Introduction: DIY Space Invaders Nail Art + Square Dotting Tool

You've heard of galaxy nails. Now it's time to invade the outer reaches of nail art with Invaders-style pixel art!
Create your own square dotting tool (though I admit, I was hoping for squares with crisper edges) and stamp away.

For the pencil tool (studier, but harder to get teeny neat squares), you'll need:
- a pencil with an eraser at the back
- another pencil to draw with
- a ruler
- a linoleum cutter
- scissors

For the linoleum tool (slightly flimsier, but capable of smaller squares), you'll need:
- a scrap piece of linoleum tile, rubber, or something along those lines
- scissors

Step 1: Make a Pencil Tool

1. Get a pencil and cut the top off the eraser if it has been used before.
2. Rub the eraser with the pencil as perfectly perpendicular to the table as you can to smoothen it out.
3. Draw out a 1/16 by 1/16 in square on the eraser.
4. Carve away the outsides using the linoleum cutter.

Step 2: Test Out the Pencil Tool

Try dipping your new stamp into a little puddle of nail polish and test it out on a piece of paper.

Usually what happens is that there are stray marks around the edges. Carve those pesky bits off the perimeter of the eraser so that you end up with a clean print.

Step 3: Or... Make a Linoleum Stamping Tool

I like this method better because it makes smaller squares and it's quick, but it's so skinny that it keeps bending when I push on it so its harder to position the squares correctly.

1. Cut a strip off a scrap piece of linoluem.
2. Check the ends to make sure they are square. And voila, you're done!
3. Test it out by stamping on a piece of paper.

Step 4: Design Your Invaders

I was going to go for an actual Space Invaders icon, but those things are 11 squares across, and I don't know about you, but my nails aren't big enough to fit all that. So instead, I tried out some baby, minimalist Invaders-like designs on a piece of grid paper.

Step 5: Start Painting Your Nails!

1. Base coat: I like to use a couple coats of water-based, peel-able nail polish so that I can just peel off my manicure instead of using acetone. This time, I chose a purply color by AllyKats.
2. Solid color: I used a normal white nail polish from Forever21 for this layer. I took two coats to cover the purple base coat.
3. Using your spanking new stamping tool, stamp out your design on your nails!
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