20 DIY Christmas Nails to Guide Your Slay

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After a year of wearing nothing but comfy clothes and messy buns, we’re ready to put some effort in and slay the 2020 holiday season. But, you know, without giving up leggings. That’s where DIY Christmas nails come in. Christmas nail art, classic holiday nail colors, glitter and minimalist metallic designs feel festive and don’t require a lot of effort. 

To make them even less effort, we rounded up a list of 20 Christmas nail ideas that you can replicate at home. We also have links to nail polish that can be delivered in just 30 minutes by goPuff. So crack open the ’nog and get ready to DIY some fabulous Christmas nails. 

Traditional Christmas Nail Art

1. Holiday Hodgepodge 

Why pick one design when you have 10 nails? Sure, these glitzy Christmas-themed nails are a bit extra, but they’re so fun to look at that you may end up cutting the tops off all your gloves. To replicate this six-step holiday manicure, you’ll need a nail brush set, 5 polishes and an hour of free time.

Get the full nail tutorial here.

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2. Christmas Stamps

We know this Christmas nail art design looks more complicated than Santa’s gifting spreadsheet, but we promise it’s not. Nail stamps do most of the heavy lifting. All you need is a red polish, white polish, shimmer polish and nail stamper and plates to create this professional-level look. 

Get the full nail tutorial here.

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3. Classic Candy Cane 

These super cute Christmas nails pay homage to America’s favorite edible tree decorations (sorry, popcorn balls), and despite how perfect they look, they’re very easy to do. You’ll need some striping tape to create the precise lines, and then just a bottle of red polish and a bottle of white.

Get the full nail tutorial here.

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4. French Candy Canes 

These candy cane nails are a bit more complicated to DIY than the previous candy cane nails. That’s because of their French tips. But we have a trick: To do French tips at home, rest your finger on a flat surface, tilt it to the side, place your brush where you want the white tip to start and slowly roll your finger while keeping the brush in place to create the line. It’s much easier to do this than to move the brush. 

Get the full nail tutorial here.

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5. Christmas Botanical 

Botanists, avert your eyes! Everyone else, peep this cute holiday nail art featuring a plant that is not quite a mistletoe and not quite a holly. (Fun fact: mistletoe has white berries and holly has red berries!) To create your own mistletoe-holly hybrid, start with a white base, then use a nail dotting tool to draw green leaves and red berries. 

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Minimalist Holiday Nails 

6. Navy Swirls 

These hypnotic Christmas nail designs pay homage to the season without being so on-the-nose. To create this look, draw navy swirls on bare or taupe nails. Once your nails dry, add a high-shine top coat.  

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7. Metallic Stars

nude nails with tiny gold glitter stars
Source: Lulus

If you’re looking for simple Christmas nails that still feel festive, this celestial mani is for you. You’ll need a few coats of a clear polish, plus some glitter stars that you’ll add to the polish before it dries. A top coat then seals in the stars. The best part about this mani is that it will last for weeks, as long as you keep adding more top coat and don’t do anything chaotic with your fingers.

Get the full nail tutorial here.

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8. Sunburst 

nude matte nails with gold metallic sunbursts
Source: Lulus

This gorgeous sunburst design reminds us of a blinding winter sun on a frigid day. Recreate it with a clear nail polish and a short striping brush dipped in gold polish. For a less shiny look, skip the clear polish in favor of a bare nail and matte top coat. 

Get the full nail tutorial here.

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9. Gold French Twist

nude nails with slanted gold French tips & slanted gold on bottom nail beds
Source: Lulus

We’re obsessed with this modern twisted French manicure, which can be created using a clear or taupe polish and looks fantastic for New Year’s Eve. It’s especially great for DIYers who have a hard time drawing straight French lines.

The curved lines are more forgiving, and you can get as much polish on your cuticles as you need when perfecting the bottom curve. Simply dip a cotton swab in nail polish remover and clean up your skin. 

Get the full nail tutorial here.

