DIY Gold Leaf Nails!

On a whim, 2 weeks ago I bought 200 little sheets of  24 carat Gold Leafing (what? That’s totally normal, isn’t it?). I didn’t really have a plan for the gold leafing, but I knew I could use them for TONS of different activities and I was so HAPPY when they came in the mail! (i love you eBay.) I plan on blinging up my journal, my furniture, my accessories and as this blog can attest, even myself!

In the meantime, we are also trying to pack up our little apartment and find a home to move into in the next month or so – wish us luck. Soooo, I can’t get to any of my crafty crafts. BUT- I was not going to just sit and stare at my new sparkly gold. Something had to be done.

Ben had to work a lecture Friday night and that seemed like the perfect excuse to get my gold on!


This DIY could not be more simple. For real.

The Supplies:

Base Nail Polish – I used a bright blue

Clear nail polish – I used a base polish

Gold Leaf – I bought mine on eBay for cheap

Tweezers – I didn’t use them, but wish I would have.

Gold Leaf Supplies

The first step is to slap some polish on as a base coat, if you want a fun color peaking from behind. I think a pale pink would be pretty, but blue was on my nightstand. Soooo… Blue!

Now- for step 2 there are 2 different versions.

Option 1: On my thumb and index nail, I put down some base coat and laid the gold leaf on the wet nail polish. It ended up looking very crinkly.

Option 2: On my middle, ring and pinky fingers, I just laid the gold leaf on top of my “slightly tacky” blue nail polish. It left a cleaner, smoother look.


You guys are smart cookies – you can decide which look you like best. I liked option 2, because it looked more like a clean sheet of gold on my nail. But I left both options on my nails, to see if they both held up.

Gold Leaf sample 1      Gold Leaf Sample 2

The gold leaf came in 2″x 2″ squares and I just started ripping off little chunks of gold and pressing them on my nails in the designs I wanted.

Just be warned – this stuff is THIN, will tear easy and if your ceiling fan is on, it will probably float off your table. But it’s soooooo sparkly!

Here is what it looked like, pressed on my finger. Just press it down really firmly and make sure all your edges are sticking to your nail. Then you can tear or file any excess that is hanging off your nail.

Gold Leaf on Nail

When I had “leafed” a few of my nails, I went back and put a few thick coats of base coat on top to seal in the leafing. Easy Peasy!

Ben came home just as I was finishing up and surprised me with FROZEN YOGURT!!!! Best husband ever. 🙂

Our fat cat, Wolverine, seemed to think that the frozen yogurt was meant for him, and finked his way up our bed. As punishment, he had to wear the yogurt lid while we ate.

Wolverine Wolverine

Anywhoo, back to the nails – Here is another shot of my left hand with Option 1 showing on my index and option 2 on the rest.

    Gold Leaf 2

It was a super fun, super easy little manicure that lasted almost a whole week! I just took it off yesterday as I was waiting for my hair bleach to finish bleaching (Ben had another lecture- that’s when I do my GIRL stuff!!!) but I could have even left it on a few more days. The base coat of polish really sealed it all in.

So what do YOU guys think? Would you rock some REAL gold nails? Maybe for New Years or V-day? Let me know in the comments below! And as always, have a repurposeful day!

xo- Court


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