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They say that everything you need to write your novel is already at your fingertips; in this case, they’re 100% right! With a little newsprint and rubbing alcohol, you can cover your nails with text and make word art and nail art at the same time. Here’s how to do it:
 
 
First, gather your materials:
 
• Neutral/pale nail polish
 
• Clear top coat (for this example, I used a matte finish topcoat for a flat, paper-like look)
 
• Rubbing alcohol
 
• Small bowl
 
• Newspaper
 
• Scissors
 
 
 
1. Paint your nails. I chose a pale, shimmery pink tone as the base. A light color helps the text pop, while using a metallic will give it a little brilliance and make the lettering seem subtle. If you want the text to pop starkly, try using a flat color as close to white as possible. Really let your nails dry thoroughly before proceeding!
 
 
 
 
2. Cut your newspaper. Once your nails are dry, cut your newspaper into strips about 1 inch long and half an inch wide. Trim your strips as close to the margin of the text as possible--that way you’ll get maximum coverage.
 
 
 
 
3. Soak the strips in alcohol. Pour a few capfuls of rubbing alcohol into your bowl. I used green mint-scented rubbing alcohol for this tutorial because it shows up well in pictures, but the color won’t affect your finished manicure. Dip a newspaper strip into the alcohol and hold it in place soaking for 10 to 15 seconds.
 
 
 
   
 
4. Apply the strip and hold. Place the strip on your clean, polished fingernail so that text covers the whole nail. Hold the wet newsprint strip in place and press firmly for 10 to 15 seconds. Don’t worry if a little print comes off on your skin, it washes off skin easily after the manicure is finished.
 
5. Repeat. Remove the newsprint and repeat with a fresh strip for each fingernail. 
 
Pro-tip: Complete this process one hand at a time, using the opposite hand to manipulate the alcohol and newsprint.
 
 
 
 
6. Repeat application for more layers. Repeat this process to get the look you want. I made a jumble of text going different directions with multiple applications on my fingers and straight lines of text from one application on my thumb. 
 
Pro-tip: If you don’t love the way the text looks on your nail, simply wipe it off your nail with a little rubbing alcohol and start over.
 
 
 
 
7. Top coat. Use a good-quality topcoat to seal the text onto your nail and let it dry. I used a matte finish top coat to make the finished look more like a printed page.
 
 
 
 
There you have it, a textual manicure perfect for any novelist, journalist or avid reader. Enjoy!

Margaret Dunham's picture

Margaret Dunham

Margaret’s earliest memory is trying to get a plastic Playskool car up to 88 miles per hour. She lives in a beautiful DIY fortress about a stone’s throw from Peter Parker’s old digs in Queens. By day she writes full time for the City of New York and local nonprofit heroes; by night she spends her time crafting, writing, and kung fu fighting. Read all about it on her site The Fearless Gluestick.