DIY Nail Polish Marbled Mugs

We all love craft projects that are way easier, quicker, and cheaper than they look, am I right? Take, for instance, this set of uber-classy marbled mugs that look like something you'd pick up at a museum gift shop. Even more amazing -- these beauties pretty much make themselves. I'm not even kidding. All it takes is some warm water, plain ceramic mugs (or teacups), some nail polish and a few spare minutes to create a gorgeous, one-of-a-kind set you'll be proud to own.

Image Credit: Maya Marin

Watch the Video Tutorial

Nail Polish Marbled Mugs

So. Mesmerizing. Make them: http://to.ehow.com/marbled_mugs

Posted by eHow on Monday, March 6, 2017

Things You'll Need

  • Plain ceramic drinkware (white or off-white works well)

  • Warm water (if you've got especially hard water in your area, use filtered or distilled water)

  • A container large enough to completely submerse your mugs in (Should not be used for food afterward)

  • Skewer or toothpick

  • Bottles of nail polish in complementary colors (the newer the polish, the better)

Image Credit: Maya Marin

Step 1: Pour Polish

Fill your container with warm water. With the bottle close to the water's surface, pour in a little bit of polish (in random squiggles). The polish should spread upon the surface.

Tip

If your polish sinks to the bottom, you're probably pouring too high above the surface. If your polish doesn't spread across the surface of the water, try one or both of the following: a) use distilled or filtered water instead of tap water; or b) use newly-opened nail polish.

Image Credit: Maya Marin

Step 2: Swirl

Working quickly, use your skewer or toothpick to swirl the polish, breaking up any concentrated clumps as you go.

Image Credit: Maya Marin

Step 3: Dip Slowly

Once the polish has spread thinly across the surface, slowly dip your mug into the water, avoiding the rim of the mug so your lips won't be touching nail polish while drinking from it.

Image Credit: Maya Marin

Lift your mug. The thin layer of polish should have transferred from the surface of the water to your mug to create a marbled effect. Pretty, eh? Set your mug on a piece of paper to dry.

Image Credit: Maya Marin

Step 4: Skim Off Excess Polish

If you plan to make more, use your skewer or toothpick to remove any excess polish that remains on the surface of the water so that it doesn't cling to your next mug.

Image Credit: Maya Marin
Image Credit: Maya Marin

Tip

It's important that you work quickly after pouring the nail polish on the water's surface, as it won't take long for the polish to congeal and become clumpy.

Mixing Colors

Once you've gotten the hang of working with a single color, start swirling together two or three colors together. Since you're working against the clock, I'd recommend not using more than three colors in a single dip.

Image Credit: Maya Marin

Pour one color in first quickly followed by a second color (and then a third, if using). Swirl them all together with your skewer.

Image Credit: Maya Marin

Dip as before, then marvel at your marbled masterpiece.

Image Credit: Maya Marin

Double Dipping

Another way to create color combos that require less nimble action is by double (or even triple) dipping. Simply wait for a pre-dipped mug to completely dry, then repeat the same process as before but with a different color.

Image Credit: Maya Marin

I recommend dipping in a different angle than you did previously.

Image Credit: Maya Marin

Cleaning Up Mistakes

If you've accidentally gotten nail polish too close to the lip of the mug, or if there are some spots on your mug that you're just not happy with, don't worry! Just take a cotton ball or swab and clean up those unwanted areas with nail polish remover. If you don't like how a mug turned out at all, you can clean up the whole thing with polish remover and start over.

Image Credit: Maya Marin

Warning

These are NOT dishwasher nor microwave safe. Treat them like the unique works of art that they are and delicately hand wash them. That said, it may be possible to seal and protect your mugs from wear by using a product like dishwasher safe Mod Podge. I haven't tried this myself, however, so can't attest to its effectiveness for this particular project.

Image Credit: Maya Marin