How to Make DIY Nail Stickers

Discover the easy way to make your own nail decals with our DIY tutorial. Step by step photos. Tips on how to use nail stickers.

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diy nail stickers

This week, instead of showing you a specific design, I thought I’d cover the basics of making your own nail decals or nail stickers. You can easily learn these DIY nail stickers with a sandwich bag, or any thick (but flexible) plastic you have lying around!

This method makes it easier to replicate patterns or pictures on your nails since you don’t have to do it on your actual nail. It gives you more freedom to work around whatever design you choose to replicate, whether it be cute characters or just a simple pattern that you can eventually peel off and adhere to your nail.

For the tutorial, I stuck to simple basics, but if you’re more adventurous you could try making DIY nail strips as well, or some fancier characters, as they utilize the same concept. Also, removing any design is a breeze since it’s all nail polish!

Scroll on down to learn step-by-step how to create your own unique nail art decals:

What You’ll Need:

Step 1: Paint a square of polish

painting polish to a plastic

Paint a square of polish on the plastic, as large as you like, for the outline. Fill in the outline, making sure there aren’t any gaps. Remember that the thicker the polish, the easier it will be for you to peel.

different shade of nail polish painted on the plastic

Wait a few hours for it to dry – I went back and held it up against the light to check if there were any sheer spots – if there were, I painted another layer on. Did this with a few different polishes to test the opacity; the sheer blue and pink colors needed a second coat, while the white and silver were opaque enough to suffice with just one coat.

I recommend waiting a few hours before working with the polish. (Let mine dry overnight.)

Step 2: Peel off the polish with tweezers

cut plastic of the nail polish paint

Once it’s dry, use Tweezers to peel off the polish carefully – now you have sheets of nail polish you can work with. Take your time and be careful! As you can see, I wasn’t very careful with the color on the bottom and split it in half. Oops!

Step 3: Create your DIY stickers

Making DIY decal stickers for nails

To make the stickers, simply use your hole punches to make shapes you can place on your nail. With the decorative scissors, you can make different patterns to go on your nail, as seen below.

Making  Diy nail decals

Step 4:  Apply to your nails

Applying decals to nails DIY

To apply your stickers, just place them on your nail, rub them down with your fingers, and seal them with a top coat. If you have a harder time getting the sticker on, just put some clear nail polish or a layer of top coat on before applying the sticker, which will act as a “glue”.

The Finished Look:

Finished Look DIY nail decal mani

I thought it’d be fun to replicate this Beauty Department tutorial from a while ago, keeping with the theme of hole punches, and it turned out great. Removal was a bit more difficult with the tissue paper, so I’d probably suggest trying it with nail polish stickers next time.

You can always experiment with this technique, by using your free-handing skills or any craft supplies you may have around!

Tips for cutting and applying nail decals:

  • Start with clean, dry nails. The stickers will not adhere properly if your nails have any oil or residue on them.
  • Cut the decal as close to the edge as possible. The cleaner the cut, the better the results.
  • Apply the decal to your nail and smooth it down. Use a top coat to seal in the design and extend the life of your manicure.

How long do the stickers last?

With proper care, DIY nail stickers can last for several days or even weeks.

If you’re looking for DIY nail stickers that will last, it’s important to choose a high-quality topcoat and apply them to your nail as smoothly as you can.

Will you be trying this method for nail art?

Any questions, comments, or suggestions are always welcome! Post them down below with nail art ideas you’d want me to cover as well!

For more nail tips and ideas, check out our related posts from our archive – 

5 thoughts on “How to Make DIY Nail Stickers”

  1. My fav thing to do with my mani/pedi; very subtle but super cute! Clear coat over clean nails or simple french (white or light pink/matte tips) with clear coat (or translucent shimmer) for the base (rather than pink or biege) & cute little decals added just to corner tips of big toe/nails & thumbs & maybe a small decal on 2nd finger/toe as well–I usually prefer lace-inspired decal or simple flowers. It is subtle, simple & yet perfect with any outfit or occasion. Enjoy 🙂

  2. I really enjoyed reading your summer time blog. Thanks for sharing!

    I’m also loving the idea of “glamping” for the summer. There’s a video about it on YouTube at and I’m looking forward to being glamorous while camping this summer!

    Vanessa 🙂


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