DIY Nail Pop Art, aka “Magazine Nails”

I may not have a ring yet, but I have a habit of browsing fun bridal websites once in a while; in particular, I love . Love love love. This site doesn’t just have things to use for weddings, but lots of DIY crafts that can be done for any occasion, or just for fun.

Case and point: Magazine Nails.

First, I discovered water-marbled nails (and I suppose I’ll make a photo post about that in the future). I’ve already done it twice and it’s fun, but lots of work.

Then I found newspaper nails, and after reading that it can also be done with water instead of rubbing alcohol, I was happy that I could do this even in my rubbing-alcohol-free apartment! I found this video and went to work.


  • Newspaper or magazine.
  • A bowl of warm water.
  • Scissors.
  • Cotton balls.
  • Clear nailpolish.
  • A light-colored nailpolish, like white or yellow.

Step [1] Paint nails with at least 2 coats of the colored nailpolish and let dry completely.
Step [2] Cut out newspaper or magazine pieces you want on your nails. You can use text or images — both work!
Step [3] Lay a paper clipping on your nail with the side you want to show facing down.
Step [4] Wet a cotton ball and apply it to the paper, pressing down firmly.
Step [5] Remove paper from nail slowly, like you’re peeling a sticker. Repeat with all nails.
Step [6] Top with a coat or two of clear nailpolish.


  • This may be obvious, but text will be a mirror image!
  • Paper can and will get stuck to your nail. Just dunk your finger in water and lightly rub the surface of your nail until the paper starts to bead up and come off.
  • When you put the clear nailpolish on, be gentle! You can smudge the ink on your nails! Easy does it. You can go rough on the second coat. 😉

So, here’s how mine came out!

Left thumb: the Oscar award.

Left fingers: some blue text, the Android Market logo, a bunch of stick figure men, and President Obama.

Right thumb: Starbucks cup. This was my first one, and it came out the worst, as to be expected.

Right fingers: a spoon full of Fruit Loops, Mitt Romney (on my middle finger, of course!), Facebook and Twitter logos, and some actress I didn't recognize.

I definitely plan on doing this again the next time I need to get rid of an old Time Magazine!