What’s better than giving a personal, thoughtful gift? Giving it in a customized marbelized gift bag! The marble trend doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon and is one of the easiest—and most fun—DIYs you can make at home.
I tried a few approaches to create the marble look, and my favorite results came from the most unexpected paint: nail polish! I saw the idea a few different places around the world-wide web and was skeptical, at first. But it really works well! Here’s what you need to get started:
DIY Marbleized Gift Bags
- Nail polish (newer bottles tended to work best, but avoid anything labeled “quick dry” if possible). This was a way for me to evaluate which nail polishes I really love and which I haven’t used as much… The nail polishes I tended to use less were a perfect fit for this fun project! Now that I have tried and loved this approach, I’ll keep it in mind when I see super-sale colors of nail polish that I probably wouldn’t wear!
- A disposable, aluminum baking pan
- Plain white gift bags
- Drop cloth for spills and to dry the gift bags on
- Plastic gloves (optional)
1. Begin by filling the baking pan with water. I filled the pan with about three inches of water so I could see which nail polishes were floating the best—it’s possible that a color will sink if it’s old but this is unlikely.
2. Gently pour different colors of polish so they land near the middle of the baking pan, and be sure to work quickly as the polishes will begin to create a film as they dry.
3. Once you’re happy with the colors, drag a toothpick through the polish to create a design. You won’t need to do too much movement with the toothpick; typically, the water and colors mix some on their own.
4. Once you’re happy with the design, lay the gift bag down on top of the marbled colors. Leave the gift bag in place for a couple seconds, and use the handles to remove it beginning with the top of the bag.
5. Set it down on your towel/drop cloth and admire the results!
The gift bag will initially be wet, so choose a thick enough paper that can handle a little water. The polish will adhere to the bag, but the bag will stay damp. You can use a towel to aid in the drying process after the polish has dried, or you can simply air dry the bags.
Note: Sometimes if the bags get too wet, they will wrinkle as they dry. If that happens, once they’re dry you can iron on a low setting with a washcloth in between the gift bag and the iron. Once I completed the first bag, I let the polish dry and film over the water—then I simply used a toothpick to gather and remove the film and started over.
These bags are such a fun way to personalize a gift! For a graduation, you could use a friend’s school colors, or for a wedding shower, you could use the colors of the bridesmaid dresses.
Fair warning: If you don’t use plastic gloves, the DIY does get a little messy, so my final tip is to get a manicure to remove your “arts and crafts” nail polish hands and replace it with a color you wouldn’t even dream of pouring in water!