Home » Crafting with the Kids: Painting with… Nail Polish??

Crafting with the Kids: Painting with… Nail Polish??

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My daughter K’s softball season is officially over! Woohoo! It’s not that I hate softball, I’m just so excited to have my Saturdays back (for now)–mainly because Saturdays are the perfect time for family crafts and activities! Normally after a softball game we run all our errands around town. Now that softball’s over, we get to sleep in. (As much as a 6 year old and 2 month old will let me sleep in–Ha!) This week, though, James was away on a camping trip with his buddies. So the girls and I took advantage of the time at home to do crafts together. (Well, K2 slept through most of this one.)

A couple weeks ago I stumbled upon Alice and Lois’ Marbled Mini Pumpkins craft via Bloglovin’. I just had to try it out! So I picked up a couple of larger white pumpkins from Trader Joes on my last shopping trip. It was my goal to replicate their idea using larger pumpkins (it didn’t work out so well, as you’ll see in a bit.) This weekend we finally had time to try it out. I got K2 to go down for a nap, and brought out the newspaper and nail polish!

Painting With Nail Polish

Painting with nail polish turned out to be one of the EASIEST, most fun (albeit messiest) activities you could do with a six year old. It was definitely the best #crafternoon we’ve had in a long time. The goal is to use nail polish and water to create a marble or watercolor effect on almost any white object.

Originally I was only planning to try this out on the pumpkins I purchased. However, when K and I discovered how much fun it is to create this watercolor effect, I started wondering what else we could use.

I might have gone a little crazy…

painting with nailpolish

We tried pumpkins, candles, mugs, and mason jars.

The greatest part about doing a craft like this, is how easy it is for little ones to do. It may be quite messy (even I ended up with nail polish all over my hands) but it’s nothing a little nail polish remover can’t get out!

 Some people call this

DIY Marbled [insert object here]


DIY Watercolor [insert object here]


Regardless of what you call it,

here’s how you do it…

How to Create Stellar Watercolor Candles with Nail Polish and Water | DIY Watercolor Candles | DIY Marbled Candles | DIY Home Decor | Painting with Nail Polish | How to Paint with Nail Polish | How to Create Marbled Home Decor | How to Create Watercolor Home Decor

You’ll need:

Big bowl or bucket

Lukewarm water

Nail polish

Stirring sticks

White objects

Step 1: Fill the bowl with water.

This is obvious, but I wanted to make an emphasis on using lukewarm water. If it’s too cold, the nail polish will sink to the bottom. If it’s too hot, it might do the same thing. We learned this the hard way! My silver chrome bowl is now covered in a rainbow of colors.

Also, make sure you’re using a bowl that’s big enough to fit your objects in! You want to be able to submerge the entire area to be painted.

Step 2:  Pour nail polish on water’s surface.

Depending on the brand and type of nail polish you use, will determine how well this next step works. In our experiments, glitter polish was much, much too heavy to stay on the water’s surface and just clumped together when we dipped the object in. The thinner polishes spread the best, and the brighter and darker the color, the prettier the result was.


Step 3: Swirl as desired.

For stirring sticks, we just used chopsticks! And half the time, we didn’t even use them. It all depends on what look you’re going for and how your nail polish acts on the water.


Step 4: Dip your objects.

Here comes the fun part! Take whatever object you’re using and dip and swirl around in the polish water! You can dip them multiple times for darker color. Just experiment and see what you like!


It may also be obvious that the bigger your object, the bigger your bowl or bucket needs to be. Alice and Lois had it right using mini pumpkins! I didn’t end up liking how our pumpkin turned out because I didn’t use a bowl big enough. But I looooove how our mugs and candles turned out. (Especially the candles!)

Step 5: Let it dry!

Take a kitchen towel and just pat dry the objects. The nail polish should dry pretty quickly.


Like I said, sooooo easy!

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I can’t wait to use these mugs!

I’d advise to only hand wash your mugs from now on so that the nail polish doesn’t wash off. I plan on coating mine with a varnish of some kind, or with dishwasher safe mod podge, but I’ll still be hand washing them just to be on the safe side.

Just look at these candles!!!

Easy DIY Watercolor Mugs

Share with Your Friends

I hope you guys love Painting with Nail Polish as much as we did. If you try this out, share your results!!!

Or you can save this activity for a rainy day by pinning one of the images.

Until next time ~

7 thoughts on “Crafting with the Kids: Painting with… Nail Polish??”

  1. Beautiful, i like it. It’s wonderful to see how people can come op with the most simple ideas and create such marvelous things. I frowned a little when i saw the title, i did not expect such a beautiful work of art. I will try it out; it will be my DIY Christmas gift to someone.

  2. The items you tried out with this style of painting turned out wonderful! I could definitely see this as being a great way to turn a mug from the dollar store or a candle that you have laying around the house into something amazing! Thanks so much for sharing this post at the fandayfriday link party! #fdflinkparty

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