Tutorial: Zigzag pattern tape mani

Hi everyone, welcome to my fifth tutorial! This time I'm going to show you how I create the zigzag pattern using tape. It's not very hard but it does require some patience because it involves two times of taping and the layers of polish need to be completely dry in order to do that. To speed up the process I recommend using polishes that cover in one coat or a fast drying topcoat for on top of polishes with a longer drying time. So pick three colors and let's start!

Begin with the base color you like (if necessary with a basecoat underneath) and let it dry completely. You can apply a fresh color or use the current polish you're wearing (to practice). Since there will be two more coats of polish applied on top, it doesn't matter if there's a little bit of VNL (visible nail line) or tipwear.
Now cut some triangles out of tape to make the zigzag pattern. I do this by cutting a small piece off the roll first, which I then cut it in half diagonally.You'll need two triangles per layering color.
When you're done cutting the tape, place two triangles next to each other on about a third of the nail, with the points towards the tip. Make sure all the pieces of tape are fully adhered to the surface, if not use your finger or a tweezer to push them down or reattach them if needed.
Then apply your first layering color with a thin coat...
...and carefully peel off the pieces of tape right away. Let the design dry and if necessary use a fast drying topcoat to shorten the drying time.
If you're starting to lose your patience by now, you can of course leave the design as is, which looks pretty cute already. Fanatics may continue with step 5!
When the polish is entirely dry, repeat step 2, 3 and 4 with your second layering color, but now place the triangles a bit more towards the tip, partly overlapping the first layering color like shown in the picture.
At last apply your topcoat, clean up and you are finally done! Don't forget to moisturize your cuticles afterwards, because having all that tape on your skin can make it a bit dry!
Use the design for an eye-catching full mani or cut it down to a few accent nails if you want to keep it simple or can't be bothered. Thanks for reading!
Check out the tutorial page for some useful tips. Also I would love to see your attempt on my design, so feel free to leave a link to your creation in the comment section!

Polishes I used in this post are OPI Big Apple Red, Color Club Where's The Soiree? and Essence Chuck.


  1. Wauw heel gaaf!
    Het ziet er zo makkelijk uit en dan probeer ik het zelf en dan mislukt het compleet!

  2. i really love it!!!


  3. So thats where i was going wrong. I was peeling them off when it was dry and they were pulling at the edges. Will try it when wet now. Thank you.

  4. you make it look so easy! and then i try. and i fail. hahaha

  5. I loved how much the lightning bolt felt like a superhero mani (and posted my version of it on my blog!) but I like these even more... it'd be great with red blue and gold and the W for wonderwoman!

  6. Thank you for the tutorial, I definitely want to try it out. :)

  7. The tutorial we've all been waiting for! Thanks =)

  8. i would try it but i know i'll embarrass myself. hahaha they're so lovely!

  9. I just tried this and I totally failed. I did 2 things wrong.
    1. I let it dry
    2. I used Scotch Tape. Bad bad idea.

    Trying again tomorrow though!

  10. I just found your blog and it's amazing, love what you do :)

  11. I tried it and the result was amazing!!!I can't wait to try the other desings!!!

  12. Hi! Great tutorial and tips, I adore this look! Here's my first attempt at a tape mani: http://pinterest.com/pin/53630718/

    Thanks so much for sharing your skills! :)

  13. Just found your blog by happy accident--I am IN LOVE!! Your nails look like a million bucks--what a great way to have a fab mani and really only spend your time to do it!

    I can't wait to try some of your designs--esp the lightning bolt--our local hockey team is the Tampa Bay Lightning :)

    And your 4th of July mani--WOW!!!

    I definitely subscribed by email so I don't miss a thing. Thank you so much for sharing your tips with everyone :)

  14. Thank you, girls!! Glad you like it and remember, practice makes perfect ;-)

    @Sarah: It's so CUTE! I love the bright and happy colors :D

    @Headacheslayer "The Crafty Angel": Thanks so much for the kind words, I truly appreciate it! ^^

  15. Thank you! I've been trying and failing to copy this look for ages! now i can do it YAY

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  17. Hey Jane! I moved my blog so I am reposting my comment under my new blog name :)

    I adore your manis, they are always so pretty! You also inspired my love for the matte top coat :)

    I decided to give this tape mani a try as my first ever tape mani, here's the result: http://christinaalexia.blogspot.com/2011/11/my-first-tape-mani.html

    Keep posting your wonderful manis and thank you for the helpful tutorials, I'll be trying out some more as I get the chance to :)

  18. I totally love your blog. I've been following it since January! You have the most awesome ideas and I appreciate your very simple to execute tutorials!! Keep up the inspiration!