Let’s Decoupage Real Flowers on Our Nails, Because SPRING

The waiting is the hardest part.
Publish date:
April 27, 2016
manicures, nail art, Essie, flowers, crafts, Decoupage

Florals for spring. Groundbreaking.

I know.

Usually I make my tutorials pretty simple and quick. This is not one of those tutorials. This is going to take time, so hold on to your butts. It's going to be a long one.

The first thing you will need to do is pick a bunch of flowers and press them. Your best bet is to look for very small, dark-colored flowers. I pressed some pansies that are way too large to apply to nails, and some small, light-purple flowers that ended up being too light and see-through to notice on the nail.

I think the small red and yellow flowers turned out the best for this manicure.

Grab some little flowers from wherever you can pick them without aggravating your neighbors or, I don't know, upsetting a park ranger, and take your tiny scissors and cut off the stems.

Different flowers are structured in different ways, so take a look to see if the petals will all come out if you cut the stem completely off (e.g. the pansies would) and use your best judgment when snipping.

Lay your cut flowers onto wax paper so that none are overlapping. Then place another piece of wax paper on top (or fold over the paper if you cut a large piece) and place into a heavy book.

I used Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and The Joy of Cooking because they were the heaviest ones I had to press my flowers, and I left them in there for a week and a half. You can also use a flower press or even do it in the microwave.

If pressing flowers to do a manicure sounds like a major pain in the ass, don't worry, I realize that it is. Some craft stores will have pressed flowers, so you can check to see if they have tiny ones. Or look for nail-art kits! This one from Ciate is from two summers ago, but you can still scrounge around and find them out there.

If you choose to buy your flowers. the tutorial will be the same as follows — there are just a few more notes for the pressed flowers.

Check your flowers after a week or so and very carefully remove them from the wax paper. When you press very small flowers, they tend to be delicate, and they will be a little stuck on there. When in doubt, grab onto where the stem was because that should be stronger than the petals.

To do the manicure, you will need your tiny scissors, tweezers, nail polish color of your choice, and a thick topcoat.

Paint on a base coat and one thin coat of your polish of choice. I'm going with Essie Mademoiselle so the color of the flowers can really pop against the milky polish.

Now you'll need to go one nail at a time to apply the flowers. Before you get started, choose what flowers will be going on your nails and have them easily accessible.

When you have the flower at the ready, paint on a thick second coat of your polish color. Grab the flower of your choice with tweezers so you don't accidentally smush it. Place the flower on your nail and adjust it to the placement you want. Gently press the flower into the tacky polish so it is really adhered.

Allow the polish to fully dry. After the polish has dried completely, carefully snip off the excess petals to fit the shape of your nail. Give it two thick coats of a clear topcoat to seal it all in.

Admire your handiwork!

  • Would you go through the effort of pressing flowers for a manicure?
  • Where would you wear a flower mani?
  • What else could you decoupage onto your nails?