How to Make Nail Polish Pumpkins for a Colorful Marbled Look

You've never used nail polish like this before. We're loving the bright and fun marbled look of these no-carve pumpkins—and they're so easy!

Top view of marble painted pumpkins
Photo: Michael Piazza
Project Overview
  • Working Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Skill Level: Kid-friendly

Make your own marbled pumpkins by mixing nail polish with water—it's that simple. The consistency of regular nail polish causes it to sit on the surface of room temperature water. Swirl drips of polish together to create a pattern and dip faux pumpkins into the water to transfer the colors and create festive painted pumpkins. These no-carve pumpkins take a bit of time to dry—allow them to set completely before using them as a long-lasting DIY Halloween decoration.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • 1 Bucket
  • 1 Gloves


  • 1 Room temperature water
  • 1 Nail polish
  • 1 Mini faux pumpkins
  • 1 Toothpicks
  • 1 Paper towels


  1. Mix Water and Nail Polish

    Fill a large bucket or container with room temperature water; the water should be deep enough to completely submerge your pumpkins. Keep in mind that there may be nail polish residue left behind after the project, so a disposable container or an old bucket is ideal for this step. Choose a color of nail polish and add 5-10 drops to the water; most of the polish will sit on the surface of the water, but a few drops may sink to the bottom of the container. Repeat this step with a few more colors (we used three colors per pumpkin), scattering the drops all around the water's surface. Once all the colors have been added to the water, drag a toothpick across the surface to marble the colors together.

  2. Dip Pumpkins

    dipping white pumpkin into multi-colored water

    Once you've created the marbled design, work quickly to dip your pumpkin before the polish starts to dry. Place a faux mini pumpkin facedown on the surface of the water, then use a finger to push the pumpkin down into the water so it is completely submerged—the nail polish will stick if it comes in contact with your skin or nails, so we recommend using gloves for this step. Before pulling the pumpkin out of the water, use your fingers to swirl the pumpkin around the surface to pick up any remaining polish or coat any uncovered areas. Remove the pumpkin from the water and set it on a paper towel or paper plate to dry.

  3. Dry and Repeat

    White pumpkins painted marble
    Michael Piazza

    Once you've removed the pumpkin from the water, use a toothpick or a paper towel to pick up any excess nail polish on the water's surface. You don't need to change the water between pumpkins, just make sure there's no residue left on top of the water before repeating the steps to create another pumpkin. The pumpkins will smell until the nail polish has dried completely, so set them outside or in a well-ventilated area to dry. Use your decorated pumpkins as a colorful Halloween centerpiece or add them to your mantel.

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