DIY Marbled Mugs

Hiya! So I know we’ve seen these DIY marbled mugs allllll over the place, but haven’t you been curious about them? I couldn’t wrap my head around how they could actually work; I assumed that they were really pretty in pictures, but the nail polish would flake off with one wash, so I had to give them a whirl myself. Below you’ll find a tutorial and a review- find out if this project is worth the attempt or not!

DIY Marbled Mugs Tutorial

Materials Needed:
  • Ceramic Mugs. I got my full-sized mugs at the Dollar Tree, but I also recommend searching thrift shops, which is how I got my espresso cups. They’re Crate&Barrel, but why pay full price when you can always find them at about fifty cents each?
  • Nail Polish. I didn’t want to just do plain black marbling, so I grabbed a few different colors from what I already owned.
  • Plastic bowl or a bowl you don’t care about! I used an old plastic one I had and it worked great. It was covered in nail polish afterwards though, and even with a few cleanings, it still hasn’t come off completely. Disposable might be your best option.
  • Stir stick (I used one of the small straws from my bar cart)
  • Choose the color or colors you would like to use. Marbled Mug Colors
  • Fill your bowl up with room temperature, clean water.
  • Pour a small amount of the color or colors you would like to use into the bowl.Nail Polish in Water
  • Now, move QUICK! The nail polish sets and forms a film on top of the water almost instantly, so you’ll need to use your stir stick to drag and pull the colors around to create the marbling effect within seconds after adding to the water. THIS IS IMPORTANT!Stir Stick Marbling
  • Next, carefully dunk your mug into the marbled nail polish. Note that you’ll have to hold on to it somewhere and that you also don’t want the polish anywhere near where your mouth would be. I dunked mine at a slight angle for the espresso cups, and at stronger angle for the coffee mugs.Dunk your Mug
  • Pull the mug out of the water at an average speed. Too quickly and the marbling will be a bubbled blob of a mess, too slowly and it will layer up on the side of your mug making it look thick.Dunked Marble Espresso Cup
  • Set mug(s) upside down to dry.
  • Sweep a clean stir stick through the water after each dunk and pour new polish. Unfortunately, doing multiple mugs per pour, doesn’t work.Clean the water

    Strangely satisfying to clean out the water in one swoop.
    Strangely satisfying to clean out the water in one swoop.
  • Every couple of mugs, make sure you get fresh, clean water.
  • Admire your work, duh.

Espresso Cup

Try mixing and matching colors. Here I used black and mint!
Try mixing and matching colors. Here I used black and mint!
A splash of color never hurt anyone...
A splash of color never hurt anyone…

Review: Does this really last?

As I’ve stated before, I think the look of these mugs is really pretty, but I thought that the nail polish would wash or peel off right away. These cute mug DIY’s never really work, right? Ever tried to do the Sharpie thing? Yeah, even if you bake them, with a couple of washes, the color starts to wear thin.

Well, I am happy to report that I have used and *hand-washed* these about 10 times now and they’ve shown no signs of peeling! I admittedly don’t scrub the marbled part super hard, I focus on the rim and the inside of the mug, but still. I have been really impressed so far!

I’d say at a total of about $5 or less, this project is definitely worth a try.

Marbled Mug and Espresso Cup Set

Marbled Coffee Mugs

Xo- Em

Quick Look Marbling Steps