29 Cute Butterfly Nails Design Ideas and Nail Art Inspo We Love

a collage of butterfly nails and design ideas in bright and colorful shades of pink, purple, blue, green, and yellow with pastel glitter polish and wing inspired nail art

Prepare for your heart to flutter, because today we’re rounding up our favorite butterfly nails and design ideas! Whimsical and dreamy, butterfly nail art has been having a serious moment lately — and if you’re anything like us, then it’s the style that’s currently dominating your nail inspo boards. Whether you want to add a Y2K flair to your look, show off your favorite album (where are our “Debut” girlies at?!), or embrace all things fairycore, butterfly nails are here for you.

Keep scrolling for the butterfly nail inspo we can’t stop dreaming about, plus a step-by-step tutorial with ideas and advice to create your favorite design at home!

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FAQs for Creating the Dreamiest Butterfly Nail Art

ombre pink and purple butterfly nails with wing inspired design ideas and a sparkly shimmer top coat
inspo photo: @heygreatnails

If you’ve been playing it safe with your nail art recently, butterfly nail ideas are the perfect way to break out of your cocoon and rock a bright and bold manicure. And the best part? You can DIY the dreamy designs at home!

Whether you’re a nail novice or a DIY pro, we’re breaking down everything you need to know to create the most whimsical butterfly nail design ideas at home. Keep scrolling for a few must-know nail art FAQs — including our complete step-by-step tutorial to help you achieve your dreamiest manicure yet!

How hard is it to DIY your own butterfly nails at home?

pink and white glitter butterfly nails
inspo photo: @paznokcie_malami

While butterfly nails may not be the simplest design to DIY, there are plenty of ways to recreate the look at home — even without expert nail art skills! Sure, the intricate wings and shimmery glazes may take a little finesse to pull off (we’ve included a full tutorial down below to help!), but don’t let that scare you off. If you’re still a nail newbie, you can easily DIY many of these butterfly nail ideas using cute nail stickers, dreamy decals, and simple stencils.

And since these nails are currently trending, there are tons of reusable nail kits that make it SO easy to achieve a gorgeous butterfly manicure at home. Keep scrolling for more of our DIY tips!

Essential Items You’ll Need to Create Your Butterfly Nail Design

soft white almond shaped nails with an iridescent butterfly design on each finger in a pastel light pink and blue color combination
inspo photo: @heygreatnails

When it comes to DIYing butterfly nail art, you don’t want to wing it (pun intended!). To create a dreamy design worthy of all your nail selfies, you first need the right tools. So in addition to your favorite nail polish, here are all the essential items you need to DIY a trendy butterfly nail design!

  • Nail art brushes: Small nail art brushes are a lifesaver for drawing thin lines and dainty designs — perfect for your butterfly wing outlines!
  • Dotting tools: No butterfly nail art is complete without a sprinkling of tiny white dots in the corner of each wing. And with nail art dotting tools, you can get the perfect round dot every time.
  • Nail stickers: Don’t want to draw out your butterfly designs? No prob — butterfly nail stickers will give you the whimsical inspo look, minus the effort (or nail art skills).
  • A nail sponge: Many of our favorite butterfly nail ideas feature ombre wings for an extra dreamy and ethereal look, and a nail sponge is the best way to achieve that multicolored design at home.
  • A clear top coat: As with any nail design, a clear top coat is essential to seal your polish and help your nail art last as long as possible. Opt for a super glossy polish or shimmery top coat to recreate those enchanting butterfly vibes!

Step-By-Step Tutorial: How To Do Butterfly Nail Art

glitter gold and mint green butterfly nail ideas
inspo photo: @pop_polished

Grab your polish and brushes, because we’ve created a complete step-by-step tutorial to help you create stunning butterfly nail art at home! While there’s no one way to DIY a butterfly manicure (the design ideas are truly endless!), these are the basic steps for achieving a simple and trendy design. Feel free to make it your own with different colors, accents, and design elements — the more whimsical the better!

