Dollar Store Hack: Marble Mugs Using Nail Polish

Mugs are my new favorite gift. With the availability of gorgeous options and Pinterest-worthy DIYs, what was once reserved for people you really didn’t know (or care for) has become a beautifully personal gift to give.

I decided to make a slew of marble mugs to have on hand for friends and family, using a supply I already had — nail polish. All you need to do is pour polish into a container of warm water and dip your mug inside to create this cool design. It takes a little practice (and patience) to get the technique down but it’s well worth the effort. My family was blown away and thought I had bought the mugs. I don’t know whether to take this as a compliment to my DIY skills or an insult for their lack of faith.

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image source: robin clement
image source: robin clement

DIY Marble Mug

inspired by House of Hipsters  


  • Disposable container
  • Nail polish
  • Wood coffee stirrer or toothpick (optional)
  • Mug
  • Sponge brush
  • Acrylic sealer, with gloss finish (like this from Amazon)


  1. Fill container with warm water. Drip nail polish into container, as shown below. Pockets will form.

    image source: robin clement
    image source: robin clement
  2. If needed, quickly use stirrer or toothpick to expand the pockets of nail polish. Then dip your mug in a circular motion.

    image source: robin clement
  3. Let dry. Then add a glossy acrylic sealer with a sponge brush just over the design. You might need to add more layers of sealer, depending on your design. Be sure to let dry between applications.

Notes: The sealer should not be brushed over the inside or any areas you drink out of. The mug should be cleaned with mild soap and water, as it’s not dishwasher safe.

image source: robin clement
image source: robin clement
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