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.