How to apply nail stickers to your nails: step by step tutorial

Whew, I’m back into nail art lol! Funny how fast such trends can change, but I love it.

For the last few months, I have discovered nail decals and nail stickers! In fact, I discovered how to make your own nail decals.


I’m going to show you in this article how you can (very easily and step by step) create your own top nail art with nail stickers, one of the biggest nail polish trends for 2022!

How to apply nail stickers and what to look out for? Which brands of nail stickers are good and which ones are best left alone? I tell you everything!

What are nail stickers?

Nail stickers are stickers that you put on your nails. You often stick these on your nails to create fun nail art. They are sized to fit your nails.


Nail stickers versus nail wraps

Nail stickers are not nail wraps! Nail wraps are actually more nail polish on a sheet of paper.

With nail stickers (what this article is about), it’s about stickers that you apply over nail polish. So this is not a full nail art look, but just use them to create your nail art.

How do you remove nail stickers from the sticker sheet?

With more expensive nail stickers, this is easy, but I have found that it is more difficult with cheaply produced nail stickers from, say, AliExpress, Wish or Essence,…

Take hold of the sheet and bend it slightly (always make sure to make a round bend, and don’t make any corners in your sheet). You will see that the sticker often already comes off slightly.

Now remove the sticker from the sticker sheet with tweezers and place it on your nails.

How to apply nail stickers to your nails

  1. Clean nails

    First, be sure that your nails are completely clean: old nail polish has been removed and your nails are nourished with a nail oil, but completely dry.

    These tips count for regular nail polish, as well as gel nail polish, acrylic nails or for on your nails without nail polish: always use clean, non-greasy nails as a base.

    Your nail polish should also be completely dry, this applies to regular nail polish as well as acrylic nails and gel nails.

  2. Apply at least one basecoat

    Even if you like to apply your nail stickers on your regular nails without nail polish, you should still apply a basecoat.

    Why? Because of the natural oils in our nails, nail stickers don’t just stick to your nails.

    Also, it’s best to finish the look with a topcoat to protect your nail art and make your nail polish and nail art last as long as possible!

  3. Remove the stickers from the sticker sheet

    Don’t fiddle with your fingers to get the stickers off the sticker sheet…. That is guaranteed to go wrong. I used to do this too, but often ended up with half stickers and torn stickers…. not top.

    So how to do it? Take the sticker sheet in your hand and bend it (I always say: keep a round curve and do not make a sharp angle), you will see that the edges of the stickers will gradually loosen.

    Now take hold of the sticker with tweezers and touch it as little as possible: otherwise you will reduce the stickiness of the sticker.

  4. Applying the sticker to your nail

    A nail sticker is best applied by placing it on your nail with tweezers.

    Then you first gently press with a silicone tool or your finger (preferably not with the tweezers, which is too sharp and can damage your nail sticker) in the center of the nail sticker to make the sticker stick.

    Then gently rub from the center of the sticker, to the outer edges. This will prevent cracks and air bubbles under your sticker. Do this also for longer stickers.


  5. Sticker too long or wide?

    First apply the sticker to your nails and then trim the sticker to the right size. Use small nail scissors or scissors for your cuticles to do this.


  6. Apply topcoat

    Are the stickers all set and are you satisfied with your created nail art? Top!!! Then you just need to apply a topcoat.

    When I work with stickers, I always apply 1 coat of regular topcoat, and 1 coat of quick-drying topcoat like Sèche Vite, for example. So a total of at least 2 coats of topcoat.

    If I work with really thick stickers or small slices of Fimo on my nails, I sometimes even need 3 coats of topcoat to get everything to blend nicely.

    In that case, be sure to use a layer of quick-drying topcoat as the last coat, which also allows all the other layers to dry quickly at once!

Can you use nail stickers on gel nails?

Yes, you can use nail stickers on gel nails!


Just make sure your nail polish is fully cured before you start applying the nail stickers and finish with a topcoat (preferably, even 2 coats of topcoat) to best protect your nail stickers.

Can you use nail stickers on acrylic nails?

Yes, you can apply nail stickers to acrylic nails. Just make sure to apply an adhesive layer and finish with a topcoat to protect your nail art.


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