Creative musings in bright colors


Stamping decal time! During the 31 Day OMD Challenge, I was asked to show how I put together the dragon mani for “love” day…a stamping decal! So here we go.


I started by creating the decal. I almost always use black for the stamp when I am making a decal. Once you have your stamp and your colors picked out, you start by stamping as normal (1). Wait a minute after you pick up the stamp for the polish to dry a bit on the stamper. Then start coloring in bits of it using another color of nail polish (in this case a purple) and a very thin nail art brush. Work quickly but carefully…if you go over your stamped lines they can smudge (2)!


I tend to work left-to-right when I am filling in a stamp, so when I move on to the next color, one part of the previous color is already dry and I can go right ahead. Otherwise, wait a minute or two before switching colors, or the polishes can run together (3-5). I also tend to add the darkest color (here, a dark blue in step 5) last.


Wait 5 minutes, and add a layer of quick drying top coat (6) making sure it covers the whole stamp but isn’t super thick (or you’ll have trouble bending it onto your nail). Now you have to wait! I tend to let my stamps sit overnight or during the work day (I will do one at night and one in the morning…it takes 3 or so days to make a full set if you only have one stamper). Alternately, wait 3-4 hours. You will know when it is done because it will be easy to remove if you squish the stamper…the stamp will pop right off! If it doesn’t, let it sit longer or you risk ruining all your hard work.


Once the stamp is dry, pop it off the stamper (I remove the head of the stamper and bend it a bunch to get off the decal). Figure out which decal you want on which finger, and cut them to size. Make sure to fit the cuticle end and the sides of the nail as closely as possible, removing small bits of decal with acetone is far harder than using scissors! Leave the free edge as long as you want. Then, cover the desired nail with a thin coat of top coat and wait ~30 seconds for it to be tacky but not super squishy, and place your decal on the nail. Make sure to have the correct side (it looks matte, not shiny!!!) facing out!

Finally, using scissors and acetone, trim off the free edge of the decal. Using just a bit of acetone around the sides of the nails will ‘melt’ a bit of the polish, so you can press the edges to the curved sides of your nails more easily. Ta-da! Top coat and you’re done.


I decided to use different positioning of colors for each nail, and a gradient with dots for the others. This isn’t my best color combo to date…I was going for a Southwest selection!

~ Orange: Zoya – Thandie
~ Teal: Essie – Naughty Nautical
~ Purple: Zoya – Margo
~ Blue: Maybelline – Midnight Swim
~ Stamp: EdM – 11

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed and maybe learned something! For a better example of what it looks like to cut the decals to size, see last weeks post called Pastel Diamonds.

Comments on: "Aztec" (10)

  1. this is amazing and so pretty

  2. myishia simmons said:

    I love these so much, amazing work!

  3. myishia simmons said:

    I also love how the gradient and dots!

  4. Yay! Someone has finally shared the best trick ever. So quick follow up…. When you apply the decal to your nail bed, do you paste top coat down or top coat up?

    • Top coat down…because then you get the crisp (in this case, black) lines of the stamp rather than the rather blurry ones you end up with after you’ve put color all over the decal. So shiny side with top coat down against your nail, and the matte-looking but prettier side facing up. It will end up shiny anyway, since you have to add top coat once the decal is done being fitted and placed!

  5. Awesome little tutorial, and I love this mani! The decals and gradients are beautiful!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

a london year

[or more accurately: the london years]


Un blog de nailista, adepte de nail art tendance, passionnée de photos, et de jolis bijoux. Les dernieres modes en matière de vernis à ongles sont scrutées et analysées, les teintes passées au crible, et en prime des tutos super faciles à réaliser vous sont proposés... Bref, la féminité s'invite jusqu'au bout des ongles sur le blog de Pshiiit !

Break rules, not nails

It's all about nail polish, colour and art.

Elektra Deluxe

Viennese nail polish chronicles

K's NailArt

Art is everywhere, even on your fingertips!

work / play / polish

life through manicures

Le blog

Nail art

More Nail Polish

Creative musings in bright colors

les ongles de Lucie

de la couleur, un petit peu d'idée, et hop!

%d bloggers like this: