Here at Every College Girl, one of our most popular posts of all time is our tutorial on how to get cheetah print nails. I love the look; it’s so simple and fun, and animal prints are getting hot again. To follow along the same vein, I decided to do a similar animal print nail tutorial. This time: zebra or tiger stripes!

What You Need…


  • White nail polish
  • Black nail polish
  • Clear top coat nail polish
  • Thin paintbrush (from craft/dollar store), dotting tool (from beauty supply store), or toothpick
  • Nail polish remover
  • Q-tip


  1. Start by applying the top coat. This will help the white polish from looking streaky.
  2. Now, apply 2-3 coats of the white polish. This can be kind of tedious, as you wait for each coat to dry, but it’s the best way to get a crisp white base for your nails.
  3. Now’s the fun part. If you’re using a paintbrush, wet it with water before dipping it in the black paint to make a thin point. Start your zebra pattern. I find it helps to have a basic image of zebra print in front of you as you do it. Use short strokes and gradually build up the stripes. If you need to, practise on a piece of scrap paper first.
  4. Once the stripes are dry, carefully add one more layer of top coat.
  5. To finish, dip the Q-tip in the nail polish remover and clean up the edges of your fingertips to remove any smeared polish.

Mix It Up…

I love this look with different colour combinations. The photo above uses hot pink as the base (which wouldn’t require the first step, and less coats in step 2). For a tiger look, simply switch to an orange or gold base. It also looks good with a silver base, or with a white base and cream stripes, so the pattern is barely noticeable. If you get really good at it, try applying the zebra stripes to only your french tips! The possibilities are endless.

What Do You Think?

Did you try our cheetah print tutorial? What do you think of the zebra print look? Leave a comment and let me know!

Author: kaleigh


  1. Liza says:

    Yes, Lily is right! This wasn’t acheived by hand drawing but with a stamping kit.

  2. Holly says:

    Cool. If you want to look like a white trash skank, that is.

  3. Lily says:

    If you’re going to give instructions for a way of doing this, please have correct photos. In the pictures you used a Konad nail stamper, not hand drawn like you instructed :(

  4. M says:

    OMG this is awesome, I have no artistic ability though, I want my mom to do it for me though, she is an artist. (no I am not a mamas girl or anything) thanks, oh and by the way the picture is perfect, she has very pretty hands on top of the nails

  5. S says:

    Very helpful! Great tips! :)

  6. Krystle says:

    Love zebra haha

  7. Jordan says:

    I just did these nails with a blue base and white stripes Looks awsome!! :D

  8. Audrey says:

    Wow! what a great post. I did this design with the color Skinny Vanilla Latte (nude) by Superstar Nail Lacquer as the base, and black for the stripes. I wish I could show you :)

  9. Briana says:

    I love this and will be trying very soon =)

  10. Shell says:

    LOVE LOVE LOVE these nails! Super funky without overshadowing the rest of your outfit!!

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