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How to Use a Stencil to Paint Hearts on Your Nails

Updated on January 15, 2013
Silver nails with glitter polish and a white heart on the ring finger.
Silver nails with glitter polish and a white heart on the ring finger.

As I write this, Valentine's Day is right around the corner! And even if it isn't for you right now, it's still fun to incorporate flirty hearts and other designs into your nail art.

Here are some tips and tricks on making nail art hearts which you can also customize to create other fun designs as well.

To see even more great ways to do your nails, check out my Pinterest board dedicated to nails!

Stencil Heart Nails

In my Hub on How to Do Your Nails Like a Rock Star, I briefly described a method of creating nail art using tape to create crisp lines and block color--but did you know there are dozens of other ways you can use tape to create cool nail art designs?

Here's an awesome tutorial I saw on SellzCuteThings, check it out for step-by-step pictures. You can use this method to create perfect hearts or any shape you can find a hole puncher for!

What you'll need:

  • Thin Painter's Tape (or masking tape, scotch tape can work too, but it is a bit harder to work with)
  • Nail Polish
  • Clear Nail Polish
  • Heart Hole Puncher or whatever shape you want
  • (optional) Pen
  • (optional) Exacto knife & mat


The steps are simple:

Paint your nails the base colour you want them to be and let the dry completely.

Pull of a piece of your tape and punch a hole in it, carefully.

Place your tape stencil on to your nail and make sure it's pressed down firmly.

Paint over your stencil and let the polish set, but pull off tape before the polish dried completely or it may crack.

Go over design with clear nail polish to protect it.


If you don't have a hole puncher in the shape you want, you can create your own shapes. Just take a piece of painter's tape and press it gently on a clean cutting mat or some clean surface you can cut on. Draw your desired shape and cut it out use the exacto knife. Then place the tape firmly on your nail and continue as you would with a hole punched stencil.

Reverse Tape Nail Stencil

Alternatively, you can do this as well.

First paint your nails the colour you want your heart or design to be.

Once your nails have dried, cut out or punch out your heart or shape and place that on your nail.

Paint over your nails with the colour you want your background to be.

Once polish has set, but hasn't completely dried, pull off tape.

This method works best if there is a bit of tape hanging off the nail that you can use to pull the tape off. Otherwise it can get really messy.

Nail Decals & Decorations

Another way you can add designs to your nails is through stickers and decals.

Stickers are the simplest way. Place the stickers you want on your nails and then go over them with clear nail polish to make sure they stay on.

For a more blinged out effect, try adding rhinestones or chips from polymer clay canes. You can use clear nail polish or nail glue to sttach them. This works best on long nails and acrylics.

To make your own decals you can print out an image you want or draw one on a piece of paper. Then cut it out, dab some clear nail polish on your nail and place your decal on with a tweezer. Press your decal down firmly and once it's set protect it with a couple coats of clear nail polish.

DIY Heart Nail Decoration

DIY Scotch Tape Nail Stickers

This is inspired by a photo tutorial I saw on The Beauty Department. Instead of using tape as a means to create a stencil, you can use tape as the heart or image you want.

Things you'll need:

  • Scotch tape
  • Scissors (I would suggest thin ones, perhaps like the ones used to manicure eyebrows)
  • Nail polish in desired colours
  • Clear Nail Polish


What you need to do:

Paint your desired colours directly on your scotch tape and let it dry COMPLETELY.

Once it's dry, pull it off and cut the shapes you want out. It's probably easiest to do lines, squares, rectangles, and triangles, but I'm sure with a little care and patience you can cut out a heart as well.

Place your stickers on your nails and press them down firmly.

Go over your art with clear nail polish to protect it.

Heart Nail Tips

Here's a cute idea I came across on Pinterest that would work with long nails. All you need to do is file the nails to a tip and paint on hearts, using the tip of your nails as the bottom of the heart.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
This is how I painted the heart on my sis' Batman themed nails.This is how I painted the spade on my sis' Joker themed nails.
This is how I painted the heart on my sis' Batman themed nails.
This is how I painted the heart on my sis' Batman themed nails.
This is how I painted the spade on my sis' Joker themed nails.
This is how I painted the spade on my sis' Joker themed nails.

Paint Heart on Nails

If you're looking for a stencil to make perfect hearts on your nails it's probably because you're afraid you can't paint them directly on to your nails yourself.

This isn't true! Painting hearts is really easy.

All you need is:

  • An index card
  • Straightened bobby pin or toothpick
  • Nail Polish


Dab a little bit of nail polish on to your index card.

Dip your bobby pin or tootkpick into the polish and then make two dots next to each other on your nail.

While the dots are still wet, slide your bobby pin or toothpick across the bottoms of the dots to create a "v" and fill in the heart.

Let your little heart dry and go over with clear polish.




I (Heart) Nails

Have fun designing your lovely nails! I'd love to hear about how you've used some of these techniques or some other ways you create stencils, decals, stickers, or nail art. Please leave a comment below to share!

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    • followthestray profile image
      Author

      Samantha Harris 4 years ago from New York

      Good luck :)

    • profile image

      kimmy 4 years ago

      Goin to try it