How to Make a Faux Marble Bowl

5 Materials
20 Minutes

Those plain white bowls you can buy at Dollar Tree are a really great classic option. But what if I told you that you can make them look like marble with just a Sharpie and some rubbing alcohol?

In this post, I’m going to show you how to create a faux marble finish on a basic bowl to elevate it from nice to NOOICE.

Please note: this bowl is meant to be decorative and not food safe.


  • Plain white ceramic bowl
  • Black Sharpie (feel free to experiment with other colors!)
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Paper towels
  • Mod Podge (optional)

Step 1: Scribble on your bowl

Grab a simple white ceramic bowl (I love the ones from Dollar Tree) and, using a basic black Sharpie, scribble loose and looping patterns all over the surface.

I learned as I went that irregular is best, but as you layer, any “regularity” that gives away the fakeness of the finish will resolve itself.

Step 2: Blot rubbing alcohol over the surface

Next, pour rubbing alcohol onto a crumpled paper towel and blot the surface of the bowl to smudge and smear the marker scribbles.

This will take some time and a little elbow grease. You may even think you’ve messed it up midway through because it looks totally messy. But keep going and I promise, it will come together.

Step 3: Draw thick shapes

Now you’re going to want to draw some “veining” on the surface. Like before, this doesn’t have to look realistic. Just layer on some thicker lines and branches randomly over the bowl.

Step 4: Douse bowl with more rubbing alcohol

For this step, you need to puddle some rubbing alcohol on the marker shapes. You can pour directly from the bottle but I found using a spray bottle was very helpful.

As you add the rubbing alcohol, turn the bowl a bit so the alcohol traces a natural path through the veining. This is what gives the pattern some realism.

Once you’ve made a few loose paths, blot up the alcohol with the dirty paper towel. Continue to blot if the veining needs more blending.

Repeat the steps above as many times as you need to achieve the finish you’re after.

Step 5: Coat with Mod Podge (optional)

This step is purely optional, but if you want to add extra durability to your finish you can add a thin coat of glossy Mod Podge.

And you’re done! This bowl is great for holding decorative items, craft supplies, soaps, and more. Just be sure not to serve food out of it because the exterior isn’t food safe, and better safe than sorry!

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