Messy Bubble Nail Art Tutorial

I’m probably not the first person to think of this nail art, it is super easy (albeit crazy messy), but when I was Google-researching it to see if it would work, I couldn’t find any clues! So, I have a tutorial for you today, especially suited to those of you who don’t mind getting funny looks from anyone living with you… But it is so much fun, please do give it a try!

Messy Bubble Nail Art Tutorial

Messy Bubble Nail Art Tutorial

You will need

Some clean, cool water – tap water is fine

Liquid soap. I used Palmolive dish soap, because it’s what I had to hand. Any type should be fine!

Acrylic paint – I used Jo Sonja’s. I think 2 colours is pretty good to start with

A paint brush for each paint colour, to mix them up

A drinking straw for each paint colour, to blow bubbles with!

Clean, painted and dry prepped nails – I painted mine white with Butter London Cotton Buds

Your usual clean-up gear, whether that’s acetone and a brush, a nail polish eraser pen, or whatever

Optional – masking gum or tape to keep your fingertips clean (ish)

Messy Bubble Nail Art Tutorial

I took the precaution of masking my cuticles (and fingertips!) with liquid latex first. I found this masking gum (it’s blue tinted, but the tint doesn’t stain) in the kids section of a craft shop. If you’re allergic or don’t have access to this, tape will do a fine job to keep the worst of it off your fingers! It’s super sticky once dried though. Don’t be a fool like me, do one hand at a time if you use this stuff 😉

Because of the super stickiness of this stuff, and since I don’t like to ruin my paint brushes, so I apply it with a cotton bud (Q-tip). If you get any on your nails, just wait for it to dry and rub it back off gently.

Messy Bubble Nail Art Tutorial

Gently mix about 2 parts water into your (1 part) paint. The colour shouldn’t be too diluted, but the paint should be quite thin. Once that’s mixed in, mix one part of dish soap into that. The proportions aren’t very important, as long as it makes bubbles you’re all good!

Messy Bubble Nail Art Tutorial

Using the first drinking straw, blow bubbles into your paint. I’m assuming that you’ve all done this as kids, but in case you haven’t – don’t suck! Really, it doesn’t taste good. If you do suck any up the straw, wash out your mouth with lots of water. If you don’t realise, and go to show someone your nails  with a blue mouth, they aren’t going to pay much attention to your incredible nail art…

Messy Bubble Nail Art Tutorial

Using the straw, scoop up some bubbles and lay them on your nails. Go for the little fine ones, the big ones will probably just pop anyway!
Messy Bubble Nail Art Tutorial

Once the first bubbles have dried, keep layering them on! Stop before your nails are just a non-descript mushy brown though…

When they are thoroughly dry, top coat them. And when that’s totally dry, you can remove your masking fluid or tape, and give your hands a good wash! One tip I have is, if you missed any parts that you masked, and the paint sticks to dry skin, moisturise well, then wash your hands again. This will usually get rid of any residue 🙂

Messy Bubble Nail Art Tutorial Close Up


All you need to do now is admire your pretty work and deny making all that mess! 🙂
Messy Bubble Nail Art Tutorial


Awesome, right?! And I did a little collage tutorial for any of you Grammers/Pinners out there! Messy Bubble Nail Art Tutorial Collage



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11 thoughts on “Messy Bubble Nail Art Tutorial

  1. Lisa N. says:

    Love how the bubble effect come through on the nails! Its cool.

  2. Craftynail says:

    This is brilliant, Brijit! Great idea. Looks fun too!

  3. So so clever! Love this Brij! 😀

  4. Stephanie says:

    What a unique look; I really like it! Sort of reminds me of cells under a microscope!

  5. doctorcrafty says:

    This is sooo pretty! Great idea!

  6. Aly Bio says:

    Oh bubbly effect! Great idea!

  7. Rachel T says:

    Wow, this looks amazing! I *need* to try this.

  8. Kitsu says:

    That looks so fun! Thanks for the tutorial, I definitely need to give this a go sometime!

  9. vonimoller says:

    Aaaaah this rocks

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