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Easy Nail Polish Designs: A DIY Nail Art Designs Tutorial for a Paws-and-Polka-Dots Manicure

Updated on May 13, 2012

Paws and Polka Dot Nail Art

This is one of my DIY nail art designs that took on a life of its own once I started with it. The original idea was to create a dark nail with very large white dots on it. As soon as I completed that step, I realized that the dots weren't quite opaque enough and I ended up playing around with the dotting tools a little. I used two nail polishes for this design OPI Lincoln Park after Dark and OPI Alpine Snow. The rest of it was done using an eraser and a set of dotting tools.

Step 1

I started off painting the nail with OPI Lincoln Park after Dark and allowed it to dry almost completely before applying the first layer of dots. I love this color because it's so intense and dark, but it has a lot more life to it than ordinary black. It may seem black at first glance, but it's really a very dark purple. It's one of my favorite shades from OPI.

Step 2

Next I added the dots using white nail polish. I used the eraser on the back of a pencil to do this. The eraser was brand new so it was still perfectly round, and it actually worked quite well. You don't find dotting tools in that size, so I had to improvise! The white wasn't opaque enough to my liking so I decided to decorate the nail.

Step 3

I went ahead and added a few darker dots to break the plain white. This in itself already added a lot of interest but the design still lacked that certain 'something'.

Step 4

I added more dots and ended up with some of the designs resembling paw prints and another looking like the dial of an old-fashioned telephone. when I added large darker dots, I added smaller white dots inside them. The end result is really interesting visually, and is also very different to some of the standard designs you'll find in your local nail salon.

Once the design is dry, add a top coat of your choice to seal it in and help it last longer. This DIY nail art design takes a lot longer to do than others I've hubbed about, but the time spent is well worth it. If you want to, you could use the dark or white polish as a base and do an accent nail using this design.


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