Painting Choodiyan with Nail Polish

painting choodiyan with nailpolishIf you are anything like me you probably have boxes (and boxes) full of choodiyan {Indian bangles} piled up in a closet or under your bed that you bought to go with an Indian outfit at some point or another. I hold onto these choodiyan even after the outfits are gone just in case they match a future outfit, but they never do! Inevitably, the day before a wedding, or any sort of festivity, I’m back at the bangle shop matching the perfect shade of pink. All the while, my husband is confused and annoyed because I have about 100 shades of pink bangles, but not the right shade to match this particular outfit.  painting choodiyan with nailpolish, a simple update to old bangles

Earlier this week I was in a similar scenario, looking for light blue choodiyan in my stockpile, and I couldn’t find anything. I was thinking about hitting up the bangle shop later that afternoon when I light bulb went off – I have a nailpolish shade that matches my outfit. You know where this is going right? Old choodiyan + nail polish = new choodiyan!painting choodiyan with nailpolish

I started with some old orange and gold choodiyan. You can see from the style of these bangles in the first pic that I’ve had them for a while, and honestly, I can’t even remember when I owned an orange suit? I decided to update them to baby blue and black, and I’m really happy with the way they turned out. painting choodiyan with nailpolish, a quick update for your accessories!

Here are my basic tips for painting choodiyan with nail polish

? Avoid the ones with excessive glitter – I painted over the glittered bangles and it kind of wrecked my blue polish. It’s now baby blue plus blobs of glitter.

? Apply thin coats – I found the black polish pretty much covered the bangle in one coat, but the lighter blue took 2 and in some cases 3 coats. Just like painting your nails – apply thin coats and let the choodiyan dry thoroughly between coats. 

? Choose an appropriate surface for drying – On my first attempt at painting the choodiyan I decided to let them dry on a piece of wrapping tissue, bad idea! They stuck to the paper an it was a big mess (I think you’d get the same result with newspaper). Pick a thick surface like cardboard, Styrofoam, or plastic for drying.painting choodiyan with nailpolish

I ended up layering the black and blue choodiyan with some other colours and pairing them with a new kurti I recently picked up from {more on them later this week}. I love the way they turned out, and the seem to be very durable. I’ll keep you posted on how they hold up too. 

Next time I need a new colour of choodiyan I might opt for purchasing the right polish shade for a makeover rather than more bangles. It will take up less space, and I’ll get an extra shade of polish out of it too…maybe I can match my polish to my choodiyan? The possiblities are endless!

Images by: Aziz Dhamani

PS: I’ve also updated an old statement necklace, and a pair of shoes with polish!



  1. June 15, 2015 / 12:16 pm

    Love this idea. Especially for older bangles that don’t get much use anyways!

  2. June 16, 2015 / 11:20 pm

    These are so pretty, what a wonderful idea Raj. Love it and love it on you too 🙂

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