Doing your nails doesn’t have to be a monotonous endeavor of picking a single color, waiting painstakingly for it to dry enough to put on a top coat, and predictably messing at least one nail up before the night is over. If you’re a book lover looking for a bookish manicure, consider some of these literary nail art designs. Pick your favorite novel, master a design, and sit down with a book as you let your nails (fully!) dry.
1. Newspaper Nails
This wordy nail design is a classic that not only looks refined, but also is vague enough to represent a general love of all things literary. To accomplish the look, start by painting your nails with an opaque white shade which might take a couple of coats to perfect. Next, cut ten strips of newspaper that are large enough to cover your entire nail. Dip each strip into alcohol and transfer them onto your nails, though be sure not to hold them on for too long or the paper itself will stick to your nails. Peel the paper off, apply a top coat, and you’re done.
2. Lord of the Rings Manicure
Applying the same concept of the newspaper nails, you can also transfer maps of worlds from your favorite novels onto a light base color. This fun design looks interesting to those passing by, but can also start a great conversation if someone recognizes Middle Earth or Narnia on your hands. Just find a design you like, make it small enough to have details on each nail strip, and print it out on normal paper.
3. Alice in Wonderland
A childhood favorite calls for an endlessly fun design. Pick up some Alice in Wonderland nail decals and make the look as fun or as toned done as you like by playing with your base color. Mostly black decals on a white base coat keeps the look quirky but simple. Painting each nail a different pastel shade and adding decals to the top creates an entirely different and much bolder look. You can find these decals at the Etsy store OneStopNailsDesings.
4. Flame Nails
Fire has been used symbolically in literature for as long as there have been books. This easy design is great because it looks edgy and interesting, but you can know it’s secretly representing your love of Suzanne Collins’ Catching Fire or Ray Bradberry’s Farenheit 451. Because of fire’s irregular shape, you can easily use orange, red, and yellow shades to create a fire-like design, gentling mixing the colors together and designing using a toothpick.
5. The Great Gatsby Nail Wrap
If you’re not a natural born artist or just don’t want to attempt to design something using your left hand, turn to nail stickers and wraps to honor your favorite novel. These designs are often subtle and symbolic but still look professional when executed perfectly. Etsy shop itsPersonail offers several designs for The Great Gatsby as well a Harry Potter design.
6. Contemporary Designs
A lot of books coming out in the past few years have fairly abstract looking covers. Allude to these iconic tales by mimicking the colors and shapes of some of your favorite books in your nail art. Because these designs rely on basic shapes and straight lines, you don’t need to be an artist to execute them well.
7. Publisher’s Pick
Consider alluding to your favorite publisher in your nail design, especially if they have a classic cover design or collection. This design from the nail art blog onenailtorulethemall.co.uk showcases some Penguin Random House classics, and only requires a couple of different colors, a toothpick, and a lot of patience.
Finally, if you just want to honor all books and reading as a pastime, spend some time painting books and bookshelves onto your nails. This can be as colorful and as complicated as you want it to be, so just have fun with it.