DIY Nail Stickers

DIY Nail Art Stickers

DIY Nail Art Stickers

So with the DIY Nail Art tools I shared yesterday, I’ve been practicing my nail art skills and come to the realization that I’m not great. There are a few things working against me – not being terribly ambidextrous, not putting in any practice time – but the thing that gets me every time is waiting for all the layers of pretty paint to dry. I botch my nails EVERY TIME I put paint on them. Literally. I cannot seem to wait for the paint to dry, and then if I’ve managed to be still long enough for it to dry, I always forget about giving it time to cure and mess it up with dents and gouges. You add multiple layers of paint or, oh for goodness sake, pools of paint like in polka dots, and I don’t have a chance.

I’ve gotten in to nail art stickers, but they’re pricey. And as a rule I can’t stand paying for something I’m technically capable of myself. So I needed to come up with a way to make my own.

DIY Nail Art Step 1
The secret is parchment paper. It has to be parchment paper – not wax paper. There is a very significant difference. On parchment paper the polish lifts up like a dream. This might work on tinfoil or plastic bags, but I didn’t bother experimenting. It’s so dang perfect on parchment paper.

Paint ten rectangles bigger than your nails. Paint two or three coats, as necessary, to get the base color you want.

DIY Nail Art Step 3
Decorate to your heart’s content. After coming up with this I’ll never try and do polka dots any other way. It’s amazing to just leave these to dry overnight and know you’re coming back to completely cured polka dots with no smearing.

DIY Nail Art Step 2
Peel the stickers off of the parchment paper, being careful not to tear them. Paint your nails with a base coat and while they’re still wet apply the nail sticker and press firmly to smooth it in place. Depending on how neat you painted your rectangles, you may want to trim the base in a rounded curve to give you a smooth place to start applying. Just cut the sticker with a small pair of scissors.

Nail Art Stickers ApplicationApply just as you would any other nail stickers. Use a nail file or orange stick to press the sticker into the cuticles and nail bed and tear the extra away. I also used a pin for this for good results, but the best results of all came from just using a fingernail. The stickers are so thin that they’re super easy to tear. Which is a bit of a problem when you’re lifting them off the paper, but the best when you’re smoothing them to the nail.

Whenever I use nail stickers I finish with a couple of thick layers of top coat, paying extra attention to the sides. With a thick topcoat you can make your manicure last for over a week.

If I was just painting a solid color I think it’s more time efficient to just paint your nails. But once you start adding all the decorative flourishes, I don’t think I’ll do it any other way. I get to ensure that everything gets all the way dry before I mess it up, I get the benefit of using my dominant hand for everything, and I get to do it on a flat surface and not worry about coloring outside the lines. It’s almost too good to be true.



  1. "The secret is parchment paper. It has to be parchment paper – not wax paper. There is a very significant difference. On wax paper the polish lifts up like a dream."

    I just want to confirm: Parchment paper is the key? I can't wait to try these but I want to get the right supplies. :)

  2. Such a great idea on DIY nail art stickers. I am definitely going to do your tips and make different designs that I can’t make perfectly. Maybe using parchment paper I can create great designs too.

  3. Any tips on lifting up the “sticker”? Because I just cannot. Grrr I wanna throw all my nail polish jars into walls!

  4. Really good ideas with a great explanation. I really like the way of explanation. I always worried when i'm trying to nail polish before but now this idea make me happy and i'm excited for that kind of stickers. It's really looking beautiful.

  5. Brandy Barndt says:

    Hello, I just wanted to share that plastic bags, and plastic report covers both work. I prefer to use the report covers because they have a stiffness to them and don’t fold over on themselves like plastic bags tend to do. I actually do this instead of marbling to get that
    Tie-dye look. My favorite feature though is once its on my nails it is DRY, so I don’t have to redo or remove the polish. So thanks for design

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  10. I use silicon cookie baking sheets I got at the dollar store. The decals lift off easily and the silicon can be cleaned with acetone. They are also great to use as a mat when doing your nails, and for testing stamps

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