Fashion trends can also be worn on nails. Get inspired by the prints that designers show on the catwalks. Checkered manicure will help to show your knowledge of trends this season

There are many arguments in favor of checkered nail art. Firstly, it is very easy to do it yourself, even if you do not have much experience in nail design. Secondly, you will be surprised at the variety of possible options - there will be plenty to choose from. Despite the simplicity of this print, it will definitely not be boring.

When is a checkered manicure appropriate?

Like other nail art options that become one of the accents in the image, a checkered manicure is done on the right occasions. It is hardly worth experimenting with nail design if a strict work dress code requires restraint from you.

If nothing limits you in the choice of clothes, styling, makeup and manicure, you can safely do a manicure with a pattern in a cage. It will bring liveliness and originality to your business outfits with a shirt and a pencil skirt or, for example, with a trouser suit.

In this case, choose a neutral shade of nail polish like Essie's "Full Cylinder" for the background.

At the same time, checkered design can easily become part of your casual look. Or a bright accent that complements a party outfit if you design with glitter polish.

Ways to create a checkered design on nails

  1. Hand painted

    If you're careful, making checkered nail art on your own won't be that hard. It will be necessary to draw straight, even stripes with an unwavering hand, using a thin manicure brush.

  2. Thread

    Yes, this particular household item can be useful to you in nail art. Cut off a piece of small length. Apply colored varnish to one section of the thread. And immediately start creating a design - apply the thread to the nail so that even lines are printed on it.

  3. Stencils

    Stencils will help you draw a checkered print with thick lines. Make them out of sticky paper and fix them on your nails after the base coat dries. Stencils will help you get a perfectly even cage and, as a result, neat nail art.

  4. Stickers

    You can get out of the situation in a different way - without wasting effort on drawings. Instead, it is convenient to use stickers with a suitable print. It remains only to stick them evenly on the nails.

Recommended to read:

  • Art School: DIY Nail Designs
  • Nail patterns for beginners: step by step instructions
  • How to use nail stickers correctly?

How to draw a cage on nails: step by step photo instructions

  1. Preparation

    Get everything you need for your nail art ahead of time. Keep your brush, stencils, and other supplies close at hand. Get a manicure. You will find detailed instructions in this video.

    Degrease the nail plate, apply a base coat on it and dry it. Next, apply varnish in two layers, which will serve as a background for the design.

  2. Drawing print

    Go to work with a brush or create a checkered print with thread. If you lack confidence, practice on a piece of paper first. Or immediately use auxiliary means - adhesive paper, which will help to achieve smooth and neat lines.

    Be sure to dry the drawing so that it does not smear when applying the top coat.

  3. Fixing and drying

    After waiting for the time, finish the manicure with a topcoat. If necessary, use a dryer like Essie drops to set the result as quickly as possible.


Stylish cage design ideas for short nails

Vichy cage

This two-tone check is most often associated with home textiles: this pattern adorns tablecloths, napkins and other Provence style decor items. The atmosphere of coziness created by the Vichy check is close to fashion designers who often bring this print to the catwalk, decorating light summer dresses, skirts and blouses with it.

Take an example from them in the spring-summer season - 2023 - use a Vichy check in manicure; the print is large enough, so it will look good on short nails.

Tweed plaid

Remember the weaving of woolen threads on tweed fabric. It forms a beautiful checkered pattern: some lines are hidden under others, giving the pattern a noble negligence and at the same time a volume effect.

Tweed check is especially easy to complement nail art. No need to check the checkered print almost with a ruler in your hands. It is enough to connect several color spots on the surface of the nails, and draw strokes on top, crossing them in places with each other.

Wide cage

In the world of costume fashion, such a checkered print is called a “window frame” - large cells delimited by thin lines really resemble windows. The design is perfect for decorating short nails, as it is simple in execution and does not include small details.

You only need a thin brush to draw fine and even lines.

Checkered glitter manicure

On short nails, you can alternate thin stripes with wide ones. Paint some with the usual varnish, and others with a varnish with a shimmer or glitter.Using different textures and shades will make checkered nail art much more interesting. If you create it at a short length, choose for this design only a pair of nails on each hand - this way you will get a harmonious result.

Thin cage

A checkered pattern with wide lines can look quite cumbersome on short nails. Thin stripes, on the contrary, will help to give them a more elegant look. No need to strive for close "weaving" . Three or four thin intersecting lines are enough to get a pattern that will really decorate short nails.

Dog tooth cage

This is one of the trendiest plaid prints. And on short nails, it looks no less impressive than on long ones, only it should be drawn large.

A small "dog tooth" will be visually perceived on short nails as chaotically, like a chaotic black and white spot.


Trendy plaid manicure options for long nails

Checked and polka dots

Combine two popular prints in your manicure. First, cover your nails with a checkered pattern, and add polka dots on top in the form of neat dots. Thanks to this, you will make original nail art based on well-known and fairly simple prints.

Tweed effect

Tweed check looks good on long nails too. One way to play with this print in an interesting way is to apply strokes imitating thread stitches instead of clear lines.

Checkered jacket

French manicure, as we know, perfectly emphasizes the length of the nails.The longer the nails, the more opportunities to decorate the tips. Instead of the usual white stripe, you can decorate them with a checkered pattern. And leave the main part of the nail colorless to focus all attention on the print.


On long nails, this pattern (“houndstooth” is the same as “dog tooth”) looks no worse than on short ones. The only difference is that here the print can be made smaller. It is best to use stencils to make the drawing clear and easy to read.

Mondrian cage

Inspiration for plaid nail art can be found not only in the fashion industry, but also in the art world. Try to create a drawing on the nails in the spirit of abstractionism, namely the paintings of Mondrian, who creatively connected black lines on the canvas, and then filled the resulting cells with color.Owners of long nails, this design option is definitely worth a try.

Curved cage

Who said that in a checkered pattern the lines should be extremely straight? Try to go against the rules by bending the lines, playing with the shape of the nails. In this interpretation, the checkered print will definitely look unusual.

" Winter" cage

Many nail artists use plaid to create winter designs in the spirit of cozy and warm wool sweaters with a pigtail pattern. On some nails, make a “knitted” pattern from acrylic powder, and decorate the others with a checkered print, which is so common in winter clothing collections.


Someone will see a chessboard in this version of the cage, and someone will remember the checkered cage from racing flags.Anyway, this drawing is definitely good for nail art. And if such a pattern on the entire surface of the nails seems redundant to you, try the design using the color blocking technique: divide the nail plate into sections, fill a part with a black and white check, and leave the others without a color coating.

Scottish tartan

Checkered classics especially to the place closer to the New Year holidays. Plaids decorated with red or emerald green tartan print are associated with cozy evenings before Christmas. Why not transfer tartan to your nails as nail art? And to make it look festive, paint some of the lines with varnish with a metallic effect or with glitter.

Have you ever done a checkered manicure? Write which version of the cage you like best in the comments.