- Water marbling. This one actually takes some time and practice, and it makes a bit of a mess, so it’s best to do it at an outside table and with plenty of nail polish remover handy. Paint your nails white, and put clear tape on your fingers around each nail to help reduce the cleanup later. Fill a small cup with room-temperature water (we used an old medicine cup), then drip in the colors that you want to use. If the water is the right temperature, it will spread out in concentric circles. Once you have several drops (we used four or five drops total, of two or three different colors), use a toothpick to swirl the colors around. Dip your finger in, let it sit for a few seconds, and use the toothpick to remove the excess polish from the surface of the water before removing your finger. It’s probably easiest to watch a YouTube tutorial to get a good idea of what you’ll be doing, and it does take some practice, but the results are amazing!
- Decals and stickers. You can buy these at any pharmacy or discount store for a few dollars, or you can make your own! Apply a coat or two of whatever color polish that you want and wait for it to dry. Place the decals on your nails, then cover with a coat of clear polish. Voila! Make stripes by painting Scotch tape with a coat of polish. Let it dry, then use manicure scissors to cut into thin strips. Apply the nail art to your painted nails, then top with clear polish.
- Glitter. The one thing that I don’t like about glittery nail polish is that it takes much longer to remove than regular nail polish. Still, the results are worth it! Glitter polish comes in all colors, as well as clear. One trend now is to paint all of your nails a solid color, then add glitter to just your thumb or just your ring finger (or both). If my daughter and I are doing our toes, we usually only add glitter to our big toes.
- Fun designs. You can buy a package of nail polish liners for $5 or so. These come with thin brushes that make it possible to paint a variety of designs if you have a steady hand! If you don’t have a steady hand, you can also buy nail stencils, or they might even come with your liners. What we’ve done for Halloween is to paint our nails orange, then used a black liner to paint a spider on each big toe. We covered that with clear glitter, then a topcoat! Several people have stopped us to comment on our Halloween nails, and they’re usually surprised to hear that we didn’t pay for a pedicure, but did our nail art at home.
You can look on Pinterest or YouTube, or simply Google “do it yourself nail designs” for more ideas. Since nail polish only costs $2 or $3 (we don’t buy the expensive kind), this is an affordable activity and a fun weekly ritual to share with your daughter.