Nail files are essential to nail care. They shorten, buff and shine our nails until we have our desired look. While they can be bought at low prices, they can also be quite expensive depending on how they are made and the types of materials used. However, classical guitarists, as well as thrifty individuals with an interest in crafts, often make their own nail files because it is cheaper than buying high-quality files.

Things You'll Need

Purchase tongue depressors, a glue stick and sandpaper. A generic nail file has from 100 to 200 grit, so use sandpaper of the same quality or as the needs of your nails dictate. The lower the number, the more abrasion you get; the higher the number, the finer the sandpaper is.

Spread the glue along one side of a tongue depressor.

Press the tongue depressor firmly on the back of the sandpaper. Keep pressure on the tongue depressor and sandpaper while waiting for the glue to dry.

Cut the sandpaper with a precision knife along the edge of the tongue depressor once the glue has set.

Repeat on the other side of the tongue depressor.


  • Use higher grit levels of sandpaper to achieve a more polished look for your nails.

  • Cut small strips of different grit levels and place them on the same tongue depressor. You will only need to use one nail file to achieve perfect nails.

  • Throw away worn-out nail files.