Floating Ink Bombs: Decorative Paper With Bubbles

Bubble Endpages by Ruth Bleakley - Tutorial


There are still a few warm sunny days left in September and the beginning of October up here in Massachusetts. Take yourself outside for some decorative paper-making fun using bubble-blowing solution and ink.

Just to warn you, this  could quite possibly be the most messy craft project ever – imagine inky bubbles wafting around in the wind like little colorful ink bombs – stay away from the sides of your house, your white table cloth or any white things in general – ink bubbles WILL STAIN PERMANENTLY.

So throw on some old clothes and get out the newspaper – you only need a few things to start:

  • 1 bottle of bubbles (you can easily get these in the toy section of the supermarket)
  • drawing inks in various colors (purchased at an art store, you can mix the colors also) food coloring may work, but I haven’t tried it
  • straws
  • large pieces of paper to blow the ink bubbles on ( a thicker paper like drawing paper or cardstock will work better)
  • container for colors
A small cup for ink and bubbles, a large bowl of water for cleaning straws

A small cup for ink and bubbles, a large bowl of water for cleaning straws

Step 1 – mix bubble colors:

To make a color for your bubbles place some of the bubble solution (maybe 2-3 tablespoons) into a spare container, add 3-4 drops of ink, swirl it around with a straw. You can make a pallette of colors to work with – I found blue, teal and green to be nice – also purple, pink and blue. Yellow didn’t come out so well for me. Try making colors you don’t have by mixing ones you do –

red + blue = purple
yellow + red = orange
blue + yellow = green
all your colors mixed together = muddy brownish green

Stay close to the paper!

Stay close to the paper!

Step 2 – blow bubbles on paper :

Lay your paper down in front of you on top of some newspapers to catch any stray bubbles, and weight the corners so it doesn’t blow away. Dip the end of the straw in the bubble solution, gently tap it on the side of the inky cup to get any excess solution off of it. GENTLY exhale into the end of the straw, just about an inch away from your paper. If you blow into the straw with any force larger than just a sigh of air, you’ll just spatter your ink solution and no bubble will appear (although spattering ink can be a cool effect too).


You can place the bubbles wherever you want with the straw

Placing the bubbles

Step 3 – change your bubble patterns:

Now that you have a bubble on your straw, and know how to make bubbles, you can “carry” them around on the end of your straw to different spots on your paper to place bubbles more deliberately. It may take a little bit of time for them to pop. Tap them with your straw to pop them, or try blowing a bubble inside another bubble on your paper. Experiment with blowing more air into existing bubbles on your paper, pushing bubbles around by blowing at them through your straw or blowing different colored bubbles inside one another.


Blue and pink bubbles

Blue and pink bubbles

Step 4 – dry & press your papers :

Let your papers dry completely – I usually lay them out on the floor but if you have pets or small kids running around, try hanging them on a clothesline. Your papers will dry warped, but you can iron them on the un-painted side of the paper on low with no steam and they’ll flatten right out.

Step 5 – Uses for your paper:

Use your bubbly paper for different kinds of projects – you can make a card out it, wrap a present in it, scrapbook with it or use it for book end-pages like I did.

Happy Crafting and watch out for floating ink bubbles!

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Hi Ruth!
This looks like such a fun project! Looks nice to do with kids… they might like to draw faces and things in the circles when the paper’s dry! 😀


It is really fun! I imagine you’d want to put the kid in a smock, but I think I’ll try it with my young cousins this summer.


Granddaughters, Ivy(7) and Morgan(4) are spending the weekend and this will be a fun technique for making Christmas wrapping paper. Spray glitter will add some seasonal sparkle!


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