· Bright Ideas · Easy DIY Nail Art . . . No Pricey Tools Required

Easy DIY Nail Art . . . No Pricey Tools Required

diy nail art

I am typing with one finger today because I had hand surgery on both hands yesterday. So, out of necessity, I will be brief. :-)  Kaitlyn is on deck today with some fun and easy DIY Nail Art ideas that I can’t wait to try when my fingers are functional again. :-)   Kaitlyn writes:   I’ve never really been a nail art kind of gal. When I would get pedicures as a teenager I always had the nail technician paint a little flower on one of my toes, but that’s about as crazy as I ever got.

Even now that nail art is a major trend I’ve just never wanted to pay the extra money to have the fancy stuff done. I’ve seen lots of tutorials online, but for someone who can barely paint their nails a single color without making a mess, the DIY version didn’t appeal to me either. The thought of painstakingly painting designs that could be chipped off in a matter of minutes? No thank you.

But I recently came across some nail art designs that were so easy I had to try them out!  Well, to be completely honest, Jill came across these nail designs and I got suckered into trying them out, haha. But I figure I really was the perfect guinea pig – because if I can do these designs then anyone can!

Polka Dots

diy nail art

All you need is two different colors of nail polish and a bobby pin.

Use one color of polish to paint your nails as you normally would.

diy nail art

Dip the end of a bobby pin into the other color and then carefully paint dots onto your nails. You’ll want to just tap the nail with the bobby pin and then lift it straight up to prevent smearing.

diy nail art

I got about 2-3 dots with each dip of the bobby pin – anymore than that and the dot came out with a hole in the middle.

DIY Matte Top Coat

diy nail art

Matte nail polish is all the rage right now. I always thought you had to specifically buy a matte polish but you can actually just buy a matte topcoat to easily transform any of your favorite shiny polish colors into a chic matte look. And if you don’t feel like buying a new topcoat you can DIY it!

diy nail art

Simply pour a bit of your favorite topcoat onto a paper plate. Add a pinch of cornstarch and mix with a toothpick.

diy nail art

Paint your nails with your new and improved topcoat. When it dries you’ll see the matte transformation take place.

It’s hard to see in this picture but I promise it works!


diy nail art

I just had ombre color done on my hair so I figured I better try it on my nails too! ;)

For this technique you’ll need the polish color of your choice and a bottle of white polish.

diy nail art

You can create five different shades of your original polish simply by mixing in varying amounts of white polish. When I first started mixing the colors I thought, ok, I’ll add one drop of white to the first batch, two drops to the second and so on. Aaaaand that didn’t really work out. The little puddles of color I poured out onto my paper plate weren’t all equal so I ended up just eyeing the color until it looked like one puddle was lighter than the last.

I also highly recommend only mixing one shade at a time and then painting it on your nails. I mixed all the shades at once and when I went to actually start painting, the polish had turned all gloopy from sitting out for too long. Which is why I don’t have a picture of the polish on my nails. I was simply too impatient to remix the colors. See why I’ve never done nail art before? ;)

Here is a picture of what it SHOULD look like from CreatingLaura.com.

diy nail art

My patience also couldn’t last through more than 3 different nail art attempts, so here are a few other super easy styles I’m thinking of trying sometime soon:

diy nail art

Glitter Ombre from DIT & O

Bonus Tip: I saw one of my favorite bloggers use the glitter ombre trick as a way to cover up nail growth after paying big bucks for a professional manicure. Love that idea! See it here.

diy nail art 9

DIY Glitter Polish from The Crafted Sparrow

diy nail art

Washi Tape Glitter Heart from The Beauty Department

diy nail art

French Manicure with a Bandaid from Champagne Taste On A Beer Budget

diy nail art

DIY Neon Polish from Michelle Phan

diy nail art

Colorblock Nails from Chalkboard Nails

diy nail art

Fan Brush Striped Nails from @simplenailartdesigns

diy nail art

Snakeskin Style Nails Using Fishnets from All You Magazine

diy nail art

Don’t those look fun?!?

Here’s one more tip to speed up the whole nail art process:  Dip your wet nails in ice water to quick “freeze dry” them!  Works like a charm!

What kind of nail art would you like to try?

Read This Next

Jill Nystul Photo

Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee


Bright Ideas

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  • Another way to do matte nails is to let your nails dry over steam. It works just as well (as long as you don’t burn yourself!! :p)
    Get better soon Jillee! :)

  • My favorite trick is a white nail pencil. You use it by coloring the underside of the nail. It camouflages small chips in a French manicure very well.

    I can never get the band-aid French nails or color block tricks to work. They either bleed under the taped off part or color peels up when removing the tape.

  • I love the manicure ideas. I’d seen a few in all you magazine. I think I would probably try these ideas on my toenails. I’m not
    Much of manicure person because my nails always wind getting
    Smeared while I’m waiting.

  • Jillee, have you ever heard of Jamberry Nail wraps? I’d love to send you a sample to try out! http://goo.gl/8YHOAz

    Basically they are vinyl wraps that you apply to your nails with heat and pressure! They last up to 2 weeks on your fingers and up to 6 weeks on your toes!

    There are over 300 designs that look like a lot of the ones you posted above, except WAYYYYYY easier to do!

  • Hey Jillee, I hope that you have a speedy recovery(,now you will have to delagate) and take some much needed time off!! and i know that you will be back with even more great post’s!!!!

  • I was sitting on the couch last night trying to think of what I could use to make pot a dots on my toes…. this is sooo great its like you read my mind!!!

    Thanks so much!!

  • Good Morning, Jillee and Kaitlyn :-) Thanks for the nail art tips. I may try a few at some point. Not really a self-polisher..don’t have the patience. :-)

    FYI, not sure if you ladies realize but the link in today’s email isn’t working. Mentioning it in case you haven’t been told yet :-)

    Jillee, wishing you speedy healing and recocery! Thanks again for all of the great info that you share so generously.

  • Good job, Kaitlyn. I especially like the DIY Matte top coat, and the glitter ombre. I have been adding glitter to my nail polish since I was in elementary school – in the 1950’s – LOL!

    Since I’ve reached that time in old age that has my hands pretty shaky a great deal of the time, I have started getting manicures in addition to pedicures. But, I think I can pull off the glitter ombre and SAVE $$$, stretching out time between manicures. Fun and thrifty! Thank you so much!

    Jillee, praying for a swift and uneventful recovery for you. You are indeed a brave woman to have both hands done at the same time!

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