Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Tips & Tricks: Dotting Tool Alternatives

While trying to put together a tutorial for my recent dotted manicure, I started to think about other things around the house that can be used as dotting tools if one was not available. Here is what I found so far...

  • Push pins - these can create very fine dots, just be careful not to pin yourself in the process
  • Toothpick or wooden barbecue skewer
  • Plastic dental pick
  • Mechanical pencil (0.5mm) - I actually use this a lot even when I have a dotting nearby
  • Mechanical pencil (0.7mm)
  • Paper clip
  • Old pen - might not work afterwards, so don't try with a pen you love...
  • Small flat head pin - stuck into the eraser end of a pencil to prevent painful pricks...
  • Round head pin - also stuck into an eraser...
  • Brush handle tip

What other things have you tried making dots with?

Hopefully this is useful for some of you!
Let me know if you are interested in seeing other random tips & tricks for nail art...

Thanks for looking!
Anutka :)


  1. What an awesome post!!! I've used the rounded eraser end of a pencil to get really big dots, much like the end of a paint brush

  2. This is very interesting and useful! Тhanks for the idea!

  3. I just use my dotting tool since I already spent money on it but my toothpicks does a decent job as well.

  4. This is really useful for me now, thank you Anutka :)

  5. @Emma, that's a great idea for larger dots! I've even seen people carve the erasers to get patterns :)

    @Elena, you are so welcome! :)

    @Choi, I mostly use dotting tools as well, but have used the pencils quite a bit too :)

    @Sonidlo, You are very welcome! I'm so glad it is useful! :)

  6. Before I got my first dotting tool, I used knitting needles to get all the different size dots I needed. It also made for an interesting conversation next time I showed up at my knitting group with paint splattered needles :D

  7. @foxfire, that is such a great idea! I have heard from other's who used knitting needles. Way too funny about paint splattered needles. I'd want to know what you were up to also :)

  8. great idea to replace nail art dotting tools. We have lots of options available but still we spend on tools.

  9. @Jasmeet, it is true, we all want the tools when there are lots of alternative. I find myself using these more often than the dotting tools themselves, especially for the finer dots...

  10. great ideas for dotting! Love the knitting needles idea!! I knit & crochet all the time, so I'm totally going to ' decorate' my boring needles! lol

  11. I'm so glad you find these useful! Have fun and see what else you can find in the house to use! :)

  12. My husband saw my need for dots and made me a simple tool. He took a small head nail and stuck it into a wine cork, so you could set it down easier !

  13. My husband saw my need for dots and made a very simple tool. He took a small head nail and stuck it into a wine cork. So I have a handle and I can set it down easier!

  14. Chopsticks make a nice dotting tool as well. I also use my yarn knitting needle for dotting. I love it because it is not sharp at all, but small enough to make nice dots. I have a plastic one, so the tip is easily cleaned and the paint peels right off when dry.

  15. Robin Moses suggested on a video clip using bar-b-que wooden skewers as a very inexpensive alternative for making large dots. She suggested filing the point off and cutting workable lengths thereby making several dotters from a single stick.


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