Thursday, February 9, 2012

Scrapbook Punch Nail Decals

This Studio G punch cost
$0.97 at WalMart!
I've done a post about this before, but I'm doing it again because I found the most adorable punch while walking! I love being able to customize my nail art, so the idea of punching decals from whatever polish combinations I choose makes me super happy. As you can see, it make four tiny little hearts with each punch!

I had to test it out as soon as I got home. Sure enough, it made absolutely adorable decals that are the perfect size for nails. Seriously, these things are adorable!

So- how would you go about making these? It's seriously simple. You need a few items to start with...
  • The punch(es) of your choice
  • Nail polish- can be nail art polish, colored, or clear
  • Any other items for decorating the nail polish sheets:
    • glitter
    • nail art pens
    • brushes or dotting tools
  • Plastic zipper sandwich bags
I painted strips a bit wider than the punch.
It's a very simple process. First, you paint strips of your choice of nail polishes across the zipper bag. I'm using a small bag used for packaging jewelry, but lots of smooth plastics will work. Do a test spot first, though, to make sure the polish will come off once it's dried.

I find it helps to do two or three coats of polish, to make sure the resulting sheet is strong enough to hold together. This is a perfect opportunity to use cheap clear polish just to build up the thickness.

Also, this is a great time to play with wet marbling. On the bottom row, you can see where I experimented with marbling different colors together. You can also do stripes, dots, wavy lines... whatever you like!

The next step is the hardest for me- waiting. The polish needs to be completely dry before you remove it from the plastic, otherwise it can bunch and tear, wasting your polish and your time. You can give it a day to dry, or even a week or more. The longer you wait, the easier it is to remove from the plastic as well.

Eek! I'd been wiping the tip of my
skewer on my thumbnail while
marbling the bottom row. Sorry!
Once it's thoroughly dry, removal is a snap. I fold back the corner of the bag under the polish and sort of roll it away from the polish. The polish lifts away easily, leaving you with a sheet that's entirely polish.

The benefit of using these instead of nail stickers is that they're so easy to remove! Because they're nail polish, they meld into your background polish, and easily dissolve in nail polish remover.

Unfortunately, that's the same reason they can't be used as glitter in nail polish- they'll melt back into the liquid polish. Such a shame... =/

An interesting thing about the polish strips: I noticed that the various polishes have much different textures and qualities. I applied basically the same thickness of polish for all of the strips. However, they had very different textures once they were dry. The neon polish (middle of the top row) was very thin, had dried very quickly, and was very brittle. The glass fleck polish on the top right was flexible and sturdy, and the black on the bottom right seemed almost like latex- very pliable and sticking to itself easily.

It would seem that the brittle polishes wouldn't wear as well as the pliable ones. I'm not sure if that's the case... it would be interesting to experiment with!

Ah well, I digress. Back to the tutorial... the next thing is pretty much the last thing- punching the hearts. I find it much easier to use the punch upside down, because I can see exactly where I'm lining up the punch on the polish surface. This is especially useful when punching patterned polish strips.

Unfortunately, when you punch upside down, you often get little hearts everywhere. I found hearts in interesting places after doing this. It's amazing how those little things can fly!

Now I'll share some pic spam showing the finished results. It's really cute!! I'm thinking you could also use the leftover polish bits as well... trip them to fit your nail and apply them in a band. It's an idea!

Four marbled harts in a row. Black on red is striking!

Hearts, hearts everywhere!
Stored in a plastic bag, you can see the variety of hearts I made. What, me obsessive? Noooooo..... :D
So, the next thing to do is to use some of these in a manicure! Sounds like a plan, eh? But first, I've got another tutorial I shot last night to use for sponge painting your nails! I'm all about frugal...

Til next time!

Some polishes were provided for consideration.
See my disclosure statement for more information.

41 comments:

  1. You know I wondered if those punches would work on nail polish. Thank you for this post! It's gives me such ideas!

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    1. Great! Most punches are too big for nails, but there really are some cute mini punches that work great for this! I also tend to look at other things for nail art too... Speaking of, I just got yet another idea... It might be fun to use punches on mylar or other thin patterned plastics, like treat bags!

      Sometimes creativity is exhausting! ;)

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    2. Oooh, as long as nail polish won't eat away at the plastic. Time for a test run!

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  2. Replies
    1. Thank you! I've got a nail design using them coming up, too...

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  3. What a great idea!!! I never would have thought of this! Thank you for sharing!

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    1. Aww, thank you, and you're welcome! Coming up with it was a series of events- dried polish on plastic peeling off, and experience with scrapbook punches... :D

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  4. so them you just stick these babies on your nails?!?! ingenious!!! need to try this STAT!

    http://www.alovelylitteblog.com

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    1. It's easier to apply them with a wet coat of clear polish, and then seal them in with another coat. I've got a nail design using them coming up tomorrow. :D

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  5. WOW! Now I think this is the biggest lemming I have! *___*

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    1. Check the scrapbooking areas in stores near you, you may be able to find something similar!

