How to: Make your own nail decals!

by Erica Stolman | 33 Comments

When it comes to creative manicures, I am all about it. There is just one minor problem, I am not much of an artist and patience is not my strong suit (which are two very important components when it comes to nail art). I was on the search to find a solution, which is when I decided to make my own nail decals! These DIY nail decals are a surprisingly easy and totally fun way to spice up your boring mani!

DIY Nail Decals

Step 1: Gather your supplies. First you are going to need to choose your colors. I chose to use Parker, Stella, Natasha, and Oscar. You will also need a plastic zip lock bag, some decorative paper punches, and (if you would like) a pair of zig zag scissors. All of these items you will be able to find at your local craft store, except for the plastic bag… that will probably be located in your kitchen.

Step 2: Using the colors you chose, paint decent sized squares on your plastic baggy. You will most likely need about 3-4 coats. Let your colors dry over night.

Step 3: Once dry, peel of your sheets of nail polish. If they are beginning to bunch up or you are having a hard time peeling them off, they simply need more time to dry.

Step 4: Using your decorative paper punches, punch out the shapes you want to use for your nail decals. You can also use your zig zag scissors to create some fun decals (perfect for a chevron manicure)!

Step 5: Paint your nails and let them dry fully. Paint one layer of top coat & place your decal on your nail. Let it dry.

Step 6: Seal off your decals with another layer of top coat, and you are good to go!

  • Melissa

    This is such a great idea! I will be trying this very soon.

  • This is so creative!

  • Farhee

    Pretty neat ideas 🙂

  • Clever! Where did find the small decorative paper punches?

  • You could do with with tissue paper too couldn’t you? or wrapping paper??

    • Brittney

      I’m guessing it wouldn’t peel off easily.

      • Mercedes

        Pretty sure she meant that she could punch shapes out of tissue paper or wrapping paper and it would the same as the nail polish

  • Ree

    Love this idea!!

    Also my New Video is up! @JulepMaven April “IT GIRL” unbox along with nail tutorial! Check it out!

  • Heidi

    What a cool idea! I’ve seen punches like that at Michaels craft stores.

  • Mal

    very cool! What section of Michaels would be these punchers be in? Have they been seen anywhere else?

  • Ch

    I found punch levers for only $1 at Michael’s.

  • Pingback: This & That | Fashionlushxx()

  • So cool!!!! Ohhh my I love it 🙂


  • LOVE this idea, I am a scrapbooker and also love nail polish. I have tons of these little paper punches and plenty of zig zag scissors around. Going to find some of my favorite Julep polishes and try this out, thanks for sharing!♥

  • Incredible idea! I can’t wait to try this out.

  • Jade

    Cool idea I will have to try it

  • Pingback: DIY: Create Your Own Nail Decals! « High Fashion Magazine()

  • Jen

    It worked great!!! I just wish i had more paper punchers, i really need to get one that does hearts 🙂

  • Pingback: DIY Clear Nails + Navy Decals | Fashionlushxx()

  • heather

    i went to hobby lobby, & michaels to look for the decorative hole punches and they had the big ones:( soo i cant make my own nail decals.

    • Erica

      Maybe try to order them online through Amazon?!! You can also cut out your own shapes if you have smaller scissors.

  • Laura

    They have the punches at Joanns and Michaels…. usually in the middle aisle in the dollar baskets or near the register.. I just picked up a bunch of halloween ones at Joanns they are only $1 each.. there are larger ones in the scrapbooking aisle

  • that is such a great idea!

  • using those punchers is such a good idea

  • Maddie

    I am having a hard time peeling them off the plastic.

    • EricaStolman

      Try painting another coat of polish if it is cracking when you try to peel it off. If you just can’t get it to peel off try to “roll” the plastic bag to get the decal off or place it in the sun for a couple seconds to “loosen” up the decal!

  • tiffany

    Could you make a bunch in advance and keep them for later or would they dry out

    • EricaStolman

      Yes, most definitely!

  • Kat

    I use clear report covers. They are stiffer and easier to work with than a baggie. My decals practically pop off by themselves! Transparency sheets work as well, but they are a little thicker and not as pliable as the report covers.

  • melissa

    Ca’t wait to try this…THANK YOU!

  • If you’re going bright on the eyes then all that’s needed
    on the lips is a slick of gloss or balm and youre good to go.
    From clip in coloured streaks as seen on Katy Perry, to the ravishing red colours seen on hair chameleons such as Rhianna and Drew Barrymore, it’s super-seasonal to sport the brights trend on your head as well as your face and nails. Those who feel naked when their lips feel naked may prefer to play up their pout with a slick of bright fuschia, coral or red lipstick.

  • Jesse

    This is really cool, where do you purchase your paper punches though?

  • j penny

    Any craft store should have them. Michael’s, joanne fabrics etc