Jewish Journal

Painting Abstract Art with Marbles

Photos by Jonathan Fong

If you’ve ever stood in front of a piece of modern art in a museum and said, “I could do that,” then this is the art project for you. Using a fun technique with glass marbles, you can create a whiz-bang abstract painting that would make Jackson Pollock proud. It’s also a great activity to share with kids to give them an appreciation for art. Today, marbles. Tomorrow, the Louvre.

What you’ll need:
Cardboard box
Aluminum foil
Masking tape
Acrylic paint
Glass marbles


1. Start with a shallow cardboard box, whatever size you wish. (You also can use a plastic rectangular food container.) Then line the box with aluminum foil. The foil enables you to reuse the box, and it makes cleanup a snap.


2. Cut a piece of paper so that it’s smaller than the dimensions of the box. Tape the paper to the middle of the box, leaving about 2 inches on all sides. I like to use cardstock, because it’s thicker and will hold the paint better.


3. Squeezes dollops of paint on the foil surrounding the paper, trying not to get any on the paper yet. Use as many colors as your inner Picasso desires. You can buy small squeeze bottles of acrylic paint at the crafts store for as little as 70 cents each.


4. Now here’s the fun part. Place three to five marbles in the box, and shake it left to right and up and down to move the marbles. The marbles will catch the paint and roll over the surface of the paper, creating random patterns. When you’re happy with the painting, remove the tape, lift the paper and set it on newspapers to dry.

Jonathan Fong is the author of “Walls That Wow,” “Flowers That Wow” and “Parties That Wow,” and host of “Style With a Smile” on YouTube. You can see more of his do-it-yourself projects at