Adventures in Nail Art

My friend Bianca recently posted an amazeballs picture of her nails on Facebook.

Wowie! I want! Of course, my crafty/arty skills are so lacking that I’d never be able to do this myself. I expressed my desire for equally awesome nails and Bianca pointed me in the direction of youtube. I watched this tutorial and then decided that I had to at least attempt to make this happen for me. (When I told Stephen, his response was, “Isn’t that sort of thing for crafty people?” Ha! He knows me well!)


  • cup of water
  • toothpick (I didn’t have one so I used a kabob stick!)
  • nail polish
  • tape

Step 1: Watch multiple youtube videos on water marble nails.

Step 2: Prep your supplies. I put the water in the cup, got out the kabob stick, and put tape all around my finger. (You tape up your finger to prevent polish from getting on your skin.

My taped up finger.

Step 3: Drop alternating colors of polish into your cup. The idea is to make a bullseye pattern.

Step 4: Use your toothpick (or kabob stick) to herd the nail polish and make designs. My kills are very limited in this department. I would just make random swirls.

Step 5: Dip your finger into the water. It helps to directly put your nail onto the part of the design you want and then submerge it.

Step 6: Use your toothpick to scoop up all the excess polish floating on the water. (This is so none of it latches on your nail and foils your design.)

Voila! Sort of.

I ended up with one really cool nail, a bunch of really bad nails, and a few mediocre nails. I ended up taking the polish off of the blob nails and just having plain polish on those fingers.

It took some trial and error, but I’ve kind of got it down now. I figured out that not all polish works equally. It helps if the polish doesn’t dry super fast. Fans and air conditioning can also cause the polish to dry in your cup before you get the chance to dip your finger. It doesn’t hurt to put a base coat on your nail first.

This will potentially be my new addiction this summer. Don’t be surprised if you see many more crazy nail pictures popping up.

Anybody else tried their hand at water marble nails???*

21 thoughts on “Adventures in Nail Art

  1. Hey, that’s cool! I suppose with any artsy-craftsy thing, practice makes perfect. Having a steady hand would be ideal for making marble nails; too bad I don’t have one of those. I like your orange nail polish color!

  2. Quite a commitment! I AM crafty and I’m not sure I’d even attempt this. Props to you!

  3. Wow that looks good for a first try! Better than I would have been able to do!

    • Yeah, not bad, but you should see the crazy stuff good people can do: stars, spiderwebs, pointsettas. I don’t have those kind of skills, but I am determined to keep trying!*

  4. You have far more patience than I do! I looove painting my nails and I like doing crafty things, but I am not sure I can muster up the patience for this! Ha, but you did turn out some cool nails!

  5. I am way too much of a perfectionist to try – if it didn’t come out exactly how I liked it, I would be so annoyed haha!

    • I hear you! That’s why I took off the polish on the nails that were blobs and switched those to solid. No way was I walking around with blob nails.*

  6. Yay for marble nails! The tutorial I watched ( said room-temperature water is a must and recommended using high-quality nailpolish like OPI. This is all well and good but OPI nailpolishes are like $8/bottle! My marble nails are fun, but this is something I won’t be able to do often. Unless someone gives me a lifetime supply of OPI nailpolish. Then I’ll be a happy camper AND a marble nails devotee.

    PS I’m honored to have made a cameo on your blog!

    • There is no denying it: you gots skills! I hope that with more practice, my next round of nails come out better. Thanks for alerting me to the idea and letting me steal it for my blog!*

  7. I think I’d probably end up spilling my nail polish filled water everywhere. I am highly coordinated.

  8. Wow, your nails look gorgeous! I am really impressed and very inspired to try it now myself! Will we see more pictures of your nail masterpieces over the summer!?!?

  9. I can barely paint my nails one color! I never do, though, because I get all OCD about chipping. I wonder how hard it would be on toenails-?

    • Water Marble nails would look so good on toes! I think the tricky part would be dipping your toe into the water. I’m envisioning a shallow bowl instead of a cup. It’d probably also help to be sitting in the bathroom in case of spillage.*

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