Plaid Nail Art Tutorial

Monday, October 20, 2014
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Oh autumn! It's a lovely time of year. Though I prefer the heat of summer, I have to admit I'm enjoying the sweater weather. The one thing my wardrobe is missing this season is a soft plaid flannel shirt. I have to put that on my thrifting wish list.

Inspired by the trend, I decided to create a plaid nail look to dress up my Friday date night attire. I used a few different nail enhancements including water slide decals, striping tape, and nail studs to achieve a super fun mani with lots of variety. As always, make this your own! You can just used one of the fun add-ons for a more uniform look or try them all using whatever colors you like. I used black, white, and gold for a slightly fancy look.

Learn how to create fall plaid nail art after the jump.

Fall Plaid Nail Art Tutorial

plaid-nails (2 of 16)

For this nail art design you will need:

Base coat (I used Essie Ridge Filling Base Coat)
Nail polish remover
Cotton ball or pad
Orangewood stick or nail clean up pen
Matte black nail polish (I used OPI Gwen Stefani Collection Nail Lacquer in 4 In The Morning)
White nail polish (I used Essie Nail Polish in Blanc)
Silver or grey nail polish (I used Revlon Nail Enamel in Silver Screen)
Nail art brush (OPTIONAL - I used Born Pretty Small Bamboo Nail Art Brush)
Water slide decals (I used Born Pretty Glitter Star Golden Plaid)
Striping tape (I found mine on Amazon)
Nail studs (I used Born Pretty Mini Circle Studs 3D Nail Art Decoration)
Nail glue (I used OPI Mach 5 High Velocity Nail Adhesive)
Small grooming shears
Top coat (I used Essie No Chips Ahead)

plaid-nails (4 of 16)

1. Wipe each nail with a cotton swab dipped in nail polish remover to remove oils and debris. Then apply a base coat to all nails.

plaid-nails (5 of 16)

2. Paint 2 coats of your base color. For both hands, I used black on 2 nails, white on two nails, and gold on one nail.

plaid-nails (7 of 16)

3. On one of your white nails, paint two silver or gray lines, intersecting at right angles to form a plus sign. You want the stripes to be 3 times the size of your striping tape.


4. Add your water slide decal following the instructions on the package. For these Born Pretty designs, cut out the sticker, soak it in a little warm water for about 15 seconds, then turn it upside down and place it on your nail to transfer the design. Finish by smoothing any wrinkles with an orangewood stick. Allow it to dry completely.

While that's drying, let's create our plaid striping tape nail!

plaid-nails (10 of 16)

5. Cut 16 pieces of black striping tape and 4 pieces of gold striping tape a little longer than your nails.

plaid-nails (11 of 16)

6. Apply the tape as follows: two pieces of black on each side of one of your silver lines and one piece on each side of your perpendicular silver line. The other two black stripes will be placed parallel to each silver line between it and the edge of your nail to create a checkered pattern. The two gold pieces are applied last down the center of the silver stripes.

plaid-nails (12 of 16)

7. Trim off excess with a small pair of grooming shears.

plaid-nails (13 of 16)

8. Apply a top coat over the two embellished white nails.


9. For a little added fun, you can optionally add a nail stud or two to one of your nails. Add a drop of nail glue and place the stud over it. It helps to use an orangewood stick and/or tweezers to help place the stud.

plaid-nails-wide (1 of 1)

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