Nail Polish Marbled Mermaid

March 28, 2015Laura Mason

Nail polish marble + acrylic paint mermaidFinished nail polish marble + acrylic paint mermaidMermaid with nail polish marbling and acrylic paint

Hello, hello! It seems like it’s been awhile since I’ve had a truly quirky project to share, so this month I bring you … the sweetest little mermaid you’ve ever seen (if I do say so myself), created using nail polish and acrylic paint. She is really easy to make – the absence of a face means you don’t need any crazy painting skills. If you can swirl some hair and add ovals for boobs, you are totally golden! ;)


  • Wooden (particle board?) Mermaid – I found mine at Michaels
  • Green, aqua, teal and blue acrylic paint
  • Green, aqua, teal, blue, purple and dark pink nail polish
  • Sparkly nail polish
  • Paint brushes (thicker for base coat, thinner for hair and boobs)
  • Disposable container – I used a disposable aluminum pan roasting pan
  • Stick for swirling colors

Step One: Base Coat


Step One

Give your mermaid a nice base coat of teal/aqua acrylic paint. I used two coats above the waist, and only one coat on the tail, because I knew I’d be covering it up.

Step Two: Nail polish marbled tail

Nail polish marbleStep TwoNail polish marbling close upNail polish marbling

First, fill your container with a little bit of water – since we’re not submerging the mermaid, just touching her to the surface, even half an inch will do. Tape off any parts you don’t want to marble. I taped off the entire torso, head, and both arms.

Next, unscrew the lids to all your chosen nail polishes and pour them one at a time onto the surface of the water. Use your stick (toothpick, pencil, whatever) to swirl your colors together. Once you have a pattern you like, place the mermaid onto the polish and draw straight up to remove. Keep swirling colors and adding layers of polish onto the tail until you have achieved the look you want.

Some tips for water marbling with nail polish:

  • You need to work as quickly as possible – either work with only two or three colors at a time, or enlist someone else to help you pour and swirl the polish.
  • After dipping, there will be leftover polish on the surface of the water. Move a different stick (or straw, or pencil) through the water to collect it and get it out of your way. If it gets really bad, change the water.
  • You can lightly blot the mermaid with a paper towel to draw off excess water and add a bit more texture to your marbling. This especially helps if you’re dunking repeatedly.

Steps Three and Four: Add details and sparkle (my fav part!)

Marbled Nail Polish + Acrylic Paint Mermaid   Sparkles!

First I sketched and then painted (about three coats) two ovals for Ms. Mermaid’s top. For her hair, I sketched a rough outline, then painted over with green which I let dry completely. Once dry I added aqua, a bit of dark blue and lighter green over the top, and finished with another coat of the base green color, while the other colors were still a bit wet. Finally, I used a sparkly nail polish I had to embellish her top, and add pops of sparkle to the tail.

Step Five: You’re Done!

Nail polish marble mermaid with sparkle detailsNail polish water marbled mermaidAcrylic paint mermaid details

Hang, prop, set or otherwise display your gorgeous girl and enjoy your handiwork. Alternatively, run around the house waving it in the air, just to make sure everyone in your family gets a good look at it… Am I the only one that does that?? Sometimes I get a little overexcited about my crafts…

I’m thinking this lovely little lady is going to be the start of my personal mermaid collection, and I’m thinking my bathroom is the perfect place to house it… let me know if you’ve seen any cute mermaid DIYs, or art prints, or wall hangings, mmk? And what about you, are you a mermaid fan?

I hope you have a lovely weekend!


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