Transfer Nails

I first heard about ‘Newspaper Nails‘ a few years ago, but you needed quite a strong chemical to transfer the colour from the newspaper, more recently I heard it can be done with alcohol so I gave it a quick go.

Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Paint nails with a base coat, something plain and pail, for newspaper you really need white or even better off-white, I used Topshop’s Offbeat.
  2. Choose the print you want, rip it out and soak in alcohol.
  3. Hold the paper over dry nails for a few seconds and then peel back gently.
  4. Add a topcoat to seal in the print and intensify the colour.

And you’re done! It really is very simple.

I love the effect so much I have a few variations to show you, firstly using magazine prints. This is easy peasy, just rip out some cute patterns from magazines and follow the same procedure but for much more dramatic results. For me, these were the perfect holiday nails.

Pre top coat

All sealed in

You can also mess around with base colours as well as print, as long as the colour is light and flat it will be effective, pastels are great. Here is the look on a slightly more adventurous lime green.

A few tips:

I heard about this with gin and vodka, in my experience gin is more effective and transfers better.

If using magazine paper, thinner pages work better, stay away from your editorials.

Bigger patterns work better, tiny floral patterns don’t tend to show up so much and don’t produce a very eye catching look.

When using a bright base colour you have to think more carefully about print selection, you want stuff that will show up and not clash with the base colour.



  1. these are so cool! i’ll have to try it!

  2. I did a post on newspaper nails last week but my technique is to soak the paper in water, and then when the paper is wrapped around the finger, press a nail polish remover-soaked cotton ball onto the nail and voila! My budget version of newspaper nails, it worked a treat 🙂


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