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 neurtral colors!

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

Want to see other cards made 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!

A painted canvas featuring a dreamcatcher with rainbow feathers. Included in the post are tips for anyone trying a new craft.
creativity

If you don’t like something, you can just paint over it. Tips for anyone trying a new craft!

Have you ever painted on a canvas?

Painting on a canvas was on my bucket list. Maybe you are an expert and make those beautiful works of art that I see on Instagram. Or maybe you are super-intimidated about putting paint to brush to canvas.

woman pouring down a brown paint

A few months ago I went with a friend to a paint and sip night benefitting a Black Dog Rescue, and we were led through the steps to create a beautiful canvas featuring a black puppy playing in a bathtub. Mine certainly didn’t look like the teachers, but all of our paintings were the same. Β I was happy with it, and gifted it to my mom in memory of her sweet black lab.

I haven’t painted since. I don’t own my own paints, nor did I remember to throw a canvas into my cart during my last trip through a craft store (let’s be honest…during my last time on Amazon). I’ve wanted to paint again..it was so much fun for me, but something kept me from pulling the trigger. Did I think I wouldn’t be able to paint something… discernable… without the help of a teacher?

white soft tube bottles

Fast forward to last week, and I saw a flier for an Arts and Crafts night in the community where we recently moved. Why not? I’d love to meet like-minded neighbors! I arrive to a group of fantastic ladies, am handed a canvas (and maybe a glass of wine πŸ˜‰ ha ha), and told the theme is dreamcatchers. No step-by-step directions were given, although the resident Artist was full of great tips for whatever someone wanted to do. I was apprehensive…similar to how I felt in the canvas aisle!

Painting isn’t in my comfort zone… I’m a stamper and sewist!

Then the resident Artist said “If you don’t like something, you can just paint over it.” Those words were so powerful. The reminder we all need sometimes that mistakes are just that, and can be corrected.

I began creating a background: the easy first step to (let the wine kick in) get the creative juices flowing. I created a red to black ombre. I looked up to see others making beautiful blue sky and sunny yellow backgrounds. “Oh no. These ladies are going to think I’m morbid.”

A painted canvas featuring a dreamcatcher with rainbow feathers. Included in the post are tips for anyone trying a new craft.
It’s no picasso, but it’s a reminder to try new things without hesitation!

From there I just had fun with it.

No more hesitation.

I’ve been trying to improve my calligraphy, and so why not practice it in paint! I could just paint over it if it looked terrible. But I would welcome any suggestions for how to improve my writing!

One of my new friends mentioned putting a rainbow behind her dreamcatcher. If you’ve read any of my other posts, you might have noticed how much I LOVE creating with rainbows! (Check out the Rainbow Watercolor cards or these Comic cards or these colorful Blooms). But I already had the dark background… it looked like I’d just have to paint over my dark background to add some rainbow feathers! I had so much fun!

Everyone had a very VERY different looking canvas, and each had a unique personality. Great things happen when we let go of the possibility of failure.

TIPS FOR ANYONE TRYING A NEW CRAFT

  • Think about what you would do next if the project in front of you was your “craft of choice.” Would you arrange your colors nearby? Would you create a background?
  • Accept that this is new to you and out of your comfort zone. No one expects you to be an expert. πŸ™‚
  • If you are able, observe or ask what others have done while learning the craft.
    • Look online! Tutorials are everywhere for beginners of just about everything.
    • Learning the basics can allow you to relax and enjoy your progress.
  • Ask yourself “Why am I afraid to create?”
    • Don’t compare yourself to others. You are the only one who can create like you do.
    • The only person who needs to like it is YOU.
    • Try physically putting the pen to the page (or brush to the canvas, or yarn to the needle) without making a permanent mark.
  • Don’t worry about making a mistake.
    • I can’t stress this enough. I heard a lot of anguish of other people afraid to paint because they “might make a mistake.”
    • Art is supposed to be fun. Let it be!
    • Purposefully make a mistake. Seriously! You’ll be surprised at how easily you are able to be resourceful and create something beautiful from your mistake.
    • I get messy when I’m crafting, and smudges happen. Sequins can cover those!
    • Think about what the worst-case scenario. You might need to paint over it πŸ˜‰ or throw a sequin over it. It’ll be ok.
    • You can learn from your “mistakes” and try again.
  • Trust your intuition.
  • Can I recommend a glass of wine?
  • Take a break and relax. You can’t force it.
  • You got this! Have FUN!

The process of creating a design without having a plan can be really intimidating. But we all have creativity inside of us and the ability to adapt as we go. We’ve been doing it our whole lives.

I’m a newbie to painting on canvas, but so glad I tried it. I might have caught the bug! When was the last time you tried something new or out of your comfort zone? I’d love to hear about your experience! Did anything help you feel more comforable? Comment below. How did your project turn out?

No matter what your “Craft of Choice” is, Happy Crafting!

A painted canvas featuring a dreamcatcher with rainbow feathers. Included in the post are tips for anyone trying a new craft.

Colorful Bloomtangled card Thanks 3
paper

Bloomtangled and Grateful

A few weeks ago, I saw my name under a “winners” tab for the STAMPlorations May Blossoms card challenge which I had submitted one of my creations. I couldn’t believe it!

They generously gave me a choice of a floral stamp or die which a designer had used for a project.Β I love all kinds of stamps, but can be picky with my florals. I love trendy patterns that give me creative freedom (yet can still be foolproof!). After much debate,Β I chose the Bloomtangled Cover Plate Die, and it arrived in my craft closet soon after that! YAY happy mail!

Bloomtangled Plate Die
My new Bloomtangled die displayed on my magnetic frame for easy use.

Whoa! I may have been a bit intimidated and wasn’t quite sure where to start.Β When I was in the right mind-set (i.e. late at night, ha ha), I sat down with the die and ran it through with some scrap paper to get an idea of what I could create.

I first made a thank you card to send Shery, the owner/designer/illustrator of STAMPlorations. Next I realized I could use the negative of the “stencil” so I started making pairs of cards.

I’m so excited to continue using this die! Do you have a favorite? Which color scheme do you think I should create with next?

Happy Crafting!