  • Apply your base coat: This could be any nail polish color you choose, from a classic nude to a shimmery pink. If you’re DIYing a trendy butterfly wing design, your base coat will also double as the color of the wings — so choose an iridescent glitter or bright color to get the ~butterfly effect~.
  • Color your wings: If your butterfly wings don’t take up your entire nail, this is the time to add the shimmery wing color. On top of your dry base coat, use a small nail art brush to paint on your nail polish in the shape of a fluttery wing. While you want your butterfly wings to be as consistent as possible, don’t stress too much about making them perfect…that’s where the outline comes in!
  • Draw an outline: Now for the most important step! Using an extra thin nail art brush, draw the outline of the butterfly on top of your dry nail design. While most butterfly designs use a black outline for a realistic look, you can choose any color you’d like. We even love the sparkly gold outline on the example above!

P.S. Creating your butterfly outline is actually way simpler than it looks! You can use the ideas on this list as inspo for your lines — and we also love this nail artist’s butterfly nail tutorial for a full step-by-step guide.

  • Add some dots: The secret to making your butterfly design look more realistic? Those little white dots in the corner of the wings. For an easy DIY, use a small dotting tool and white nail polish to add dainty dots in the corners of your butterfly wing outline.
  • Finish with a top coat: Seal the deal with a clear top coat and a few drops of nourishing cuticle oil, and you’re good to go!

The Butterfly Nails Design Ideas and Nail Art Making Our Hearts Flutter

short and shimmery blue nails with a subtle ombre effect and black butterfly wing design ideas
inspo photo: sleeknails_newtown

It’s officially butterfly season, and we’re celebrating with these swoon-worthy nail design ideas! There’s a lot to love about butterfly nail art — it represents new seasons, it symbolizes fresh starts, and it instantly elevates any outfit. So if you’ve been wanting to breathe some life and color into your beauty routine, scroll on for the best butterfly nail art and design ideas to use as inspo for your next mani!

1. Shimmery Light Blue Butterfly Nails

long nude nails with light blue butterfly design ideas outlined with a metallic silver polish

photo: The Gel Club | @thegelclubstamford

These shimmery blue butterfly nails have us dreaming about warm weather and sunny afternoons. Swoon! Whether you’re celebrating the start of a new season or just want to brighten up your current look, this is the perfect manicure for the job.

Pro tip: Add a little extra magic to your butterfly manicure by using metallic polish to create the outline. We love how they catch the light!

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pastel pink floral manicure with white and orange daisy designs

If you’re looking for more dreamy nail inspo for spring, we’ve got you covered with this complete seasonal nail guide!

2. Fairycore Butterfly Nail Design

long pink ombre nails with black butterfly wing design ideas covering each finger

photo: @anna_szlembarsak_nails

We’ve been obsessed with this butterfly wing design since it first fluttered across our social media feeds! A whimsical take on butterfly nail art, this pink ombre design transforms your nails into dreamy butterfly wings. Complete with an iridescent top coat, it’s giving us allllll the fairycore vibes.

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3. Nostalgic 3D Butterfly Nail Art

ombre pastel pink blue and purple manicure with 3D charms and rhinestones on the index and middle fingers

photo: @overglowedit

It’s official: butterfly hair clips are making a comeback, and we couldn’t be more on board! If you’re not ready to relive the nostalgic hairstyle just yet, add a little Y2K flair to your nails instead with this cute butterfly nail inspo.

Featuring 3D butterfly charms and pastel nail polish, this design captures the fun and maximalist energy of the era. Best paired with your favorite Britney Spears song!

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4. Short + Sweet Butterfly Manicure

short soft white nails with blue butterfly design ideas in a watercolor inspired aesthetic

photo: @m.o.n.a.j

Keep your butterfly nails short and sweet with this dreamy blue watercolor-inspired design. It’s a whimsical upgrade to the milky nail trend we’ve been seeing everywhere lately, and we are in LOVE.

For butterfly nail art that looks like it’s floating across your nails, opt for sheer blue polish instead of a fully opaque color. This will give you that whimsical watercolor look!

