Weekend DIY: Watercolor teapot

With this weekend being Mother’s Day, I wanted to do a simple Weekend DIY project that could double as a sweet gift for mom. I had been meaning to try this for a while and had a really tough time finding the perfect piece to try the technique out on. This is a super simple project that can be completed in about 10 minutes or less.


Supplies for this project:
teapot (I thrifted this one for $2 at Goodwill)
nail polish (I used Julep’s Donna)
disposable container
lukewarm tap water
toothpicks (optional)
nail polish remover (optional)


Step 1: Prep the teapot and disposable container by washing them both with dish detergent and letting them dry.

Step 2 Fill the container 3/4 of the way full with lukewarm water. I tried doing this with cold water and had a bit of a mishap… more on this at the bottom of the post.


Step 3: With the nail polish wand, add a couple droplets of the nail polish to the water. Avoid dipping the brush itself into the water.

Step 4: (optional) The nail polish blobs will start to naturally disperse in the water. If you want to “force” a specific pattern, use the toothpicks to swirl around the blobs.


Step 5: Dip the teapot into the nail polish design. Be very careful not to push the teapot all the way to the bottom of the disposable container, as you’ll pick up the texture from the container onto the design of the nail polish.


Step 6: Depending on how vibrant you’d like the design to be, repeat steps 3-5 a couple more times to layer the nail polish. If there are some “stray” pieces of nail polish on the teapot that you don’t quite like the design of, it can easily be removed with nail polish remover.

Step 7: Once you’re happy with the design, let the nail polish (at least over night) before hand washing the teapot.

If you’re wondering what happens if you use cold water instead of lukewarm water…


Not 100% sure if this is true for all nail polishes, but when I used cold tap water and dropped nail polish into it, the polish spread into a very thin film and hardened within seconds. When trying to swirl the design, I ended up getting a lovely slug-like film attached to the toothpick.
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  • This is a pretty cool project idea. I didn’t realize that nail polish might congeal or harden in cold water (but not in warm water) .

    • I was pretty confused when it happened, too. It took a lot of trial and error to figure out why it was happening. Might have to do with the water & mineral makeup in PNW water, as well?


  • The nail polish hardening in cold water thing makes sense I guess, I’ve heard of people dunking their hands in ice water after manicures to make the polish set. Cool DIY!