15 September 2013

the student makes - diy marble paper

Welcome to another post on my mini series "the student makes". I am trying to create a collection of simple and cheap DIY's that use many things you may have on hand already. 

This DIY has been floating around the web recently and I was itching to have a go. I almost feel like it is cheating to post a tutorial because it is just so easy! 

Supplies: (I have estimated cost because you will probably have a lot of these things lying around at home) 
Three or more different coloured nail polishes: free or you can probably pick some new ones up for a £1.00 a bottle.
Cocktail sticks: £1.00
Card, paper, tags or anything you want to marble.

An icecream tub or similar and some old newspaper to dry your creations on.

1. Fill your plastic tub up with a few inches of water. Unscrew the lids of your nail varnish. You have to work quickly with this DIY so preparation is the key.

2. Drizzle your first colour nail varnish across the surface of the water. The first colour will spread the most so it will be the most dominant on your finished piece.
Quickly drizzle your second and third colours across the water.

At this stage if you want to create a very swirly effect grab a cocktail stick and swirl the nail polish. You have to be quick to do this though or the polish will just stick in a clump.

3. I found it best to fold my card in half, then holding one half of it, making sure it is flat against the water, dip. The nail polish will cling to the paper and when you pull it out you end up with patterns like this. 

Leave your cards to dry and keep on experimenting!  

This project is so versatile. You can try different colours of polish, dipping the paper in more than once or dipping other objects into the paint. 

There are also a hundred and one things to do with the finished paper. I chose to cut some of my mine into tags to wrap onto presents. I also made some into gift cards and tied them up with twine to give as a present. 

Super simple and cheap project, if a little bit messy!


Ruth said...


Fiona@Staring at the Sea said...

Great colours. I never would have thought of using nail polish for this technique. Ink sprays work well too :o)

Sinead said...

Lovely project Abi! I never knew you could use nail polish for marbling either :) On one of my teaching practice placements, my partner did marbling with the class, but used special inks - the kids were fascinated with the results! I must give this one a go.

furrypig said...

now that is a great project Abi thanks for the tutorial

Becky said...

Very pretty and a great idea!

alexa said...

Very nice effect! With lots of uses ... Super!

Karen said...

Years ago I made marble paper in a class. I'm not sure what medium we used to create it, but it certainly wasn't nail polish. I'd never think to use that, but it came out great.

debs14 said...

Abi, that is so clever! I didn't realise you could use nail varnish to get that effect. My daughter and I have dozens of oldbottlesbetween us!

Mel said...

Great tutorial have never tried this so will have to have a go.

Miriam said...

What a great thing to do, thanks Abi.

Deb @ PaperTurtle said...

That is really cool. I've never seen anything like this before!

Lou said...

oooh I like this. I'll be hooking out all those old nail varnishes now :)

Katie said...

Looks awesome! Thanks for sharing