Nail polish marbling on mugs
Source: Elkhart Public Library

Have you forgotten a birthday because you’re too busy having fun with the latest celebrity gossip, playing out our online casino or stalking your new crush? Got less than 30 minutes before the celebrations begin? Grab some nail polish, a coffee cup, wooden box, or vase and give it a makeover with some psychedelic water marbling! That’s right, nail polish can be used in a whole lot of different ways, and it’s actually a very versatile product that’s great for DIY fundi’s looking to experiment.

Gather Your Supplies

You’ll need some nail polish, new if possible, because freshness equals liquidity, but the price point and colour is up to you. You’ll also need a tub of water, the box, cup or container you’re planning on giving an overhaul, some scrap paper for drying your art, and if possible, wooden sticks. The wooden sticks really make things easier, but you can do without them if you must. You’ll also need some acetone or polish remover for the clean up process, so put it in reach before you begin to make things easier afterwards.

Easy Steps to Follow

The first thing you’ll need to do on your chosen object is tape off a section for the marbled area you’re going to make. Then fill your plastic tub with water and pour your nail polish in. If you’ve got a wooden stick, stir it, otherwise gently swirling the tub will do the trick.

Allow the face of your object to come into contact with the water, and then remove it. You’ll see the nail polish adhering to the surface. Wait roughly 10 minutes for the nail polish to dry, pat the water droplets off with a paper towel, and you’re good to go. Remove the tape and you’ll have your beautiful, handmade item done and dusted.

The Devil’s in the Details

There’s no limit on how many colours you can work with for each of your marbling palettes, so have fun with contrasting hues, shades that compliment one another, or lighter and darker notes of the same tone to create a mood.

We recommend that you tape off your object with painter’s tape, since it’s hardy, and experiment with various lines and shapes to find something you’re happy with.

After you’ve filled up your tub with water, take care to pour the polish in slowly. You want to keep it floating on the top of the water, and if you go too fast it will sink. Then swish it together by gently rotating the tub or using a wooden stick until you like what you see.

When it’s time to put the surface of your object against the water, don’t submerge it. Just have it make contact with your palette.

It takes between 5 and 10 minutes for the polish to dry thoroughly, and after you’ve patted it down to remove the water you can take off your tape and have a look. If you’re happy, then wrap it if it’s for a friend, or place it where you’ll use it if you’ve made it for yourself. That’s it!

Crafty nail polish hacks
Source: Pixabay

Crafty Tips and Tricks

Swirl gold, white, and grey polish together for a wintry colour combination, touching the surface of your object to the water until you’re happy with how it looks. Experiment with tones you like and don’t be afraid to be daring.

Bright, deep colours are a great option, but tailor your colours to the material you’re decorating. Corals, oranges, and yellows, for example, may be too similar to wood to make much of an impact if that’s what the object you’re embellishing is made of. Adapt your colour choices to the pieces you’re going to be marbling for the best effect. Colour blocking, or pairing shades that are on opposite ends of the colour wheel is a great idea too, so be sure and explore all your options.

Go out on a limb in terms of different materials, since the possibilities are almost endless. You can use the nail polish marbling technique on ceramics, cork, metal, plastic, slate and so much more. This technique is a wonderful idea for giving store-bought items a personal touch, and stamping them with a little individuality before they’re displayed.

Complementing metallics are also an epic choice. They really make the marbling pop, and you can use them on objects to spruce up the boring spaces in your house, bring a little colour and fun to your workspace, or design and create a truly one-of-a-kind gift for someone you care about.

The Perfect Mani or Pedi

It’s a little messy, but the nail polish water marbling technique can also be used on your fingers and toes! You’ll need to dip your digits into the tub of polish and water and clean them up afterwards, but the effect is awesome, and you’ll be the talk of the town. Make sure you’ve got a base coat and top coat so that it lasts, and have some fun the next time you’ve got some free time.