Just because we crafters have short nails doesn't mean our nails can't still look snazzy. Even though long nails are often more conducive to intricate nail art, these ten tutorials show just how creative you can get when painting shorter nails.
Geometric patterns like these
are great for painting short nails because you can add as much or as little detail as will fit on your nail. (Plus you can play it fast and loose by making up bits of the pattern as you go along!)
Even with a steady, practiced hand, incorporating lines and stripes when painting your nails is especially tricky. Fortunately there exists stripping tape, which is cleverly utilized in this tutorial
, and which will become your most reliable asset. It allows you to create clean lines and take full advantage of the negative space on your mini work of art.
Few things seem so quintessentially summer as tie-dying T-shirts in the backyard ... which is why we love this tutorial
for adding some fun, colored spirals to your nails. Good news for all the nail art novices out there: this pattern, which involves dabbing and smearing rather than steady strokes, can be a bit messy and still have the desired spiral effect.
With a short strip of green rind at the cuticle or at the nail tip, watermelon painted nails, like the ones in this tutorial
, are another option for cute, whimsical designs that work well with short fingernails.
Warning: getting the hang of plaid nail art is a bit addictive. Bold plaid designs, like this Marc Jacobs-inspired one
, require a bit of forethought into how the stripes are layered; but once you master that, plaid nails will become your design of choice for autumn.
The flowers and polka-dots in this DIY design
are perfect for creating whimsical, summertime nail art — not to mention that the three layer technique is easy for beginners. Don't be afraid to try this with multiple color options either, since a white base layer will give you even more options for experimentation.
If you prefer a more understated pattern that is still unique, this tutorial
is for you. With its angled inversion on the classic french manicure, you nail art goes from predictable to glamorously edgy.
Now, we realize that this blogger's fingernails are rather long, but her nail art tutorial
is too impressive to pass up. To accommodate a shorter nail, simply modify the dimensions of jewel from elongated and rectangular, to more squarely shaped.
Elaborately painting your nails is often a time-consuming project, especially when there are multiple layers that need to dry before continuing to the next. Thankfully, this tweed-inspired pattern
is the ideal way to achieve cute nails without committing to a full afternoon of blowing on your cuticles.