Try Your Hand At DIY Photo Print Nail Transfers!

DIY cat decal nails!
Photo: Via Transient Expression

Listen, I totally understand that not everyone is amazing at nail art (trust me, I try it every week) and that sometimes no matter how hard you try to paint Daria’s face on your fingertips, it’ll still end up looking like Beast Jesus. (Unless, of course, you actually WANT your nails to look like Beast Jesus because that can most certainly happen.) And you know what? I’m here for you. Luckily, nail transfer decals are ALL the rage these days for us not-so-artistically-inclined folk. The basic idea behind it is this: Anything in print form can be transferred onto your tips with the right method. So basically, if you’ve ever flipped through a magazine and thought, “I want that exact pattern/person/cat on my nails,” then you’re good to go. Be forewarned—there are a TON of different ways to approach this method of nail art, but I’m just skimming the surface with the top three techniques I’ve found most useful. Let’s get to it!


This first method came straight from Rachel’s blog Transient Expression (yep, those are her cat nails above!) where she found pictures of cute kittens on the internet, printed them out on rub-on paper, and applied them in one swift step. This is perfect if you’re really good at Photoshop or want to create your own custom designs. The end result is pretty freakin’ awesome, but it’s not as instant as this next method.

OK, when I first watched this tutorial it basically blew my MIND. The premise is this: You find a pattern you like in magazine, cut it out, paint one side with clear nail polish, soak it water, put in on your nail, trim the edges, and you’re done. I know, I know, this doesn’t even seem humanly possible, but I’ve watched it with MY OWN EYES, and it’s a real thing that is actually happening, people. Prepare to be amazed.


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