What can I do with all these toxic, unrecyclable nail polish bottles?

Traditional nail polish is toxic. Unless you empty out those bottles, clean them out and dry them they CANNOT go to recycling. Which means that they will go to landfill and clog up the space with tonnes of glass, leaking toxic chemicals into oil soils.

So what on earth can you do with all this toxic waste?

Here are some great craft ideas to use up those last little dregs, enabling you to wash out the bottles and send them instead to a recycling center. All you will need is your old toxic nail varnish remover, or some artists’ turpentine*.

1. Make a stained glass decoration for Christmas (or any time of year)

Nail polish paints well onto glass. Dilute with your old remover or artists turpentine to add transparency and create whatever your heart desires. Once finished, hand over a window and watch the light show.

2. Paint with them

If you use nail polish in your paintings you can add gloss, transparency and a 3d effect to any painting you are painting. So use them up. You could paint a portrait, flowers, a landscape, the environment or fruit. Use the polish to embellish or paint the whole thing.

3. Sculpt with them

The most incredible things about using nail varnish as a medium is that it dries into 3D layers. Pour each layer on wet for a marbled effect, or allow them to dry to create amazing 3d towers of paint. You could even use other materials like artists clay, wire, paper mache or fabric to create a sculpture. 

4. Make a cool lamp light

Bored of ordinary lights? No problem. Take your light bulb, and carefully paint with desired colour(s) using remover or turpentine to dilute for transparency. Wait to dry and plug in. 

The great thing about using up these old polishes is that you are both saving the planet, one bottle at a time and adding beauty to the world. Going forward, you might want to stock up on these low-toxic vegan and cruelty-free nail varnishes…?

Do you have a story about your experience with nail varnish art? Has this article given you anything useful?

Please like, share, and comment below. Thank you!

Jazmin is a yoga teacher, somonaut and creative being learning how to navigate this human experience. On her journey to a more harmonious life, she hopes to share the fruits of her path so that yours might be more easeful.

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