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Nail Polish Marbling – DIY $1 Mugs

DIY Nail Polish Marble Mug

I recently saw nail polish marbling recently on pinterest and thought it was a really interesting concept…. I just had to try it out! So I headed to the thrift store and found these white mugs for 99cents. I just recently had friends in town visiting and we drank A LOT of coffee out of my small little mugs, you know the ones.. they come with the dinnerware set that you register for when you get married. You end up drinking 3 coffees because they are so small? Yeah, those ones. Well I was SO HAPPY to find these large mugs and blank white color was an added plus! Perfect to marble. I just wish I would’ve made these sooner so my friends could have enjoyed them with me.

DIY Nail Polish Marble Mug

Materials:

When I was at the thrift store I picked up this plastic tub for $3 which will now be deemed my “official marbling tub” going forward. The tub gets covered in nail polish so it needs to be something you can throw away or use only for craft projects. I had the nail polish left over from my Pretend Makeup For Kids Post and the thrift store mugs cost $1 for the set. I used a finishing clear spray that i already had in my craft supplies. Easy, cheap project!

Nail Polish Marbling - SohoSonnet For My Crafty Spot

The steps to this are really simple-

  • 1. Buy something simple at the thrift store
  • 2. Fill up the tub with 1/2″ of water and sprinkle globs of nail polish into it
  • 3. Dip your items into the tub and cover as much as you can (it gets thick and globby if you have to dip again so try to do it only once
  • 4. Pull out and let dry before going back and doing the handle section
  • **Not Pictured- Dip the handle section in as well. Then let everything dry for a few hours.

DIY Nail Polish Marble Mug

 

  • Next you will want to clean out the inside and the top rim of the mug using nail polish remover so there is no excess Nail Polish in there.

DIY Nail Polish Marble Mug

  • Last step is not pictured, I simply sprayed the outside of the cup with clear coat glossy finishing spray. Krylon and Rustoleum both make clear gloss spray for under $4 that you can get at home depot or amazon.

That is it! It was really fun to do the marbling and choose the colors. I also made a few other things that I picked up from the thrift store… as pictured below… my daughter REALLY wanted to be part of the action, I had to keep her from reaching up and grabbing things the whole time!

DIY Nail Polish Marble Mug DIY Nail Polish Marble Mug DIY Nail Polish Marble Mug

 

I hope you enjoyed this post.. have a great weekend!

DIY Nail Polish Marble Mug DIY Nail Polish Marble Mug

**Post Update: I wanted to add a note here to let everyone know that I have tested these mugs thoroughly and can safely say that they are both microwave and dishwasher safe. No sign of wear and tear after a month of constant use. I addressed a few other questions in the comment section below πŸ™‚

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Make sure to stop by my NEW SohoSonnet Print Shop on Etsy!

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Sonnet O’Kane is a graphic artist and author of blog SohoSonnet Creative Living, providing DIY tutorials for the home, crafts, kids, free printables and more. She recently made the shift from office job to designing paper goods for her Etsy print shop full time. The transition from a paid office job to working at home has been a hard one but worth it. Sonnet loves spending more time with her 1-year-old daughter Scarlett and focusing on her own business endeavors.
  1. Florencia says:

    I was wondering… how is it safe to wash them? is the nail polish going to last the washes overtime? I really like them, it’s such a cool idea!

    Thank you!

  2. Katie says:

    Sonnet, I love these! I haven’t see nail polish marbling before, and I LOVE the end result! Has my head spinning with other items to marble πŸ™‚

  3. These look so cool! I’m thinking hand wash only? How does the polish feel around the rim when you’re drinking?

  4. The mugs are on my dishwasher rack as we speak, will run them tomorrow and let you know how they hold up! Fingers crossed! Gina- The polish is VERY thin, plus the clear top coat makes it even smoother so it does not feel strange around the rim. I would just make sure you get a good enough layer of clear coats on it, I did 3 coats!!

    1. Jennifer says:

      I did this with a plate and bowl set. I am wondering if these would be safe to eat off? Your thoughts?

  5. Carmody says:

    I love this idea!!! I will absolutely have to give this technique a try.

  6. thanks sonnet love this idea thinking of trying on some thrift store vases for the window sill have a great weekend.

  7. What a cute idea! I love that!

  8. This is an AWESOME idea Sonnet. I can’t see so many other projects done like this besides the coffee cups. I have the perfect mint colored nail polishes that would look great on a set of coffee cups!

  9. Great news!! These mugs are officially dishwasher safe! I just washed them and they came out perfectly fine. I think the clear gloss finishing spray is key…

  10. Emily says:

    Love this idea! So cute! I will have to give this a go.

    1. Emily says:

      Thanks for coming by and sharing with us at Your Designs This Time!

