Whether you do your nails yourself or go to a salon, it's always fun to get special designs applied that give you an extra outlet for expression. While the actual application may cost a bit extra, you can find ideas just about anywhere and the nail artist should be able to duplicate what you want. Nail art is fun and you can have a ball trying new designs and styles for your nails; your nails can actually be an accessory!
Nail artists these days can do just about anything with your nails and give you just about any look you want. The application may not be free, but the ideas sure can be! I've seen simple nail designs done with basic colors and some sparkle to more complex designs centering around nature, patriotism, or just plain fun! You can have fun doing your nails according to the holidays or the season (e.g. a shamrock or autumn leaf) or you can have simple color designs that still succeed in making a bang (e.g. red, white, and blue for Independence Day). Your nail artist probably has specific designs he or she is best with but I'm sure with most you can bring your own ideas to the table.
If you're looking for truly free nail designs, sweep the house for forgotten sticker sheets and craft supplies. While it may not be exactly professional looking, little stickers and tiny rhinestones form home can definitely make a similar impact. You may not be able to do fancy designs like those found within a salon, but you can still express your personality through simple items found in junk drawers and craft bins!
One of the tips I've found fun and useful is using your own nail polish at home to create your own personal designs. Fiddle around with color combinations and patterns and experiment with different "pictures." One of my favorites is a red base with a thin black line down the middle completed with a few black polka dots on each side to create a ladybug! (A bit silly, but fun, especially for a sleepover.)
Nail designs are fun and another way to accessorize your look. You have a big personality—don't hesitate to show it off!