I’ve been having fun recently with a technique using nail polish to create a marbled background as a card background. It’s a technique that has been around for a while, but I only just gave it a try and fair warning: it’s addictive!! I have a tonne of nail polish that I get in monthly cosmetics subscriptions (like Ipsy or Birchbox) which I never use and this was a great way to put them to better use than gathering dust in my bathroom cabinet.
To create the backgrounds you need the following:
- A plastic tray that is larger than the card base you’re using. Something you don’t mind getting gummed up with polish.
- Nail polish
- A stirrer like a pencil or old paintbrush.
- Cardstock that can take water – I tried a number of different types but I found the one that got me the best results with ZERO warping was Bristol Vellum (note: this is different to Bristol Smooth which you might use already for ink blending and Zig Clean Color Real Brush coloring).
- Fill your tray with cold water.
- Pour in your nail polish (drip it or swirl it on straight from the bottle. I recommend a light hand as heavier drops will just sink to the bottom of the tray. You need the polish to stay on the surface). Note – I’d recommend doing this in a well ventilated area as nail polish can smell harsh.
- Optional: Use your stirrer to gently swirl the polish around to get a marble type mix. You only need one or two ‘stirs’.
- Gently lower your cardstock onto the surface of the water until it is just submerged, then lift straight back out.
- Shake off water drops and leave to dry.
- Make card 🙂
- Clean up: use your stirrer to pick up any polish that stays on the surface (it will cling to the stirrer). You can keep re-using the same water until you’re finished.
I used three nail polishes to create this card, in grey, aqua and purpley-pink. I was blown away by the effect you get – isn’t it cool?!
To finish my card, I die cut the polished panel with a Hero Arts Infinity Rectangle die. I then used an Echo Park stencil (Perfect Winter Arctic Snow) to add a layer of Nuvo Moonstone Glimmer Paste all over the background to give a bit more subtle sparkle. I popped it up with foam tape onto a card base made from Neenah Solar White 110lb cardstock.
The sentiment is a Thanks die by My Favorite Things which I die cut four times and adhered together with spray adhesive. I adhered it to a vellum heart cut from a My Favorite Things Heart Shaker die and then adhered to the card base. I added a layer of Crystal Stickles.
The rest of the sentiment was from the Hero Arts Thank You Messages heat embossed onto a scrap of grey cardstock using Hero Arts White embossing powder. It was then popped up on foam squares. For a finishing touch, I die cut a tiny heart from a piece of card I had foiled with Decofoil in Opal, which created a similar marbled pattern.
And that’s it! I highly recommend you try this technique and have fun!