Pinpossible: Watercolor Mugs

I’ve been on a huge watercolor kick lately. I love the imperfection of using watercolors because they make everything look so much more real, rather than something that’s mass produced. The small problem is, however, that I’m terrible with watercolors or any other kind of paint for that matter. Wire, x-acto knives, yarn, etc., I’ve totally got it. It may not be perfect, but I’ll figure it out eventually. Put a paintbrush in my hand and everything will turn out terribly, so while I like the watercolor look, I know that I can’t really pull it off. When I was scrolling through Pinterest and found a DIY for watercolor mugs, I was curious and also wondering if it was as easy as water, nail polish and a mug. Spoiler alert: it is.

What you need

– Small to medium bowl

– Nail polish

– Water

– Mug


1. Fill the bowl two-thirds of the way full with water or however high you want the watercolor to go on the mug.

2. Add a few drops of nail polish to the bowl. The longer you let it set, the more the polish will spread out.

3. Dip the cup into the water and the nail polish will attach to the side.

4. Allow the mugs to dry for several hours.

I actually went out and bought new nail polish for this DIY because I was worried that I would be using a lot of nail polish, but in reality it’s more like just a couple drops of the nail polish. In addition, some of the DIY’s recommend using a toothpick or something to swirl the nail polish a little. When I did that, I actually ended up picking up most of the nail polish on the toothpick and then had to add nail polish to the water again.

The biggest caveat about these mugs is that they’re not dishwasher or microwave safe, so you have to handwash them. Additionally, I’m not quite sure I would suggest going all the way to the top with the mugs because it might not be the safest thing to put your lips directly in contact with. Otherwise, it’s an incredibly easy DIY. I went to Target and bought cups with cute silhouettes, but this can be done with simple dollar store or thrift store mugs as well ­— whatever cup needs a little bit of sprucing up. They also make really great gifts filled with some tea or hot chocolate. I really like these cups, and they’re so simple that I can make a bunch of them, which will be so great for my already over-filling cabinets of coffee mugs.

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