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Wanna learn how to make
custom press on nails to sell? Well keep reading and I’m gonna walk
you through the 7 steps to creating a basic press on nail set from
start to finish.

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  • Artificial Nails (full cover)
  • Gel Base Coat
  • Nail Stands
  • No Wipe Top Coat
  • UV Gel Polish Any Color
  • Buffer
  • Filer
  • Mounting Putty
  • Alcohol
  • Cotton rounds
  • UV lamp

1. Choose the nail
shape, length and size

First, You will want to select a nail shape.
Some common choices are coffin, ballerina, stiletto, oval, square,
etc. These shapes come in different lengths, (short, medium, long
and extra long) and different
. No idea why it makes me so excited thinking about
all the different types of nail shapes you can choose from, but
hey! Ok, so back to what I was saying…now let’s say we know our
size and we are a size medium. Grab two nails in each of the
following sizes: 1, 5, 4, 5, and 8.

(If you’re unsure of sizing or how to
measure, check out this post
to find your size.)

2. Buff your press
on nails

You’ll want to use your buffer to buff each of
the nails in order to get rid of the shine on the top of the nails.
You’ll notice a little piece of plastic at the tip of each nail,
let’s lightly file the little tab off the tips of each nail,
using a regular file in a straight across back and forth motion.
When filing the tip, remember we want to file just light enough to
remove the little piece on the tip. I like to do this step
before putting the nails on the nail stand, though some prefer to
do this step while the nails are on the nail stand. For me, it’s
just easier to really get a good buff and file going without the
nails moving around on the stand. 

3. Wipe each nail
with alcohol

You won’t want to skip this step because it
could cause your polish to look bumpy and we don’t want that at
all. LOL

We want a nice smooth nail and this is one step
in achieving that. So go ahead and wipe each nail using your
alcohol and your cotton rounds. 

4. Prepare your
nail stands

Now, you’ll want to get your nail stands ready
before putting the nails on. Here is where you’ll need the mounting
putty. The mounting putty comes in many different colors and is
really just a reusable putty. It grabs onto whatever you place it
on and holds it enough to keep it in place, but also can be removed
with ease. Lol basically, it’s magic! 

I would use little balls of the mounting putty to put on top of the
individual nail stands. This will hold your nail in place while you
polish the nails. This will also help to adhere your nails to
the nail stand. You’ll just need a nice little ball, something
like the pic below.

Once you get used to doing press on nails you
may decide you like to have more or less of the amount I use, I
think it’s really just preference. You just want to make sure it’s
enough to get the job done. 

Tip: When you
purchase your nail stands I would buy more than one set. Trust me
when you start selling, you’ll be glad you did! It will save you
tons of time!

5. Start with a gel
base coat

Now, that the nails have been buffed and
dry after the alcohol wipe-down, Lol, you can place them on the
nail stands as you see mine in the picture below. 

Make sure to press down just a little to
get them really sticking together and not moving around. I like to
put them in order from thumb to pinky, so nothing gets confusing
depending on the design I’m doing.  

Before you get to polishing, it helps to
start with a nice base coat. I would apply 1-2 coats. The base
coat helps to give the polish something to grab onto. This is one
of the ways of keeping your polish from lifting. The sticky base
coat adheres to the nail and the polish adheres to the base coat.
It all works together for a nice smooth nail, which is what we

Now we are finally
ready to get to the fun part…Polishing!! 

6. Add your

Follow this pattern when applying the gel polish
to the nail. The best way to polish the nail would be to start in
the center of the nail from cuticle to tip. The polish shouldn’t be
dripping from the brush, if so it’s definitely too much!

Then, swipe your brush along the left side from
cuticle to tip and do the same to the right side of the nail.
You’ll want to do this in smooth motions.

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Tip: When adding
polish make sure to apply at least 2 coats, personally I recommend
about 4 coats. Just make sure not to hold the brush at an angle and
use thin coats. The thin coats will help to prevent the polish from
looking bulky. The number of thin coats will help build a stronger,
longer-lasting nail. 

Afterward, always check underneath each nail to
make sure there isn’t any polish that has spread underneath
the nail. If so, you’ll want to remove the excess before placing it
under the UV lamp. Then, always let the polish settle on the
nail for a few seconds before placing it under the
UV Lamp for 60 seconds, to avoid bumps or waves in the

I would recommend polishing all the nails on the
first stand and then placing that stand under the UV lamp for
60 seconds before starting on the next stand. This way you can
always have one set curing while you work on the other. The goal is
to work smarter, not harder. 🙂         

Think of curing as simply the process of drying the polish
on the nail. 

Depending on how opaque the color of the gel
polish is, you may want to do another thin coat of gel polish on
all the nails and curing for another 60 seconds.

Lingo: Opaque means
you can’t really see through the polish and therefore

you don’t have to
use as many coats to cover the nail.

7. Applying the top

Now that all the nails are dry from the second
coat of gel polish, the last step in the process is to apply a nice
juicy (LOL) layer of a no-wipe gel top coat to give the nails some

Lingo: No wipe just
refers to the sticky residue that some gel top coats leave behind
and you would normally have to wipe off with alcohol. When you
purchase the “no-wipe” top coat, you “shouldn’t” have to do


I hope you guys found this tutorial easy to
follow along and that I have inspired you to go ahead and try
creating your first set of press on nails. It may seem like a lot
at first, but trust me guys, it gets easier and easier. In no time
you’ll be a pro!

You can check out the video here.

post is about how to make custom press on nails.


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The Best Packaging
Ideas For Your Press On Nail Business

Frequently asked questions

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how to make press on nails

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