Nail Klub: Go the Extra Mile with DIY Map Nail Transfers

Map nail art transfers - lead

You’ve packed your duffel with comfy-cool outfits, filled a cooler with snacks, and have even read up on some road trip-ready hairstyles. But don’t hit the highway just yet! Nail Klub’s not about to let you spend all those hours with your hands at 10 and 2 without a manicure to keep you company. This month, we’re putting a navigational twist on our DIY nail transfers tutorial and opting for map pattern nail art. A little rubbing alcohol and a paper map create a quirky departure from your day-to-day digits.

Too shy to ask for directions? No worries! Check out our step-by-step instructions below!

Map nail art transfers tutorial Headed out of town this summer? What’s your go-to vacation look?

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  1. Avatar
    Yuki 05/28/2013 at 2:48 pm #


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    Eliza 05/29/2013 at 5:11 am #

    Love it! Thank you Nail Klub!

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    thatsoursweetie 05/29/2013 at 8:40 am #

    I personally think that it’s ÃœBER ADORBZ! <3

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    Grace 05/29/2013 at 10:45 am #

    OMG!! This is THE coolest mani EVER!! 🙂 So gonna try this.

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    Jayjay 05/29/2013 at 1:50 pm #

    just spent 10 minutes trying to get the ma to transfer without success only to realize i was using peroxide, not alcohol. Oops!

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    Must Have Boxes 05/29/2013 at 4:56 pm #


    – KW

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    Stephanie Krier 05/30/2013 at 5:32 am #

    Should I let my nail polish dry before dipping into alcohol? I don’t want to assume! 🙂

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      Anna (ModCloth) 06/03/2013 at 7:27 am #

      Hi Stephanie! Yep, you want your white base coat to dry completely before you dip your fingers in the rubbing alcohol to ensure things don’t get too gloopy. Oh, another tip – get that fingernail good and wet before putting the map against it. The wetter the nail, the easier the ink will transfer. Thanks for your question, Stephanie! Let us know how it turns out 🙂

      • Avatar
        zuckerwatte 06/04/2013 at 11:38 am #

        Can I use vodka or does it have to be rubbing alcohol?

      • Avatar
        zuckerwatte 06/04/2013 at 11:39 am #

        Never mind I read the rest of the comments and saw that it would work 🙂

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        Henriette 09/12/2014 at 3:15 am #

        Hi, daughter and I tried this many times last night and we cannot get the map to transfer. Is there something with the paper? it’s quite glossy.

  8. Avatar
    Jayjay 05/30/2013 at 7:47 am #

    Tried again with rubbing alcohol for sure this time – no transfer! Any suggestions? Would love to make this work.

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      sarah 06/01/2013 at 9:49 am #

      I have had success using vodka instead of rubbing alcohol… also found it worked really well when i photocopied the map then applied it to the nail. maybe it’s something with the ink from a photocopier?

    • Avatar
      Anna (ModCloth) 06/03/2013 at 7:38 am #

      Hi Jayjay! Some inks can be a little more stubborn than others, so it might take a little more time to transfer them. Make sure you get your nail really wet with rubbing alcohol before you start the transfer – the wetter the nail, the better. If you want, put a few extra drops of alcohol on top of the map piece when you’re pressing it against your nail, too. Press the map firmly onto your nail for a solid minute, and really take your time peeling the paper back so as much ink sticks as possible. And yes to Sarah’s comment! I’ve read that vodka works great for this technique!

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    Ali Manning 06/02/2013 at 4:11 am #

    Your tutorial made my day – it’s awesome! I can’t wait to try it with my daughter.

  10. Avatar
    Ayla 06/03/2013 at 10:45 pm #

    Would this also work with gel nail polish?

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    Oempaloempaas 06/04/2013 at 8:04 am #

    Omygod, i realy love this!
    I’ve put a link of your tut on my site:
    And shared it also on facebook:
    I hope you don’t mind it <3

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    Caitlin 06/15/2013 at 12:25 am #

    Super cute nail design!! Would it work if I printed out a map onto regular printer paper and then applied it to my nails?

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      Michaela 07/28/2013 at 6:19 pm #

      Not if it’s inkjet, unfortunately :/

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    Zoë 06/30/2013 at 6:25 pm #

    This worked amazingly! I think I need to work on getting more of the ink, while leaving the paper, but otherwise totally happy!

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    Millie 07/01/2013 at 10:01 pm #

    Would it work with a malways instead on just a map???

  15. Avatar
    Rock N Roam 08/22/2013 at 6:04 pm #

    Reblogged this on Rock N Roam and commented:
    Holy sweet shit! Road trip nails!

  16. Avatar
    Manisha 10/24/2013 at 9:22 pm #

    wow these look so cool

  17. Avatar
    Katie 11/30/2013 at 12:12 pm #

    Do I have to just dip my nails into the alcohol or should i keep them in for like 2 minutes??

  18. Avatar
    dumps shop 10/08/2018 at 1:06 pm #

    It’s going to be ending of mine day, however before finish I am reading this fantastic post to improve my know-how.


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