Candy Cane Nail Art

December 21, 2012 by Michelle

I shared the fun I’ve been having with my nails this fall when I posted my how to for the football manicure.  Now that (college) football is (mostly) over, I’ve moved on.  I’ve found another season to celebrate, and right now, I’m doing candy cane nail art.  It’s super easy, and I’ve gotten a ton of compliments.  Even though I am not the best artist and I think there are messy parts to it, there are plenty of people who don’t believe I did this myself. It’s just that neat looking.

Candy cane manicure done at home

Note: This is my bad hand – I’m left-handed.

So now you want them, too, don’t you?

My what to do and what not to do to ensure a successful nail art manicure hold true for the candy cane nails, just as they did for the football nails.  Go read up on those if you’re new to doing this.

This time around, I didn’t need to buy any polish.  I used white as the background, so I used the white polish I had bought the first time I attempted the football manicure.  (Ever painted a room dark then tried to paint over it with a light color?  You need a lot of primer.  Just avoid that issue by starting with white.)  I have a great red, and I’m sure you do, too.  And again, I used my nice thick brush clear coat to top it off.  The only other thing you need for this nail art is a toothpick.

Just red, white and clear are needed for candy cane nails

Start out by painting your nails white.  The first coat will look terrible, but it’s ok.  Just trust me.  Don’t put it on too thick thinking that will help.  The second coat makes all the difference in the world, and you want your coats thin so that you don’t have thick glops chunking off when you’re done with the manicure because the polish is too thick.  Let the white dry for a few minutes before starting with the red.

Nails with two coats of white polish

Next up, paint one diagonal stripe of red across each nail.  This was hard for me to do.  I kept wanting to paint straight down.  Again, I found that holding the brush still and moving my hand instead made it much easier.

Candy cane nails with red stripe

Next up, use the toothpick to dip into the red polish.  You want a fair amount of polish on the tip, but not so much that it’s dragging.  Create a line above and below the thick line of red by pressing slightly into the white polish.  If you do it right, it will create two very thin lines with a hint of white between them, just like a real candy cane.  All the stripes on a candy cane aren’t the same width, you know!  Depending on your nail length, add another strip at the very tip with the regular brush so that it all looks even.

Candy cane nails completed

Again, let the red dry for a few minutes before putting on your clear top coat.  Just like with the footballs, make sure there is plenty of polish on the brush so that you are using the brush to move the polish and the brush doesn’t touch the red or white polish itself.  This will help keep it from smearing.

So what should I do for the new year?  That’s my next challenge!

Shares 0


  • Mrs4444

    The first pic is too big to see anything, for some reason, but the rest look fine. Very impressive, though I’d probably have to let my nails grow to accomplish this feat 🙂

  • Pat

    Very cute and clever! Maybe I’ll break down and get the polishes for doing this some day if my nails cooperate and don’t continually split! A bit of trivia about the stripes on a candy cane. The three small, narrow red stripes supposedly represent the blood from the three nails used in crucifying Christ and the wide red stripe supposedly represents the blood that came out when a soldier pierced Jesus’ side with a spear (John 19:24). I say “supposedly” because says it’s false, but, hey, it’s a good idea anyway, I think.

    Leave a Comment

    Your email is never shared.
    Required fields are marked *