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Easiest DIY Acrylic Nails

easiest diy acrylic nails

Everyone has a beauty treat they love. For me, it was always my nails. I loved going in for a full set of brand new acrylics or gels. When my hands look great, I just feel better. Unfortunately, that gets a little expensive after a while. I was paying $40+ per set and sometimes more depending on what ‘extras’ I wanted like UV gel or airbrush French manicure.

I tried doing my nails by hand. It was messy and they never turned out right. There’s a reason techs go to school to learn these hand-shaped techniques! Then I found a product that changed everything.

Easiest DIY Acrylic Nails At Home

* Check the end of the post for an update and video link showing how to fill the nails after and keep them looking great.


easiet diy acrylic nails

I did the French tip nails on my first try, sitting at my desk while I watched a movie on Netflix. Guess what – you can too. You just need these little gems…


These are nail forms. They come in different brand names, but I personally use Form-A-Nail. They make acrylic nails simple, fast and more affordable. Typically you would have to fight with applying acrylic directly onto your nail or nail tip, struggling with working with the opposite hand, patting, sliding, filing it down, buffing it out… and still likely end up with ridges, bumps and uneven edges.

With nail forms none of that is an issue. Work with both hands, start over if you mess up, add glitter or accents, no filing or buffing required… all before the acrylic even touches your fingernail.

4 Easy Steps

  1. Add artificial nail tip (after a bit of practice you can even skip this step!)
  2. Apply acrylic to nail form
  3. Press nail form onto nail for 15 – 20 seconds
  4. File edges

Don’t believe me? Check out the video:

Once I had the knack of the nail forms (one try is all it took) I couldn’t wait to add more color and design.

Purple & Pink glitter ombre

Adding art is simple:

  • mix glitter into your acrylic before applying
  • place glitter directly into acrylic in form
  • place almost anything into the form with the acrylic: decals, gems, beads, even images from a magazine

It was so easy that I found myself grabbing up all kinds of supplies. This glitter sample tray was calling my name.


But, it wasn’t enough. I had the nail art bug. The logical next step was fimo. Fimo sticks are sliced with a razor blade to make colorful images for your nails. Many people place them on TOP of the nail art. But that creates a layered 3D effect that can catch on fabric, break off, scratch your kids (found that out the hard way). With nail forms, you put the fimo slice UNDER the acrylic so they won’t come off until you remove the nail.

fimo flat rjc

My fimo stick starter set – 200 pcs assorted
The design set into the fimo, before cutting

Please excuse my crochet hand warmers.  My office gets really cold in the winter. And my giant thumb. Gotta love weird camera angles.

Sliced fimo, ready for nail application

I realize there are some people who aren’t into going all out with design, fimo etc. Some just want a pretty, natural nail. I love that style as well. So I set out to see just how natural nail forms could look. I was very happy with the results.


First attempt: Semi-transparent natural nail tip with clear acrylic in a nail form. I polished just the tips with Sally Hansen “Disco Ball’.

For my second attempt I used a traditional nail tip and overlayed with ‘natural’ acrylic on the tips and ‘soft pink’ on the nail beds. Again, applied with nail forms. This gave me a different natural look with more pink and it was a little bit stronger than the first try. However, both looked great and even more natural than what I usually received at the nail salon.


If you want to try nails at home, but you’ve been scared you’ll end up with a Pinterest “fail” instead – try nail forms. I think you’ll be amazed at just how easy it really is.


My products:


UPDATE: A lot of readers want to know how to fill the nails. Click HERE to watch a great video by Bold n Trendy Nails showing how to keep your at-home set looking great.

ALSO: Check out my newest Easy Nail System Review: KIARA SKY DIP POWDER – with video!

  • I have acrylics, but I got them put on at the nail salon – and I go back every 2 weeks for a fill. Cha ching….

  • WOW! Your nails look incredible. I would have never guessed you did these on your own. I love that glitter tray! That’s enough to get me to do my own nails at home. I wonder if mine would come out as good as yours!

  • I cant believe you did those yourself, they look incredible. I gave up on my nails a long long time ago.

  • Thanks so much for sharing this DIY! I love having pretty nails, but I won’t spend the money, so they are always just plain and not manicured. I do make sure to get a pedi every 4-6 weeks though. I have to do that!

  • Tracey

    Love the look of acrylic nails, you did an amazing job. Totally salon worthy! – Tracey @ Just a Trace

  • Your nails turned out great! I’ve never had acrylics since I have long nails. My favorite treat is getting a pedicure.

  • You’re making that look so easy! I love the french tips.

  • I’m going to give this a try. I stopped getting my nails done to save money but this is perfect.

  • Wow, this looks easier than I thought. With a 2 and 5 year old, there’s no way I could do acrylics, but I’ll share the info with some friends who can.

  • Wow I have never seen these before! I’m all about DIY nails! You’re nails looks amazing! Great job!

  • I have been doing gel nails at home, but have never done acrylic. You’ve got me wanting to try some new things! :)

  • I need to recommend this to my mother-in-law. She gets her nails done often, and I know it gets so expensive.

  • I’ve never seen these nail forms before!!! You did a great job! I would have never guessed you did them at home.

  • Those are so cool and looks pretty easy to do. I don’t really do nail extensions though

  • You have a great eye! I am not sure I’d be able to pull this off at home!

  • I’m super impressed that you can do your own nails! I go every two weeks for a Gel manicure. Every once in a while – usually for the summer and during the holidays I go crazy and get those sparkle French manicures like you have.

  • WOW, nail intensive session! I never knew so much stuff existed

  • Love what you did with your nails. Great money saver!

  • Those nails do look really good. My personal pick me up have always been pedicures.

  • Oh wow, I love it! I have no nails so this is a great solution for me!

  • You just saved me a whole bunch of money! These were really clever ideas and ways to dazzle nails.

  • My Mom loves getting acrylics done. I tried it once, but I just can’t make it work; they don’t feel natural enough to me. Fortunately my nails grow pretty stinkin’ fast on their own.

  • Dina

    I’ve never done fake nails. My nails are constantly breaking so I should. I guess I just don’t know how. Great tutorial.

  • This is a really awesome post. I like to do my own acrylic nails, too. We bought a bunch of stuff on ebay and Amazon but haven’t used it yet. :) I feel like I need one of those electric files before I do it again. Using a regular nail file on those takes forever, lol.

  • these sound super easy, easy enough that I might be able to do them. I love all your glitter and nail “toppings”

  • your nails look great. also I don’t know what FIMO is but I want some now

  • Beth

    Do you have a post on how to do fill ins easily too?

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