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5. Cute Cuticle Monarch Butterfly Nail Design

simple orange monarch butterfly design ideas on the nail cuticles

gel nail strips: ManiMe

Pay homage to the most famous (and one of the most beautiful!) butterfly species with this cute monarch nail inspo. The bright orange hue is instantly recognizable, even with such a simple design. If you’re looking for minimalist nail art that stands out from the crowd, this is the manicure for you.

And the best part? You can buy these gel nail strips to get this dreamy look at home — no nail art skills necessary!

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6. Shimmery Monarch Butterfly Nails

long shimmery nails with black monarch butterfly wing design ideas and with a shimmery gold and orange hue

photo: @v.nailedit_

Speaking of monarch butterfly nail ideas, this is another one of our favorite orange-tinted designs. We love how the shimmery finish gives this manicure a dreamy and ethereal look. Pure magic!

To recreate that iridescent shine, finish your butterfly design with pearlescent powder or this shimmery top coat from Olive & June (aptly named The Sparkle Fairy Effect!).

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7. Glimmering Gold Butterfly French Tip Nail Inspo

white and gold butterfly French tip nails design ideas

photo: @thehotblend

If you’ve ever wanted to feel like a fairy goddess living in an enchanted forest (because same!), then these are the nails for you. They look straight out of a fantasy world, with glimmering gold accents and a regal butterfly design. Perfect for adding a dose of magic to your day-to-day look!

P.S. We found a super similar nail set on Etsy, so you don’t need to book a salon appointment to achieve this gorgeous design. Brb, adding to the cart as we speak!

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8. Lavender Purple Butterfly Manicure

glitter lilac purple manicure with a black wing inspired design on two fingers

photo: @em.nails.ma

Lavender nails have been EVERYWHERE lately, and this butterfly design is here to take the trend to the next level. For a manicure that will have everyone in a lavender haze, add your butterfly wing outlines on top of shimmery purple nail polish. SO dreamy.

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9. Trendy Mismatched Butterfly Nail Art

short nude butterfly nails with mismatched blue and black nail art designs including flames, smiley faces, hearts, and flowers

photo: @nailsbyjanine.x

If you’ve never met a nail art design that you didn’t love, then these are the nails for you. They combine all of the cutest nail designs, from dainty daisies to groovy swirls to rad flames. We also love how the butterfly accent looks like the butterfly emoji — perfect for your manicure IG post!

Pro tip: When you’re combining this many designs in a single mani, we suggest sticking to a monochromatic or muted + simple color palette to keep it cohesive. This blue and black combo is super chic!

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10. Super Square French Tip Butterfly Nail Design

sharp square shaped coffin white French tip nails with pink and purple butterfly design ideas on the middle and ring fingers

photo: @nailzkatkat

For the French manicure loyalists, this nail art inspo is a cute way to rock the butterfly trend, without straying too far from your go-to design. Make your classic mani pop with these bright butterfly stickers — they’ll add a hint of color to your traditional manicure, while still being versatile enough to wear every day!

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11. Fluttery Blue Butterfly French Manicure

white french tip nails with blue ombre butterfly design ideas where the middle and ring fingers each have one half of the butterfly painted on them

photo: @nailsbylaurissa

How rad is this butterfly nail art?! For a unique twist on a butterfly manicure, spread your wing designs across two nails instead of one. It gives the nail art a whimsical and ethereal look that flutters every time you move your hands.

Balance the bold butterfly design with simple white French tips (which you can easily DIY with these sticker guides), and you have the perfect show-stopping mani!

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12. Glazed Butterfly Wing Nail Inspo

short shimmery iridescent butterfly wing nail ideas

photo: @_gelcoco

If you’re a fan of the glazed donut nail trend, then prepare to fall in love with this shimmery butterfly design! Because a shiny glaze makes everything better, amiright?! To DIY the trendy look, use this glazed nail kit on top of your black wing outline — or check out our full chrome nail tutorial here!

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13. Colorful Pastel French Manicure With Butterfly Nail Art

mismatched pastel french manicure with small white insect design art

photo: @gandziuchaa

These pastel French tips are one of our favorite nail designs for the warmer months — add some dainty butterfly nail art, and you have the perfect summer mani! If you’re tired of the same old floral nail designs, this butterfly manicure definitely deserves a spot on your seasonal inspo board.

