Marbled Pumpkin Project
By Robyn Smith of Robyn Smith Art Adventures
This is a fun multi-media project that is sure to fuel inspiration for fall activities and décor! We’ll be jumping around a little bit to allow for drying time, but the project can come together in a few hours. Or – if you only have 10-15 minutes a day, then this breaks down easily into small tasks. Warning: you might become addicted to marbling all sorts of items in your house! (…husbands and kids beware!)
I am a Mixed Media Artist/Instructor in Spokane WA. I find that art is an adventure that never gets old – there are so many possibilities….and I do love to explore! I have a passion for guiding others in exploring art in a way they might not have thought of before! One of my favorite areas is Mixed Media and Art Journaling. I also LOVE repurposing items into my art - old records, maps, old sheet music, patterns, tissue paper, etc. I've been married for 28 years, have 4 adult children, my greatest pleasure is being “Nana” to my GrandBlessings!
Usual Painting Supplies (paper towels, baby wipes, stylus or pen, pencil, hairdryer, painters tape, etc.)
Canson Bristol Board (or other water media paper)
Black Saral Transfer Paper
Disposable Table Covering
Disposable Aluminum Pan (approx. 12 ¼ x 8 ¼ x 1 )
Distilled Water (at room temperature)
Tweezers (not good ones)
2-3 Index Cards
Daler-Rowney Simply Acrylic Matt Medium
Tissue Paper, Newspaper Print (Hobby Lobby)
Emory Board or Sanding Block
Ranger Emboss It Pen
Reflections Embossing Powder, black
Craft Heat Gun
DecoArt 12x12 Stencil: AD503 Distressed Harlequin
Krylon Workable Fixative Spray
Artist Loft 9x12 Canvas Panel
(if your local art store doesn’t carry these, they can be ordered off of https://www.joggles.com/paint-dye-and-ink/marabu-easy-marble )
Marabu Easy Marble
and Marabu Art Crayons
#516 Glitter Blue-Green-Gold (color-shift)
An old ¾-1 inch flat brush to apply matte gel medium
Pumpkin: The pattern is designed to show how the pieces will overlap when assembled. I have included a colored pattern as well to illustrate how the pieces fit together. This pattern can also be used with scrapbook paper, fabric, gel-printed paper, etc. Oh, the possibilities!
1) Using the pumpkin pattern, transfer pieces to Bristol Board. With a pencil, label the pieces (A, B-1, B-2, etc.) as shown on the pattern. Cut out pieces.
2) Cover the work area with a disposable table covering and gather the following items: cut out pumpkin pieces, Marabu Easy Marble, disposable aluminum pan, distilled water, tweezers, round toothpicks, index cards, and disposable gloves.
Note: You will have approx. 1 min of open time where the marbling is activated and will work properly, so a little prepping is helpful! Follow these prepping steps so you’ll be ready to drop color, swirl, and marble the pumpkin pieces efficiently!
a. Pumpkin pieces: the labeled side will go face down on marbled water. I recommend laying out pumpkin pieces (not the stem or leaf) as if you were putting them in the pan so precious time isn’t wasted trying to maneuver them to fit. (***If all the pieces don’t fit, refer to the end of step 3)
b. Water: pour approx. 1 in of distilled water into the pan.
c. Set 5-6 toothpicks out for easy access
d. Clear an area to place pieces as they come out of the water
e. Marabu Easy Marble: put on disposable gloves and shake the orange and turquoise for 20-30 seconds, remove lids and set aside. For the Glitter, remove the lid and stopper. Take a toothpick and scrape across the bottom of the jar to loosen the glitter that tends to settle there. Replace stopper and lid, shake 20-30 seconds, and set aside.
3) Starting with the orange, turn upside down over the water and shake drops of color until the orange film covers the water. Then with the turquoise, turn upside down over the water and shake drops here and there into the orange. Using a toothpick, loosely swirl the colors together. Place pumpkin pieces (except the stem and leaf) with the labeled side down on the water. (See pic 2). Try to lay the pieces close (but not overlap) to fit all the pieces in. ***If all the pieces don’t fit, simply use an index card to scrape along the top of the water to remove excess marbling film, then repeat step 3!
