Hello! This instructable will guide you through the step-by-step process of creating gross, dirty fingernails that look great with monster costumes. The supplies are relatively cheap, and the process is really fun and easy!
Also, this project allows for tons of creative freedom, so you don't have to make it the same way I do. I made these specifically for a Silent Hill nurse costume, so I made them a bit more claw-like by cutting the sides of the nails at an angle. That isn't necessary if you don't like the way it looks.
Step 1: Everything You'll Need!
For starters, you need some fake nails. I got these at Walmart for $5.70. It's a good idea to get the uncut nails because you'll want them to be kind of long, and you can always cut them to the desired length.
Next, you're going to need some acrylic paint in dark green, brown, black, and (optional) white. You can get these at any craft store for pretty cheap.
Scissors and an emery board are also going to be pretty necessary. (the emery board is included in this nail kit)
Lastly, a basic paint brush, something to wipe excess paint on, and something to mix colors on.
A few other optional things you can use are some newspaper to paint over to avoid a mess, some water to clean the brush, gloves to keep the mess off your hands, and acetone to remove any excess nail glue from your skin.
Step 2: To Begin...
Take a fingernail and trim about 3/8" or so off the top. You'll need a little extra length for the next step.
Optional: you can file the sides of nail to fit your nail bed if necessary, and if you would like to create a claw-like affect, simply cut the sides at an angle.
Step 3: Creating the Broken Effect
Take your scissors and just cut little bits out of the nail on the top and sides. You don't have to be very precise or specific with this step. Just go kinda crazy with the scissors and you'll end up with something a little like this.
Step 4: Filing the Surface
This step is easy. Just take your emery board to the surface of the nail and scratch it up. This is going to help the acrylic paint stick to the nail without smearing or running at all..
I also suggest filing the surface of your real nails just before applying these, because the glue will hold much better.
Step 5: Time to Paint!
To start off, paint the bottom of the nail white to create that half-moon effect. This will make them look a little more realistic. Let that dry for about half a minute, and then you can add the next coat.
I mixed the green and brown together and painted the nail starting from the top, then working my way down. I tried to change up my strokes and dabbed the paint in a few places to create texture. I've found that it also helps to add a drop of water the nail while the paint is wet so that it runs down to the edges a bit. It creates an interesting effect.
I let the green and brown mixture dry most of the way, then added a VERY light bit of black to the edges of the nail. I then cleaned my brush and blended the black into the green/brown mixture.
If you're planning on wearing these right away, you can always glue the nails on before painting them. The acrylic paint on your skin makes the area around your fingernails look worn and dirty, which can add a nice effect. Also, acrylic paint washes off of the skin pretty easily.
Step 6: Rinse and Repeat!
That's really all there is to it. Unfortunately I have no pictures of myself wearing them because I'm saving these for Halloween, but I promise they look awesome!
A few tips:
1. Don't be afraid to mess up! I bought that set of 200 nails for a reason! I screwed up 2 or 3 times making these, but all you have to do is start over on another nail!
2. If a fake nail is just a little too big to fit your finger, just trim/file it to size. Easy peasy.
3. Have lots and lots of fun! Be creative! Yay!
And that concludes my instructable! If you decide to do this I would love to see pictures! Thank you guys!