Nail polish earrings

Chris thinks my nail polish obsession is out of control. He might be right. I made these last weekend:

They’re earring fronts, made of glass cabochons painted with nail polish. This pic is cut off, but shows the colors more clearly:

I tried a lot of colors, and each one is my favorite:

Sephora by OPI Already Famous

Julep Daisy


Sephora by OPI matte top coat and Kleancolor Catch Me

NYX Super Funk and NYC Nail Glossies #239

Kleancolor Aurora and Precision McDreamy

Julep Oscar and Sinful Colors Snow Me White

Kleancolor Crack Black Crackle and Wet ‘n’ Wild On a Trip

Kleancolor Chunky Holo Black and Wet ‘n’ Wild On a Trip

Sephora Curacao

NYX Frizz Spots and Wet ‘n’ Wild Black

Zoya Caitlin

L.A. Colors Nuclear Energy

Revlon Blue Mosaic and Kleancolor Catch Me

Wet ‘n’ Wild Black

Revlon Facets of Fuchsia

How I made them: I used Rebecca Likes Nails’ tutorial via this post on Reddit. Rebecca gives lots of warnings and tips to avoid getting bubbles in the paint, but I like the effect.


  • Before you start, wipe your cabochons with acetone or nail polish remover to clean them.
  • I used tweezers to hold the cabochons while I painted them (thanks for the tip, Steph!). If you have hemostats, those might work better because they can be locked in place. I had to force the tweezers open a little with my finger, and that gets uncomfortable after a while.
  • Keep acetone and Q-Tips handy to clean off the tips of the tweezers when you switch to a new pair. You don’t want to get black paint on your white earrings, for example. I kept my acetone-dipped Q-Tips on a sheet of foil so that they wouldn’t leak through to the tabletop.
  • Another great tip from Steph that probably saved me a headache: Paint the layers in reverse order from when you do your nails.
    • For example, if you’re using glitter, paint that layer first, so that it’s topmost when you turn your cabochon right-side up. And if you’re using crackle polish, start with a layer of clear polish — that will activate your crackle. Then apply the crackle, followed by the base color.


Total cost: $10.38 for 25 pairs of earrings.

Next time: If I make these again, I’d try to find smaller cabochons because I feel like these are just a little too big. (It’s an “if” only because I’ve already made lots — who needs 50 pairs?). I would also look into a clear glue specifically for bonding glass to metal, like rearview mirror adhesive or Loctite Glass Glue. The superglue I used is probably good enough, but I think the pieces might separate if I drop them hard enough.

Here they are in action, with new and improved red hair:


4 thoughts on “Nail polish earrings

  1. Pingback: December goals check-in | 2000 Miles

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