Nail Polish Cabochon Jewelry, Part 1

In a whole ordeal that is only vaguely related to this post, the other night I found myself searching the web for metal ring blanks. I haven’t found one I liked yet but I did find this:

Aren’t they beautiful! The picture is from, click the picture to go to the post. These are super easy to make, usually you see them made into rings but you could adapt them into pendents or earrings or even cool fridge magnets. Here are two of my finished ones:

To begin you need clear flat marbles or cabochons. Cabochon is a jewelry term which technically applies to stones that have been polished smooth as opposed to being faceted. However, the term is often applied to a number of substances like glass or ceramic to describe a smooth, polished “gem” in jewelry making. Anyway these are the ones I used:

These were already in my possession, but you can buy them at craft stores generally in the floral section or online through jewelry making supply sites. The cabochon’s that are available for jewelry making purposes are higher quality and I think would be easier to do this project with. My marbles were irregularly shaped, cloudy, and some had bubbles, but I think they turned out well enough.

I used a bunch of different types and brands of nail polish, from $8 bottles of Essie to the little Bon-Bon bottles from Wal-Mart that are $.97. It takes some experimentation to get the effects you want, but the nail polish will wipe off the glass with acetone so you can do lots of practicing.

So to begin, paint on a layer of clear coat on the flat side of the cabochon, mine was OPI’s base coat.

Next I used a Sally Hansen glitter polish, as a rule of thumb it’s best to work with the most transparent polish to the most opaque. Crackle polish looks good as a second layer or depending on the look you want as a third or fourth layer too. The next layer I did on this marble was a crackle coat, mine was from Avon.

For the next layer on this marble I used another glitter coat, this one is from Essie.

The next layer was the last for this marble, it doesn’t matter how many layers you do. I like to end each marble with an opaque coat, it rounds out the colors nicely.

Below is a picture of a bunch of my finished marbles, it’s addicting to try different patterns. As you can see I tried a bunch of effects.

Of the smaller marbles, some of my favorites were the three below. You can really see the difference of using the crackle coat at different times. On the left it was the third coat after two layers of pink glitter. On the right it was the first layer with a blue opaque coat after that.


As you could sorta see in my first picture of the clear marbles, some of mine had a matte finish. Here is a before and after shot of them:


I love the dark red one, it looks like a matte ruby. The green ones look darker in the picture than they really are, I painted them with an Avon color that looks very similar to the color I use for my Zounds header.

Like I mentioned, making these is extremely addicting, it’s impossible to make just one. I want to make the ruby-red one above into a ring, possibly with rhinestones around it. For the others I’m not sure what they will end up as. I’ve looked all over for nice ring blanks, but the ones Michaels, Hobby Lobby and Joann carry are all the cheapest of cheap plain metal. I think I’ll end up purchasing some cool ones online instead, which you will surely read all about in part 2.

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