DIY Holiday-Themed Nail Polish Ideas

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The holidays pretty much demand a festive mood, and the holiday spirit can be catching. But if bright, sequined sweaters are not the way you prefer to show your spirit, you may want to give some seasonal nail art designs a try. You can create as subtle or bold a look as you like -- and you don't even have to be an artist to pull it off. With the right nail polish and tools, you can design fun holiday nails even if you're a beginner.

Sparkling Lights

Create a fun holiday look with a sparkly glitter topcoat that makes your nails look like twinkling lights. For a Christmas-themed look, start with a base coat of red, white or green nail polish. Brush a red or green glitter polish on top of your base color when it’s dry. You can also use rainbow glitter if you want to mimic the look of multi-color lights. If you’re painting your nails for Hanukkah, start with a cobalt or royal blue nail polish and apply a gold glitter topcoat, or reverse the look with a gold base coat and a glittery blue top coat.

Candy Cane Stripes

For an easy, festive nail design, create candy cane stripes on your fingertips. Start with a base coat of bright red nail polish. Once it’s dry, use a white nail art pen or a striping brush with white polish to paint diagonal stripes across your nails. For the most authentic candy cane look, vary the width of the stripes as you go. If you want to spice up the look of your nails a bit, use a green nail art pen or striping brush with Kelly green polish to scatter a few thin green lines through your red and white stripes.

Snow Day

If you want a generic nail design that works for both Christmas and Hanukkah, opt for a snow-themed look. Start with a blue base color – either royal blue or a robin’s egg shade – and allow it to dry. For a simple design, use a white nail art pen to paint a single large snowflake or a couple of small flakes on your nail. You can use a silver polish to paint the snowflakes if you want a little more bling in your look. For a more elaborate look, use white polish and a nail art brush to paint three dots on top of each other to form a snowman. Create a carrot nose with a little orange or red polish and add a hat, eyes and buttons with black polish.

Wrapped Up

For a whimsical take on the holidays, paint your nails to look like decorative gift boxes. Customize your look based on your favorite holiday – a red or green base coat works well for Christmas, while blue works for Hanukkah. Use a metallic gold or silver polish and a nail art brush to paint a cross on each nail to resemble ribbon on a gift box. In the center, paint a bow so each nail resembles a wrapped present. To make the design really special, use nail glue to attach a small rhinestone in the center of each bow to catch the light.