Plaid Nail Art Tutorial

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Plaid nail art

Whether it’s winter where or summer in your part of the world, plaid nail art will instantly put you into a festive mood. Plus, this pattern is quite universal and you can make it in any colour combination you like.

Plaid nail art is relatively easy but you will need some time, a steady hand and a striping nail art brush. Beginners tip – don’t hurry. Draw the lines slowly and remember, practice makes perfect. It’s a good idea to practice drawing the lines on a piece of paper or practice wheel. You can do 1 or 2 accent nails or, if you have patience, draw the pattern on all ten.

Put on your husband/boyfriend/significant other’s plaid shirt, make a hot chocolate and let’s paint!


  • red, darker red, green, darker green, black and white nail polishes
  • detailing nail art brush
  • thin nail art brush with long bristles. I.e. a striping nail art brush
  • base coat and top coat

plaid nail art tutorial


  1. Decide which nails will be red or green. Apply 2 coats of nail polish on each nail.
  2. Paint two horizontal stripes with a nail polish brush. On the red nails use the darker red or on the green, the darker green.
  3. Paint one vertical stripe over the horizontal ones.
  4. Take a detailing nail art brush and draw the black squares where the lines cross each other.
  5. Use a thin nail art brush to draw fine white lines as pictured. Clean and dry your brush.
  6. Continue with fine black lines. Allow 15 minute for your design to dry, then apply 2 coats of clear top coat to seal and smooth the design.

Plaid nail artPlaid nailsPlaid nail art tutorial

Used: Orly Bonder base coat, LCN Struck by Cupid #38, China Glaze Browstone, Starboard and Westside Warrior, Sally Hansen Black Out, OPI Alpine Snow (white) and Seche Vite top coat.

Have you tried Plaid nail art before? Or, keen to give it a try? What colours would you choose for Plaid Nail Art?

As always, if you create a nail art inspired by this tutorial, make sure you show us! Tweet or Instagram us a photo with the tag #sonailicious we’d love to see your work!

– Elina/NailScope, xx

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  • Great tutorial. I have to try it too, because I never made plaid nails!

  • Great mani and tutorial! Regards, Natasha

  • Fantastic tutorial! I recently did some Burberry plaid nails for my blog and it definitely took some practice but plaid is doable – especially with your great tutorial!
    April Brooks recently posted…Smart Nails Spider Sticker StencilsMy Profile

  • LOVE THIS! OMG, I think I’ll have to try it. I just need to get a white that its more… white… does that make sense? lol.

  • This is amazing, and I might even be game enough to give it a try one day. Thanks for sharing this with us.
    Christine Chipman recently posted…Headwear and Gifts for Cancer PatientsMy Profile

  • Edan Stanley

    Hi Elina! These are great. We would love to feature your plaid nail design on TeenNick.com! Please email me at your earliest convenience!

  • How cute! And i looove that red shade !
    Craftynail recently posted…What I’m wearing- ILNP Very OrnamentalMy Profile

  • Angel

    You could also do the cheaper, simpler version by buying one green and one red nail polish, and also white, black, dark green, and dark red ACRYLIC paint. Little known fact: acrylic paint adheres to nail polish and doesn’t diminish the lifespan of the nail brushes. It also is fairly easy to clean if you mess up. Just always do a base coat first. And always finish with a top coat.

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