Foothill Technology High School

How to: DIY marble mugs


A gift so easy that not only follows modern trends, but also deserves to hold your morning coffee or tea. It’s time to spice up that boring white mug lying in the kitchen.

What you’ll need:

  • White mug
  • Large bowl or container
  • Nail polish
  • Toothpicks


1.) Fill the container with normal tap water. The container needs to be able to fit the entirety of the cup.

2.) Make sure the mug is clean. Choose a single nail polish or complimentary colors. For example, use a light blue and dark blue or yellow and orange.

3.) You will need to move quickly to prevent the nail polish from drying. Pour the nail polish into the water. If you are using two colors, pour the nail polishes so the they overlap. Prior to the next step it is recommended that you use a toothpick to spread the nail polish throughout the water, or use the toothpick to swirl the colors together. The nail polish should spread on its own, but the toothpick will add to this effect.

4.) Most importantly, simply dip the mug into the nail polish as you wish. The entire mug will not be submerged, as you wouldn’t want nail polish around the rim of the cup. You could either dip the mug in with a grip on the handle, or with a grip on the rim. Do not get the water or nail polish on the inside of the cup.

5.) Turn to mug upside down onto a paper towel and let it air dry.

6.) In the meantime, if you work fast enough, you may be able to pour the water out with minimal amounts of nail polish left in the bowl. If there is any left, use nail polish remover to clean it out followed by a very through cleaning with soap and water.

7.) Return to the mug and dab it dry with a paper towel. Avoid pressing too hard in case the nail polish is still wet.

8.) To prevent chipping you may seal the nail polish with an acrylic sealer of you choice. However, if you do not have one at your disposal, just avoid machine washing the mug and hand wash it only.

Viola! Your mug is complete. Enjoy a morning coffee or a late night tea with your new creation.

–Suvee Ranasinghe

Background Credit: Sarah Kagan / The Foothill Dragon Press