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How To Do An At Home Pedicure In Five Easy Steps: The Best DIY Tips

Updated on July 20, 2014

Treat Yourself: An At-Home Pedicure Is An Easy DIY - Here’s How To Do It!

Going for a pedicure is one of my favorite ways to treat myself. I love having my feet look and feel nice; something about it makes me feel put together, even on the coldest winter days. But going to the salon once a month adds up, and since starting a family, luxuries like pedicures are fewer and farther between. I feel miserable without pretty feet, so I started teaching myself how to do a pedicure. I quickly learned that an at-home pedicure is quick, easy, and affordable - and still makes me feel like a princess.

Read on to discover the easy way of how to do a pedicure at home; I’ll share the essential steps and the types of products you’ll need.

So grab a foot file and let’s get going!

At Home Pedicure: Be Sure To Have These On Hand

  • cotton balls or pads
  • -nail polish remover (for any pre-existing polish)
  • -orange wood cuticle sticks
  • -a foot file or pumice stone
  • -a set of large nail clippers
  • -a foot spa or, failing that, a large basin in which to soak your feet
  • -a dry towel
  • -good-quality moisturizer
  • -a small, damp towel (hand-towel size is good)
  • -nail polish of your choice - base coat, color, and top coat (if you want to polish)
  • -a good nail buffer (if you prefer to go natural)

FIve How-To Steps To An At Home Pedicure

Giving yourself a pedicure at home is easy, once you know the steps and the supplies you need. Think of DIY pedicures as a five step process:

1: Prep & De-polish

2: Soak & Scrub

3: Trim & Shape

4: Moisturize & Massage

5: Paint & Polish

See? Told you it was simple. Let’s take a closer look at these five steps to your best home pedicure.

The First Step At Home: Prep & De-polish To Kick Start Your DIY Pedicure

Before anything else, grab a cotton pad and nail polish remover and remove any existing nail polish from your toes. When that’s done, grab a foot file, rasp, or pumice stone and do a little dry filing of your heels, calluses, and anywhere else that needs it. These tools tend to work best on dry skin; work over an area you can easily clean up, and be careful not to file too many layers down. I recommend a metal rasp with a handle - the Microplane Colossal Pedicure Foot Rasp is a great example. This tool can be cleaned and sanitized easily, and makes it easy to reach the awkward parts of your tootsies - and does an incredible job to boot.

How-To Second Step In Your DIY At Home Pedicure: Soak & Scrub

Next, your diy at home pedicure, will require a basin or foot spa in which to soak your feet. For this, you can use something as simple as a dishpan - or go all out and treat yourself to a relaxing foot spa.

Kendal’s All In One Foot Spa is your key to a luxurious pedicure at home - with plenty of options for massaging your feet, this foot bath is designed to enhance circulation, improve metabolism, and relieve fatigue. The best thing about this foot spa, in my opinion, is that it heats the water for you - so you don’t have to worry about the water getting cold before you’ve finished relaxing.

Allow your feet to soak for about ten minutes; then, remove one foot at a time and use a scrub to polish your feet. Working with about two teaspoons at once, scoop up some of the scrub and rub it into your foot, using a circular motion and concentrating on small areas at a time; aim to polish the entire foot - bottom, top, heels, and in between your toes. Choose a scrub with an oil base, to moisturize your skin while scrubbing away dead skin cells.

Try something like this Himalayan Salt Scrub, which contains Grapeseed Oil, Jojoba Seed Oil, Aloe Vera & Vitamin E to leave your feet feeling extra soft and pampered.

To complete this step, replace your feet into the soaking water, then use a warm, damp towel to gently wipe your feet and toes to remove any remaining bits of the scrub. Dry well and you’re ready for the next step.

At Home Pedicure Step 3: Trim & Shape - Plus DIY Tips For The Best Results

Now we’ll pay some attention to the toenails. Use an orange wood stick to gently push the cuticles back, cleaning up any loose bits. Next, grab your nail clippers and trim each toenail carefully. A good rule of thumb - er, toe - is to trim each nail so that you can just feel the edge when you brush your finger across the top end of your toe. Take care not to round the corners too much, as this can encourage ingrown toenails. Instead, clip the sides of the nail at a 45 degree angle, then soften any sharp edges to a curve with a nail file.

Tip: when filing your nails, don’t saw back and forth, which can weaken the nail; instead, gently draw the file across in the same direction. I personally dislike the feeling of a raspy file grazing my skin - it gives me the shivers. For this reason, I recommend a glass or crystal file - they are smooth against skin and they file like a dream.

At Home DIY Pedicure Step Four: Moisturize & Massage

With your skin and toenails all spiffed up, it’s time to grab a good quality foot cream and massage it well into your feet, concentrating on the heel area and anywhere else that tends to be dry for you. Take your time and enjoy a mini massage as you complete this step. A good cream will make a huge difference, but it doesn’t have to be an expensive one - this O’Keeffe’s Healthy Feet Creme has a dedicated following and gets rave reviews for incredible results. Massaging a little into your feet on a daily basis will help prolong the effects of your DIY pedicure.

Step Five, To Complete Your At-Home DIY Pedicure: Paint & Polish

It’s time to put the final touches on your at home pedicure. First, grab a cotton pad with a little nail polish remover and give each nail a quick wipe; this will remove any moisturizer from your nails. If you like to go natural, a quick buffing will bring out the shine in your toenails and complete your pedicure. If you prefer to wear polish, apply a base coat, two coats of polish, and a top coat - allowing two to three minutes drying time between each coat.


I feel naked if my toes aren’t painted, so I always complete this step, and I highly recommend a toe separator to make your life easier here. In a pinch, wads of tissue will work to keep the toes apart; but it doesn’t feel very glam. For the final touch to your pedicure at home, try something like this - a toe separator with panache. YogaToes makes a great line of therapeutic foot devices that are designed to stretch, relieve, and improve your toes. These are on my birthday request list, because they make painting nails so much easier, but also have so many therapeutic benefits.

Make sure to put your feet up and relax for 15-20 minutes after your home pedicure is complete, to allow the polish to completely dry; then enjoy the results of your handiwork - footwork? - and pat yourself on the back for a job well done.

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A DIY Pedicure At Home Is The Perfect How-To Treat For Yourself - Do It!

So there you have it - your five steps to give yourself the best pedicure at home, and some great diy tips. I hope this has been helpful in demystifying the process - and most of all, I hope it has inspired you to take some time for yourself and for your hard-working feet - you deserve it, and so do they!

Now I’d love to hear from you. Have you ever done a pedicure at home? Are you a spa-goer but looking to trim your budget a little? Do you have a favorite shade of polish for your pedicures - or do you prefer to go in the buff? If you have an invaluable trick for the at-home pedicure, please share!


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