DIY Shattered Glass Nails

Shattered Glass Nails

I see a lot of beautiful, intricate nail designs on social media. Being the novice that I am, I tend to stick with the less expensive, quicker, easier projects that catch my eye. When I first saw pictures of “shattered glass nails” online, I could find no links, no instructions, no tips… Just beautiful pictures of nails with tiny shards of iridescent material scattered on them. Since experimenting with DIY Shattered Glass Nails on my own, there is a bit more info out there. Glass nails are a Korean beauty trend–you can order “rainbow film” or nail stickers to create the most perfect/polished look.

I worked with Celebrate It Metallic Iridescent Crinkle ($3.99 at Michaels,) nail polish base & top coats, and nail polish. I used a small ball of Gum Ortho Wax ($1-2) on the end of a toothpick to apply the crinkle.

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Shattered Glass Nails 014-150×150

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Shattered Glass Nails 023-150×150

The polishes I used were:

  • Revlon Colorstay Gel-Smooth Base Coat (discontinued)
  • Seche Vite Fast Drying Top Coat
  • Milani Nail Lacquer in “Deep Thoughts”
  • Sinful Colors Professional in “Glass Pink”
  • Urban Decay Nail Polish in “Deep End”
  • Maybelline Color Show Nail Lacquer in “Blue Freeze”

How to:

  1. To clean, dry nails, apply one layer of base coat to all nails & let dry
  2. Apply one coat of nail polish to all nails & let dry
  3. *One nail at a time now* Apply one more coat of base polish. Next, pick up your cellophane shards and place them on top of the base coat to your liking. Once you are pleased with placement, cover the nail & cellophane with one coat of top coat. Repeat on remaining nails you wish to decorate.


  • Be sure to apply the base coat over the nail polish or your cellophane pieces will indent your color & be less visually pleasing
  • Cut smaller pieces for better placement but do not panic if you accidentally have an overhang from the cellophane pieces: Simply trim the overhanging piece with nail clippers or small scissors
  • It is okay if the cellophane pieces overlap, but the more pieces you place on the nail, the bumpier the finished product
  • Use dark colors of nail polish for the most contrast/striking look
  • Remove polish & iridescent crinkle with regular nail polish
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Shattered Glass Nails 026-150×150

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Shattered Glass Nails 024-150×150

The metallic crinkle strands I used are a little thick but they are easy to place. The finished look is so pretty! I have done this look at just an accent nail on each hand & as a full manicure on all nails. It worked great & lasted longer than my regular polish application does (3-4 days.) This is an easy nail art project that I really enjoy–I am interested in trying a sheet of iridescent cellophane to see if it is thinner & how that affects the application. This is the first time I have applied an object besides nail polish on top of my nails & it worked. 🙂

DIY Shattered Glass Nails Video

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