Sooooo, one of the questions I’ve been getting asked a lot lately is “who does your nails?” It’s usually asked in that slow, filled with wonder and awe voice that people get when they think they are looking at something really cool. To me, it’s just something I do while watching TV or a movie and not really a big deal so I’ve been really surprised by the reactions I get.

Going back to the whole trying to save money thing, I stopped getting manicures and pedicures. Having a 13 year old daughter who watches lots of YouTube and about 50 bottles of nail polish, led to us discovering that we can make some pretty awesome nail art for very little money. Well, for about what one manicure costs.

First of all, despite the fact that pretty much every idiot on the planet with a video camera and the ambition for their 15 minutes of fame posts there, YouTube does have some pretty useful videos. If you do a search for “nail art”, tons of nail art tutorials come up from really crappy amateurs to professional nail artists. Depending upon your skill level, you should be able to find some nail designs that you can readily do yourself. Some of the artists we like are Bubzbeaty (more on her next week), IHaveaCupcake, IndigoNova1, RobinMosesNailArt, Cutepolish, and Love4nails. Most of these are where we get our ideas from.

So armed with my YouTube videos and minimal talent, I’m off to paint, but I need supplies. Most of the things you need if you don’t already have some of them around the house, you can find at craft stores or on Ebay. I bought dotting tools, fimo canes, and rhinestones all on Ebay for about $13. I bought detail brushes (50% off-look for sales) and craft paints (77 cents a bottle- again, sales) at Hobby Lobby for around $10. I already had a good supply of nail polishes but you can get some relatively inexpensive at Walgreens or other drugstores. They frequently put the Sally Hansen products on sale for about $2 a bottle and there are usually coupons every couple of months. Walgreens also carries the Sinful Colors brand which also normally run about $2 a bottle.

Usually what you would do is use nail polish to cover the whole nail and then use the craft paints to do the detail work, then cover it all with a good topcoat. You can use videos and do it exactly the same, or you can use the videos and designs as a guideline and come up with your own designs. Have fun with it. Here are some of the nail designs we did and some of the tools we bought.

These are some dotting tools we bought on Ebay for pretty cheap. Not only can you use them to make perfect dots, but they also come in really handy for drawing flower petals and circles if you aren't proficient with a detail brush.

These are the Fimo canes we bought. You slice them really thin with a razor blade and then adhere them to the nail with topcoat, wait til it dries and then coat it with more topcoat to protect it. Ready made designs you don't have to paint.

These were inspired by Van Gogh's Starry Night painting.You can find this tutorial Here.

We did these bee nails for Lili's night at the movies with friends to see The Winnie the Pooh movie.This tutorial is here.

I think this was one of my favorite designs. It was a black background with dark gray swirls with purple flowers on top. Blue rhinestones for the middles gave it just enough bling. I got the idea from this video and added the rhinestones.

These were my Tigger inspired nails and were fairly simple to do.You can see how to do this easy design here.

I really hope this inspires you to go out and do your own nail designs. It doesn’t have to be hard and you can get some really great results with minimal expense.