Get crafty and create this awesome marble painting trick on almost anything, from cool cards to pretty pots – using only nail varnish and water!

Marble painting in four easy steps!


What you’ll need

  • Water
  • Plastic container – such as an old takeaway dish
  • Nail varnishes of different colours (cheap, old ones are fine)
  • Cocktail stick
  • Thick paper or card ready folded into cards that will fit into the container
  • Plain vase, box or pot (optional)
  • An adult to help!

marble painting what you will need

Step 1

marble painting step 1

Fill the tray with water. 

Step 2

marble painting step 2

Decide which colours of varnish to use and unscrew the lids ready to go. This will save time.

Step 3

marble painting step 3

Quickly and carefully pour a few drops of your chosen colours onto the surface of the water and then give them a little swirl with a cocktail stick. Act fast before it dries!

Step 4

marble painting the result

Hold the front of your object flat against the surface of the water for about three seconds. The nail varnish should transfer onto it. If necessary, roll it across the surface to make sure you don”t miss any. Lift it up to reveal the print. Put it aside to dry. Cool!

Top tip: Remove any remaining traces of varnish from the water’s surface using your cocktail stick!

Make sure you do this activity in a well ventilated room or – even better – outside, and only do it for a short time.


Have you tried our marvellous magic marble painting? Let us know how it went by leaving a comment, below!




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  • rachelp3520


  • I am so going to try this!!

  • lily


  • lily

    so cool def trying

  • #Unicorn

    Thank you so much for the idear! #NATGEO kidz for life!!!!!!!!!

  • #Unicorn

    O.M.G so cool and amazing! I am so going to try this

  • haylee mansson

    i did it it in kinder, but i havent done it in 4 years cos im in grade 2 now so...

  • Gracie

    I've tried it and it worked so well! So cool!

  • Elizabeth

    A beautiful work of art. Simply incredible...

  • hat hahaha

    cool I will try it 2days later it works thx for showing me this amazing art I hope u have a nice day from hat hahaha

  • Isa44

    I can't wait to try this out at home.Thank you for the idea. I am so excited

  • Freya


  • Maddison

    So cool

  • Mickayla

    This is a really great idea!

  • Libby

    I am so gunna try it!!!!!!!!!

  • Illy

    cool i love painting

  • mimi

    can't wait to try it !!!!!

  • Cheetah123

    Awesome! I ❤️Natgeo

  • haylee mansson

    i did this in kinder! But i dont do it anymore 'cos im in grade 2.

  • GinoDonzo


  • GinoDonzo

    Wow that looks like an illusion!

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