How to Put On Nail Stickers - A Complete Beginners Guide

how to put on nail stickers - a complete guide for beginners.
nail art sticker photos via: Dashing Diva

Have you ever considered using nail stickers? Or have you heard of them, but don't know what they are? Or are you a total noob, and haven't heard of them?

This guide will take you through the whole process of what they are, how to use them, what are good brands, why they are better than other nail options, and who they are good for.

Once you read this guide you will know the ins and outs of nail stickers, how to put on nail stickers, which brands to choose from, and the FAQ's of nail stickers, nail wraps and nail polish strips.

What are nail stickers?

They are also called nail wraps or polish strips. They are a set of nail polish stickers that go on your nails.

They come in pre-cut sizes for each nail.

They have an adhesive on one side of them to stick to your nails and the other side has your nail design or color. They come in so many different colors or designs, the options are endless.

nail stickers on the backing
image credit: danni & toni

There are many different brands that make them, and you can even make your own! We'll go into more detail about all of this below.

There are also nails stickers that are more accent stickers that you'd apply to your already painted nails like a butterfly sticker or other shape that is not a full set of nails. For the purpose of this article, we are mainly showing the process of how to put on a full set of nail wraps to each finger.

Enjoy our nail sticker guide full of simple nail inspo!

Nail Sticker How-To Guide

The ultimate guide of how to put on nail stickers.

How to Put On Nail Stickers

  1. Gather necessary tools: nail stickers, nail clippers, a pair of tiny scissors, and a nail file.
  2. Choose your nail wrap designs. You can purchase them online or in stores. They come in a sheet in different sizes for each nail. You can place the sheet over your nails to see which one you'll use for each nail.
  3. Start with clean dry nails. Don't add a base coat. Remove any nail polish on your nails. And even if you don't have nail polish on your nails it's recommended that you use some nail polish remover before applying with also help dry out your nail a bit, which is great for getting the nail wrap to stick to your nail better. [1]
  4. Cut and file your nails into the shape you want.
  5. Time to begin the application to your nails. First, remove a nail polish strip from the backing. You might need tweezers to help you with this process if the wraps are extra sticky or if you have very long nails. Using tweezers in general is recommended because touching the adhesive with your fingers might make them less sticky.
  6. Apply to your nail. You will want to apply it as close to your cuticle as possible. Very carefully place onto your nail and then once you are happy with the position, then press and smooth down from the center of the nail to the outer edges. Be careful using tools to smooth. A softer tool like a silicone tool is best so you don't mess up the design.  
    Once applied, you might need to trim the sticker (if it was too big for your nail) using a small pair of scissors or cuticle clippers.
  7. File away any excess off the tip of your nail. Take your nail file and gently swipe away in a smooth motion the extra nail polish strip.
  8. Add a top coat. If you'd like to add a salon-look finish, add a top coat layer. This will also help seal in your design and help it last a bit longer.
  9. Optional: Use a UV LED lamp to help cure. Some brands say to use a lamp for curing the polish. Always read the instructions for the brand you use because not all brands require this step.

How to Remove Nail Stickers

  1. Peel them off. They might easily come off just by peeling off. But if this doesn't work out perfectly, continue onto the next steps.
  2. Hot water method: Soak your nails in warm to hot water for about 20 minutes. You can add some dish soap to the water and once you're done soaking the strips should come off fairly easily.
  3. Acetone method: If they didn't peel off on their own with or without hot water soaking, you can also do an acetone soak for about 5 min. Add some petroleum jelly to your cuticles to protect them, then soak. The stickers should come off easily this way. If you use this method be sure to wash your hands and then moisturize them, even maybe using cuticle oil to help rehydrate them.

Nail Sticker Brands

Color Street

Colorstreet brand nail stickers.
image credit: Color Street

Color Street is available on the color street website, or find a friend who sells them. You can also find on Amazon.

Pros: Easy to apply. Tons of color and design choices.

