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15 DIY Manicure Ideas for Fall

If we’re being honest, the idea of “seasonal” manicures is really just an excuse for us to do even more nail polish and nail design than we already do the rest of the year. Giving your nails a seasonal theme, however, just makes things a little more fun while you paint! Whether you’re designing acrylic nails that you’ll stick on temporarily or whether you’ve been growing and caring for your nails all summer to don some rich fall colours this autumn, we think a good seasonal manicure ties your look together on a fun night out.

Check out these 15 fun, totally fall nail designs featuring shapes and colours that are irresistible when it comes to autumn aesthetic.

1. Pumpkin nail tips

VIEW IN GALLERYPumpkin nail tips

Pumpkins aren’t just for Halloween! In fact, when we think of pumpkins, we actually think first of the pumpkin patches we visit near Thanksgiving. Maybe the pumpkin patch isn’t exactly something you’d normally “dress up” for, but there’s nothing wrong with getting a little festive in the small details. Get the tutorial from One Nail to Rule Them All.

2. Chrome harvest French tips

VIEW IN GALLERYChrome harvest French tips

Sometimes all you need to make things a little bit more seasonably festive is a small touch of colour, no more than a line. We love the way Harper’s Bazaar combined a neutral base with a bright strip of orange on the tips like a French manicure, and the fact that the orange is chrome only makes it better!

3. Matte burgundy with gold detail

VIEW IN GALLERYMatte burgundy with gold detail

We’re not sure why, but for some reason matte just feels and looks like an autumn detail to us. We can picture a glossy finish sparkling in the sun but when we picture a cozy fall look, matte just fits the bill. We can’t get over how gorgeous this deep matte burgundy from Pop Sugar looks, or how it contrasts perfectly with the tiny gold dots along the cuticle of a detail nail.

4. Gold metallic Sharpie mani

VIEW IN GALLERYGold metalic Sharpie mani

We think fall is the perfect time for tiny detailed manicure looks, likes these awesome intersecting lines. The reason we like that so much in the fall is because black polish makes seasonal sense and that’s what fine chrome details show up on best! It can be hard to paint things like thin lines with polish though, so The Beauty Department suggests using a quality chrome sharpie.

5. Deep purple matte and chrome mani

VIEW IN GALLERYdeep purple matt and chrome mani

Do you agree with us about the fact that matte seems like fall, but you still have a special place in your heart for that lovely glossy effect that’s become a classic? Try mixing the two! The look will be especially fall appropriate if you pick a deep colour like this gorgeous eggplant purple the way Ooooh, Shinies! did.

6. Elegant Halloween nails

VIEW IN GALLERYElegant Halloween nails

Okay, okay, so we know that Halloween is over and we see that So Nailicious, who designed this nail look, has even called it a Halloween nail. If you ask us, however, we’d say this look is actually more versatile and we’d definitely rock it year round! Imagine all the colour combinations you could create. We like that the pointed shape in the centre mimics the stiletto nail shape that’s so trendy right now, but without you having to learn how to navigate regular tasks with talons on the ends of your fingers.

7. Minimalist nude and metallic manicure

VIEW IN GALLERYMinimalist nude and metallic mani

We know that fall is a time for rich, beautiful colours, but for some reason we still just appreciate a good neutral. Just because we’re going neutral, however, doesn’t mean the look can’t have a little sparkle! We’re huge fans of the way Pop Sugar balanced a nude neutral and a shimmer by angling them against each other in an interesting way.

8. Gold feathered manicure

VIEW IN GALLERYGold feathered manicure

Makeup.com has an amazing look for fall that features dark teals and feather patterns in a way that’s appropriate for a fall outing, but their design has a twist. Rather than just painting the feather design by hand, which can be difficult, take a more interesting approach and add some texture by actually sealing pieces of feathers under some clear polish.

9. Autumn tree mani with an ombre sky

VIEW IN GALLERYSpooky tree mani with an ombre sky

Is your favourite part of fall the deep red and orange tones you get when the leaves start to change, especially when the sun sets and the sky starts to match? Then we think you’ll love this fall ombre nail design from Cosmopolitan! The bright gradient in the sky is created with a sponge and the tree is made with a fine brush, letting you feel like an artist.

10. Spooky ghost nails

VIEW IN GALLERYDeep plum and glitter nails

Few things make us as happy as glitter and that’s especially true when it’s featured against a gorgeous dark background that lets it stand out to its full potential. That’s why we’re such huge fans of this fantastic plum look from Alyce Paris! We love how this silver glitter contrasts but we also think it would look great with gold or a slightly lighter purple.

11. Nude and neon French tips

VIEW IN GALLERYNude and neon French tips

Did you like the idea we talked about above that featured a nude neutral background with a bright orange tip? Well, if you’re feeling extra colourful, why not choose a few contrasting colours to go along with that orange? Lulu’s suggests using neon colours and we’re very on board with that idea, especially if you have pink and yellow lying around to recreate the look in its entirety.

12. “Thanksgiving” manicure


Do you love a good manicure with a little bit of theme or gimmick, even if it’s subtle? We’re the same, so we fully understand! To others, this idea from Refinery 29 might just look like a stylish colour choice, but the glitter is really a combination or orange, red, and gold that perfectly hearkens to the Thanksgiving season and the leaves outside. The lovely dark taupe behind it provides a great dark background for the colours to stand out against.

13. Deep jewel tones

VIEW IN GALLERYDeep jewel tones

Who ever said that colours have no place in fall? That person obviously hasn’t seen the gorgeous leaves and sunsets that take place in the fall! We love the way that Love Maegan has mirrored the bright, gorgeous colours of the surrounding environment in a beautiful jeweled toned manicure. As if that wasn’t appealing enough, they’ve added little golden stickers for a fleck of glamour.

14. Autumn leaves nails

VIEW IN GALLERYAutumn leaves nails

Did you like the idea of the fall ombre tree design but the changing tones in the background and the tiny, full tree is perhaps a little too much detail for you? Try this simpler leaf design instead! We say “simple”, but we don’t mean that in a bad way. After all, this version involves a glittery background, and we’ll never say no to that! Check out the details on Misch’s Beauty Blog.

15. Chrome half moon and tip mani

VIEW IN GALLERYChrome half moon and tip mani

Maybe you love the idea of an unconventionally coloured manicure but you’re rather have a bright colour as the background? Try this beautiful orange-red with a chrome gold contrast and, if you’re feeling very fancy, add another arching shape at the bed of your nail to mirror the tip, just like Cosmopolitan did here.

Do you know someone who absolutely adores changing their nails with the seasons? Share this post with them for a little bit of fall manicure inspiration!