My little girl loves going to the salon to get manicures and pedicures. It’s completely my fault for getting her hooked on it. I mean, what’s not to love? A warm bath, a massage, pretty polish. Feet never had it so good!

But alas, when we downsized to one family income, some luxuries had to go. But worry not! My baby girl can still get pampered… at home.

I created my own home nail spa for very little money. She still feels like she’s getting the four star princess treatment, and it’s a good bonding opportunity for us as well.


What I Use:

(Most of these items I already had around the house. The only new item I purchased was the foot scrub. The small expense is definitely worth it. It’s one part of the experience that really makes her feel like she’s in a salon.)

Large bowl of warm water .. I also put a few squirts of dish soap in to make it sudsy.

Towel .. I actually use two, one to place under the bowl for any spills and a second to wipe off her feet after rinsing them.

Foot Scrub .. There are so many options here. You can get pretty much any type and scent you like. I got a container of great smelling scrub from Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market for less than $5. You could also make your own! You can check out my Frugal Florida Mom Pinterest DIY Foot Scrub board for some ideas. *Please note, I have not tried these myself since I bought mine, but they look awesome. If you try any of them, please let us know how it turns out.

Fingernail Polish Remover

Cotton Balls

Nail Clippers

Nail File

Nail Polish


Once you have all the tools in place, you can make the process as laid back or as fancy as you like. You could really make her feel like she’s at the salon by welcoming her to a sitting area in another room until her ‘nail technician’ is ready for her, then usher her in to sit down and offer her something to drink, take her purse, take off her shoes, the whole nine yards.

I have my little girl sit on a chair and soak her feet in the warm suds for a little while. Then I start by rubbing her feet and lower legs with the foot scrub. It makes my heart smile so wide when she giggles every time I scrub the bottom of her feet because it tickles. 🙂

Then I rinse off her feet in the warm water from the bowl, then set the bowl aside and wipe off her feet. Then I put lotion on her feet and lower legs and give her a little massage, just like at the salon.

Next I remove any old polish, clip the nails and file if necessary. Then I polish. She actually sits pretty still for me, which is a must. She’s pretending she’s at a salon with a technician so she’s sure to be polite and sit very still. I started doing this when my daughter was 4. Younger kids may have a harder time sitting still enough to apply polish.


Choosing the polish is the exciting part. I have a small collection we’ve gathered over the years so she has fun looking through them and picking some colors. She usually chooses two different colors for an alternating pattern, and always requests a top coat of shimmery glitter polish! You could also enhance the spa-like experience here and put the nail polish bottles on a shelf or in a special box.

After I polish her toes, I clip, file and paint her fingernails as well.

When polishing is all done, I let her watch a movie or an episode of a favorite show with her legs stretched out and hands laying on a pillow on her lap. This gives the nails time to dry and is an added treat for her to have ‘screen time.’


And the finished product is picture perfect. I love her tiny toes so much!

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