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How to Hydro Dip at Home for Beginners

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Have you heard of hydro dipping? It’s fun, trendy and results in some amazing creations. Today I’m sharing how to hydro dip at home using simple supplies and a few blanks.

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What is Hydro Dipping

Let’s start with the basics, what exactly is it? Hydro dipping is the process of transferring an image or color or design to a product with water.

Essentially you create a design on top of water then dip in a blank and the image transfers from the surface of the water to the blank. Pretty straight forward.

Hydro dipping is called many things, including water marbling or hydrographic printing. I’ve been using this technique for years on a small scale using water and nail polish. Check out these water marbled gift ideas.

I’ve transferred colorful swirled designs to mason jars, ornaments, dishes and coasters. Once you discover how easy and fun this technique is, you are going to want to try it on everything.

DIY water marbling jewelry dish gift
marble eggs with shaving cream

How to Hydro Dip at home

This technique is a DIY dream. A few simple supplies, and some practice, will result in unique and gorgeous creations. Here are my go to supplies.

  • Large container for water. This will become stained with paint so make sure it’s something dedicated to crafting. Make sure the container is big enough to fit your blank and allow you to slowly dip it in and pull it out.
  • Spray paint. Any type of paint will work, I used a few different brands for this project, focusing on using up what I had in my stash. Be sure they are not too old and you shake really well before using. If you have to buy new paint, I love this kind.
  • Non-porous blank. Anything from a coffee mug, to a large planter will work. Grab something that is solid colored and light. I prefer white blanks because the colors pop so well on the background.

Tip: Shop thrift stores or the dollar store for some great blanks.

Always set up outside or in a well ventilated area. I did this particular project on a cold day in my garage with the door open. You don’t want to be in an enclosed space with these fumes.

Protect your floor with paper and wear gloves to keep everything clean.

Watch the video to see just how quickly this can be done, read on below for a step by step tutorial.

Hydro dipped mug for craft room

How to Hydro Dip for Beginners

Yield: 1
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Active Time: 5 minutes
Additional Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes

Learn how to dip objects to create a marbled effect.


  • Plastic Bucket
  • Water
  • Spray paint
  • Ceramic planter
  • Ceramic mug
  • Gloves
  • Newspaper


  1. Work outdoors or in a well ventilated area. Protect your hands with gloves and cover the floor or surface with paper.
  2. Fill a bucket with water, large enough to hold the items you will be dipping. This bucket will get stained paint.
  3. Shake all the spray paint colors well, remove the caps and set them next to the bucket.
  4. Spray a shot of paint into the center of the bucket, repeat wiht each color, always spraying in the center.
  5. Repeat until you have 3-4 shots of every color.
  6. Swirl the paint with a stick.
  7. Dip the planter or mug into the water, straight down and straight up. The paint swirl will transfer from the water to the ceramic surface.
  8. Set aside and blot with paper towel to remove excess water. Let dry completely.
  9. Optional: Add a high gloss sealer to give your piece a nice shine. Sealing is not necessary to protect the paint.


This technique is great for home décor and craft items. It is not food safe so do not use it on dished that will come in contact with food.

Did you make this project?

Share yours and tag @creativeramblings

How to seal hydro dipped items

If you make a planter, like the one I did, there is no need to seal this further. Spray paint on it’s own holds up well in any craft project.

When making something that will come in contact with food you will want to seal your product with something that is food safe and approved. The best way to do this is with epoxy. Pouring a clear coat of resin over your dry and cured creation will give it a durable coating.

Overall I recommend using this technique on items that will not come in contact with food. Let your creativity flow and don’t worry about how it will be used.

If you want to add a high gloss clear finish to your dipped items, use this spray sealer.

Hydro dipped mug for craft room

This planter is the perfect home for a growing aloe plant. An inexpensive white ceramic planter was easy to find and customize.

I’m using the mug in my craft room, next to my marbled jars created with nail polish.

Customize a planter or mug with colors that fit your décor and enjoy the creative process.

Like this project? Be sure to pin and share it.

Hydro dipping for beginners

What will you hyrdo dip first?

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Deanna Beams

Tuesday 26th of March 2024

Would this work on a ball cap?


Tuesday 2nd of April 2024

Yes it will!


Monday 23rd of August 2021

Can acrylic paint be used...???Pouring right from the bottle or does the paint have to be thinned down with water???


Friday 27th of August 2021

For this technique you definitely want to use spray paint.

Terri Bowen

Friday 16th of July 2021

Do I Hydro dip backpacks the same way?


Tuesday 10th of August 2021

I have not personally tried a backpack, I've only used solid nonporous surfaces. I can't offer any sound advice on that, so sorry.

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