nail polish craft hangings - bubbablue and me

Upcycling old nail varnish for nail polish crafts

It’s not often I write a craft post – mostly because any ideas I have for crafts don’t work. Or they’re sitting in my drafts list for ages because the post is ready but I’ve no photos of what I’ve made before. But on a recent trip to Summer Fest at Waddesdon Manor, the family crafts tent was all about crafts that could be great to share.

nail polish craft hangings - bubbablue and me

They were asking children (ahem, I did my own because N had refused to come to the event with me) to decorated fish and plankton for the upcoming Christmas art installations. We simply chose a nail polish colour, chose a template pattern for the plankton perspex disc, and decorated it.

nail polish with perspex discs

The fish were different fish shapes of aluminium blanks and you could do your own freestyle design. I prefer the perspex as it’s better for children to use, and are much more versatile.

finalised perspex decorated disc

At Summer Fest we were using neon coloured nail varnish so when it’s dark and UV lights are on the installation, it really glows. But I thought the displays in the marquee looked pretty enough as they were.

decorating metal with nail polish

You can use whatever shapes you want for decorating depending on what you want to use them for afterwards.

They’re a great way to use up old nail polish. Of course you can use different colours per shape, but I think the single colour ones are much more effective. I do quite fancy trying ombre coloured ones – they’d be great

decorated alumnium fish

How to make nail polish decorations

You need:

  • Nail polish – old or new, just not all clumpy otherwise it won’t go on the perspex evenly
  • Perspex discs or other shapes. You can order bespoke designs (perfect for a wedding), or order shapes ready made from places like Amazon, etsy or hobby stores. If you’re hanging items up after decorating, make sure you get shapes with holes already in.
  • Wire or ribbon to hang up.

To make:

Simply decorate using the nail polish on one side of the perspex shape. You can put the clear perspex over patterns as templates, but the nail polish isn’t the easiest to paint with.

Start with light strokes, you can build up colour gradually if needed. The same applies if you use aluminium blanks. Leave to dry before using.

finished decorated perspex discs hanging

How to use the decorated shapes

  • Theme them to make mobiles to hang in a baby’s room.
  • Create bauble or tree shapes to hang up at Christmas.
  • Try hearts for valentine’s day
  • Get spiral shapes to hang up in the garden (add bells or chimes for a musical sound as well as whirlygig shapes).
  • Use shapes to make pendants or link up several for a chunkier necklace.
  • Hang up as decorations at home
  • Create pumpkins or skulls to hang up for halloween

I’m going to head to a craft shop to buy some more discs and get decorating. They’d be lovely hung up along a window letting the sun shine through.

If you want more nail polish crafts, check out my washer medal/pendant post or these 31 ideas.

What do you use your leftover nail polish for?

homemade labels
DIY photo tile coasters
washi tape bookmarks
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  1. This is such a good idea.
    Annoying though as I only just threw out a ton of nail varnish. I will have to keep it in mind for Christmas. It would be perfect for baubles x

  2. Oh wow that is such w good idea and they look amazing. You could do baubles for Christmas too. I’m going looking for old nail varnishes

    1. Yes, I’m definitely thinking baubles. Or hanging Christmas trees. A lovely decoration idea for kids (although nail polish wasn’t the best for the toddlers having a go – better for school age kids)

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