/ / How to Marble a Vase With Nail Polish – Suminagashi Style

How to Marble a Vase With Nail Polish – Suminagashi Style

Learn to marble a vase using nail polish and water with suminagashi. Watch a how-to video plus step-by-step instructions.

Hi Kenarry readers! It’s Jennifer and Kitty (the O’Neil Sisters, from RunningWithSisters.com), and we have a magical DIY vase project to share with you: how to marble a vase with Suminagashi!

Learn to marble a vase using nail polish and water! It's called suminagashi and we'll show you how to do every step! We've got a how to video plus step by step instructions. This one is fast and fun!

What is Suminagashi?

Suminagashi is the Japanese art of marbling, traditionally done on paper. It works by drizzling paints or inks that aren’t water-based onto water, swirling the paints, then dragging the item you want to marble through the colorful swirls. The result is amazing! And it’s so fast and easy to do!

For this marbling project, we’re transforming a plain white vase using dollar-store nail polishes! It works because nail polish is essentially enamel paint – which isn’t water-soluble. Thus the magic! We’ll show you how to drizzle and swirl the nail polishes onto plain tap water. Then we’ll show you how to apply the swirled paint to marble a vase. It happens so fast, if you blink you might miss it!

We’re also sharing a video showing what materials you’ll need for this project and how to make it step by step. You can watch us do a test run first, then we’ll marble a vase before your very eyes. After you watch our demo, you can hit the ground running and marble your own vase in a flash!

How to Marble a Vase With Nail Polish – Suminagashi Style

Disclosure: This blog post contains affiliate links for products or services we think you’ll like. This means if you make a purchase from one of these links, Ideas for the Home by Kenarry® will make a small commission at no additional cost to you so we can keep the great ideas for the home coming your way. All opinions expressed are derived from personal experience.

Materials & Tools

Steps

1.) Prepare the vase

Wash and dry your vase to remove any fingerprints or oils from the surface.

2.) Fill a tub with water

Fill a disposable tub or plastic container with room temperature tap water. Make sure the water is deep enough to submerge at least half of your vase without the vase touching the bottom of the container.

Learn to marble a vase using nail polish and water! It's called suminagashi and we'll show you how to do every step! We've got a how to video plus step by step instructions. This one is fast and fun!

3.) Do a quick test first

We recommend doing a test or two before you marble your vase so you can see how much paint to use, how to swirl the paints, and how best to dip the item you’re marbling. To do your test, drizzle several drops of nail polish onto the surface of your water.

Learn to marble a vase using nail polish and water! It's called suminagashi and we'll show you how to do every step! We've got a how to video plus step by step instructions. This one is fast and fun!

Add a second color, then add the gold paint. Work very quickly –– the paints start to dry as they spread out on the water’s surface, so speed is key!

4.) Swirl the paints with a toothpick

Immediately swirl the paints with a toothpick. Don’t mix them too much or the colors will get muddy. Just drag a toothpick through the paints two or three times to create the swirled look.

Learn to marble a vase using nail polish and water! It's called suminagashi and we'll show you how to do every step! We've got a how to video plus step by step instructions. This one is fast and fun!

5.) Test on the Craft Stick

Dip a craft stick straight down into the tub then lift it straight out.

Learn to marble a vase using nail polish and water! It's called suminagashi and we'll show you how to do every step! We've got a how to video plus step by step instructions. This one is fast and fun!

The swirled nail polishes will cling to the craft stick and look marbled.

6.) Test again on a paper towel

To test again, drag a paper towel through the water in the tub to pull out any paint still floating on the surface. Then use this same technique above with a new craft stick. And do as many tests as you like until you get the marbled effect you’re looking for. (The nail polishes are cheap!)

7.) Make a fresh tub of water for the vase

When you’re ready to marble your vase, make sure you have a fresh tub of water with no paint left at the bottom. (We fished out all remaining paint from our tests with a craft stick, then dumped the water in our utility sink in the garage.)

Learn to marble a vase using nail polish and water! It's called suminagashi and we'll show you how to do every step! We've got a how to video plus step by step instructions. This one is fast and fun!

8.) Drizzle more nail polish onto the water

Working quickly, drizzle each nail polish color onto the surface of the water in the tub.

Learn to marble a vase using nail polish and water! It's called suminagashi and we'll show you how to do every step! We've got a how to video plus step by step instructions. This one is fast and fun!

Then use a toothpick to create your swirl.

Learn to marble a vase using nail polish and water! It's called suminagashi and we'll show you how to do every step! We've got a how to video plus step by step instructions. This one is fast and fun!

9.) Dip the vase into the tub

Lower your vase straight down into the tub, making sure you don’t touch the bottom of the container.

Learn to marble a vase using nail polish and water! It's called suminagashi and we'll show you how to do every step! We've got a how to video plus step by step instructions. This one is fast and fun!

10.) Lift it back out quickly

Quickly lift the vase straight back out and admire your marbling magic! To let the vase dry, turn it upside-down on a paper towel. The water will drip down the vase, but the enamel paints will not.

Learn to marble a vase using nail polish and water! It's called suminagashi and we'll show you how to do every step! We've got a how to video plus step by step instructions. This one is fast and fun!

We love marbling with Suminagashi. Have you ever tried this technique before? What have you marbled? We’d love to hear your ideas. Leave us a comment! And write in with any questions you may have as you work on your project.

You may also want to try these Easy Decorative Pens Made with Polymer Clay for another marbling idea!

Happy Crafting,
Jennifer & Kitty

More DIY Craft Ideas

Like this project? You should check out these DIY marbleized wine glasses! You might also like these crafts from the O’Neil Sisters:

Decoupage plates with colorful butterflies !

Easy Butterfly Plates

Turn dollar store vases into colorful candle holders using nail polish!

Upcycle Candleholders With Nail Polish

Decoupage glass jars with Mod Podge! We'll show you every step!

Pretty Decoupaged Jars

What’s Next?

While you’re here, be sure to check out other craft projects on Ideas for the Home by Kenarry® –

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