20 Far-Out 70s-Inspired Nails Anyone Can Rock

From swirling prints and animal patterns to warm neutral colors, the 70s had it all. Keep things groovy with these 70s nail ideas.

Published January 20, 2024

The perfect pair of 70s nails look like they'd fit right in on the dance floor at Studio 54, the disco roller rink in town, and in your grandma's wood-paneled kitchen.

Don't let the groovy textures and patterns from the decade scare you away. We've got all kinds of far-out 70s manicure ideas, from one-coat statement pieces to complex homage designs.

Simple Daisy Nails


The early 70s still had that late-60s counterculture vibe and daises were one of the popular flowers to fill their artistic bouquets. These 70s flower nails are super easy to do at home.

Simply pick out your favorite blue and orange polish and some daisy nail stickers. Set the stickers on your nails after your coat has dried and secure them in place with a top coat.

5-Minute Dandelion Manicure


Warm and earthy colors had a chokehold on the 1970s. From rust to avocado to burnt orange, only a handful of colors reigned supreme, and yellow was one of them. Who says you have to wait for spring to break out your yellow nail polish? We know that lovely shade of dandelion would look great on you year-round.

Retro Owl Nails


From pillows to wall hangings to bags, there are two natural motifs you couldn't escape from in the 1970s: owls and mushrooms. For understated 70s nails, paint them in whatever warm toned polish you have and press an owl nail sticker onto the finished coat. And for under $5, you can get full sheets of owl nail stickers at Amazon.

Pyrex Pattern Nails


You know when grandma pulls out that old Pyrex casserole dish, dinner's going to be good tonight! Take a little inspiration from the iconic designs that sent the kitchenware brand skyrocketing in the 70s for your next manicure.

Replicate those marker-thick flower and filigree doodles with a nail pen or nail brush on top of your already dry base coat.

Down-to-Earth Brown & Orange Manicure


Brown and orange were the dynamic duo that rocked 70s interior design. Experiment with combining different shades of each color with this simple splattered nail. To get the look, choose one shade as the base and the other as the colorful pops, and delicately splatter the pop near the center of the nail. Finish with a top coat to get that lasting shine.

Quick Tip

Add the splatters into the base polish while it's still wet so the two colors will dry into a seamless layer.

Disco Ball Nails


Where would nightclubs be without the 1970s popularizing the mirrorball? Nothing makes us feel like dancing more than seeing a glittering mirrorball in the distance. Give off your own shine with a silver chrome nail polish. If you can’t check your lipstick in your manicure, it’s not shiny enough.

Stripetastic 70s Nails


If you were a kid in the 1970s, you had a closet full of stripey T-shirts in every color combination. Bring back these adolescent touchstones with some stripey nails in the most clashing color combos possible. Anyone who can score some nail polish pens can bring these to life in under 30 minutes.

Related: 18 Colorful Nail Ideas Inspired by Pantone's Colors of the Year

Glam Rock-Inspired Glitter Nails


Let a little glam into your life with these glittery nails — glam rock that is. Bands like New York Dolls and T. Rex weren't afraid to mix masculine and feminine styles. Add a pop of color and glitter to your nails ala the Glam artists before you with a simple glitter orange polish.

Nails That Bring Tulip Fever Back


Tulip fever didn't end in the 1630s! Seventies designers were enraptured with all the colorful flora Mother Nature has to offer and slapped their images onto just about everything. Create your own tulip nail art with a clean white base, a q-tip, and a thin nail polish brush. If you're not steady with a brush, use a q-tip to dab on the tulip texture.

Tulips come in every color of the rainbow meaning you can make your manicure match any outfit in your closet.

Get Cozy With Knitted Nails


If idle hands were the devil's hands, then everyone had holy phalanges in the 1970s. From macrame to crochet to needlepoint, the fiber arts were everywhere. If you want subdued but striking 70s nails, ask your nail tech to replicate a cable knit pattern into your acrylic. While you can build these custom-patterned acrylics at home, you’ll get the cleanest finish from a professional.

Related: 16 Gorgeous Orange Nail Ideas to Add Some Spice to Your Manicure 

70s Nail Art to Live on the Wild Side


Animal print got its groove back in the 1970s, with people of all ages breaking out their snakeskin and leopard paraphernalia. Live on the wild side with a snakeskin manicure. This one takes a little more finesse, but the end result is well worth the practice!

