How To: Marble Christmas Nails

One of my friends texted me asking how to do marble nails because she wanted to do them with her nieces over the holidays. I told her to head to the blog for a tutorial, but there wasn't one! Um, whoops! I can't believe in over 4 years I've never shared this classic nail art, so I'm sharing it now. If you're looking for some fun nails (they remind me of peppermints and candy canes) Check out my Marble Christmas Nails:

  • red, green, white polishes
  • base and top coats
  • plastic cup (this will be discarded or kept for other marble nail adventures)
  • water
  • toothpicks
  • paper towel
  • masking tape or vaseline
  • nail polish remover and/or q-tips

  • To avoid paint all over your fingers, I suggest applying tape around the nail or use vaseline.
  • Fill your plastic cup with water--I prefer room temp.
  • Line up your polishes in the order you'd like. Shake your polishes and loosen the caps. Have your toothpicks and paper towel ready.

  • There are lots of ways to do this, but all of them require you to work quickly since the polish will dry while sitting on the water.
  • Place a drop of your first color. It should spread out (like the red pictured above). Follow with your next color and then your third. Repeat the process two or more times until it resembles a bullseye.

    • To make a pattern, take your toothpick and drag it from one of the outer rings (not your first one) and drag it towards the center. Wipe off your toothpick.
    • Repeat in other spots. Try from near the center and drag the toothpick towards the outer ring. Or swirl it all together, like I did (aka the lazy/in-a-hurry-way).
    • Now find a pattern that you like and dip your finger in. I kind of go in at an angle. If you are a beginner, I suggest doing one finger at a time. 
    • Use a toothpick to pull away the unused pattern of paint from around your finger and remover your finger from the water. 
    • Gently peel away the tape and allow to dry. 
    • Use polish remover to clean up any areas that need it.
    • Add a clear top coat (I've used a glitter one too).
    • Repeat on all nails.
    I'm happy to do a more in-depth marble tutorial for beginners if you'd like!

    More nail tutorials:


    1. So festive and fun!! Really pretty!

    2. I think my daughter and I might need to give ourselves some fun manicures this weekend!

    3. How fun! They look so pretty!


    4. ahh so fun! i'd probably mess this up! xo jillian - cornflake dreams

    5. Seriously love this! I've tried to do the marbling before and completely failed. Maybe I'll try again!

      <3, Pamela

    6. I didn't know it was this easy! Thanks for sharing this fun tutorial!

    7. These nails are sooo clever! I will definitely be trying this out over Christmas. Thanks for the inspiration xx


    8. I couldn’t describe a more festive nail! Awesome job Elle!

    9. That looks like a seriously fun mani to try, Elle! I would love to do it if my little one allows me some time. LOL!

      Reflection of Sanity | Smashbox Giveaway

    10. hi dear, very nice idea..perfect for christmas

    11. Thanks for breaking this down, lady. I've tried marble nails before and failed, miserably! I'm gonna give this a try!

    12. How much fun is this! I love the way your nails look. I would have paint everywhere, so I might have Blaire do it for me!

      Whitney & Blaire
      Peaches In A Pod

    13. Love the way your nails turned out, so cute!

    14. I tried marble nail once and they turned out well. Those are cute and perfect for the holiday!

    15. Wow, that is truly candy cane sugar sweet! Yum! xoxo, Sissi www.beauty4free2u.com

    16. This is adorable especially on a short nail. I would love to try this so festive thank you for the great holiday inspired share! have a great day!

    17. This is such a cute idea! I do a swirl pattern using a disposable makeup applicator but this seems like it would work so much better! Also, vaseline around the nail? Genius!

    18. Marbling is so fun. My sister and I actually did our toes once. Not an easy task. (;

    19. Yours came out so cute!! I tried this once and it was a disaster! It got everywhere! I guess I'm not skilled enough! ;))

      <3 Shannon

    20. Your nails look good enough to eat! :D

    21. What a fun and festive holiday idea! Looks great!

    22. I have never even heard of or seen marble nails before. I don't think I have enough colours to attempt this, or patience, but it looks great! meanwhile as soon as i saw that first picture i could basically taste a candy cane, and i want one.

    23. I've seen some pretty funny Pinterest Fails on this one :)

    24. Wow, those look so cool, and I'm surprised at how easy this sounds!

    25. So cute and festive. I tried this on a mug and it totally dried on my before it got on the mug. :(

    26. I have yet to try this out. Maybe one of these day.

    27. Wow, haven't seen this one being done before! Such a beautiful effect! x

    28. Ahhhh this is so pretty and fun!!! I love it! Thanks for sharing.

    29. This looks awesome. It totally reminds me of a Pinterest/Real-life photo comparison where the girl tries to do something similar and in real life it's like half-way up her fingers haha. I think your directions would avoid that though.

    30. I've never tried marble nails, but I've watched so many tutorials. It looks like it would be easy enough. I love the colors in this one!

    31. Love this festive nail DIY! T. http://tickledpinkwoman.blogspot.com

    32. Your nails look like pretty candy canes!

    33. Such a perfect tutorial. We can't believe we still haven't tried this. It always comes out so cute!

      xx 365hangers


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