To get the look, paint each of your tips with a different pastel nail color, then use a thin nail brush to add a cute white butterfly to each nail. It’s the design we’ll be rocking all season long!

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14. Short Blue Butterfly French Manicure

short square shaped nude nails with blue butterfly tip design ideas

photo: @scratchmagazine

Calling all Swifties! This butterfly design is giving us major “Debut” era vibes, with whimsical blue butterflies fluttering across the tips of the nails. It’s such a unique take on a French tip design — and the perfect finishing touch to your Eras Tour look!

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cute mismatched french manicure for swifties

If you’re currently in your Swiftie era, don’t miss our list of the best Taylor Swift nail ideas, including cute designs for every album!

15. Bright Bedazzled Butterfly Wing Nail Design

mismatched pink purple and blue nails with black butterfly wing design ideas and an ultra-shiny top coat finish

photo: @shoplevelupnails

The bright pastel hues! The butterfly wing design! The ultra glossy finish! These butterfly nails are a Y2K dream come true, and we are HERE for it. Add some colorful nail gems for a glitzy finishing touch, and prepare to feel like the main character in your favorite noughties rom-com.

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16. Glitter Pastel Butterfly Nail Inspo

mismatched pink blue and yellow glitter nails with small butterfly decal design ideas

photo: @tessa.lyn.nails

Bright, glittery, and totally eye-catching, this nail inspo will take any outfit to the next level. We love the mix of all the different show-stopping colors, from the shimmery polishes to the cute butterfly designs. Because there’s no such thing as TOO much color when it comes to a butterfly theme.

Want to DIY this butterfly design at home? Here are the exact polishes this nail artist used to create the look (from left to right): lime green, lilac purple, turquoise blue, pastel pink, and bronze orange.

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17. Groovy Blue Butterfly Manicure

wavy blue and gold French manicure with a cute morpho accent design on the ring finger

photo: @phoeberreynolds

We’re suckers for wavy French tips, especially paired with a sweet butterfly design! If you don’t want to go overboard with your butterfly nail ideas, this accent nail is the perfect subtle look. Match the color of your tips to the color of the butterfly for a manicure that’s cute, colorful, and impossibly chic.

And those shimmery gold details? SO GOOD.

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18. Whimsical White Butterfly Wing Nail Design

ombre pink and purple nails with white butterfly designs on the middle fingers

photo: @heygreatnails

Love the butterfly wing trend, but want something that stands out from the crowd? Swap the classic black outline for this white one instead! Combined with dazzling pastel hues and cute nail rhinestones, it’s a mesmerizing manicure that’ll earn you MAJOR style points.

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19. Pink Cat Eye Butterfly Manicure

unique pink cat eye glitter manicure with whimsical winged insect inspired tips

photo: @_dreamynails1_

Cat eye nail polish has been seriously trending lately, and it was practically MADE for butterfly nail art. With a holographic sparkle that can be controlled using a magnet, this pink polish will add next-level shine to your butterfly mani.

If you’ve been looking for an excuse to try out this dazzling nail trend, consider this your sign!

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20. Pretty in Pink Butterfly Nail Inspo

nails with alternating silver glitter tips and pink French tip designs and magenta butterfly nail art

photo: @basecoatstories

This nail design has everything we love in a cute butterfly mani. From the pink French tip designs, to the silver glitter accents, to the adorable butterfly nail art, we can’t choose our favorite detail!

If you’re looking for nail ideas that are fun, girly, and party-ready (birthday nails, anyone?!), this butterfly manicure is IT.

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21. Orange Monarch Butterfly Wing Nails

short almond shaped ombre orange and red monarch butterfly nails design ideas

photo: @nailsbykatiedutra

We couldn’t finish this list of butterfly nail ideas without at least one more monarch inspired design — it’s just TOO good! Channel the iconic colors of the butterfly with an ombre design that slowly fades from bright orange to rich red. With such hot colors, it’s the perfect way to spice up your nail game!

