Back to School Nail Designs for Students, Parents, and Teachers

10 min read

Back to school season is kicking off!

Summer is winding down to a close, and after you've crammed as many summer activities as you can before sweater weather sets in, you know what's next...

Time to get your geek on and bust out your autumn-appropriate dip powders for some stylish back to school mani.

In this dip nails guide, we have back to school nail art for students, parents, and teachers alike. But whichever category you belong to, any of these back to school nail ideas are guaranteed to get you an A+ in back to school style.

Ready to learn how to do your nails for back to school? Let's get nail nerdy!

Back to school nail designs for students

The sky's the creative limit when it comes to student mani.

Love maths? Scribble some numbers or formulas on your dip powder nails.

Love brand new school supplies? Back to school essentials, from notepads to rulers, need not remain on your shopping list only. Try a nail art with a school supplies theme.

For maximum nerdy nails effect, combine both!

Just like this back to school acrylic nail design that'll send you to the head of the class.

We are geeking out over this creation by Jay Benefield of @jaybnails! Recreate the look using French White, CL 66 (Sunflower Yellow), and PA 06 (Light/Medium Violet) dip powders. She also used acrylic paint and a small nail brush for the art.

If you're going for a more preppy persona this upcoming academic year, accentuate your Cher Horowitz-esque style with this Clueless-inspired dip mani.

Dip Nail Tutorial: How To Create Plaid Dip Nails — featuring French White, CL 70 (True Blue), CL 66 (Sunflower Yellow), and CL 68 (Dirty Dijon) dip colors from Dipwell's Classic Dip Powder Collection.

A simple back to school nail idea is to flaunt your school colors on your dip manicure. Or your kid's school colors if you're a parent.

Image by Josie Gardner, featuring CL 04 (Vibrant Blue) dip powder and craft glitter.

College sports teams always appreciate the love, and you can show your support by donning their jersey colors on your dip powder nails.

Image by Hali Bauman, featuring GL 16 (Festive Glitter) and GL 37 (Rich Red) glittery dip powders to represent her son's college colors. Go Bulldogs!

Back to school acrylic nails for nursing school students

For those who are about to start nursing school (congratulations, by the way!), you know the deal — check what your school allows as most require short nails and natural colors only, if that. (Cheer up! On the bright side, these manicure restrictions are only temporary. Come vacation time, you'll have more nail designs to choose from on our dip nails tutorial page. 😉 And remember, no one's stopping you from having colorful dip powder toes.)

For now, here are a few inspo for natural-looking, nursing-school-appropriate dip mani, featuring shades from Dipwell's Naturale Dip powder Collection. You can also try applying just a coat or two of the Base & Finish dip nail powder.

Would you look at that... It looks exactly like naked nails! It's the perfect neutral mani that's not too pink and not too beige.

Image by Alison Nicole, featuring NA 21 (Nude Nails) dip color.

Sans the stars — even if they befit star students like you — the milky, semi-opaque finish of this natural look makes for great nursing school nails.

Image by Ariel Lyn, featuring NA 30 (Pale Pink) dip powder.

Another understated but still in style au naturel color for nursing students. Just don’t add any decals, of course.

Image by Iliana Buttimer, featuring NA 2 (Peachy Sand) dip powder.

Back to school nail designs based on what you are studying

It's easy to do this. Simply match your classroom claws with the classes you're taking. You're studying architecture? Choose between marble nail art or terrazzo nail art. Zoology? Try a cat nail art.

Here are more dip powder nail tutorials for the studious dippers. (FYI: We can’t cover all fields of studies even if we’d love to. Can’t find your course in the list below? Head over to Dipwell’s YouTube page for more dip mani inspo.)

For gemology students, let your personality shine with gorgeous geode nails.

