DIY 4th of July Nails {using vinyl stencils}

 DIY 4th of July nails made simple with vinyl stencils. Use your Silhouette to cut the files.

I love the 4th of July! I truly feel that I am so blessed to be able to live in the greatest country in the world. I love the many freedoms that we are able to have because of the inspired Constitution. I also love celebrating with family and friends. This year, I had a lot of fun playing with making a fun design on my nails. {This is huge for me, as neutrals is usually my choice color palette for my nails.} You can recreate these fun designs so easily and quickly with this DIY 4th of July nails tutorial using vinyl stencils. 

What you’ll need:

4th of July Nails made simple using vinyl templates for the design. Silhouette Nail Designs make your job easy.


** Disclaimer **Please realize that I am not a professional nail technician. I just really love to have my nails look nice. So, you’ll notice in many of the pictures that my nails were not completely cleaned up. They are now, but please forgive me for the imperfections in my photos.

The first thing you’re going to do is paint all of your fingernails the base colors you want. I used Shellac colors: Red Baroness, Cream Puff and Midnight Swim. For my thumb nail, I used a fan brush and applied a little bit of turquoise and clear glitter to the base of the nail before I added two layers of top coat. When using glitter, adding an extra top coat helps smooth out the texture of the glitter {which is a big deal to me}. One of the great things about using Shellac is when I’m adding my designs I have the freedom to use nail polish remover if I mess up, which I did a lot when creating this fun 4th of July nail design. The base coat will remain on and beautiful and shiny as ever.

I was so excited when I found this adorable Stars Nail Design and this Anchor and Stripes Nail Design template each for only 99 cents in the Silhouette Online Store. That is soooo much easier and faster than trying to design something myself, and the price is amazing. I actually got the anchor set  for 50 cents when they were on sale, I snatched them up pretty quickly. There are so many great cut designs for every occasion in the Silhouette store, and every Tuesday you’ll find a new free design for the week. That means I can get 52 free designs a year! And while I’m there, I love to check out the fresh, new, fun designs that show up. 

I struggled a little to make the stripes template from the Silhouette store fit on my nails just right and have the  stripes go to the edge of  my nails. So, I designed my own stripes template. You can have it for free by clicking here: BILC Stripes Nail Template.

Once you purchase your designs, you’ll open up your Silhouette program and go to File>Download Pending Orders and then enter your account information. The designs will automatically be added to your library. You can then open and cut the nail templates out. I sampled the templates with a few different pieces of vinyl. I found out that the outdoor vinyl and contact paper did not work as well as the regular vinyl, especially if you are using regular nail polish as your base. They tend to be too sticky and pull the base coat off when you remove the mask. I’ve heard that masking or frog tape works well, but I have never personally tried it, so I can’t say for sure. I’d love to hear from those of you who have used it.

4th of July nails made simple using vinyl and designs made for the Silhouette machine

Once your design is cut from vinyl, you are going to use the vinyl as a mask. Peel the design from the backing. {Yes, I KNOW my fingers needed to be cleaned up a bit, please don’t yell at me, this isn’t my line of work}

4th of July nails made easy with designs cut out on the silhouette and using vinyl as a mask.


Carefully place the vinyl on your nail. Make sure you line it up exactly the way you want it, especially if you’re a perfectionist like I am. I got my stripes a little crooked, but decided I could live with it in the end. :) Press the sides of the design along the edge of your nail. If you are not careful to seal off the design on the edge, or if there are bubbles or gaps where the vinyl touches your nail, the nail polish will bleed through and the stripes or stars will not come off crisp and clean.

4th nails made easy with vinyl. So awesome, you can precisely cut your design with the Silhouette and then mask your nail. Looks so professional!


Next comes the easy part, paint your nails. I like to go the same direction that I would normally paint my nail. Be sure you fill in all of the gaps. Then peel the vinyl off while the paint is still wet. If you wait until the paint dries to pull the vinyl off, it has a tendency to pull the paint off with it. 

4th of July nails stars stripes and anchor. So fun and simple with vinyl mask


Because I used Shellac, I was able to go in with nail polish remover and clean up my lines a bit. I found that after a little practice, I got much better at applying the vinyl so that the paint did not bleed through. I had no problems with the star template. In fact, it worked beautifully! 


DIY 4th of July nails made simple with vinyl templates from the Silhouette store!


Repeat with the other nails you are painting. Once you are satisfied with the way your nails look, protect the designs with a top coat. Once again, because my nails were painted with Shellac for the base coat, I thought I’d experiment with the topcoat. I painted another layer of Shellac’s topcoat. I am on day 5 and have had no chipping, or peeling, or loss of design. 

4th of July nails stars, stripes, & anchors. Made easy with vinyl stencils


DIY 4th of July nails made simple with vinyl stencils. Use your Silhouette to cut the files.


I just love the way my nails turned out! You can have this same fun 4th of July nail design too using vinyl stencils! Have a wonderful and safe 4th of July!

4th of July nails tutorial using vinyl stencils/templates. Free Silhouette file


4th of July nails tutorial using vinyl stencils/templates. Free Silhouette file!




  1. 2

    Lisa nichols says

    Thank you very much for the file and the tutorial. No need to apologize for your paint job. They look spectacular and you did a great job. :)