Cons: Removal might require an acetone soak because they can be hard to remove.

Dashing Diva

nail gel strips by Dashing Diva
image credit: Dashing Diva

Dashing Diva is available at big box stores like Bed Bath and Beyond, Walmart or Macy's. You an also find them on their website.

Pros: Long lasting and good price. They are a gel nail polish strip. They also have some for kids. The kit comes with a file and prep pad.

Danni & Toni

Danni & Toni nail stickers - samsara design nail art
image credit: Danni & Toni

Danni & Toni is available on their own website.

Pros: They are non-toxic, they are gel nail polish strips, they have matching pedicure sets, they are safe for children.

Cons: They claim you should use a UV LED lamp to cure the nail polish. If you don't they might chip easily. As of date this article was posted, they have an offer of a free lamp for first time customers. [2] The prices are a little on the middle-high side, but they have sales often.


ohora gel nail strips
image credit: Ohora on Amazon

Ohora Gel Nail Polish Strips available on Amazon.

Pros: Damage-free removal process using a cuticle stick [3]. No toxic fumes like you would get in a salon. Comes with a drying lamp.

Cons: Needs a drying lamp to cure the strips.


Jelcie gellies, Hot Rocks style nail wraps stickers.
image credit: Jelcie

Jelcie gellies are available on their website.

Pros: Like going to the salon for a gel manicure, but without the toxic fumes or long dry time. Variety of colors and designs. They are safer for your nails than a real gel manicure would be.

Cons: Recommends you purchase a LED UV lamp for curing the polish strips on your nails.


ManiMe nail wraps clouds and stars.
image credit: ManiMe

ManiMe is available on their website.

Pros: They are amazing in that they take a photo of your nails and use an innovative software that creates gel nail wrap stickers to fit your exact nails precisely. They do toenails, too.

Cons: The price is high, but for what you get, it's probably worth it!

Nails of LA

nails of LA nail wraps nail stickers
image credit: Nails of LA

Nails of LA are available on their website.

Pros: They last long and have modern designs if you're into modern, these are the ones for you.

Cons: They are a bit on the pricy side. They only have a handful of designs that I saw on their website. Not as many as other brands.

Important Tips for Success

  • Each nail brand might have their own tips for success on their website for application. Always read what they have to say and opt for their instructions over any instructions you find online. They know their product best.
  • Applying to dry and clean nails is best and even using nail polish remover right before application is recommended.
  • Use tweezers to handle the polish strips so they don't touch your skin.
  • Use a hair dryer to help soften the sticker nail polish strip so it will apply better to your nail.
  • Nail stickers might not fit your nails perfectly, so you may need to trim them to fit using small scissors or cuticle clippers.
  • Most nail stickers come with a few extra stickers in case you mess up. Sometimes they even come with other little tools like nail files.


Who are they good for?
They are good for anyone really - but to be specific they are good for people who want a nice manicure but don't want to pay a lot of money, or they are nice for someone looking for an alternative to gel nails, or acrylic nails.

Why are they better than other nail options?
They are cheaper, safer, easier to apply, you can apply them at home. It really all depends on your needs and if you think you have the skill to follow the steps above and apply them yourself.

Are nail stickers safe?
YES! They are super safe in that they just come off your nails with nail polish remover and won't harm your nails.

How long do nail stickers last?
They will usually last about 2 weeks, maybe a bit longer if you applied them extra good.

Are nail stickers / nail wraps expensive?
Not usually. In fact, they are pretty cheap for a set - cheaper than going to a salon at least.


If you've followed the steps above and read this whole guide you should know how to put on nail stickers the right way.

This article was a complete step-by-step process of how to put on nails stickers, how to take off nail stickers and how to choose the right brand for you. It also included a FAQ's section along with a tips for success on putting on nail stickers at home.

Hope you found our how to put on nail stickers guide helpful and useful. Share with your friends and please reach out if you have questions.

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