I first started experimenting with nail art about 4 years ago. At that time I didn’t have all my fancy nail art tools so I just had to make do with what I had in my home.

Home nail art tools
Tape, sponge, dental floss, hole reinforcements and a hair pin. Simple!

1. Scotch Tape

Tape can be used to section up the nails with clear lines of contrasting colours.

Tip: Make sure your first coat of nail polish is 100% dry before you apply the tape. After painting on the second colour, remove the tape when the polish as about half dry.

Nail art tools

2. Hair pins

Probably the most accessible and easiest tool to use. Simply blob some nail polish on a card of magazine then dip the hair pin in it then add to your nails.

Tip: Test the dots on the magazine/card first. Don’t make them too thick or they’ll struggle to dry.

Nail art tools

3. Hole reinforcements

Another simple yet very effective technique to provide different colour half moons on your nails. I used two very different contrasting colours to show how to do this but I quite like it with two shades of the same colour.

Tip: Make sure the base colour is 100% dry before sticking on the hole reinforcement.

Nail art tools

4. Dental floss sticks

Dental floss sticks are actually handy for many things. The plastic stick could be used for indentations for a quilted effect and the pointy end is good for more detailed nail art, similar to how I used the hair pin above. I chose to use the string section for a zebra print effect.

Tip: Carefully paint your nail polish on the string, first a very thin coat then test it on another surface and add more if necessary.

Nail art tools

5. Make up sponges

The sponge that I used was leftover from a Halloween make up pack. You could use a clean kitchen sponge or make up sponge.

Tip: Paint your nail polish onto the sponge then test it on a piece of paper first to remove any excess nail polish.

Nail art tools


Clear, flexible plastic can be used to make your own nail art transfers. You could use:

  • Cellophane¬†cover from a birthday card
  • Plastic wallet/pocket
  • Sandwich bag

Simply paint your design (e.g. a rose) onto the flexible plastic and once it’s dry you can peel it off.

Tip: I would recommend sticking it to your nail by applying a thin coat of clear nail polish then once this is dry apply a layer or two of a good quality top coat.


I hope you’ve found these hints and tips handy. Please let me know if you try any of these out yourself by commenting below! Thanks!