Dip Nail Tutorial: How to Create Geode Nails with Dip Powder — featuring French White, CL 64 (True Black), CL 71 (Pine Green), GL 12 (Gold Glitter), CL 66 (Sunflower Yellow), CL 8 (Fuchsia Pink), NE 3 (Sherbert Orange), JL 02 (Pink Jelly), JL 04 (Purple Jelly), JL 05 (Orange Jelly), JL 06 (Yellow Jelly), and JL 07 (Teal Jelly) dip colors.

For fashion students, how about some Pucci-inspired vintage nail design?

Dip Nail Tutorial: Pucci-Inspired Nails: 70s Nail Art with Dip Powder — featuring PA 14 (Pink Neutral), CL 15 (Monarch Orange), and NE 8 (Papaya Orange) dip colors.

For culinary students, mimic the look of a delicious dessert with a drip nail design. Now that's one drool-worthy mani!

Dip Nail Tutorial: Drip Nails with Dip Powder | Ice Cream-Inspired Summer Mani — featuring PA 20 (Pastel Peach) and NE 17 (Bright Magenta) dip colors from Dipwell's Neon Dip Powder Collection.

For botany students, you can use a dotting tool to draw on a simple flower nail art or use dried flowers for major floral power.

Dip Nail Tutorial: How To Encapsulate Floral & Gold — featuring NA 07 (PSL Orange), CL 40 (deep wine), and CL 43 (Spicy Red) dip colors.

For pomology students — yes, that’s the technical name for studying fruits — let the fruit of your choice inspire the look of your mani. If that happens to be watermelon, you're in luck because we'll teach you how to do a watermelon mani.

Dip Nail Tutorial: Watermelon Dip Nails: Your New Favorite Jelly Mani — featuring CL 64 (True Black), JL 02 (Pink Jelly), and JL 07 (Teal Jelly) dip colors from Dipwell's Jelly Dip Powder Collection.

For art students, channel your inner Yayoi Kusama with a minimalist dot mani.

Dip Nail Tutorial: How To Create Minimalist French Tip Dot Nail Art Using Dip Powder — featuring NA 23 (Buff Shade) and NE 4 (Deep Orange) dip colors.

For astronomy students, go for an alien nail art for a more out of this world style.

Dip Nail Tutorial: Neon Glow In The Dark Alien Nails — featuring CL 64 (True Black) and GW 01 (Day: Neon Yellow | Night: Neon Green) dip colors.

Cute back to school nails for sports-minded students (including their parents!)

We've got stylish spirit, yes we do!

We've got stylish spirit, how 'bout you?

Flaunt your back to school spirit with sporty nails. Whether you're a student player, a cheerleader, a sports spectator, or a supportive (and totally cool!) parent, you can represent your school (or your kid's school) by rocking the sports teams' colors on your dip mani. Another way to show off your school pride is by painting your school logo or school mascot onto an accent nail.

Best game nails ever!

Image by Evangeline Evie, featuring CL 66 (Sunflower Yellow) dip powder. It's the perfect mustard color that matches her son's football team color. She also used nail bling to write her son's jersey number. So cool!

Ohio State Buckeyes football team represent!

Image by Ashley Barnett, featuring GL 45 (Iridescent Glitter) and CL 19 (Medium Gray) dip colors.

Sporty mani, but make it ombré!

Image by Diane Senstock, featuring GL 25 (Cobalt Blue) and GL 44 (White & Silver) glittery dip colors — her son's baseball team colors.

Here's another way Diane Senstock shows support to her boys' sports teams.

Same GL 25 (Cobalt Blue) dip color from Dipwell's Glitter Dip Powder Collection, but this time it's used for a French mani.

Back to school nail designs to express your individuality

If school supplies, subjects, or colors are not your thing, we'd say... you do you! We're all about creativity, so we're definitely not limiting you to traditional back to school nail looks.

Go forth and express yourself! Here are some ways to do it. Take note: You can apply the same dip powders used in the tutorials, but you can pick your own preferred dip colors, of course.

