Beautiful Personalised Mugs - DIY

I’ve seen a few examples of this nail polish mug DIY technique on the internet and was so intrigued that I’ve decided to try it for myself. The results were simply stunning! Who would have thought that nail polish can achieve this lovely watercolour look? And it’s pretty simple to do as well!
You will need:
Ceramic mugs and bowls
Selection of nail polish (not the quick drying type)
Water and container for dipping
Paper towel
Preparation station
Add water to a flat container. Use a disposable container as you won’t be able to use it again after this exercise. Add a few drops of nail polish to the water and break up the colour dots by dragging a toothpick through it to form a pattern.
Dunk it
Now simply dip your ceramic bowl into the water and give it a twirl so that the nail polish sticks to the surface. It is amazing what happens to the nail polish when it hits the water. It creates a thin plastic-like film around the colour areas. I found it fascinating.
Repeat this process with any old ceramics you have in the house. It’s lots of fun and makes pretty and inexpensive stocking fillers.
High and dry
Leave them to dry overnight on a piece of paper towel.
Wrapped up
Wrap them in tissue paper and boxes combined with nice ribbon. It will be very cute if you add a tag that tells the recipient that this item was hand-made by you. People seem to appreciate that more!
Please note: The crockery is not going to be food-safe, so don’t use this technique to decorate the inside of a plate or bowl that intend to eat out of. Make sure that you use CPG (ceramics / porcelain / glass) podge (the baking kind) over your designs to ensure their durability. And it’s best to wash by hand and avoid using them in the microwave.
Happy styling,
For more interesting DIY's please visit

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

2 questions
  • Debbie
    on Oct 27, 2016

    I am confused about the warning to not use the technique on the inside of bowls or mugs used for eating- is it ok for the outside to have the nonedible chemicals?

      on Oct 27, 2016

      HI Debbie, great question! It's just a precaution really - as long as it's not in direct contact with food or liquids, it should be safe. If you want to have a design on the inside of a bowl, I would suggest that you use that for non-edibles or things in wrappers like chocolate or candy.

    • Maria
      on Oct 28, 2016

      Does the color hold up in the dishwasher? Would be great on a vase.

    • Elaine
      on Oct 29, 2016

      I think she said to "hand wash".

    • Lorna Innes
      on Nov 23, 2016

      To keep the nail polish from coming off via hand or dishwasher. But a can of spray gloss. It's like a clearcoat finish, spraypaint version. I used to use it after I repainted a ceramic statue or base. It comes in different sheens, high gloss, soft gloss, and matt finish.

    • Pam Eden Dulaff
      on Jan 20, 2017

      You could finish the piece with a couple coats of dishwasher safe mod podge.

  • Judi Thompson
    on Oct 28, 2016

    Not a question just an idea. Why not so the polish an the back of clear glass plates.?

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