha stewart


Line the back of bookcases or the interior of a hutch!

marbled paper backed bookcases house beautiful

House Beautiful


bryn alexandra marble paper backed secretary

Bryn Alexandra


marbled paper bookcases gorgeous shiny things

Gorgeous Shiny Things


Frame it up for an inexpensive work of art with big impact.

marbled art paper

KFD Designs


danielle oakey marbled art in frame via houseoffifty

Danielle Oakey Interiors


Or be really daring (this is my favorite!) and paper a room with it.  How amazing is this bathroom??

marble paper art wall lonny aug 2012

Lonny Magazine


More great sources for marbled paper:

Paper Mojo

Paper Source


Hand Marbled Paper on Etsy




  1. Gorgeous boxes Kate! Love the boxes you made, just wondering, how do you seal the paper more, can you mod podge something like this? The inspirations are gorgeous esp. the bookcases

  2. Kate, can you tell us about the silver vases next to the boxes? Did you make those too and if so, how?

    • Hi Sarah, I didn’t make them but there are a lot of tutorials online for DIY mercury glass.
      Mine are from Pottery Barn.

  3. Thanks for opening my eyes to the world of marbled paper! The boxes you made are gorgeous. I am now seriously considering putting some on the back panels of my china hutch, but am wondering how to affix it on a temporary basis. Any ideas?

    • Hi Arli, I’d use double sided tape for the back of a hutch or bookcase !

  4. I have marble paper hanging as artwork too! Love the look and all the gorgeous colors! Might have to try some boxes…great idea!

  5. Gorgeous! The colors in the paper you used are perfect for my daughter’s nursery. Where did you get the paper you used in the tutorial? Or did you make it yourself?


  6. Very simple and elegant idea. I love those quick projects. My absolute favourite place to look at marbled paper is Iris Nevins is a genius!
    BTW LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your blog. It’s what I drink my coffee to every morning.

  7. Yikes. This stuff isn’t for me. I find it way too busy. That bathroom is enough to induce a seizure.

  8. This is beyond weird Kate! The other day when I read your post about rugs, I had JUST finished ordering one (after procrastinating for months) from Overstock. It just arrived and I’m happy :). This afternoon, I headed off to A.I. Friedman (an awesome art store) to get some paper to cover some boxes my husband bought me a few years ago. They’re from Pier One and very sturdy with rope on top (I don’t think I will be able to cover that part, but maybe paint), but they’re a boring dark brown color. So I get some pretty lime green patterned paper, come home and read your post! Thanks for the visual!

  9. Kate, I think the boxes look wonderful. I loved the marbled paper bathroom…very brave. I have a bookshelf that’s been needing a little something, now I know what. Thanks for sharing your project.

  10. Love this idea. If I can get motivated, I’m thinking maybe I could maybe do this on the right sized box to hide homework essentials that always seem to be out on the kitchen counter.

  11. I swear sometimes I think of a project and you make it! It’s must be a design-loving blogger thing :-)

    I actually just got some of this last week at a local art store to use on some projects. It’s the color of that bathroom wallpaper, which is gorgeous.

    I’m thinking of using it for some origami too, could be fun!

  12. kate-i am actually thinking of ordering those papers you used (it’s the marble with the raspberry and apricot, right?) how did they look as a sheet? good for framing? the ones you used for your fall mantel have a lot of white space and movement, i was hoping you’d say these would totally rock framed in a gray dining room that has pops of red. thanks!

  13. Just a quick update about the “Hand Marbled Paper” Etsy shop – the last link of this great article – it’s currently on sale for Black Friday and till end of November!
    Just use coupon code BF2012 for FREE worldwide shipping of select sets of hand marbled paper.

  14. I love all of these ideas! Thank you for sharing. I loved your ideas for using different vocabulary with each activity. Thanks!

  15. I just found this post via Cape 27 blog. I think that is a silver mirror above the boxes. Where did you get it?? The little bit that i can see of it is pretty.

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