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How to Do a Fourth of July Nail Manicure

Updated on November 11, 2016

Fireworks Nail Tutorial

After last year's crummy last minute attempt at a 4th of July manicure (my nails were literally still drying as I ran out the door to see fireworks) I decided this year and from now on, I will put more time, thought, and effort into my holiday manicures.

So here's a mix of manicure ideas I've thought up and a collection of wonderful tutorials I've found around YouTube that I think will be very inspiring and helpful. Be creative and mix and match techniques or try a different design on each nail if you can't decide what design you want.

For more nail art and tutorials, check out my Pinterest board on nails!

Stars and Stripes


  • Instead of white dots try glitter polish, some polishes have stars right in them!
  • Create star like designs using scotch tape.
  • Accessorize your nails with rhinestones or flat pearls.
  • Switch up your colour combo to keep things fresh. Maybe blue dots on white or white dots on red and blue and white stripes.

Dots and Stripes

This manicure uses the reverse tape stencil method I described in my hub on How to Use a Stencil to Paint Hearts on Your Nails.

You will need:

  • scotch tape
  • scissors
  • index card
  • bobby pin, toothpick, or dotting tool
  • clear, red, white, and blue nail polish

Decide which fingers you would like to have red and white stripes and which fingers you would like to have blue and white dots.

Paint your stripe fingernails white and your dot fingernails blue. Let them dry completely before continuing.

Cut equally sized stripes of scotch tape and lay them across your stripe fingernails. Make sure stripes are evenly spaced and press down firmly. Make sure the strips are long enough that they peek out over your nails.

Paint over your stripe nails with red polish. When the polish has set, but hasn't yet dried, carefully pull up the tape strips. Let your nails dry before continuing so you don't smudge.

Once your stripe nails have dried, dab some white paint on an index card. Then dip your dotting tool in the polish and create a polka dot pattern on your dot nails. Let dry.

Once nails are completely dry go over them with a coat or two of clear nail polish.

Star & Polka Dot Manicure


  • Instead of making each fingernail a different colour, paint red, white, and blue stripes together on nail tips.
  • Add star decal or design on ring fingernail or thumb.
  • Stripe red and white together, add white dots to blue tips.
  • Go over blue tips with starry glitter polish.

Fourth of July French Manicure

A patriotic take on a nail art staple.

What you'll need:

  • clear, red, white, and blue nail polish
  • scotch or painter's/masking tape
  • scissors

Paint your nails clear and let dry completely before continuing.

Cut off stripes of tape and lie them across your nails so your lines will be crisp. If you want your manicure rounded or pointed use your scissors to trim tape. Make sure tape is pressed firmly on to your nails.

Paint nail tips either red, white, or blue. Let set and remove tape carefully. Let dry.

Go over nails with clear polish.

USA Diagonal French Tip


  • Do this design on ring finger or thumbnail and paint other nails a solid colour or french manicure.
  • Use star glitter polish instead of dots.
  • Flip the design and have the blue at the base and the stripes at the tips.
  • Try creating this design on a diagonal.

American Flag Nails

This will work best on longer nails.

What you'll need:

  • scotch tape
  • scissors
  • clear, red, white, and blue polish
  • dotting tool, toothpick, or bobby pin
  • nail file

File nails so that they are rounded squares.

Paint nails white and let them dry completely.

Cut strips of tape and lay them firmly across nails in an even vertical pattern.

Paint nails with red polish about halfway or more up nail. Carefully remove tape strips before paint dries completely. Let nails dry before continuing.

Place tape across the top of where the stripes end, so that the stripes are covered by the tape.

Paint top portion of nails blue and remove tape carefully before paint has dried completely.

Using dotting tool, dot white paint on blue tips of nails to represent stars.

Let nails dry and seal with clear top coat.

Diagonal Flag Nails


  • After creating your gradient add star decals, stickers, or rhinestones.
  • Create your gradient by sponging on each colour instead of painting a white base first.

Red White & Blue Gradient Nails

Many people create ombre nail art the same way.

What you'll need:

  • Make up sponge
  • red, white, and blue nail polish
  • glitter nail polish, preferably in white or silver with stars
  • q-tips
  • nail polish remover
  • index card

Paint nails white and let them dry.

Cut or rip makeup sponge in half, designating one side to red and one to blue.

Put some red polish on index card. Take red makeup sponge and dab red polish on to either the base or tip of nails. (You can use scotch tape to tape off your skin so that polish doesn't get all over your skin)

Put some blue polish on index card. Take blue sponge and dab on opposite end of the red polish.

Let nails dry then using q-tip and nail polish remover, clean up any polish that got on your skin.

Go over nails with starry glitter polish.

Marble Star Nails

Use this video for stripes (red and white)

Use this video for stars (white base, blue on top)

Water Marble 4th of July Nails

This design is actually inspired by two of cutepolish's water marble tutorials. The videos I posted on the right will list needed materials and the steps to accomplish this design.

First you'll wanted to decide which nails you want to be stars and which nails you'll want to be stripes. Personally, I would do one hand stars and the other stripes. But you can alternate fingers, or make only the thumb and/or ring finger stars or do whatever you like.

Remember to start off with a clear base. Nail strengthening polish or calcium polish would be best.

For your stripe nails, use white and red paint in your cup. Watch the video on water marble nail art to do this.

For your star nails, first paint them white. Then do cutepolish's water spot tutorial with blue polish. Spice it up by adding glitter polish on the white layer or after the blue has dried.

Red White & Blue Starburst Nails

Happy 4th of July!

Happy Red, White, and Blue Day! Hope you enjoy your apple pie and fireworks, haha. I hope this tutorial has inspired you to create some pretty all-American nail art for Independence Day. :)


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