I stopped wearing nail polish a while ago, but I’ve never been able to throw out my precious hoard of half-filled little bottles of hyperbolic colour. And I’m so happy I’ve kept them all this time, because marbling is quite possibly the most perfect use for them!
Nail polish marbling things like cups, saucers, teapots and pots can be done in minutes for a thoughtful gift, or you can be selfish like me and keep it for yourself.
Best of all, from start to finish it will take you about 15 minutes.
Here’s some tips before you get started:
1. Test the nail polish and make sure it’s a nice constancy. Polish that is starting to go claggy or thick are no good (I learnt this the hard way).
2. Make sure the surface you want to marble is clean and dry. I like to upcycle white cups or teapots from the thrift store but pot plants are good to marble too. If you do decide to do a mug or a cup, be sure you don’t get nail polish anywhere near where your mouth. Cover up any surfaces (such as the inside of the cup) with masking tape. This is definitely not recommended for plates you’ll be eating off.
2.Pour warm water in a large plastic bowl – there is the possibility you’ll get nail polish all over it so keep a bottle of nail polish remover and paper towels close by. You’ll need the bucket or bowl big enough to dunk your teapot.
3. Slowly pour in your first colour. Pour it on a slight angle – you want it to float on top of the water. But once the nail polish does hit the water, you’ll have to work quick!
4. Add your second and third colour. Take a toothpick and quickly swirl the nail polish. If it starts to stick to your toothpick it’s already started to dry and you may be better off collecting it all and starting again.
*Many nail polishes have different drying speeds so it’s worth practicing this bit before you do your teapot. I practiced on a few old jars and it took quite a few goes before I was happy! I found that pouring both colours in at the same time meant i got maximum time to get the pattern I desired.
5. Now dunk! Use a swiping motion and move quickly.
6. Leave aside to dry for around an hour. If there are any water bubbles caught underneath the nail polish dab them with a paper cloth. If there is any nail polish left on the water, clean up with a paper towel.
7. You can use a clear sealant if you wish, but my teapot has survived plenty of hand washes! I’d advise against putting it in the dishwasher.