How to Make Paper Nails: A Crafty Guide to Stylish DIY Nail Art

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How to Make Paper Nails: A Crafty Guide to Stylish DIY Nail Art


Paper nails are a fun and creative alternative to traditional nail art that lets your imagination run wild. Using simple materials like decorative paper, glue, and a clear coat, you can craft stunning paper nail designs perfect for any occasion. This article will walk through how to make paper nails, different methods, and tips for applying and shaping paper to your nails for artistic, long-lasting paper nails that are sure to get noticed.

How to Make Paper Nails Summary of Techniques:

Diy nails
Image Source: Pinterest


  • Choose thin, flexible papers that will adhere best like origami paper or gift tissue.
  • Cut or tear the paper to size and shape to fit each nail before gluing it down.
  • Brush on a layer of clear nail glue and gently press the paper onto the nail using tweezers.
  • File and shape excess paper around cuticles and sides for a clean look.
  • Apply top coat over paper for a smooth finish and to seal the design. Use thin layers to prevent wrinkling paper.
  • Consider accenting paper nails with polish, glitter, striping tape, or rhinestones for extra flair.

With some precision and care, paper can create striking nails that hold up beautifully.

How to Make Paper Nails Basic Paper Nails Instructions:

Supplies Needed:

  • Assorted decorative papers (origami, scrapbook, tissue, crepe, etc.)
  • Clear-drying nail glue
  • Top coat/sealer
  • Cuticle stick and nail file
  • Scissors, hole punch for shapes


  1. Clean nails and trim/shape-free edge. Push back cuticles if needed.
  2. Select papers for each nail and cut/tear to fit the nail plate, leaving a border.
  3. Apply a thin layer of clear nail glue to the nail plate. Wait 10 seconds to get tacky.
  4. Use tweezers to gently press the paper onto the nail. Smooth gently.
  5. File edges neatly around cuticles and sides. Avoid filing surfaces and wrinkling paper.
  6. Apply top coat over paper, sealing the edges. Use thin coats. Let dry fully between layers.
  7. Repeat the paper application and top coat for durability. Trim excess paper as needed.

How to Make Paper Nails Making Long-Lasting Paper Nails:

  • Opt for high-quality origami, crepe, rice, or mulberry paper which is thinner and grips better than cardstock.
  • Change the shape by using hole punches or cutting detailed edges with small scissors.
  • Look for sheer organza or vellum paper to layer over base colors.
  • Spritz the back of the paper with water or use glue with a wet applicator like Nail Podge for easier application.
  • Avoid getting glue on the visible paper surface to prevent wrinkling and damage.
  • Reapply fresh paper every 4-5 days as it lifts around the edges.

Get creative with colors, shapes, layers, and designs to create stunning paper nail art.

How to Make Paper Nails FAQs:

  1. How long do paper nails last?
    Answer: With proper application and sealing, paper nails can last 4-7 days on most people before starting to lift around the edges and require a change.
  2. Do you need a UV or LED lamp for paper nails?
    Answer: No special lamps are needed. Paper nails cure and dry using regular clear polish or glue that dries by exposure to air.
  3. What glue is best for paper nails?
    Answer: Look for nail glues specially formulated for paper and fabric applications like Nail Podge. Avoid super glue which is too thick.
  4. Can you put regular polish over paper nails?DIY
  5. Answer: Yes, you can layer regular nail polish on top of cured paper designs. The polish helps seal and protect the paper as well.
  6. How do you make paper nails stronger?
    Answer: Use very thin papers, apply multiple layers of top coat over the paper, change out designs frequently, and avoid moisture to help paper nails last.


With some creative paper selections, nimble fingers, and sealants, you can transform simple scraps into stunning paper nail art. Opt for thin, flexible papers and take care applying glue only to the base nail, not the paper top. Layer regular or gel top coat over paper designs to seal and add shine. Refresh every few days for fashionable paper nails that are sure to impress!

How to Make Paper Nails Sources:

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