Papertrey Ink Make It Monday #277 Nail Polish Marbling


This week’s Make It Monday #277 Nail Polish Marbling is a fun one! Lizzie has great video on marbling paper using nail polish.

What a timely challenge – I am seeing marbled paper everywhere! I have been very tempted by a paper marbling kit I saw recently at my local craft store so I was so happy to try this technique.

This post is a little longer than normal but I wanted to share some tips I discovered doing this project.

So I pulled out my box of nail polish and got to work. I may have gone a little crazy with this one…

In the sun:

In the shade:

My first try was this purple piece. It worked okay but the paper seemed to take the water very quickly and it wrinkled some at the bottom where there wasn’t paint:

I found that the metallic paints didn’t work quite as well so I used matte colors, too.

Here are some photos of the bucket I used. It was from the local dollar store. I added probably 1.5 inches of water each time. You can do probably two cards before you need to add more water.

If your water gets too low, you run the risk of your paper picking up previous paints that may have settled on the bottom. That happened to one of my blue ones – it got a drop of pink on it but I didn’t mind.

I did put it in at angle (as mentioned on Lizzie’s video) to try and minimize air bubbles so the paint would stick. I pressed the paper almost all the way under the water. This let me see the paint wrap around the back so I could tell I was getting coverage.

You must work quickly. Several times my paint would set up and be kind of crusty before I could dip the paper. I took the tops off the paint before adding the paint to be speedier.

I added a generous amount of each color, too. My metallic paints would “bloom” as soon as they hit the water whereas the matte colors would remain in drops for a little longer. Then I took my toothpick and started spreading a little. I didn’t spread it every time if I like the design.

Bristol paper (100 lb smooth) worked best for me. It took the paint well and didn’t absorb as much water so there was little wrinkling.

Here is a look at the other backgrounds I made:

This one is so pretty in person – all those specks are glitter!!

Now on to the cards I made!

I created two and will make more but since I spent a lot of time on the background I didn’t have a lot of time left, lol!!

I used black card stock to die cut sentiments from my favorite PTI series – Big Basics. I tried colors on the card stock but it just got lost in the marbling.

That was so much fun, thanks Papertrey!!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

I am entering these cards in the challenges:
SSS Wednesday Blog Challenge For a Special Lady/Girl
Word Art Wednesday #272-273 Anything Goes

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  1. artful-notions

    Katherine, your finished card stock is a feast for the eyes! You really mastered this technique. All beautiful, and great cards!!!

  2. Vicki Finger

    That taupe/grey one is awesome!! All are well done. I'd love to know more details – how much water etc. because mine were all a disaster. I do have Bristol cardstock so I may try that–outside!!

  3. Lin

    What gorgeous results, Katherine! I haven't tried this yet, but I want to now! Thanks for playing along with us at the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday challenge!

  4. Skrater

    Hi Vicki, thanks for your kind comment. I just added some more details and pictures of the water bucket I used to this blog post. Basically, I think I added about 1.5 inches or so to the bucket used. Maybe a little more. But it allowed me to have the water deep enough so the paper wouldn't get any previous colors on it if the paper sunk to the bottom. Also I had to work very quickly. Only my matte paints stayed in droplet form for a few seconds. The metallics all "bloomed" quickly. I also took the tops off the bottles before starting. I truly think the Bristol card stock made all the difference. It was 100 lb so maybe it was the weight, too that kept it from getting wrinkled. This was my first time using the Bristol, I got lucky I guess!

  5. Nancy Guse

    Your cards are gorgeous, love the swirls of colors!!!!

  6. DIANA L.

    These all came out really pretty, I love your designs andnicecards

  7. Kathryn A

    Wow! These turned out great! I quit after two due to the strong smell.

  8. Susan Watanabe

    Thanks for the tip on the paper (Bristol 100 lb. smooth)! I think I have some of that…I used PTI Stampers Select and it took on water quickly. It took forever to dry and wrinkled even under the weight of a heavy book. I had to use STRONG adhesive to get it down on my card. I'll try it again with the Bristol. ?

  9. lainey

    Wow, you really went to town with this challenge and made some great cards! Thanks for mentioning the Bristol paper, maybe I'll try this again. I made my card with PTI white cardstock and it really warped. Plus my nail polish dried too fast. Live and learn.

  10. Mitzi Manthey

    I tried this and couldn't get a good color coverage. Did you use a name brand polish? I used some that was inexpensive. Or perhaps I didn't put enough of the polish on the water.

  11. Skrater

    I used OPI brand, I received a box of mini sizes at Christmas years back and there were probably 20 bottles in the kit but little ones. I just started drizzling it in there, using the brush took too long to get the paint to drop in there. I was very generous with the amount I put in the water. I really recommend Bristol paper if you have it. I hope you will try again!

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