Birthday Party Mani

WARNING:  If you've been with my blog since the beginning you'll know I've promised to keep it real.  That means I give you the good, the bad, and the ugly.  Unfortunately, this is a little more of the later two.  I really like the design concept though and wanted to share it with you.

For me there are a lot of family and friends birthdays coming up.  So, in honor of all my birthday buddies I have decided to do a birthday party inspired manicure.  For my color palette I decided to use three colors, a light pink, a pastel neon green, and white.  What's great about this nail art design is you can really customize it to make it your own or to match the color theme of any party.  You'll need the following materials for this nail art project:


  • Base coat and top coat
  • Polishes in a variety of colors (I think this design best with three colors)
  • Black polish and a detail brush (or if you prefer a black nail art striper)
  • Scotch tape and/or striping tape
  • Dotting tools (bobby pin or toothpick will work fine)
  • Tiny Pom Poms and nail glue (optional).

For this manicure I am doing five different designs (one for each of my fingers).  You can decide to do one or all of these designs.  For this tutorial I will show you each finger individually.  Let's get this party started!

Birthday Present
I started with pink for my base color.

With a dotting tool I dotted white medium dots.

Then using my green polish I drew a stripe horizontally across the middle of my thumb.  You can do this freehand or you can use tape to give you a straight line if your hand is not steady.  I opted to use tape.  As always when using tape make sure your polish is completely dry before applying tape to it. (Unfortunately my dots were not dry all the way and I ruined some of the finish.)

In the middle of the stripe I drew a bow knot by painting an oval shape.  

Then I drew the bow by drawing a slightly rounded triangle on either side of the bow knot.

Then using a small detailing brush and black polish I outlined the bow.  I started with the bow knot, then the bow.  

I added a little loop on the top of the bows and added a couple little  cresses to give the bow dimension.

Lastly, I outlined the ribbon.

Party Hat
I used a base color of white.

Using scotch tape I taped off a triangular shape with the point near the cuticle.

Then using green polish I painted in the triangle and then removed the tape.

I decorated the green party hat by dotting small pink dots randomly all over the hat.  

Using black polish I outlined the party hat and applied a top coat.

* This is optional but I decided to add a pom pom to the top of the hat.  I found small bag of 7mm pom poms for $.99 at a local craft store.  If you don't have any or don't want to do this you can always paint a little pom pom on the hat.

I cut a flat spot on one side of the pom pom so that it would sit better on the nail.

I applied a small touch of nail glue on the nail and the flat spot on the pom pom.  I placed the pom pom at the point of the hat and held firmly until the glue dried (maybe 10 seconds).

Note:  I have never applied anything larger then very small nail gems on my nails.  I found that these 7mm pom poms were a little too large for my liking.  However, I was really surprised as to how well they held up.  I wore them for 2 1/2 days, I showered, did dishes, and even went swimming and it never budged.  The only major issue I had with them is they began to look a little  dingy.  I would recommend that if you are wearing the pom poms  for an event and paint this in advance hold off on applying the pom poms until the day of the event.

Birthday Cake
In my mind this looked much different but I couldn't execute my vision properly.  I used my green as my base color.

Then with pink polish I drew a half moon shape about 2/3 of the way up my nail and filled it in down to the tip, this is the cake.

Then with white polish and a small brush (you can use a nail art striper if you prefer) I drew an oval on the top of the cake.  I wanted it to look like frosting so I dabbed on the polish to try to make it look more frosting‐like.  I also did this along the edge of the nail for the bottom of the cake.

I then made small loops along the front edge of the oval in white.

I drew a candle on top of the cake and this is where I really screwed things up.  I tried to outline the candle with black polish to try to give it some dimension.  As you can see I clearly made a mess of things.  I ended up going back in with white polish and redrew the candle over the black blob.  This ended up okay.  I would recommend that if you are going to try to outline something very small that you draw the shape in black first and then go back with your color and fill in the shape but slightly smaller to leave the outline (I hope that makes sense).  I also made a little candle flame using a small dotting tool and yellow polish.

I decided that the cake looked a little  plain so I randomly dotted the cake with white polish using a small dotting tool.

I also decide to outline the top oval of the cake with black polish because I felt it was lacking dimension.  I'm still not sure if that was a smart move but it looks alright (good enough for a first time freehand design).

Party Balloons
For this design I started with a white background.

With pink polish and a small to medium sized dotting tool I drew a heart in the middle of the nail.

Then with green polish and a dotting tool I made random sized oval shapes around the heart.

To make them look like balloons I drew a small triangle on the bottom of each of the ovals and the heart.

Using black polish and a small brush I outlined the shapes and drew a string coming from the heart shaped balloon.

Lastly, to give the balloons a little more dimension, I made little highlights in white polish on the balloons.

Party Streamers
I started with pink for my base color.

When my polish was completely dry, I taped stripes with striping tape vertically along the nail.

I painted a coat of green polish and then removed the tapes.

Then I drew streamers in black polish using a small brush.  I simply drew loose squiggly lines with little loops vertically along the nail.

To make my loops look a little more like loops and less like blobs I went back in with a small dotting tool and dotted pink and green in the center of them.  I attempted to dot whatever color the loop was over.  In other words if the loop lay over a green stripe I dotted green likewise if it was pink.

Make sure you apply a topcoat to all your painted design and there you have a handful of birthday party paraphernalia.  

Like I mentioned earlier I like the concept and the color selections I made but I need some practice with my execution.  I did practice  painting on paper prior to trying this on my nails but it is much different painting on nails then it is on paper.  I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and use it for the next birthday soiree you attend.  Happy Birthday to all you spring chicks out there!  See you next time.

Your Fellow Plebe,

#Birthday Manicure