There has been a video going around Facebook about marbling paper with nail polish. I only saw it once and couldn't find it again, but it looked like just the thing I like to try; something that could be cool or a horrendous, messy disaster, so with no clear instructions but the ones I remembered, I got right on it.
The plastic container is one of those that deli meat comes in and is the perfect size for Artist Trading Card-sized pieces of paper or smaller. Do not use container that you want to use for anything else ever again. It will have scridlings of polish on it when you're done.
Fill it about half full of water. I found some old nail polish and I mean OLD. It was all separated and stuff but still quite liquid when I shook it up. It needs to be on the runny side so you can make drops on the water. . I think if you had some chunky drier stuff you could add a couple of drops of nail polish remover to loosen it up and it would still be fine.
Drop some nail polish on the water in the container. The first couple of drops are going to all but disappear, but as it starts to set and form a film on the water, you can darken it and then add the other colors. This must be done fairly quickly as it sets up fast. You can leave it like it is or stir it about with a toothpick (not vigorously or it becomes a ball in the middle) . You can also poke it around with your finger. It works, but I would advise against it since I am still picking marbley polish off my fingernails.
Lay your paper (I used official Zentangle Artist Trading Cards ) on the water and push straight down. This is done quickly but steadily. Some of the polish wraps around the back, but I didn't worry about that.
I pulled the card straight back up and turned it over and put it on a paper towel on a baking rack over newspaper to dry. The top one in the picture below was my first one and my favorite. It had the least amount of polish on the water, you could barely see the green and purple. Also it's perfect to draw on because it doesn't feel like slippery, glossy polish like the ones with more on them. In the future, less is more.
Before you dunk another one, run a piece of scrap paper over the surface of the water and the edges of the container to pick up any extra polish floating around.
This picture is inexplicably upside down, but it gives you an idea of what can be done. I really like the bottom two and think they could be tangled easily. But then again, I also think the bottom right one looks like an abstract rooster, so I really can't be trusted. The other ones would make good accent pieces for cards or scrap booking.
Would I try it again? Yes, with the less is more approach since I intend to tangle them. I also think you could use a bigger container for larger tiles, but I'm not sure it would work for anything much bigger than 3"x5" or 5"x7" because the amount of time it would take you to cover the surface of the water with polish would allow it to really set and I'm not sure it would stick to the paper that well. But that is an experiment for another day.
Please let me know if you've tried this and what you thought. Also I would love any tips or tricks because I just winged it. Happy Marbling!