DIY Nail Art: Pretty Spring Pedicures

Cute pedicure ideas for spring are featured, with tips on how to give yourself an at-home pedicure and how to revive winter feet.
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Cute pedicure ideas for spring are featured, with tips on how to give yourself an at-home pedicure and how to revive winter feet.
Girl painting her toes


Photo Credit: ELLE

It's officially sandal weather, and you know what that means - time to get your feet in shape after they've been stuck in boots all winter.

A professional pedi can't be beat, but we college gals can be short on time and money, so below, I'll show you how to give yourself a pedicure in your dorm and make sure your tootsies look picture-perfect.

Once they're in shape, get ready to step out with some fun nail art on your toes!

First Things First: Getting Perfect Feet

Make sure you're starting with a clean slate and remove any old polish that you have on your toenails.

Second, It's best to give yourself a pedicure right after getting out of the shower. This will basically imitate the effect of a foot soak at a salon (if you want to get really fancy, check here to learn how to make your own foot soak - perfect for a girls' night in!) while saving time, effort and cash. Your feet will be nice and soft from the warm water, which will make them easier to scrub and help lock in more moisture.

However, you should trim and shape your nails before showering, because your nails are weaker when they're wet and they could tear easily when you're cutting them. For the most flattering shape, square your nails off and then round the edges a bit.

Once you've showered or given your feet a good soak, follow the steps in our tutorial on prepping your feet for sandal season. Now you're ready for polish!

Twinkle Toes: Nail Art for Your Tootsies

Never attempted nail art on your toes? Here are three good reasons to give it a shot:

  1. It's easier to do on your toenails than it is on your fingernails. Putting designs on your toes means you can use your dominant hand the entire time!
  2. It will last longer. One of the worst things about nail art is that, after you put in the effort to make your nails look super awesome, they will probably chip in a few days. But toenail polish tends to last much longer because you (probably) don't use your toes as tools like you do your fingers. Your masterpiece will be much less likely to chip.
  3. It's fun and unique, but less conspicuous. Have you been wanting to try out something fun on your nails that might be inappropriate for your job or internship? Your toes are the perfect place, because it's easy to cover them if you need to.

Tips and Tricks

When painting my toes, I actually find it can be better to paint horizontally across the nail. This can be a slightly less awkward angle than trying to paint outward from the nail bed to the tip, and it helps prevent chipping. However, it can be hard to get close to your cuticles without slathering the on polish when you're moving the brush horizontally, so to cover those areas, paint away from yourself, going outward from the nail bed to the tip.

3 Pedicure Nail Art Ideas

1. Glitter

Pedicure nail art - loose glitter


{Sephora by OPI Jewelry Top Coat in "Spark-tacular!"}

One fun, easy way to get some fun toenail art is by choosing a cool glitter top coat. This wouldn't be anything extraordinary on your hands, but on your feet it's quirky and unexpected.

2. Chevron Stripes

Pedicure nail art - chevron polish


{OPI in "Hey! Get in Lime", Essie in "Trophy Wife", and Missguided Nail Varnish in "Misstique"}

I also tried out one of my favorite nail designs on my toes - sort of a single chevron stripe, with three colors in the same family. To get this look, paint your toes with a base color, then take a different color and paint diagonally across your nail from one corner of your nail bed to the opposite tip. With a third color, paint diagonally across again, painting over part of the other color stripe.

To make it really different, I used three different finishes: The base coat is matte, the color going from left to right is shimmer and the one going from right to left is a standard creme. For more info on this, see our post on the differences between polish finishes.

3. Nail Stickers

Pedicure nail art - Nail stickers


{Sephora by OPI Nail Embellishment Stickers}

Your toes can also be a great place for nail stickers. I used a few that I've been holding onto since Christmas, and they turned out beautifully! (Sorry if it's hard to see from the picture!)

You can also use designs that you would normally put on your fingernails on your feet - try fun stripes, make some pretty flowers or stick on a few rhinestones. You can even go with a fun neon design. Nail art on your toes is a great way of expressing yourself, so don't hold back!

What Do You Think?

What are your best pedicure tips? How do you make them last? Do you have a favorite color for your feet? Have you ever had a really fun design on your toes? Let's talk all about pedicures in the comment section below!