marbled paper using nail polish to create a stack of cards
DIY, paper, tutorial

Marble Watercolor Paper with Nail Polish and Make Your Own Designer Series Paper

A stunning background can really make a card have that WOW factor.

There are many ways that can accomplish that, so I always love to find a new one! I love Designer Series Paper, but did you know you can make your own??

nail polish marbled paper for stack of cards

If you are anything like me, you have a lot of nail polish bottles that are getting a bit old, but out of guilt you keep them — and once in a while treat yourself to a manicure (if only just to cover up the ink stains on your hands from stamping!), but the joy for that specific color or painting your nails is no longer there. I get it; I hate wasting. Even as I continue to simplify my life and minimize my possessions, throwing things out is hard.

So I found a creative way to use those nail polishes: use them to make a scrapbook page or a fun card! That orange would be perfect for a “Tropical” layout, but just doesn’t cut it anymore for my nails ha ha!

On Pinterest, I’ve seen people using nail polish to color wood and other materials, but wondered if I could use a similar technique for my paper crafting! See below for what I did:

How to prepare:

Ingredients: Nail Polish, Watercolor Paper, Pan, Water, Toothpick, Paper Towels or Newspaper, Drying Rack (optional)

supplies needed to marble paper with nail polish
That’s it? This will be easy!

Choose some nail polishes. I used three colors for each dip but more or less would be fantastic, too! Open their tops to make it easy to quickly pour. Mine are fairly old (more than a few years) and they each seemed to have their own behavior in the water, but that added character to the marble!

Have your Watercolor Paper ready. I use a heavyweight paper from Stampin Up, but if it holds up to water, it should hold up well with this craft.

Lay out pieces of newspaper or paper towels on your table or surface. I actually used junk mail. Whatever will protect your surface in the event of messiness.

Pour about an inch of lukewarm water into your pan. Your pan should be large enough to accomdate the size of your paper.

Spread out your supplies. Moving efficiently will increase the likelihood that your papers will turn out well, so you’ll want everthing prepared and within reach. No need to rush, but the following took me about 5 minutes.

How to marble paper with nail polish:

1. Pour a few stripes of one color of nail polish in the water. Pour a few more of a different color. Continue with all of the colors your want to use. Have fun with it! Don’t try to purposefully draw anything– just let the water swirl.

2. Use the toothpick to swirl a few lines through the polish.

3. Pick up your paper and place it face-down on the water surface for a few seconds. With one corner, carefully pull the paper back up and flip it over. Place it down on your drying rack or paper towels.

4. Depending on the size of your paper, you may have used most of the polish up. If that is the case, use your toothpick to glide through the water to pick up the “skin” that forms a layer on top of the water. Now your pan and water is ready for more polish and more paper marbling!

clean water by pulling a toothpick through the water to pick up the skin from the polish
The polish skin “sticks” to the toothpick as it dries.

5. If you were using small pieces of watercolor paper, you may be able to (quickly) dip more paper on the surface. By the third dip unfortunately, enough time as passed for the nail polish to congeal a bit. Blek. My paper ended up looking like a spiderweb of plastic.

6. This seems to be the limit before pouring out and using new water. Let your papers dry fully before using them.

You never know how this will turn out, and I LOVE that!

first marbled paper using nail polish for tropical colors

Multiple pieces done all in less than 10 minutes!

I was worried about the texture of the paper after I had layers of nail polish on it, but it just feels like sturdy cardstock! It doesn’t smell like nail polish, and BONUS: the paper is now water-resistant!

marbled paper cards

To make these cards, you’ll need:

Supplies:

AND OF COURSE NAIL POLISH! Whatever colors you own, your new DIY Designer Series Papers will go well with cardstock in matching or neutral colors!

Want other ideas for your watercolor paper? Check out this Stack of Watercolor Cards!

Or create other cards using these adorable stamp sets: Check out this fun-fold Tropical Chic card tutorialΒ and these Happy Crafting comic cards!

I’m playing along with the following challenges:

I hope you had fun with this tutorial. I’d love to see your marbled paper, so please leave a comment or a picture! And if you found this tutorial useful, please bookmark it or maybe even follow the blog for more craftiness! Happy Crafting!

6 thoughts on “Marble Watercolor Paper with Nail Polish and Make Your Own Designer Series Paper”

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