To bring yours to life, stock up on tawny and dark browns and golden yellows. Use a dotting tool to make dots over a neutral base coat running along one edge of your nail. Dot in multiple colors, layering them on top of each other. Then, use a nail brush or nail pen to lightly trace scale pattern across the dots to create the illusion of rough texture.

Easy 70s Flower Nails


You can rock a new flower nail design for each week of the month when you have enough ideas! Add this fantastic folk art-inspired composition to your repertoire. This is a great way for novice nail painters to practice their brushwork. There aren't too many lines or details to trip you up, and these simple flowers are the first stepping stone to making more photorealistic ones in the future!

Geometric Nails Made for Soul Train


How could we talk about 70s nails without equipping you with a pair that would capture the camera's attention on Soul Train? Bring the swirling patterns of 70s fashion onto your nails with this multi-colored manicure.

Swipe on a few layers of whatever colors you like and use a black nail pen to add the defining swooshes.

Picture-Perfect 70s Nail Colors


Out of all the cameras to debut in the 20th century, the rainbow Polaroid OneStep is, without a doubt, the most visually iconic of the bunch. That boxy, clunky design didn't stop it from being a smash hit in 1977.

Give a toast to the Polaroid that really put its name on the map with this rainbow stripe nail art. With a nail brush and a rainbow of nail lacquers, you can pay homage to the OneStep's own rainbow racing stripe.

Carefree Tie-Dye Nails


Psychedelia didn't end when 1969 melted into 1970. You can still see remnants of that aesthetic in the early years of the decade. Bring a loose, carefree air to your nails with this tie-dye effect.

After letting a base coat dry, sponge on new nail lacquer in varying colors until you like the diffused result.

Fruity Nails for an Out-of-Sight Vibe


Everyone's beloved Boomers were having kids in the 60s and 70s, and their kitchen aesthetics left nothing to be desired. Bright Pyrex bowls and juice carafes with illustrated fruits were in every cupboard across America. Take a look back in time to these kitchen staples with an orange manicure.

If you're not super skilled with a brush, you can swap out the chevron manicure for a regular French tip. And for the oranges, don't be afraid to forgo illustrating them yourself in favor of finding the perfect nail sticker to use.

Swirling 70s Nail Design


Classic 70s motifs are immediately recognizable. Turn those muted, geometric shapes on their head with a swirling purple and yellow manicure. Go with one party nail or make the whole hand a swirling extravaganza. It’s as easy as painting a base coat and dolloping a few tiny drops of each color on the nail.

Drag a toothpick through the drops until you’re satisfied with the swirl shape. Or break out the nail paint pens for a precise design.

70s Chiffon-Inspired Nails


The 70s were chock full of chiffon evening gowns in baby blues, pinks, and mints, and it's easy to give this fashion trend a modern update. Instead of a standard pink manicure, look for a chrome polish. This will give those baby pink tones the sharp edge needed to turn a day look into a night one.

Lavender Nails You Can Get Lost In


Lavender might seem like a sleepy shade, but you don't want to sleep on these quaint 70s flower nails. All you need is a dotting tool and a nail pen or brush to recreate this simple lavender design. Dot a few purple lavender sprigs on your nail and draw a green line underneath to complete the look.

This one is perfect for people wanting to ease their way into home manicures!

Monarch Nails That'll Challenge Your Skills


If you've got some free time and want to try your hand at some more elaborate nail art, consider painting matching monarch butterfly wings on your nails. With a detailed manicure like this, always be careful about letting each layer fully dry before putting paint on top of old polish.

Quick Tip

The more space you've got to work with the easier it'll be to tackle those fine lines, so this is a perfect design for folks sporting long nails.

Get the Groovy Look With These 70s Nails


Sure, a white French tip and a ballet pink might be appropriate for all occasions. But sometimes you want your nails to make as much of a statement as your outfit! Embrace the colorful and bold 1970s culture with any one of these 70s nail ideas. They won't just brighten your day, they’ll bring a little joy to everyone else’s, too!

20 Far-Out 70s-Inspired Nails Anyone Can Rock