How to do newspaper nails? A new trend is out there and I’m not sure exactly what they are calling it so I am going to call it Newspaper Nails. I thought it was cute so I gave it a try. I am going to tell you how to get this look, step by step. First let me give you a list of everything you are going to need for this little project. I say project because trial and error is a big part of it, at least until you find all the finer tuned components that you like working with the best.

  • Newspaper
  • Scissors
  • Alcohol (isopropyl)
  • Tweezers
  • Cotton balls and swabs
  • Small dish (at least 1 inch reservoir)
  • White nail polish
  • Towel (maybe)
  • Acetone

Now That We Have What We Need, Lets Get started.

We always begin by putting lotion our hands and cleaning up our nails. We want to make sure that we have a perfect canvas to work with. The first thing you are going to do is paint all of your nails white. Use your favorite white polish, mine is China Glaze. Here are a few more to choose from.


The reason I put acetone on the list is that you will probably want to try out more than one white. They all work differently when you are dealing with alcohol. Some are to thick and others will not make the print pop. Of course, let your nails dry completely after each coat. About 10 minutes.

While you are waiting for your nails to dry you can get your scissors and cut out your pieces of newspaper. Make your pieces wide enough to overlap on both sides of your nail just slightly. The length depends on how long your nails are. Go a little longer with your newspaper.

Keep in mind that there are different sized prints on your paper as well. Another trial and error situation here. Different sizes can give you a different effect on how to get newspaper nails the way you like to see them. You will want to choose the size that you like for your nails. As you will see, I like to do bigger print on my thumbs and tiny print on my pinkies.

Now that we have our nice white nails and our papers are ready we are going to get our small dish with our alcohol ready too. You might want to put that towel down that I have mentioned in the list, this part gets a bit drippy.

Some tutorials say to soak your finger in the alcohol, but I soak the newspaper instead. I think it makes the ink come out of the paper more because you really want newspaper print nails not the actual paper on your nails. Just a few seconds and you will see the paper change to a darker color. Take the paper out with your tweezers and place it on your nail, print side down.

Grab a cotton ball and put a good amount of pressure onto the newspaper that is on your nail. Be careful not to move the paper or your image will be blurry. You might want to use a cotton swab for better control over the edges.

Gently pull the paper off of your nail and the print will stick to it.

I tried to put a line of black polish on my cuticles hoping that it would make the print stand out more.

As you can see in this image, it was just too much.

I did not like it so I started over (trial and error again).

You will see in my final pictures that I have a couple with the black line and you can decide if you like it or not.

This would have been a good project to use some Simply Peel. Unfortunately I was out or I would have put it on the list.

When your nails have dried completely you can put on your favorite top coat. Watch carefully when you do this to make sure it doesn’t run. I have found that Sally Hansen Top Coat works the best for me.

You can also do newspaper nails with gel polish however, you have to be extra sure that they are completely cured before you put the newspaper on your nails. Complete mess if not cured all the way.

Here are my finished pictures.

On one hand (the left picture below) I have several different ways shown for you.

  • Large print on my thumb makes it easier to see.
  • Tiny print on my middle finger shows you that you get more words on your nail.
  • The last two fingers are with two different top coats. You can see that they both blurred in different spots.

My first finger was an experiment. I cut my piece of paper extra small and glued it to my nail. Then put a top coat over it. I wanted to be able to read the words. I think I might have to perfect that one. Look for this in a future post.





On the other hand (the right picture above) you see all the same print except the thumb which was a larger print. I used the same white on every finger and the same top coat. The top coat that I thought would not make it blurry. To me it all looks blurred and I am obviously not happy with it.

Since I was not happy with it I decided to try and do that hand again. This was the result after a two-hour attempt.

Once again trial and error are presented.

This particular project is going to take a lot of time to perfect.

One thing that I have realized is that you have to know which products to use for this.

After practicing this about 7 times, I have made myself a list of the proper products that I like to use. Your list may be different from mine after you practice a bit.

  • China Glaze White (two coats)
  • Sally Hansen Top Coat
  • Cotton ball preferred over the swab
  • Bold print newspaper with lines close together

My Opinion

When all is painted and done, this is one project that you must have a lot of time to do. Especially if you are doing it for the first time. I feel that it looks nice when you can get it right. I also feel that I am going to be researching and making a way to do this where the words are readable. Keep your eyes open for that post soon.

Good luck with this project if you decide it is something you might want to try. How do you do newspaper nails? Learning how to make newspaper nails is different for everyone so let me know how you got your newspaper print on nails and how it all worked out.

As always, here is to beautiful nails. Blessed Be Kari

Newspaper nails

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