4) Use tweezers to remove marbled pieces from water and place face up on the table. Next, grip the edge of the stem with tweezers and dip in excess color on the water. Do this numerous times to get a grungier look, as opposed to the clean marbling of the pumpkin. Repeat with the leaf. Using a clean paper towel, gently dab all the marbled pieces to remove excess water. When all the pieces have been marbled, use an index card to scrape off excess marbling film. If the film doesn’t cling to the index card and is still floating around on the water, dump the water and replace it with clean distilled water.
5) 'Glitterize'! Shake the Glitter Easy Marble (you don’t have to scrape the bottom again), remove the lid, turn it upside down over the water, and shake to cover the surface of the water. There is no need to swirl. Using the tweezers to grip the side of a pumpkin piece, place marbled side down on the water and remove, setting aside to dry. Do this with each piece fairly quickly. If the glitter film starts globbing, use an index card to scrape off excess film from water, and reapply more glitter. When all pieces have been glittered, gently dab pieces with a paper towel to remove excess water. These pieces can now be moved out of the way to dry completely. Scrape excess film off the water before dumping.
6) Cut a piece of tissue paper 1-2 inches larger than canvas. Scrunch up tissue paper and then loosely straighten out. Apply a layer of matte gel medium to the entire surface of the canvas panel, making sure to get edges and corners (you will have wrinkles and creases, but that’s what we want!). Apply a layer of matte gel medium over the top of the tissue paper and set aside canvas to dry. Once dry, remove the excess paper by using an Emory board or sanding block around the edges. Check the corners and edges, reseal as needed. Set aside to dry completely.
Embossing Pumpkin Edges: It is helpful when sprinkling embossing powder over the edge, to have a piece of printer paper underneath. This will allow you to easily pour the excess powder back into the container.
7) Pumpkin pieces B-1, B-2, C-1 & C-2: Emboss one piece at a time. Outline only the outside edge with Ranger Emboss It pen. Sprinkle black embossing powder on the edge. Tap off excess. Cure embossing powder with a heat gun (it will appear shiny). Repeat steps for remaining pieces. Go back and look to see if there are some areas that might need more coverage, and reapply to those areas. Pumpkin pieces A, stem, & leaf: Go through the same process, but emboss the edges all the way around, and add some vein lines on the leaf as shown.
Assembling the Pumpkin:
8) Starting with pieces C-1 & B-1, apply matte gel medium to the inside curved edge of C-1, and place the outside edge of B-1 over it, aligning as shown on the pattern. Press down firmly for 30-45 seconds along that edge to ensure hold. Repeat steps for B-2 & C-2. Bring the pieces together and align piece A on top for positioning. Tuck the stem in at the top, and the leaf slightly behind the stem, but on top of B-2 & C-2. Apply matte gel medium on the back of the leaf where it will be overlapping the pumpkin. Firmly press to adhere. Repeat steps with the stem. For pumpkin piece A, apply matte gel medium around the entire backside edge, align over the other pieces, and press firmly to adhere. (See pic 3)
9) Using the Plum and Lavender Art Crayons, scribble color here and there on the background. Dip your finger in water and start to work the color around to blend and spread across the entire surface. Dry with a hairdryer. Lay the stencil over the background and while holding in place, use a baby wipe to lightly remove crayon through open areas of the stencil. Do this across the entire background. Take outside and apply 2 or 3 light coats of Krylon Workable Fixative to seal. Dry with a hairdryer.
10) Lay a piece of Creepy Cloth over the background, pulling and distorting until you like the way it looks. Set aside. Apply a layer of gel matte gel medium to the background, reposition creepy cloth, and press into the gel. Dry with a hairdryer. Apply a layer of matte gel medium to the top of the canvas. Dry with a hairdryer. Trim off excess string around the edges.
Putting it all Together:
11) Apply a generous amount of matte gel medium to the back of the entire pumpkin. Center on canvas and press firmly over the entire pumpkin to adhere. Place a piece of parchment paper over the top of the pumpkin and stack heavy books on top. Set aside to dry.
12) Apply Black Art Crayon to the edges, smudging along the edge and slightly upward as you go around the canvas. Take outside and apply 2-3 light coats of Krylon Workable Fixative Spray to seal, making sure to get the edges where the black art crayon was applied.
Photos, Pattern ©2020 Robyn Smith Art Adventures