photos/post/design: Kristin Ess (wood floor insert photo from remodelista.com)

You gotta love those magical moments when you’re just minding your own bizz and inspiration jumps out and smacks you right between the eyes. Not long ago I was looking through floor patterns for a home project. My favorite pattern in the world is called the “herringbone pattern”. While I’m speaking to this flooring guy, all I could think about is making this pattern into a manicure. As he started demonstrating the way it gets laid down, I only saw colorfully painted nail strips. Sorry dude. Eventually I snapped back into floor mode, but it makes me remember that inspiration can come from anywhere at any time and you have to be open-minded to it! Here we go…

NOTE: Before you start, use one of your polish colors as a base for your nails about an hour before (or the night before) so they have plenty of time to dry before you apply the nail strips!

  1. Take a section of nail strips from the Sally Hansen Hard as Nails French Manicure kit and cut them in half long ways. You can also do this with tape, but I like using these because they’re pre-cut and fit together perfectly. It would be hard to get this precise with DIY nail stickers, but you can try!
  2. Next, cut those two in half short ways (following the lines of the nail strips). This will give you four sections of nail strips as seen in photo 2.
  3. Paint those four sections of nail strips any color you want! We used THIS, THIS, THIS and THIS for a pretty summer palette.
  4. Now you’ll start laying them down in the traditional herringbone pattern (see image). The best thing about using these particular nail strips is that you can pick them up and lay them back down if you mess up and it won’t pull up the base polish. (Btw, I wish Sally Hansen would sell just the strips by themselves!)
  5. Lay down the next set just above that. You want to overlap a little like I did with the gold in photo 5.
  6. Keep going til you reach the top. Take a clean paintbrush and push the sides down. Go around the entire perimeter of the nail.
  7. Use your cuticle nippers to clean up the excess.
  8. Add a quick drying clear coat. We use THIS one because it dries crazy fast.

Tah-dah! Keep your eyes peeled for pattern inspiration always! Can’t wait to see your herringbone manis on twitter!