Match your return to school with a return to '30s polka dots. For added fun and whimsy, update the retro look of the dot nail design using the ombré technique.

Dip Nail Tutorial: How to Create Polka Dot Nails with Dip Powder — featuring French White, PA 14 (Pink Neutral), PA 01 (Cool Pink), and CL 8 (Fuchsia Pink) dip colors.

You're not a regular student. You're a cool student. And for someone cool like you, a classic French mani with a modern-day twist fits the bill.

Dip Nail Tutorial: Easy Multicolor Mani Tutorial: Different Color French Tips — featuring CL 15 (Monarch Orange), PA 01 (Cool Pink), PA 11 (True Yellow), PA 02 (Soft Jade), and PA 13 (Shimmery Aqua) dip colors from Dipwell's Pastel Dip Powder Collection.

For the student who just can't let go of summer, this glow in the dark ombré reminiscent of the beach sunset you've Instagrammed will help ease your end of summer blues.

Dip Nail Tutorial: How to Create Glow in the Dark Ombre Dip Nails — featuring GW 03 (Day: Magenta | Night: Violet), GW 02 (Day: Highlighter Orange | Night: Melon Pink), and GW 01 (Day: Neon Yellow | Night: Neon Green) dip colors from Dipwell's Glow In The Dark Collection. (For the non-glow-in-the-dark alternative, check out the How To Do Ombre Dip Nails For A Summer Sunset Look tutorial.)

Nails for back to school (that's also suitable for homecoming or prom!)

Look at you prepping not only for the first day back to school but also for all the fun school activities year-round!

Glamorous nails for a semi-formal dance at school. Then again, why wait until a dance? Go glam from the very first day of school.

Image by Katie Law, featuring GL 45 (Iridescent Glitter) and CL 64 (True Black) dip colors.

Back to school nail colors for teachers

Excited to be reunited with your beloved students? After more than a year of Zoom teaching, we can only imagine how fun the first day of school would be like for those who are finally returning to in-person classes. And what better way to complete your back to (offline) school style than a set of classic red dip powder mani.

To give your manicure a fresh and fruity twist, you can don an accent nail with apple nail decals to boot. Good thing that the traditional symbol for teachers since the 1700s — a red apple — is also an oh-so-delicious fall staple. Win-win!

Here are other ways to wear the red apple color on your nails.

If you're new to dip manicure, opt for solid color nails. Your easy acrylic journey starts here.

Dip Nail Tutorial: How To Do Dip Nails, featuring CL 6 (Fire Engine Red) dip powder.

If you're ready to elevate your DIY dip mani, go for the ombré look.

Dip Nail Tutorial: How To Apply Ombre Dip Nails, featuring CL 6 (Fire Engine Red) and CL 64 (True Black) dip powders.

For yet another trendy way to wear your back to school fall nails, the colorblocking technique is going to give you the statement nails you need in your school life.

Dip Nail Tutorial: Negative Space Nails, featuring CL 1 (Bombshell Red) dip powder.

New school year, new you

Start the 2021 academic year in style! And now you have a few dip powder nail inspo to get you started. Everything you need for a stylish first day back at school is right at your fingertips.

Still doing the school in Zoom thing? Be unafraid to get creative with eye-catching, cute nails for back to school that still stands out even on a small screen.

Here you will find other fall nail color recommendations that you can use for your back to school mani:

Transition Into Fall: Colorful Manis That Change With The Season

Fall Activities & The Manis To Match

New Fall Nail Colors You’ll Love

For first-time dippers, here are some words of nail wisdom:

With the amount of writing or typing you're expected to do in school (be it in an online or offline environment), you can keep your manicure looking fresh and stylish with an acrylic dip system that will help prevent your nails from chipping or cracking for up to 6 weeks.

Cool? Cool!

Once you're all set up, share your back to school acrylic nails with our Dipper Club members on Facebook or Instagram (via @dipwellnails and the official hashtag: #DoYouDipWell).