9 Literary-Inspired Manicures Ideas

by Julia Seales

I’m an admirer of beautiful manicures, though I’m terrible at doing them myself. That’s why I’m so grateful for the internet — from the decals on Etsy to the step-by-step manicure tutorials on YouTube, it’s so easy nowadays to find ways to make your nails look amazing. Even if you’re a complete amateur like me who just wants some magical Harry Potter-inspired nails.

Part of my problem is that I never want to wait for my polish to dry, so I always end up smudging it, but lately I’ve found a solution. I paint my nails, and then I immediately pick up my Kindle and force myself to read until the polish dries. Since it doesn’t take long for me to become completely absorbed in a book, this solution makes the time fly… and it makes my nails dry for once.

So why stop there with the literary influence on my nails? Since I’m a reader, I might as well flaunt that on my nails. So many book covers are so beautiful, and I think that beauty should spread from shelves to nails. Plenty of nail artists agree, which is why there are some amazing tutorials and polishes out there inspired by literature. Here are a few of my favorite literary-inspired manicures that you can easily recreate at home.

1. A Lord Of The Rings Middle Earth Map Mani

This manicure is perfect for readers who dream of a Middle Earth adventure. Inspired by the newspaper nails look, this manicure simply requires a printout of Middle Earth and a few other basic supplies.

2. Pride and Prejudice Nail Decals

These amazing decals (which you can find from JanesTinyThings on Etsy) are perfect for the Jane Austen superfan. The full sheet comes with decals of Mr. Darcy, Elizabeth Bennet, bonnets and top hats, Jane Austen silhouettes and signatures, and teacups. BRB, adding this to my shopping cart.

3. 1920s-Inspired Great Gatsby Polish Wraps

These black and gold polish wraps evoke the 1920s, and specifically, The Great Gatsby. Channel your inner Daisy Buchanan and wear these for an intimate soiree with your glamorous friends. You can find these polish wraps from itsPersonail on Etsy.

4. Catching Fire-Inspired Polish

To be the Girl on Fire with the Nails on Fire, begin by painting a black polish base and top it off with this fiery polish from IncidentalTwin on Etsy. Cinna would be absolutely wild for this shade.

5. The Rainbow Fish Nail Tutorial

This sweet children's book was one of my favorites as a kid, because I was always so entranced by the beautiful illustrations. Remind yourself of that childhood literary classic with this lovely nail art.

6. The Secret Garden 3D Deco Nails

My favorite quote from The Secret Garden? "Where you tend a rose, my lad, a thistle cannot grow." Well, these nails have a LOT of roses on them. The handmade nails (which you can purchase from AuroraDecora on Etsy) are colorful, bright, and will turn you into Mary Lennox, if Mary Lennox had a secret garden on her nails.

7. William Shakespeare Nail Wraps

These nail wraps feature the Bard and his quill. I also heard that if you write with these nail wraps on, you'll never blot a line. Well, maybe that's not true, but either way this mani is a great way to sport your affinity for William Shakespeare. You can purchase these nail wraps from LitJams on Etsy.

8. Alice In Wonderland Nail Art

From playing cards to the Cheshire Cat to a pocketwatch, these quirky nails are perfect for fans of Alice in Wonderland. It's the perfect manicure to wear to a tea party on a golden afternoon.

9. Harry Potter Nail Decals

For a truly magical manicure, you can't go wrong with some Harry Potter decals. You can buy these from Fantasmagory on Etsy. They're easy to apply and they look amazing... no spells necessary.

Image: Etsy/JanesTinyThings (1)