Fingernails have long been canvases for single colors or two-toned French manicures, but nail stencils allow you to create art on nails to suit special occasions, holidays and outfits, or to just showcase your creativity. Nail stencils, or nail art stencils, are just like stencils used to paint designs on a wall or letters on a sign but on a much, much smaller scale.
Ready-made stencils come in sheets or individual pieces, and in single-use or reusable materials. One-time use stencils are usually adhesive, while most of the reusable kinds are made of flexible and sturdy plastics. If using an adhesive stencil, you can simply pull off the backing, adhere the sticky cutout to your nail and paint in any color to contrast with either a clear or colored nail beneath. Once peeled off, the design stays put.
Reusable stencils can be taped in place around the edges or sides or just held over the nail tightly while paint goes on. They often come in a wheel or strip shape with multiple designs for layering or mixing it up, and they're easy to clean for reuse.
Stenciling nails is simple once you get the hang of it. We'll look at some prep and finishing steps as well as a way to personalize your nail art, next.