Trendy Tie-Dye: Tie-Dye Nail Art for Summer

Tie-dye is making a major comeback this summer! The iconic colorful pattern is popping up on everything from clothes to shoes to home decor. Bring the groovy tie-dye trend to your nails with easy DIY tie-dye designs that are perfect for summer. Vibrant, swirled polish in psychedelic colors transforms your nails into a work of art. Read on to learn how to create your own far-out tie-dye nail art!

Supplies Needed

Recreating the look of tie-dye on your nails only requires a few simple items. Here’s what you’ll need to get started:

Base and Top Coat

nail art supplies

Prepping with base coat and finishing with top coat helps protect your design.

Nail Polishes in Bright Colors

Grab an array of polishes in rainbow hues like pink, purple, blue, yellow, orange, green, etc. The more colors, the better!

Dotting Tool

A dotting tool allows you to create the round, blobbed polish effect essential for tie-dye.


Toothpicks work great to swirl and blend the polishes together after dotting them on.

Step-by-Step Instructions

tie dye nail tutorial

Ready to channel your inner hippie? Follow these simple instructions to tie-dye your nails:

1. Apply Base Coat

Start by applying a base coat to protect nails and help polish adhere.

2. Dot On Polish Colors

Use your dotting tool and assorted colors to dot on polishes randomly in blob shapes.

3. Blend and Swirl

Take a toothpick and gently swirl together the polishes, blending them like a tie-dye pattern.

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4. Fill in Any Gaps

Look for any unpainted spots and fill in with more colorful dots, blending them in.

5. Apply Top Coat

Finish off your groovy tie-dye nails by applying a shiny top coat to seal in the design.

Design Variations

tie dye nail designs

Change up the look of your tie-dye mani with fun variations like these:

Rainbow Tie-Dye

Go for a full rainbow spectrum of colors from red to violet for a vibrant look.

Pastel Tie-Dye

Use soft pastels like mint, lavender, baby blue and pink for a more muted effect.

Neon Tie-Dye

Amp up your design with super bright neon shades for an electric, funky vibe.

Glitter Tie-Dye

Incorporate fun pops of holographic, iridescent, or glitter polish for added shine.

Retro Tie-Dye

Go for vintage 1970’s colors like mustard, burnt orange, avocado green and brown.

Maintenance Tips

nail care tips

Keep your fabulous tie-dye nails looking groovy with these easy care tips:

Use Thin Polish Layers

Thinner coats help the polish last longer without getting too thick.

Wrap Your Nail Tips

“Wrapping” the tips as you paint prevents chips and peeling.

Limit Water Exposure

Reduce unnecessary time in water which can cause polish to lift and peel.

Use Quick Dry Top Coat

Sealing in your design with a fast-drying top coat prevents smudging.

Moisturize Cuticles

Hydrated, healthy cuticles help the polish last longer.

Complement Your Look

tie dye accessories

Complete your far-out tie-dye manicure with matching accessories:

Tie-Dye Tees

Pair your nails with a colorful tie-dye t-shirt or tank in complementing shades.

Patterned Headbands

Keep hair back with a groovy patterned headband that coordinates with your design.

Wooden Beaded Jewelry

Layer on wooden bead bracelets, rings, necklaces, or anklets.

Round Sunglasses

Complete the 1970’s vibe with retro round sunglasses.

Fringe Purses or Shoes

Carry a fringe bag or wear fun fringe sandals or booties.


Tie-dye nail art is the perfect way to participate in one of summer’s hottest trends. The groovy swirled designs in kaleidoscopic colors create a funky, eye-catching manicure. Dot on your favorite polishes, blend them together with toothpicks, and seal with topcoat for long-lasting tie-dye nails. Pair them with coordinating boho accessories for a far-out look. Your vibrant nails will have you feeling the flower power all summer long!


How do I blend the polishes?

Use a toothpick to gently swirl together the dots immediately after applying for a tie-dye effect.

What’s the easiest tie-dye design for beginners?

Start with just 3-4 colors in big blobs that are easier to blend. Work up to more dots and colors.

How long does tie-dye nail art last?

Properly prepped and sealed, tie-dye manicures can last 5-7 days without chipping or fading.

Should I use a white base coat?

You can, but tie-dye pops more on natural nails. The white base mutes the colors slightly.

What top coat works best?

A fast-drying top coat like Seche Vite prevents smudging while extending the wear.

Kimberly J West
Kimberly J West is an experienced SEO writer and copywriter with a passion for nail art and a love for house plants. With five years of experience, she combines her writing expertise with her creative spirit at Contact Kimberly at for collaborations and inquiries about her writing services.