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10 Awesome Ideas for Thanksgiving Nails

Posted on November 08 2019

Thanksgiving is just around the corner. This season is the time to be thankful for everything we have, and maybe even be thankful for some of the things we don’t have. Just as with Halloween, getting a Thanksgiving-themed manicure is a great way to celebrate the season. The really great thing about Thanksgiving nail designs is a lot of them work even when the season’s over! In line with this, here are 10 great design ideas to get your nails into the Thanksgiving spirit.

1. Turkeys!

Probably nothing quite signifies Thanksgiving than a Thanksgiving turkey! It follows that this bird would make an awesome design that’s sure to elicit some smiles from the dinner table. Now you may think that painting a turkey on your nails may be extremely difficult; it really isn’t, if you’re able to keep it simple. You could start with a nice light-colored background such as beige. You could then paint a simple bird design in brown. To make the design stand out, be sure to paint feathers on your bird. The feathers could be in a yellow, rust, or mustard shade. And don’t forget the beak and the eyes!

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Whimsical Thanksgiving Turkey Design by Katie Lansford.

2. Feathers.

Speaking of bird-related things, a feather design is also great for the season because of how these regularly feature in Native American culture. This design is also one of the easiest you can do. Essentially, you need the same colors as with the Turkey design. Starting off with a light-colored background, you simply paint-on the feathers in alternating colors. The feathers themselves can be as simple as long narrow strokes that end in a spear-tip shape. You could start the design from your fingertips, but really, you could paint the feathers on your nails in any direction.

3. Pumpkins

Another quintessential Thanksgiving item is pumpkin, particularly because of this vegetable's association with one of the stars of Thanksgiving dinner, pumpkin pie (and really, who doesn’t like pumpkin pie?) The really great thing about this design is it can be as simple, or as complex as you want it to be. If you’re going for simple, just paint your nails in an orange color and you’re done! If you want a more complex design, you can draw actual pumpkins on your nails! We'd go for something in the middle, like an orange background with black lines running the length of your nail. Just remember not to put eyes and a mouth on this design. That design is so Halloween!

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Pumpkins Good Enough to Eat!

4. Plaid.

Another interesting and easy-to-do design is plaid. One of the reasons this design is quite common during the season because a lot of table linens used during Thanksgiving meals have a plaid design. In fact, plaid Thanksgiving table cloths are actually a thing! Just like the previous 2 designs, this starts out with a light background, like the aforementioned beige or cream. A red background color can also be used but the final design might not pop out as vividly. After you’ve settled on the background color, you then draw horizontal and vertical lines at right angles along the width and length of your nails. To get the best effect, use 2 different shades for the lines, and alternate the colors. You could even play around with different line thickness.

5. Cranberries.

Cranberries are yet another item that you’re bound to find on just about any Thanksgiving dinner spread. This fact makes cranberries’ deep red color as reminiscent of the season as anything. Just like the pumpkin design, you could go simple or complex. For a simple yet elegant look, simply apply a cranberry -colored polish on your nails in either a solid or glitter color. If you want something more intricate, you could paint on several deep red-colored dots against a lighter-shaded background, to get the look of the fruit on a plate!

6. Corn.

Corn as a crop is quite important to Native American culture. Since Thanksgiving traditionally celebrates, among other things, a bountiful harvest, corn holds a special place in the season. A corn design on your nails is both easy to do, and quite whimsical. For this design, you could start out with a yellow, or deep red background – remember; there are red corn varieties! After which you simply paint on rows of small oval dots in different shades, like red, brown, white, and even blue!

7. Fall Colors.

Since Thanksgiving and the Fall season go together, doing your nails in Fall colors can definitely work. As for the designs themselves, you could go for a solid color, an ombre effect, or glitters, just like the previously mentioned cranberry design. We even have a dip powder kit that can help eliminate the guesswork regarding what fall colors work best!

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Fall Colors in Various Styles by Jennifer Lynn.

8. Leaves.

In keeping with a Fall mindset, how about nail design featuring some leaves? Like the other previously mentioned designs, this can range from really simple to really complex. An example of a simple leaves design is by applying several small specks of earth tone polish on nails that have been painted with a light background. This design gives the effect of leaves being blown by the wind! On the other end of the spectrum, you could paint on actual leaf shapes. Maple leaves are a great choice as this has a distinctive shape, and isn’t that hard a design to pull off.

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Abstract Leaves Nail Art by Gina Jo.

9. Flowers.

Floral designs are another great Thanksgiving nail idea since like pumpkin pie, everyone likes flowers! Unlike a lot of the previous designs, floral patterns can work with or without a base color. As for the flowers themselves, daisies and sunflowers are both relatively easy to pull-off, and are quite distinctive.

10. Abstract Designs.

This design idea might sound like cheating since an abstract design is both easy to do, and can mean anything. And to a certain extent, it is since an this type of design can evoke a lot of emotions and moods and is a lot easier to execute when compared to painting an actual pumpkin onto your nails! And that’s where the trick lies; in choosing the right design elements for the effect you’re going for. For example, you can create a classy abstract Thanksgiving-inspired design by combining coarse brush strokes in different nature colors with uneven specks of gold. In fact, a lot of previously-mentioned designs, like the leaf flecks and the corn design can certainly fall under this category.

As Usual, Practice Makes Perfect!

As mentioned in the start of this article, Thanksgiving nail designs are really great because you could keep on using them way after the season’s over, particularly the solid, glitter, and ombre styles. If you’re going for the more intricate designs, like florals, pumpkins, or a turkey, practice is key. Try drawing or even painting the designs first. You could even go so far as to use cheap nail polish for practicing – not on your nails, of course, but on a piece of plastic. Whatever you chose to do, have fun! And have a Happy Thanksgiving!

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