  11. Oh my gosh I can’t believe this is nail polish! Love the colors and the effect, pinned!

  12. What a wonderful idea! Such a creative way to decorate mugs!

  13. These are so pretty and look like so much fun to make! So creative! You think of the best stuff. Thank you so much for linking up at Thursday STYLE πŸ™‚

  14. I’ve been interested in this technique as well. I’m glad to see how well it worked out for you, and I”m interested to hear their run through the dishwasher goes. They look awesome!!

  15. Michelle says:

    Hi Sonnet, I really love your idea of using nail polish to decorate the mugs. Yet, I would like to know that whether the Krylon spray is toxic or not because it is made of chemical; is it safe to use the mug again after spraying?
    They just look AWESOME!!! <3

  16. Bryan says:

    Can the cup use in the microwave and oven?

  17. Hi everyone!! I just wanted to say that I have been using this mug for over a month now and it holds up GREAT in the microwave and dishwasher. I microwave it almost every day (since I run around the house and forget about my coffee, then need to reheat over and over). I also run them through the dishwasher every 3 days… no signs of wear and tear.

    As far as toxicity from the spray. I am no expert in this arena but I can only say that I would be worried about the spray being ingested, or inhaled but personally I am not worried about the a spray being on the outside of the mug. it is a thin coat, dried and ran through the dishwasher countless times. I just do not feel it could be harmful to my health. But that is just me….. proceed at your own risk πŸ™‚

  18. Sonnet-
    When you say finishing spray, is that like a polyurethane? I have some white plates from the Dollar Tree that my daughter would love to do this with, but I am just wondering about the “finishing spray”. Is there a particular “finishing spray” at the craft stores??? Thanks!

  19. Lea says:

    I have some wine glasses and want to try this on them. What do you think? Will it work only on porcelain?
    Thanks Lea

    1. Stephanie says:

      my friend did it on wine glasses they look great

  20. Amy says:

    Hi I was just wondering could this be used for paper as well?

  21. Kayla says:

    Love this idea, but very, very cautious about the toxicity of the materials on something you ingest. πŸ™‚ I think I’ll stick to doing the lower-half of the mug in a classy pattern instead, but definitely, love it! Great for non-food items! πŸ™‚

  22. Sarah says:

    What finishing spray did you use? A lot that i find say not food safe so i don’t know if i would put it by my mouth. just wondering since i want to makes some of these as gifts this week and love the cover all look. Thank you for such a great idea! πŸ™‚

  23. Kat says:

    So Rustoleum is toxic until 10 days after drying, and even then it is not food safe and the company recommends you do not use it on any dishes. Here are some of the warnings about this product from the site FIRST AID – INGESTION: Aspiration hazard: Do not induce vomiting or give anything by mouth because this material can enter the
    lungs and cause severe lung damage. Get immediate medical attention. If swallowed, get medical attention. EFFECTS OF OVEREXPOSURE – CHRONIC HAZARDS: May cause central nervous system disorder (e.g., narcosis involving a
    loss of coordination, weakness, fatigue, mental confusion, and blurred vision) and/or damage. Reports have associated repeated
    and prolonged occupational overexposure to solvents with permanent brain and nervous system damage. High concentrations may
    lead to central nervous system effects (drowsiness, dizziness, nausea, headaches, paralysis, and blurred vision) and/or damage.

    Krylon is also hazardous. Here is some information from their site;
    Suspected of damaging the unborn child.
    Suspected of causing cancer.
    May be fatal if swallowed and enters airways
    May cause damage to organs through prolonged or repeated exposure.
    l. IF
    SWALLOWED: Immediately call a POISON CENTER or physician. Do NOT induce
    vomiting. IF ON SKIN: Wash with plenty of soap and water. Take off contaminated
    clothing. Wash contaminated clothing before reuse.
    May cause central nervous system disorder (e.g., narcosis involving a
    loss of coordination, weakness, fatigue, mental confusion, and blurred vision) and/or damage. Reports have associated repeated
    and prolonged occupational overexposure to solvents with permanent brain and nervous system damage. High concentrations may
    lead to central nervous system effects (drowsiness, dizziness, nausea, headaches, paralysis, and blurred vision) and/or damage.

  24. adriana says:

    I tried to make them today but the nail polish keep going to the bottom of the container where I had the warm water. HELP

    1. Mary Ann says:

      Drop the polish close to the surface of the water….not from above. Dropping from a distance creates a velocity that makes it sink to the bottom of the pan.

  25. Cheryl says:

    I have also tried them but the nail polish falls straight to the bottom of the tub, it doesn’t spread out on the surface as in the demonstration. Is it a special nail varnish that I need to use. Ant help would be appreciated. Thanks

    1. Vicky says:

      Your problem might be that you may be dropping the nail polish from too high. Dropping the nail polish around six inches from the water is about where I dropped it, and the mugs turned out great.

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