Transform a plain ceramic mug into a personalized piece of art, using nothing but water, nail polish, and nail polish remover.
This DIY project is for anyone, from beginners with little DIY knowledge to experienced crafters looking for something different and inexpensive to try. DIY beginners can follow our instructions step-by-step to create the mug, while more experienced readers can advance the process by taping different shapes to the mug to create a unique design within the pattern of nail polish.
- Nail polish (1-3 colors of the your own preference)
- Plain ceramic mug
- Nail polish remover
- Stickers of letters, shapes, or other decals (optional)
- Rubber gloves (optional)
- Sealant (optional)
- Plastic container, tin foil dish, or any other small basin (Preferably not a new basin/container, but something you feel comfortable staining with nail polish)
- Paper towels, cotton balls, or any other available material used to remove nail polish
NOTE: If you are sensitive to the smell of nail polish and nail polish remover, it is recommended that you perform this process in a ventilated room, or even outdoors.
In addition, please be aware that nail polish is extremely difficult to remove from clothing. It is recommended that you use extreme care when working with the nail polish, especially if you are wearing clothing that you do not want stained or marked.
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Step 1: Gather Your Materials
Gather your dish, nail polish, nail polish remover, toothpicks, paper towel/cotton ball, plain mug, sealant (optional), and stickers (optional). Ensure you are in a well-ventilated room. Put on rubber gloves, if needed. Clear your table or counter space and cover this space with a towel.
Step 2: Fill the Plastic Bowl With Warm Water
If you wish to cover only the bottom portion of your mug, you will only need about one inch (1”) of water.
Step 3: Tape Stickers or Other Decals to the Mug (optional Step)
Choose any stickers or decals you desire and place them firmly on the surface of the mug. This will create a unique decoration. For more details on how to complete this step, watch the video linked below.
Step 4: Drip Several Drops of One Color of Nail Polish Into the Water
Drip several drops of one desired color of nail polish into the water. Use the toothpick to swirl the color and prevent lumping. Complete this step within seconds because the nail polish will harden if left sitting in the water. Do not be alarmed if nail polish clumps to the toothpick. This is normal.
Be aware that depending on the amount of nail polish you choose to use, as well as the age of the nail polish, results will vary. Older nail polish may be clumpier that newer nail polish. The more nail polish you put in, the better the design will spread on the mug.
Step 5: Dip the Mug Into the Water
Once the mug is in the water, turn it from side to side to either partially or completely cover the outside with nail polish. Do not let go of the mug!
Note that depending on the size of your container, the way in which you hold your mug will vary. For a shallow container, like the one pictured, it is easier to grip the mug by the handle and turn it from side to side in the water. For a container that is smaller, but deeper, it is easier to hold the mug by its top rim and dip it straight into the water. Also note that end results will vary depending on which way the mug is held.
Step 6: Remove the Mug From the Water and Clear Excess Nail Polish
Remove the mug from the water after covering it to your preference. Using nail polish remover and a paper towel or cotton ball, remove nail polish from the inside rim of the mug, as well as any nail polish that may have dripped within the mug.
Step 7: Let the Mug Dry
This should take about five minutes. If you used stickers, tape, or decals, do not remove them, unless you are finished with your mug and do not want to add additional colors..
Step 8: Repeat Steps 4-7
Once the mug is dry, repeat step 4 with a different desired color. Then, repeat steps 5-7. After the mug is completely dry and all of your desired colors are added, remove any stickers or decals you may have chosen to use. Be careful when removing the stickers or decals as you may take off surrounding nail polish.
If you wish for the nail polish to last longer on the surface of the mug, covering your mug with sealant is recommended, but not required.
Step 9: Enjoy!
You have now created your own DIY Marble Mug. What was once a plain, inexpensive mug is a now personalized piece of art.