DIY Gold Leaf Manicure Tutorial

DIY Gold Leaf Manicure Tutorial


We’ve all seen those top coat nail polishes that contains gold leaf and how gorgeous do they look. But the price is out of my range and I can’t imagine spending that much on a nail polish. So here is a tutorial of a doing your own gold leaf manicure without the high price tag in two different styles.

Tools needed:
Small jar
Gold leaf sheets (eBay)
Fan brush or fluffy brush
Nail polish and topcoat
Nail file (not pictured)


1. With your gold leaf sheet, transfer it over to the small jar and use the toothpicks to tear it up into fine pieces, fine enough for it to be placed onto your nails. You don’t want the tears to be accurate or precise, natural is the way to go.

2. Paint your nails one at a time. PAINT ONE NAIL THEN MOVE ONTO STEP 3. I had learnt it the hard way. I had left the accent nail out to demonstrate another gold leaf technique.

3. When the nail is nearly dried, dip the brush into the jar to collect some gold pieces and press it onto the nail. Keep dipping and adding more gold pieces onto the nail until you’re happy with it. Use your finger to press it fully down so any folds etc are flattened down.

4. Then add a top coat to seal. Repeat 2, 3 and 4 on the rest of nails.

5. On your accent nail, paint it with the top coat.

6. Add the gold leaf straight away and press it down fully on the nail. Press it down onto all areas of the nail. You need to make sure all of the nail is covered. If a part isn’t sticking down, add a bit of top coat on the nail then press the sheet down.

7. Wait for around 5 minutes so it fully dried. (I kind of got carried away with this so I don’t have the photo of removing the excess but this photo shows how I have done it, along with the explanation). With the toothpick, gently add pressure to the edge of the nail, adding a bit more pressure on the tip until you can see the sheet splitting. Keep doing this along the two sides and on the cuticles. You can gently rip the excess off leaving a bit of excess on the top of the nail. For the top of the nail, fold the sheet down and press it against the edge so you get a nice fold and dent. Use a nail file to file it off.

8. Top coat seal and you are done!

Sorry for step 7 being explained unwell. This is day 2 of me wearing this manicure and the gold leaf on top of the colour is surviving well. It hasn’t budged. The full gold leaf nail is doing a lot better than I had expected. A little bit on the cuticle edge as been removed but not very noticeable. Another top coat would do!


  1. Zara
    12th November 2013 / 12:21 am

    WOW what a lovely tutorial, just discovered your blog via twitter, following you on like everything!!!

  2. Nora
    12th November 2013 / 8:03 am

    Beautiful nails! Black and gold is such a pretty combination.

    Stars Aligned

  3. Erika
    12th November 2013 / 4:14 pm

    Beautiful! I have some gold leaf flakes, I will have to remember your fab tutorial and have a go at this!

    Thank you so much for sharing!

  4. Kayspray
    12th November 2013 / 4:36 pm

    Perfect for the Christmas Party season!! Will have to attempt this soon 🙂 xx

  5. Laura Side Street
    12th November 2013 / 4:44 pm

    Wow this is a great idea, I love working with gold leave and decorate frames with it but never thought to put it on my nails, thanks so much for sharing, going to have to try this 🙂

    Laura x

  6. Ari
    12th November 2013 / 6:14 pm

    Stunning! This is kind of perfect for the holidays actually. Now I need to find some gold leaf sheets!

  7. choulyin.tan
    12th November 2013 / 6:33 pm

    Quick question babe, if you press down on the gold leaf, wouldn't that leave an imprint of your thumbprint?

  8. Sylvie
    12th November 2013 / 7:22 pm

    love this nail look.. so pretty! x

  9. Elizabeth Daisy.
    12th November 2013 / 10:20 pm

    Oh these nails are fabulous, thanks so much for sharing lovely!

    Elizabeth x

  10. Jess | Just Jesss
    12th November 2013 / 10:28 pm

    Wow this looks stunning, I especially love the accent nail! Great tutorial, thanks for sharing 🙂

    Jess xo

  11. Diana
    12th November 2013 / 10:28 pm

    Oh this is amazing for the Christmas/New Year's Eve!
    Your nails are super pretty ;___; <3
    Please take care, have a nice day!*

  12. Casey Lindberg-Coghill
    12th November 2013 / 11:26 pm

    Great job with this look! I never would have guessed that it could be so easy; I would have definitely assumed that it would be too hard for me to ever attempt. Thank you so much for sharing! 🙂

  13. maia rose
    12th November 2013 / 11:39 pm

    wow!! love love love this!! I wonder where I can get gold sheets..hmmm..thanks for sharing!

  14. Janelle Marie
    13th November 2013 / 12:18 am

    Love this! Great for the holidays!


  15. Jade | JadeFungBlog
    13th November 2013 / 2:01 am

    I LOVE THIS. Didn't realise gold leaf sheets are as cheap as they are! This looks so luxe and perfect for upcoming Christmas.

    Jade | JadeFungBlog

  16. Marisa
    13th November 2013 / 2:28 am

    I have to look into getting this for myself. Thanks so much for sharing! GIGLOVE

  17. nurina adhalia
    13th November 2013 / 7:23 am

    this so much interesting, easy to follow and the result is so pretty, thanks for this dear. GigLove

  18. Carizza Chua
    13th November 2013 / 4:46 pm

    i actually like the full colored nails hehe probably because the print pattern is too hard for me haha ~giglove

  19. Mahrukh Hayyat
    14th November 2013 / 1:07 pm

    it is glittery mani… i think now i can try this too

  20. marilovegr33n
    14th November 2013 / 9:15 pm

    I've already seen once this sort of tutorial. It's pretty amazing how creative people are talking about nails :). I think I'll never be able to do something like that.

  21. Hola Bambi
    15th November 2013 / 12:48 pm

    That looks wicked! Love it xx

  22. jenn f
    1st December 2013 / 4:47 pm

    what an awesome mani! i love gold and black together!

    A Beautiful Zen

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