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22. Sunny Yellow Butterfly French Manicure

yellow French tip nail design with colorful pastel butterfly nail art

photo: @gloss_la

If we could describe summertime with a manicure, it would be this one. The sunny yellow nail polish is an instant mood booster, and it looks SO gorgeous next to the pastel butterfly nail decals. For a manicure that sparks a little joy every time you glance down at your hands, it doesn’t get better than this!

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23. Ombre Square Butterfly Nail Inspo

square shaped pink ombre nails with small iridescent butterfly design ideas in pastel pink and blue hues

photo: @nailsbyharriet_

Not a fan of traditional French tips? An ombre nail design is a modern twist on a classic French manicure, and it’s the perfect dreamy, ethereal look for butterfly nails.

To create the hazy design, use a nail sponge (or makeup sponge!) to blend your colorful polish on top of a nude base coat. Add a few iridescent butterfly decals on top, and you’re pretty much golden!

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24. Glitter Blue Butterfly Wing Manicure

glitter greenish blue French tip nails with black butterfly wing design ideas outlined on the middle and ring fingers

photo: @em.nails.ma

Glitter polish + a dreamy wing design + matching French tips = the ultimate butterfly nail inspo!

No matter the season or occasion, this mani is here to breathe some new life into your beauty look. Whether you’re dressing up for a special event or just want to break out of your style rut (aka, cacoon), these are the perfect sparkly and whimsical nails for the job.

And yes, we found the perfect teal nail polish for the design!

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25. Bold Purple Nails + Butterfly Nail Art

long lavender purple nails with orange and pink ombre butterfly nail art designs on the index and middle fingers

photo: @anna_szlembarsak_nails

The sunset hues in this nail art are truly TO DIE FOR. We especially love how much the butterflies pop next to the pastel purple nail polish. It’s bright, it’s bold, and it’s unlike any of the other butterfly nail ideas on this inspo list.

You’re definitely going to want to screenshot this one for your next nail appointment!

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26. Ethereal Ombre Butterfly Wing Nail Inspo

blue and pink ombre nails with black butterfly wing design ideas

photo: @emmab_opinailboss

We can’t stop, won’t stop obsessing over butterfly wing nail ideas, and this is another one of the dreamiest designs! The bright magenta and light lavender color combo is SO mesmerizing. And with a shimmery finish and bold black outline, it almost looks like stained glass for your nails. Obsessed.

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27. Sweet Pink Butterfly French Manicure

pink geometric French tip butterfly nail design

photo: @glitterellas_nail_bar

Butterfly designs and pink French tips are a match made in nail heaven. Case in point: this cute butterfly nail inspo! Embrace the sweet feminine vibes of a butterfly theme with this pretty pastel pink polish and flirty accent designs. It’s giving us coquette aesthetic vibes, and we’re not mad about it!

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28. Cute Coffin-Shaped Butterfly Manicure

mismatched ombre blue, pink and purple coffin shaped nails with colorful butterfly design ideas on the middle finger

photo: @kmj.nails

Disclaimer: This butterfly nail inspo may make you swoon!

If you’re looking for more ways to romanticize your life this year, this manicure is about as dreamy and romantic as it gets. We don’t know if it’s the pretty pastel hues or the fluttery butterfly decals, but one thing’s for sure — it’s impossible NOT to have good vibes when you’re rocking this mani.

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29. Simple Butterfly French Manicure

simple white French tip almond shaped nails with small pink design insect wing ideas

photo: @basecoatstories

Last but certainly not least, we’re leaving you with one of our favorite butterfly nail ideas of all time: this flirty French manicure!

Celebrate butterfly season in style with this chic nail inspo, complete with white French tips and dainty pink butterfly stickers. It’s a subtle design that we can’t wait to wear over and over again.

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Need More Inspo For Your Next Manicure?

shimmery pink yellow and black nails with butterfly wing patterns on them
inspo photo: @anna_szlembarska_nails

Calling all fellow nail lovers! If you’re looking for more nail ideas to add to your inspo board, don’t miss our complete nail hub. From the best seasonal designs to our favorite nail trends, we’ve rounded up cute ideas for all your future manicures.

Which of these butterfly nail design ideas were your fave? Let us know in the comments below!