DIY Water Marbled Leather Coasters

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Continuing on my 2018 path of trying new crafty things, this past weekend I tried water marbling for the first time and made DIY water marbled leather coasters. And oh my goodness was it fun! And really easier than I expected, albeit quite messy. There are so many things that you can make with the resulting marbled paint, but for my first venture, I stuck with simple round leather coasters. I only bought one tiny 8.5″ by 11″ pieces of leather, so I had to stop marbling when I ran out of that and the Sta-flo, but I think I could have continued marbling for hours if I had bought enough supplies!

DIY Water Marbled Leather Coasters-5

DIY Water Marbled Leather Coasters-5

One of my favorite parts of water marbling is that each section of the marbled paint looks different. So, while some of these coasters were dipped in the same marbled paint, the look is completely different from each other.


Sta-Flo liquid starch
Acrylic craft paint
-Plastic cups
-Popsicle sticks for mixing
Leather circles (I cut mine from a piece of vegetable tanned leather from the craft store)
Large baking sheet
-Tooth pick for marbling
-Straw for dropping the paint on the starch

So, I know I said water marbling, but more accurately it is starch marbling. To begin, pour 4 cups of liquid starch in your baking sheet. Then add paint to your plastic cups in a ratio of one part paint to 1.5 parts water. You want the paint to become liquid and have a milk like consistency. If it is too thick, the paint will sink to the bottom of the starch bath.

DIY Water Marbled Leather Coasters-5

Next, begin by using a straw to drip paint onto the starch surface. No wrong way to do this. Just drip and fling the paint onto the surface in any pattern you like.

DIY Water Marbled Leather Coasters-5

Now, you can keep the paint like this, or you can use a tooth pick to drag through the surface to create a more marbled look.

DIY Water Marbled Leather Coasters-5

Once the pattern is to your liking, place the leather rounds face down onto the paint surface. Then slowly pick them back up and place in a water bath to remove the excess starch. Don’t rub too much or the paint may start to smear. Take out of the water bath and lay on a piece of paper towel to dry and repeat.

Once the coasters are all dipped and dry, you can use them as is or coat them with a sealant like this one.

DIY Water Marbled Leather Coasters

One thing to note is that when the leather gets wet, it will darken, so don’t judge the pattern after the dip. Wait until they are dry to really see the pretty marble effect. The lights pink marble coaster looked horrible after I dipped it, but now it is one of my favorite ones.

And you better believe I am going to pick up a few more bottles of Sta-flo the next time I am at the grocery store! I see many more marbling projects in my future!


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  1. Shay

    March 2nd, 2018 at 12:37 am

    When you run out of liquid cornstarch, you can use regular shaving cream🙂

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  3. Elizabeth W Thompson

    March 13th, 2019 at 8:35 pm

    I tested this out and LOVED the project.
    I have a couple questions – do you recommend a certain brand of acrylic paint? Mine seemed to drop and spread out more than your images despite adjusting water mixture. Also curious about putting them in a water bath after.. do you do a quick dip or let them sit for a minute? I just did a quick dip on my samples and some of the coasters seem to have a couple spots with slimy build up that I am assuming is the starch.

  4. Jennifer

    March 16th, 2019 at 8:39 am

    Beautiful! The link to the sealant isn’t working. What did you use?

    Thank you!


    March 17th, 2019 at 8:13 am

    I didn’t actually end up sealing mine and they held up great. You can also use modpodge to seal them.

  6. Valerie

    February 17th, 2020 at 12:03 am

    Your designs came out wonderfully. I am curious though, why use starch instead of water? I will admit I just bought marbling paints instead of plain acrylic. Now I’m confused do I use starch or water? Thank you


    February 19th, 2020 at 8:14 am

    Because liquid starch has a higher viscosity than water, the paint will sit on the surface of the starch allowing you to create a marbled pattern. The paint will then adhere to the leather when dipped in. If you use water, the paint will just mix/blend into the water and not remain on the surface. The marbling paint should work just like the acrylic paint, but you might not need to water it down because that step has already been done for you. The marbling paint is prewatered down acyrlic paint.

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