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Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Marbled Flower Pots

Marbled Flower Pots Tutorial at

If you're looking for a way to brighten up a room without a lot of work, these marbled flower pots are a fun way to do that. This is a fun project that even the kids will enjoy making. Marbled pots also make a sweet gift idea! My daughter and I made some for the grandmas for Mother's Day and they absolutely loved them.

Marbled Flower Pots Tutorial at

First, start with some terra cotta pots. Any size will work! We used tiny ones to start out, but will probably start making larger ones really soon. You can find these almost anywhere for cheap.

Marbled Flower Pots Tutorial at

First, paint the pots with white acrylic paint. One of my favorites for terra cotta pots is this DecoArt Americana paint in Snow (Titanium) White because it only takes 1-2 coats of paint. The reason for painting the pots white first is to give the marble a bright, blank background so that the colors really pop. If you'd like, you can certainly skip this step and try marbling without white paint. This is a really fun project to experiment with different paint colors!

Since the pots will eventually be filled with dirt, you can leave the insides unpainted, paint the top third, or paint the entire inside.

Marbled Flower Pots Tutorial at

Once the pots are dry, choose 2-3 coordinating nail polish colors. Any brand of polish will work, so I'd recommend using ones that you don't use too often, or check out the selection at the dollar store. Try to choose colors that blend well together (get out those color wheels!) and aren't old/chunky. Metallics and even clear, glitter topcoats look fantastic on these pots.

Marbled Flower Pots Tutorial at

Prep for marbling with a disposable container that is deep enough for the pot to fit in, nail polishes, paper towels, and toothpicks. MOST IMPORTANTLY, be sure to work in a well-ventilated area.

  1. Fill the container with warm water.
    *It doesn't need to be hot, but it can't be cold or else the nail polish will dry too quickly.
  2. Pour the nail polish into the container slowly so it stays on the top of the water.
    *If you pour too quickly, the nail polish will sink.
  3. Using a toothpick, swirl the nail polish colors together to create the marble look.
  4. Hold the top edge of the pot with your fingertips and dip it carefully into the water. Swirl the pot around and the nail polish magically sticks to the pot, looking gorgeous!
  5. Place the pot upside down on paper towels to dry.
  6. After each pot, run a toothpick through the water/nail polish and pick up the excess nail polish off the surface of the water.
  7. Wait at least 10-20 minutes for the pots to dry.
    We let them sit in a well-ventilated room overnight just to be sure.
  8. Fill pots with soil and your favorite plants. No green thumb? There are TONS of faux plants out there that will look fabulous!!

Sometimes marbling can be finicky! Hopefully these tips will help!!
  • Have everything ready and next to you before starting so that you can work quickly.
  • The polish does dry quickly - quick-dry polish even more so.
  • Leaving thick spots of polish on the water: When you drop the polish, it can go in like blobs. Try to smooth the polish out with a toothpick, which also "marbles" it at the same time. Thick areas of polish will come out clumpy.
  • Use a large container of HOT water so that you have more water/room to work with. Colder water will make the polish set faster.

I would absolutely LOVE to see your creations!! Tag me on Instagram and Facebook, and leave a comment/photo on the project pin on Pinterest!

Would you like to comment?

  1. OMG, Lindsay, these are absolutely AMAZING!!!!! Thanks for sharing the tutorial! :)

  2. PLEASE HELP! I really want this to work, but I haven't had any success yet. I believe my issue is due to temperature of the water, the nail polish, or both. So far I've tried 5 of the 6 dollar store nail polishes I got for this project. All 5 of the nail polishes I've tried dry on the water surface MUCH TOO quickly to even swirl one color into another color. I essentially get a "skin" of nail polish on the surface of the water every time. I tried small amounts of 3 nail polishes with lukewarm water from my sink while on a table outside (for ventilation). As I used a toothpick to attempt to swirl the first nail polish, the skin wrapped and clumped around the toothpick tip (it looks like a colored cotton swab). Since I was outside at a temp of 60 degrees F or less, I then took everything inside. I emptied and refilled the water with HOT water from my sink. When I tried small amounts of 2 more NEW unopened nail polishes inside with HOT water, the same "skin" of nail polish formed on the water surface. Could the temperature of the water cause this if it is too hot or is the nail polish temp too cool? Is it possible my Dollar Tree (LA Colors brand) nail polishes are inferior and won't work for this project? Any suggestions to get this to work? The nail polishes look good to me, as they are not clumpy, separating, or anything else visibly. Could I add something to the nail polish to "thin it out" so it doesn't dry and "skin over" on the water surface so quickly? I'm stumped!

    1. Same thing happened to us when we put the toothpick inot the water the color all just ran right to it, not sure what we did "wrong" because we did everything in the exact order. So Then we decided not to stir the polish with a toothpick, our pots look like crap! Hahaha oh well it was a fun project for Big Brothers Big Sisters and My Little loved doing it and getting extremely messy and covered in fingernail polish! She will be taking those pots home when they dry! Is glitter polish a bad thing?

  3. Mine did same thing with toothpick so I just didn’t use it on next one. Ours turned out pretty good for a 2 and 5 year old!!

  4. I used this technique on old round light bulbs… placed them in a basket with the screw end down, really nice!

  5. I’ve used white cups or vases and they looked pretty too no need to paint


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