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  6. I just found your blog today and love it!! If kept me company for a good long while while we were in Gainesville for drs appts today!!! Can't wait to try this!!!
    Heather

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    1. Oh, I'm so glad to hear this! I know how boring (and sometimes anxiety-ridden) waiting for appointments can be. I'm glad I could keep you company!

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  7. This is amazing! I can see myself going a little crazy with this!

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  8. I know!! It's so fun and easy that I go a little crazy with it myself! Obviously, looking at how many hearts I made! And thank you!!

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  9. Thank you! I have a bunch of these punches that I use to make nail stencils. It hadn't occurred to me to use them this way. Awesome!

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    1. Wonderful! I'd love to see what you make with them. Post some links showing me!

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  10. Thank you! I have a bunch of these punches that I use to make nail stencils. It hadn't occurred to me to use them this way. Awesome!

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  11. I tried something similar a while ago, but tried punching through the plastic and it bunched. Great idea to peel the polish 1st and then punch! Duh! Thanks for the inspiration :)

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    1. Yea, I did that too with my first few. Very frustrating, and the ones that didn't bunch up were way too thick on the nail. And you're very welcome!

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  12. WOW!this is so freaking awesome! i need to go to a craft store asap! thanks so much for sharing your creative-ness.

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    1. Thank you so much! My husband just laughs at me now, because I look at the strangest things and think, "Dude, I could totally put that on nails!!"

      For example? Coming up soon I've got a nail design I made using candy wrappers. Seriously! And it looks rather elegant, if I do say so myself!

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  13. My goodness, this is such a fabulous idea! I've used these as stencils for painting a different color on, but cutting out the bits with nail polish already on them is brilliant!

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    1. I'm so glad you like it! My only warning is that I've spent entirely too much time making them... I have more than I could ever use, and I still want to make MORE!!

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  14. Such a cute idea! I love the glitter hearts! :D

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  15. That glass-flecked polish turned out some very pretty hearts! I also like the black on red marbling too!

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    1. Thank you! That glass-flecked is Zoya, although I don't remember which ones. Unfortunately, the black and red marbling didn't show as much as I'd hoped, but could easily be changed up to work better. :D

      Next? A video tutorial for this!

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  16. oo very logical :)
    poliship.blogspot.com.

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  17. I was literally just wondering if this would work today and searching for my hole punches. I couldn't find them, but now that I know it works, it looks like I might be headed to the store.

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  18. Do you know if you can store these for long? I'm thinking of drawing out my nail designs on thick plastic and keeping them in a box so I won't have to spend so much time on my nails during school semesters. Just put on a base polish, slap them on and cut the edges... maybe separate them with something they won't stick too...

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    1. You actually can. In fact, once they're totally dry you can just put them in a container- I have mine in plastic screw-top containers for storage purposes. You can also add stones or glitter or whatever to them in this state, to save time. :D

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  19. You stored the decals instead of using them right away. How did they hold up? Were they still good to use after a while or did they dry out and become brittle or unusable in some other kind of way?

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    1. They do dry out and can be a bit brittle. If you store them before they're completely dry they can also stick together.

      However, most of them held up perfectly well, and I have some that are a couple of years old that are still in good condition!

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  20. Amazing! I never knew decals can be used that way as well! Usually decals provide the hodge-podge feel to a scrapbook, but I never thought you can actually use them as part of nail art as well. Hahaha! This is a great post! Thanks for sharing!
    Jorjana Brown

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  21. I made diy nail decals once before with nail art pens and they came out halfway decent. However, I absolutely love this idea and actually thought about trying it the other day when I was in a craft store. The problem was they didn't have any punches with pretty cutouts - just basic geometric shapes. I know this blog is old, but I thought I'd try to ask some questions anyway. Would you (or anyone else know where I can get punches with prettier designs? Also, could I leave unused decals stuck on the plastic and put into a ziplock bag until I'm ready to use them? Or is it better to remove them and store them differently?

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    1. I've found punches in various places- the punches I use are primarily from Michael's or WalMart. However, you can also look online - sometimes you can find cute ones at eBay or Amazon.com. Ali baba might have some too, I haven't looked.

      Also, I've done both for storage- leaving them on the plastic bag works well for a while, but after they've dried completely, they often fall off, meaning you could lose them. I've also put them into containers, and that works well, unless you put them in too early and they haven't dried completely. Then they can stick together.

      You could always leave the strips on the plastic bag and store them in a larger plastic bag. Or you can just leave them sitting for a few days, then stick 'em in a container. Nail wheels work well, as do the little pots glitter often comes in.

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