Skip to content

Winter nails 2021: Christmas gnomes are the nail design trend you will love!

In the Christmas season, we like to decorate ourselves as festive as a Christmas tree – with Christmas sweaters, Santa hats and with all the trimmings. A Christmas-worthy manicure is the perfect accessory for any Christmas party, family gathering or cookie exchange party. Instead of going for classic red or pine green, it’s time to add some variety with these winter nails ideas 2021.

Winter nails with gnomes are trendy in 2021!

make a christmas elf on nails yourself

In recent years, Christmas gnomes have become an extremely popular Christmas decoration. You can also make them yourself from different materials (fir branches, felt and fabric scraps, even socks). They not only radiate Scandinavian coziness, but also immediately spread good cheer! So it’s no wonder that the funny pixies are now totally hip as a nail design motif.

The history of Scandinavian gnomes

Draw Christmas gnome on nails

Tomte (Swedish) or Tonttu (Finnish, also called Nisse in Norway) are household spirits responsible for the protection and well-being of a farm. Tomte are folkloric creatures originally believed to originate from the soul of the first farm owner, and then become a spirit figure responsible for the constant care of the farm.

beautiful winter nails in red with christmas gnome

Tomte love tradition, they do not like changes. They are mythical ancestral figures that demand respect. Farms were often isolated and the inhabitants lived in long, dark winters. The Tomte characters sprang from their imagination and became companions to keep the loneliness at bay. Tomte literally means "homestead man" and is derived from the word "tomt" which means homestead or building.

winter acrylic nails in pink white and gray


A tomte is described as a little old man who is about one meter tall, has a long white beard, wears gray, brown or navy blue clothes and traditional boots and has a bright red cap on his head. There are different dress codes for the different types of tomtes. Those who live in the stables with the animals usually wear gray clothes, while those in the main house are more neatly dressed and combine a color with the gray, such as blue or dark green.

winter nail design - christmas gnomes on trend

It is believed that a clean and tidy house or farm is an indication that a domestic tomte spirit lives there. He sleeps under the floorboards in spring and summer and wakes up when the days become long and cold around the winter solstice. Then he begins to prepare the house for Christmas, cleaning, washing, ironing, preparing all the Christmas dishes, baking and making sweets. His presence is appreciated by city and country people alike, because you are lucky to have a capable Tomte in the house.

winter nail design 2021 for short nails in pink and gold


Tomtar demand very little from the people they work for. All they ask for is the respect and trust of the homeowner and a bowl of Julgröt (Christmas porridge) with butter on Christmas Eve. However, these spirits will not stay in a house that lacks respect, and so the farm or house will not prosper and the inhabitants will sink into poverty. A tomte considers porridge to be his due and loves butter. In the past, butter was a luxury item that was consumed only on special occasions.

Winter nails: Christmas gnome as nail design motif 2021

beautiful winter nails with christmas elf in gray and glitter

Check out these fun and festive nail designs with Christmas gnomes that you should try this year in our image gallery! You can test your own nail design skills by following our picture tutorials and recreating one of these designs. Of course, you can just take all these ideas to your nail salon for inspiration.

The cap

Christmas nails idea with Tomte Christmas gnome

Painting a Christmas gnome on nails is not an easy task for beginners in nail design. But with the right tools and a little more patience, you can create real manicure masterpieces.

Scandinavian gnome as a nail design trend

Typical for the elf motif is the big round nose, the long white beard and the cap up to above the eyes. With this design you have endless possibilities to play with color and shape of the cap. Whether with heart, dot, stripe or check pattern – is allowed what pleases.

The cap can also be made entirely of glitter and be a real eye-catcher in the design

beautiful winter nails in blue with christmas elves

The beard

Christmas gnome in black and white as winter nails motif

To paint the beard, you can also experiment with different techniques. For example, the cool Sugar effect looks very interesting. For this, a special sugar glitter is used.

A beard braid also looks very pretty

Scandinavian gnome with beard braid do it yourself

By the way, you can also do without the beard and paint hair braids instead

Winter nail design trend 2021 - Christmas gnome make yourself

The colors

For a December manicure, the classic Christmas colors red, green and white are often chosen. An elf with a red cap, green clothes and white beard fits perfectly with this. A very chic idea would also be the famous tartan in red and black.

Winter nails in pink, gray and white

nails inspo winter 2021 in pink and gray with santa claus motif

Pink and gray are also very nice colors for winter nails 2021. They can be combined wonderfully with rhinestones and glittery elements. The tomte can also get a pink cap in this case.

The motif is particularly effective on the dark gray background

cute christmas gnome as motive for nail design in pink and grey

Winter nail design for short nails

nails inspo winter - nail design in beige pink and white.

The best thing about this new nail design trend is that it is suitable for any nail length. For short nails, the gnome can be depicted without a body and still look very cute. For an even fancier Christmas nail art, combine the elf with other Christmas motifs such as a fir tree, elk and snowflake.

Winter nails in rose gold and peach pink 

winter nail design in pink with christmas pixie for short nails

The classic French nails also go well with it

winter gel nails with glitter snowflakes and christmas elf