Halloween Nail Art Ideas: Frankenstein, Candy Corn & Spiderwebs

Spooky nail designs for working stiffs.

Back in college, I worked at the student center on Halloween. Why not? I was terrible at coming up with costumes, too poor to purchase one from a costume store, and probably too busy studying (re: avoiding drunk college students) to want to go out.

Still wanting to be festive, I would often do nail art to show my Halloween spirit. So this spooky nail art tutorial goes out to those who either a) can't dress in costume at their workplace this Halloween, or b) don't want to go full character for the office costume contest, but also don't want to be a stick in the mud.

Spiderweb Nails

I’m becoming more and more fascinated by spiders. I think they’re freaking awesome, and yes, I have been bitten by one before (didn’t become Spiderwoman, unfortunately) and the bite swelled up like crazy. Whether you like spiders like me, or are just looking for a Halloween-inspired nail to pull off, this spiderweb nail art is a fun pick.

First, start with a dark nail color as a base. I used Wet N Wild Wild Shine Nail Color in Black Crème, which becomes opaque in just two coats.

To create the spiderweb, you’ll need to use a striping brush dipped in nail lacquer--particularly in a shade that contrasts with your base nail color. Here, I used Kiss Nail Art Paint in Silver, which comes with a striping brush, to draw several diagonal lines that meet at a single point at the bottom corner of my nail beds. If you have narrow nail beds like me, avoid making thicker lines since you want your web to look as detailed as possible.

Then I painted a few arcs from my cuticle to the side of my nail to achieve that spider web look. If you have a steadier hand, you can also do the arcs by creating short, horizontal lines between the diagonal lines. Lastly, I made sure to connect the tops of each of the diagonal lines with a wide U shape.

Frankenstein Nails

Yes, Mary Shelley’s fictional monster did some terrible things in her novel, but Frankenstein still needs some love, just like everyone else! For this nail art, I started with a solid lime green nail polish using three coats of Wet N Wild Fergie Nail Color in Glowstick.

Then, with a striping brush dipped in black nail polish (I used Kiss Nail Art Paint in Black, which comes with a striping brush), I made tiny strokes at the edge of my nail for hair. I also made two horizontal lines--a medium-thick one midway down my nail for the eyebrows, and a shorter one just below it for the lips.

To create the eyes, I dipped the round part of a pin (I stuck the pointy side in the eraser of a pencil. A bobby pin also works for this) into Wet n Wild Wild Shine Nail Color in Black Crème. Using the pin, I created two dots right below the medium-length line. I finished off the nail look by adding two slanted lines to the bottom horizontal line to create spooky lips.

Candy Corn Nails

They may be pure sugar, but candy corn is one of my all-time favorite Halloween treats. For this sweet manicure, I started with an opaque white base using Essie Nail Polish in Blanc.

Since I have no patience for creating perfectly even yellow, orange and white stripes, I decided stamping the nail color with a makeup sponge would be the best (and most forgiving) fit.

I cut up a makeup sponge and painted stripes according to the candy corn pattern of yellow, orange and white. I used Essie Nail Polish in Blanc once again for the white stripe. For the yellow part, I used Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear Nail Color in Mellow Yellow, and for the orange part, I used NYC New York Color Long Wearing Nail Enamel in Times Square Tangerine Crème.

Then I stamped the pattern onto each of my nails and reapplied nail color when needed. If you have curved nails like mine, make sure to press the makeup sponge to reach the edges of your nail. You may also have to go back and re-stamp certain sections if the color isn’t as dark or as even as you’d like.

Warning: the stamping part will get messy. To clean up, I used a cotton bud dipped in nail polish remover to erase the nail polish

The finished look should be soft and blurred—so even if you did make a few mistakes, it shouldn’t be too noticeable.

Tell Us!

  • Will you be working on Halloween? And if so, are you dressing up?
  • What's the best coworker costume you've ever seen?
  • What other Halloween nail art have you tried? Pics in the comments!
  • Does seeing candy corn make your teeth hurt, too?