Marbled Mugs


These marbled mugs are simple to make. They make great gifts and are a fun way to jazz up mugs!

Hello, I’m Amy and I blog at I love to create beautiful things for my home, and anytime I can make something for my plants and on the cheap, I’m extra excited. 

two marbled mugs stacked on top of one another

These marbled mugs are inexpensive; you probably already have everything at home. And the mugs can be used as mugs or as cute plant pots!

How to Make a Marbled Mug

This project is easy to set up and takes almost no time!

What you need: 

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Craft Tools Needed: 

Supplies Needed: 

These are the ingredients you’ll need. All the exact amounts are in the printable card at the bottom of this post.

Marbled Mug Tips:

Protect Everything

I recommend laying down a plastic bag under the workspace. Then, put paper towels on top. Make sure to use a bowel that doesn’t matter and can be thrown away. The nail polish can get messy.

Use Hot Water

The nail polish dries on the water really fast. In order to slow down how fast the nail polish dries, use hot water.

pink and purple marbled mug and yellow marbled mug

Work Fast

The nail polish dries quickly, so work fast. From the time the first nail polish color is dropped to the time of the mug being dipped should probably be a minute or less.

Prep Everything Beforehand

Have everything ready to go. Pick the nail polish colors first, set up the area, and have the mugs ready to go.

This will make everything go more smoothly. Then, fill your container with the hottest water you can.

pink and purple marbled mug

I even undid all the polish bottles before putting my first color in the water. Just to ensure everything was ready to go and I could work fast.

How to Change Colors

After a mug is dipped, or if the polish dries in the water, it’s not a big deal. Just wait a few minutes, then use a toothpick and swirl it around the top of the water.

yellow dried nail polish on a toothpick with a container of water in the background

The toothpick will pick up all the dried nail polish. Then, the top of the water will be clean and ready for another round!

Floating the Nail Polish

It can be difficult to float the nail polish and not have it sink to the bottom of the container. I found holding it a few inches above the water and pouring the nail polish in a thin swirl to be the easiest.

pink and purple nail polish floating on top of water

Anytime I tried to drop beads of polish lightly on the surface, the beads would sink to the bottom. But a thin line of polish I could keep floating.

Use Multiple Coordinating Colors

I love the way this looks with multiple coordinating colors. But it would look great with only one color, too.

If using only one color, don’t add as much nail polish, and be sure to keep some water in between to keep the swirl effect.

yellow and orange nail polish floating on water

If using multiple colors, there’s less need to worry about there being too much color as the colors themselves make the swirl effect.

swirled pink and purple nail polish floating on water

Dip the Mug Tilted

Tilt the mug! Try to have the first entry point of the mug on the side. If the bottom of the mug goes in first, the bottom gets the lovely swirl, and the sides get less.

a mug being dipped into purple and pink nail polish swirled on top of water

So dip the mug side first and then the bottom. This way, the side should get the majority of the swirl.

Shake Off Excess Water

I didn’t do this on one of my mugs; there are distinct water droplets. It still makes for a cool effect; it’s just not what I was going for.

a close up of a mug with some water bubbles that dried in it

So make sure to shake off as much water as possible before setting the mug aside to dry.

Marbled Mugs

These marbled mugs are easy to create and so cute. They make great gifts too!
Work Time10 minutes
Total Time10 minutes
Author: Amy Lanham
Cost: 5


  • 1 Container


  • Nail Polish
  • Hot Water
  • Toothpick
  • Paper Towels
  • Mug


  • Add hot water to a container, drip nail polish to float on the water.
  • Use a toothpick to swirl the colors together.
  • Slowly dip the mug through the nail polish and into the water.
  • Pull the mug straight up and place on a paper towel paint side up to dry.
  • Remove any left over nail polish from the top of the water and then start over.
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A purple and pink marbled mug

What’s Next? 

If you enjoyed marbled mugs then you’ll enjoy these plant pot ideas too.

How to Make a Plant Pot

DIY No-Waste Dowel Planter

DIY Plant Basket

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