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10. Tiny Tree

nude nails with one accent nail featuring a tiny Christmas tree
Source: So Nailicious 

Pointillism, but make it fashion. These extremely easy Christmas nails are perfect for you if you’re just starting out on your DIY nail art journey. Simply paint all your nails with a taupe polish, then use a toothpick dipped in green polish to create a teeny tree using a series of dots. Finish with dots of red and gold polishes. 

Get the full nail tutorial here.

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Sparkly Christmas Nails

11. Glitter Candy Cane 

Clear nails with thick gold glitter on half of the tip & thin red & white stripes on the other half
Source: Lulus

This is one of those holiday nail designs that looks so chic because of how it pays homage to a classic nail design—the French tip—and updates it with the use of negative space and a mix of colors and textures. To do it yourself, you need glitter polish, red polish and white polish, as well as an ultrathin striping brush. 

Get the full nail tutorial here.

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12. Fabergé Egg 

Christmas manicure with green, red & gold Fabergé-egg pattern
Source: So Nailicious 

These challenging Fabergé-egg-esque Christmas nails are not for the faint of heart or shaky of brush. But if you’re a nail art master, you can create this look at home using a red polish, a green polish, a silver polish and a small nail striping brush. 

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13. Holiday Present 

Ready to get messy? This holiday present manicure requires you to dip a sponge in gold polish and dab the tip of your nails—on top of a coat of red polish. When you do that, you will get gold polish all over your fingers, so don’t forget your cotton swabs and acetone. Finish the look with a cross and a bow drawn with a striping brush. 

Get the full nail tutorial here.

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14. Pop of Sparkle 

mauve nails with 1 purple glitter nail accent nail on ring finger
Source: Valeria Boltneva, Pexels 

This simple nail look may not feature the red, green and gold color scheme typically seen with Christmas nails, but we love how cool this frosted mauve looks and think it works just as well at the end of cuffing season as it does in the beginning. Swiping a sparkly pink or purple polish on top of the ring finger nail adds a bit of festivity, too. 

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15. Rose Gold Glitter Snowflakes 

This somewhat complex manicure requires an hour of free time to DIY, so we suggest putting on a holiday classic like “Die Hard” and settling in. You’ll need a small nail art brush and four types of polish: mauve, purple glitter, gray and white. Paint 3 nails with the mauve polish and 2 with the gray. Add the glitter polish to two of the mauve nails once they dry, then paint snowflakes on the gray nails and remaining mauve nail. Finish these nails with some dots of purple glitter polish.

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Christmas-Adjacent Nail Designs

16. Christmas Triangles 

These nails have a “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”/Whoville-vibe to them, so they’re great for those who want a more abstract Christmas nail art look that’s still festive. This look isn’t hard to do as long as you have a small striping brush to create precise lines, but it does require patience as you have to wait for each triangle to dry before you add another on top of it. It also requires four polishes: red, white, berry and gold glitter. 

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17. Christmas in Paradise 

Green nails with 1 accent nail featuring a botanical plant on the ring finger
Source: Kristina Paukshtite, Pexels

Cue the “Heat Miser” song. We love this Christmas manicure featuring a tiny tropical plant speckled with dew drops. It’s pretty easy to do with taupe polish, greenpolish, a nail art brush and a few drops of clear polish dotted on the leaves with a toothpick. 

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18. Red Curtain 

Negative space manicure with red tips & sides at the top & gold stripe across the middle top
Source: Paintbox

We may not be able to get out and see “The Nutcracker” this year, but we can give a little nod to the Christmas ballet with these red curtain nails. To do this look yourself, dip a striping brush in red polish and carefully create the “curtains.” Once those dry, either draw a thin gold line across the red with gold polish or stick on some gold nail striping tape. 

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19. A Little Bit of Love

Mani with two red nails that spell “lo” & “ve” in the middle & three clear nails with red heart-shaped tips
Source: Designecologist, Pexels 

As “Scrooged” taught us, it’s important to put a little love in your heart, er, nails, for the holidays. This statement mani does just that with the help of red polish, white polish and a small nail striping brush. The best part? The cursive “love” helps hide any shaky squiggles. 

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20. Confetti 

We saved the easiest DIY holiday manicure for last. To create this party-ready look, add a few swipes of purple glitter polish over white polish and call it a day. 

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