diy tribal-print manicure


Three personal takeaways from this DIY:

  1. I need a camera lens for close-ups
  2. My hands are really, really awkward up close
  3. Attempting this DIY manicure while halfway through your second coffee-and-Bailey’s drink on the morning of St. Patrick’s Day will result in less-than-ideal tribal-print nails.

Anyway, I gave myself this green tribal-print manicure for St. Patrick’s Day (as I mentioned), but am just getting around to post the tutorial now. A one-month turnaround time? You go, girl, you go! It is however a fitting time for all things “green” because Earth Day is on Sunday. I love it when procrastination works in my favor!


  • A light-colored polish (I used Revlon’s Jaded)
  • A dark-colored polish (I used Sally Hansen’s Emerald City)
  • Nail Art pens (I used black and white Sally Hansen ones)
  • Masking tape
  • Patience
  • Sobriety


  1. Paint your nails in the lighter shade, two coats. Let them completely dry. Do a better job than I did.
  2. Cut masking tape in thin strips, triangles and whatever else your imagination dreams up. Stick it to your nails in varying patterns.
  3. Paint your nails in the darker color, two coats. Before nail polish has completely dried, remove masking tape carefully. The lines won’t be perfect, but don’t stress, you’ll touch them up with the nail art pens.
  4. Trace lines with nail art pens. Add decorative touches like dots, zigzags and whatever else works.
  5. Coat nails with a clear polish. Let completely dry.

Take a shower. I find that showering after recently painted nails have dried is a great way to clean up nail polish spills onto cuticles. And if your left hand’s skill level is anything like my left hand’s skill level, there will be a LOT of skin spills. Hey, coloring inside the lines isn’t always that easy, ok?



  1. this is really pretty! how long did you spend on them?

    • Thanks! It took a good hour and a half, but the majority of that time was spent waiting for one color to dry so that I could start on the next step.


  1. […] Fourth of July countdown continues! I’ve posted manicure tutorials before (tribal print & chevron) that use tape as a stencil, but it wasn’t until some heavy Pinterest browsing that […]

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