Oct 07 2011

Nail Art Tutorial: Perfect Polka Dots

Polka Dots 1

When creating polka dots nail art, I used to have this ‘I’ve ruined my nails!!’ agony because of my shaky hands and uneven dots. Then one day, I kind of found this method to create (nearly) perfect dots. I will show you how to create dotted nails in three different ways, and hopefully, by the end of this tutorial, you will find it much easier to tackle dotted nails :)

1) Creating dots with toothpick

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1) After painting your nails with the base colour, place a few drops of polish for dots on a piece of paper (I’m using parchment paper). Take a small amount of polish with a toothpick.

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2) Place the toothpick and make 2 – 4 dots vertically at the centre of your nail. The spacing of the dots here determines how dense your dots will be; the more dots you create at the centre, the denser your dots will be.

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3) The next step, place dots in a way that each dots form a triangle shape (if you draw lines, that is). For example, 1 and 2 (the dots you drew at step 2) and 3 (the new dot) form a triangle, and 1, 2 and 4 (the new dot) form a triangle.

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4) Add dots in the same principle, making the dots to form triangles.

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5) See? It’s not perfect-perfect, but it’s pretty neat, no?


2) Creating dots with cotton buds (Q-Tips)

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a) After painting your nails with the base colour, place a few drops of polish for dots on a piece of paper (I’m using parchment paper). Take a small amount of polish with a cotton bud.

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b) Place the cotton bud to make dots in the same way as the step2 – 4 above, but apply the dots while the base polish is still wet. Since cotton buds will create bigger dots, if you apply dots on dry polish there is a chance that you’ll get uneven circles. Applied on wet polish, though, each dot will be more circle-shaped (hope this makes any sense!).


3) Creating dots with glitters

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i) After painting your nails with the base colour, place some glitters on a piece of paper. Apply a tiny amount of topcoat or water on the tip of a toothpick, and take one glitter.

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This is the glitter I’m using. I got it from a craft shop (for about £1), and there are so many different colours!

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ii) Apply the glitter on your nails in the same way as step2 – 4 above. Your nails should be wet with polish; if the base polish is dried already, apply a topcoat before placing the glitters.

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iii) Apply one coat of topcoat after placing the glitters.

My favourite way of creating polka dots is the one using glitters, because it is the quickest way for me (drying time is much shorter), and I don’t have to worry about making same size dots over and over again. Also, you can replace glitters with rhinestones which would add another dimension to your nail art.

Here are some examples:

Polka Dots 2

I created polka dots with rhinestones and pearls.

Polka Dots 3

For this one, I created dots with glitters first, and then added some rhinestones.

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I usually don’t wear polka dots on every nail (they can look very ‘loud’). But polka dots on moon nails didn’t look that ‘dotty dotty’.

So, are you feeling less stressed about creating dotted nails now? The rule is; 1) relax, 2) think ‘triangle’ and 3) use rhinestones or glitters for perfection. Hope you enjoyed the tutorial :)

I’m linking the tutorial on Sassy Sites!, Shabby Nest, Jatie’s Nesting Spot and Flamingo Toes. Make sure to check them!

The Shabby Nest
Katie's Nesting Spot

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19 Commnents to “Nail Art Tutorial: Perfect Polka Dots”

  1. very helpful 10 / 10

  2. very very helpful, my polka dotted nails lookamazing !!

  3. This is a great tutorial on how to make dots on nail art, no need to buy some tools to create dots, just toothpick and cotton buds I can now create dots for my nail arts. Thanks for the great tutorial.

  4. omg thank you so much! now i wont need to start over like five times

  5. Thank you for your tutorial. Can’t wait to do my nails now!


  7. Thank you very much, Mitzi S! I’m over the moon to hear that you like my craft projects :) And yes, pom pom projects are always my favorite, too!

  8. Thanks for the great ideas. Loved the pom-poms especially. Actually The wire bending was fantastic too. Okay I give up…it is all great! Thanks for your Tutorial. My grand daughter loves it too.

  9. Hi Jeannie, have you decided which finger you’re going to wear dots on yet? I say, give it a go on your left hand ring finger first, then decide if you still fancy dots on your right :) It’s always easier to add something later!

  10. Perfect. I’m going to try to do some subtle, tiny dots this weekend! I’m not a kid, and I don’t want to be one of those women who can’t discern when she’s too old for a trend. I kind of think I know just how to ‘walk that line’ between trendy, but mature. I’m thinking I’ll need to choose just one nail to dot…at the most, one on each hand–but my instinct is telling me, “just do one.” I’ll dot my ring finger on my right hand. I’ll wear a pretty Essie pink shade, and use glitter pieces. Nice, don’t you think? I guess I’ll find out. Second thought: do left hand ring finger because I’m right-handed! Better chance for a good outcome if I use my dominant hand for application :-).

    Great site. I came here from the Allure mention!

  11. I think I’m in love with your site.

  12. Really glad to hear that! Thanks for stopping by, Sam :)

  13. this Helped me ALOT

  14. thanx,, i ws wondrin hw to make dots,,

  15. Thanks Kay!

  16. This is really awesome! Thanks for inspiring new ways to paint my nails. I can’t wait to try it out! Love your website a lot :)

  17. Dry spaghetti?! Never thought of that one; gotta try it sometime! Thanks for stopping by, Claudia :)

  18. My favorite way to make dots is a piece of dry spaghetti! Just break it off to a manageable piece and dip one end in polish. I like doing polka dots and little flowers.

  19. Awesome Thanks..

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