The Pintester Takes on Newspaper Nail Art

In the world of Pinterest manicures, perhaps no manicure has gotten quite the attention of the newspaper nail art manicure. Purportedly, this one is so easy and looks awesome, like you’ve been living in New York City, or something. Yeah, I don’t know. But whatever. It’s supposed to be awesome. So how could I not try it?

Image from Beauty and Lace

Also, it involves vodka. Holy crap. What’s not to love?

Vodka I had.

Newspaper I had to hunt for. Who the hell reads newspapers anymore anyway? I eventually found some ad papers I thought might work.

Now, when a process involves vodka, there is Absolut-ly (see what I did there?) no way I’m going to not drink some of it.

Or maybe a little more than some of it…

Fine, a lot of it…

About here, I really started wishing that I had a hard copy of Fifty Shades of Grey to do this project with. How awesome would that be? You could find, like, the dirtiest, most embarrassing words in that whole amazing porny book and have them on your fingernails. Right? Unfortunately, my copy of Fifty Shades is an ebook. (All the better to read porn in public, my dear.) So that wasn’t gonna happen. To make myself feel better, I had another drink.

I kind of really just wanted to go take a nap after that, but I forged on.

With nails appropriately prepped, I dipped my index fingernail in what remained of my vodka and went to work.

It’s a very good thing that I have a day job, I guess, because if I depended on making this work for my income, I would be up shit creek pretty quick. I, however, did not give up. Even though I probably should have. Attempt #2 was on my thumbnail:


At this point, I decided it must be the newspaper’s fault, so I grabbed the only other piece of paper at the kitchen table, which happened to be a medical insurance statement. Not exciting, but possibly usable.

I actually got kind of excited about this result, until I realized that the ink itself had not, in fact, transferred to my nails. The entire paper had.

I have heard many people say this worked for them, and I don’t doubt it. They probably didn’t drink all their vodka before they gave it a go, though. Just a guess.

To see more of Pintester’s tests (most of which are also CraftFails), check out her blog at

21 Responses to The Pintester Takes on Newspaper Nail Art

  1. Helly says:

    That’s hilarious. I really enjoy seeing people’s real-life attempts at all these Pinterest projects. However, on this one, I wonder if it indeed has to do with the fact that you’re not using actual newspaper? The ad you were using looks like it’s glossy (and hence, the ink is probably better “embedded” onto the paper). It is not what I would consider newsprint. Likewise for printer paper with printer/copier toner on it– more “permanent”. I imagine this is similar to the Silly Putty effect– it works best when you’re using ACTUAL newsprint?

  2. Noisy Quiet says:

    Helly makes a really good point about the silly putty. Maybe that should be the litmus (putty!) test! If it doesn’t come up on silly putty, it probably wouldn’t come up on nails.

    Ooooooh! That means Sunday comics could be used too!!! (Um… do they still have Sunday comics? – I’m yet another one of those people who doesn’t buy newspapers! Actually I’d need the vodka too… – Can I come over to your house?)

  3. Vickie says:

    too funny. I so get this. I try stuff on pinterest and it doesn’t quite work so well. Brilliant!

  4. Kelley says:

    I’ve actually done this, except it was with rubbing alcohol and I transferred the newspaper to my already painted nail. It worked but was way too time consuming to do on the reg. Love the absolut though, and your blog! Hilarious!

  5. Lillie says:

    Like Kelley, I did this one awhile back and you have to paint your nails and let them dry first– I used light gray. Once dry you take newsprint, lay it on your nail and put a little bit of alcohol on the back of the print…. press down for a few seconds and then peel the paper off. If you rub or use too much liquid it rips the paper. It looked really cool in person!

  6. Uhh says:

    Not vodka. Not drinking alcohol.
    It’s really not difficult.

  7. crystal says:

    hey ive been a nail tech for 11 years. you first have to paint the nail with any color (light ones work best) let dry almost completely, tear off pieces of news paper small ones, spray with rubbing alcohol then just roll over nail, you can even place newspaper on nail and spray on top of it, follow with clear coat i do this several times a week, hope this helps i love your blog!!!

  8. Lily says:

    Here’s how you really do it:
    Paint your nails white. Let dry COMPLETELY
    Dip ONE NAIL AT A TIME in the vodka for at least 10 seconds.
    Immediately press newspaper onto nail. Continue to press for about 20 seconds.
    Repeat for each nail.
    Of course, whatever butthead you found was a false advertiser. I’m sorry you had to go through this frustraition. :P

  9. Amanda says:

    I had no patience with this but my 17 yr old daughter found instructions where you use plain water – not vodka – and it works everytime!! i’ve had tons of compliments on this type of nail work that she’s done for me and it lasts a week or more! keep trying!

  10. DLM says:

    My 18 year old grabbed newspaper, rubbing alcohol and nail polish and did it on her first try after seeing it on Pinterest. I had to blog it.

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  12. Angela says:

    I gotta tell ya these pinterest attempts are exactly how I envision myself doing them!!! Just simply having fun… Life is to serious and stressful. I love them!

  13. robin beem says:

    i tried this too but it did the same thing u did , i love your blogs ,ur so funny .my friend and i would love to see more ur experiment s .

  14. Jamie says:

    I did this and had total success with it. I used rubbing alcohol instead of vodka and first painted my nails a color and let it dry (i assume using a light color is going to work better than something dark to allow the letters to show up). I took a piece of newspaper and laid it down on my nail with the side of print that I wanted touching the nail polish and took a cotton ball soaked in the rubbing alcohol and held it (not rubbing, just holding) on top of the newspaper (almost treating the newpaper as a temporary tattoo on the nail). I took off the cotton swab and peeled off the newspaper and then finished the whole thing off with clear polish to seal it in. This worked perfectly for me.

  15. Michelle Ramos says:

    I have tried this with two different kinds of alcohol (not vodka) and both newspaper and paper comics (not easy to find–everything today is glossy) and it didn’t work. Not once. Dipping my finger mostly destroyed whatever color coat I’d used and holding the cotton ball to it destroyed the polish AND stuck the paper to my nail more securely, which is not what it’s supposed to do. I never got it to work, not once.

  16. Kimberley Anderson says:

    Hi! I actually just finished this and while I love the idea I had the issue of the newspaper sticking. I couldn’t find the right amount of time. It was either to little or to much. It was really easy to do and with time and practice it will look better but a lot of the print faded when i tried to rinse off the paper with water so it did not turn out as well as I would have liked.

  17. STEPHANI says:

    i don’t see how she “nailked it”.. looks like to me it didn’t work.. the print on her index finger is the paper, correct??

  18. Lauren says:

    You NEED to put a white coat or two of nailpolish before you try to transfer the ink!! Good try though :)

  19. Mimi says:

    I used a pale pink nail polish and let it dry completely. Then, I used rubbing alcohol and a real newspaper (purchased at the grocery store). I dipped my nail in the alcohol and held a small strip of newspaper on it for about 5 -7 seconds and it worked! Granted, only 8 out of 10 were perfect but I think that’s a win. I just repeated the alcohol/paper step with the other two and it worked.

  20. Snsfhzl says:

    The same result when I tried to do this nail art
    It’s easy they said…

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