Back to School Week! Wavy-Striped Nails (Use School Colors!)

If you've read my blog before, you know I get inspiration in odd places. Take this nail tutorial, perfect for Back to School. I was on my lunch break, drinking a Diet Coke (bad, I know), and painting my nails. On the can, I was staring at the swirl (the "dynamic ribbon"). It made me think of waves and I wanted to recreate the look on my nails. I did the usual use-a-sticky-note-as-stencil method that looked okay, but then I remember a technique I'd seen somewhere (tbd I think). This goof-proof method gets you just about any design you want. While my color inspiration came from my scarf, try these nails in your school colors! Here's how to make your own nail stickers:

T O O L S:
2 colors of polish (or more)
clear polish
decorative-edge scissors
scotch tape

M E T H O D:

Paint one to two coats of base color. 
I randomly painted my accent nails a different color, but feel free to paint them all the same.

Peel a strip of Scotch tape--it can be transparent or opaque--and place over the top of a cup. 
Or if you're at work like I was originally (hey, I call that "using my lunch break time wisely") 
just leave the tape in the dispenser and paint away.

 Paint at least two coats of the accenting colors you'd like on the tape. 
Make sure the tape is fully dry. 
Using decorative scissors, cut small strips of tape. 
I like to place them on the edge of a table to keep nearby.
Note: in the pic I'm cutting too big of a piece. 
This was the only way it showed in the photos.

Place & press the painted stripes onto the nail. 
I used at least 2 per nail.
Snip away the excess. 
Sometimes you can use the remainders on other nails.
Seal with a top coat.

T I P S:
  • Use your school's colors! How cute would these be for game day? Or use any color combo that you like best. I've done these with neons, pastels, and stark colors.
  • I suggest using a long strip of tape to give you plenty of room for mistakes. Sometimes you'll get a bad stripe.
  • This is a great way to use up those polishes with less than stellar coverage.
  • Try this with any decorative scissors--Chevron stripes are always cute.
  • Try more than one color of stripes on nails.
  • No fancy scissors? Just use regular scissors and make easy stripes. No fancy polish or tools needed.
  • The tape can be moved, so if your stripe isn't how you like it, move it.
  • If the painted tape isn't dry, it'll stick to the scissors. Simply wait another couple of minutes and try again!
  • Depending on top coat, this design lasts the average span of a manicure.
  • As always, if the design is too busy for you, just try the accent nail (pictured below).

Check out these amazing BACK TO SCHOOL LINKS  posted earlier (dorm, beauty/style, school life, saving money, cooking, etc). Even if you aren't in school, there are tips and tricks you'll enjoy reading. I hope you have a great school year! Love, Elle


  1. Such a creative manicure- I think it turned out quite nicely! :)

  2. cute! I do NOT have the patience for that though!!

  3. cool idea - i never thought of using tape! I'm definitely trying this!

    love jenny xoxo

  4. That is such a cute idea for game day!!! Love it.

  5. PS. Next time you need to make them purple and gold for true game day colors :-)

    1. Hey ye i wish she made them another colour even blue will go though! but anway it a very cool idea!

  6. Wow this is such a wonderful idea! Must give it a try ;)

  7. looks great and what an awesome way to utilize the scissors. also great colors!!

  8. Really creative and the end result came out fabulous! Love the shades you used.

  9. You come up with the neatest nail ideas!

  10. They look so cool! Might give them a go some time :) x

  11. great tutorial. love the color combo. :)

    happy sat!


  12. great back to school ideas!! love it


  13. I love this tutorial. I would love to do more with my nails :)

  14. Super cute and great tutorial. Now did I read correctly? You did this at work... if so, I need that job. LOL

  15. great colors but SO not ready for summer to end!

  16. wow..such a cool idea!! Looking great on ur nails! Hope you are having a wonderful day!
    -Jyoti from Style Delights Blog
    *Giveaway* - Win a gorgeous piece of jewelry from Jeweliq
    *Giveaway* - Win this Osacr de la Renta Scarf!

  17. such a good and unique idea - i adore the colors :) happy back to school!

  18. Ahhh! I love how those nails look! They are so cute. I have to try this. :)

  19. so creative! I love the nail colors you have picked.

  20. What a creative manicure idea!! Also, I'm loving your blog's new (or at least I think it's pretty new...?) look!

  21. I have a set of scissors like that! I should really try this. Love how it looks.

  22. super cute. I will have to try this out.

  23. Very cute! Love the new look with the big images!!! Have a nice one!


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