Nail decal experiment–in spaaaace

It’s technically Saturday so now I can officially go between both themes for this week and next week. I’ve been wanting to try newspaper-style nails for a while but I don’t like how the text turns out backwards. I’d seen a few tutorials on how to do your own printed decals using a laser printer and I decided to follow this one. I have a color inkjet printer at my desk but I’ve heard that doesn’t work so I commandeered the sweetheart’s black and white laser printer.

I found an image I liked, scaled it down to 1cmx1cm to fit on my nail, and duplicated it a few times in case I messed things up. I printed it onto a page I ripped out of a magazine since I thought that might help the image slide off better. I painted 2 coats of quick-dry white and let it dry.  Then I grabbed a small cup full of 70% isopropyl alcohol, dipped my finger in it for 3 minutes, dipped my image in for a few seconds, then placed the image (face down) on my nail and pushed hard on it. I removed the paper and…..first attempt, failed 😦 But I was not deterred! I removed my polish and, since I was impatient, decided to try a different method.

With just base coat on my nail I dipped the image into the alcohol for about 5 seconds. Then I put it directly onto my nail (no nail soaking) and pressed hard, just as I had before. I pressed for about 20 seconds, then dipped my whole finger + paper into the alcohol to re-moisten it, then very slowly slid the paper off going across the nail, not straight up (think about how you’d do a temporary tattoo). SUCCESS! *confetti, balloons, glitter!*

Yay! It’s a little Wheatley!! I was excited after this, I’d proven that it was possible to print and transfer your own decals. I had one decal left so I painted my thumbnail using quick-dry white again, let it dry, and transferred the decal.

Yay!! It looked much better over a color than by itself, not surprisingly. Now, here’s the point where I started getting overzealous and decided to “make it better”. Hint: I did not make it better!! I didn’t like it being on a plain white background so I thought to myself, “self, we should fill in the background! A nice space-y blue would be good!” Well, Self was wrong. Or at least picked the wrong blue! Because….this happened.

Aah!! Abort, abort!! Ok, way too much glitter. I was able to outline Wheatley nicely, I even filled in his eye with Blue Iguana, but wow that glitter is overwhelming. Next time I’m sticking with a flat blue and then maybe some light glitter over it. Me, being the stubborn girl that I am, had to do something with my ring finger as well since the decal was a success. I started off doing just a French tip using my ridiculous blue glitter. Then I tried filling in the little tiny heart that was on the decal…this is where things went wrong, again. I didn’t fill in the heart well and I decided to just fill around Wheatley with my red to hide my mistake…this did not help things.

….Someone remind me not to attempt nail art when sleepy. I took it all off right away and went to bed, which I should have just done earlier! I’m still not sure if I should label this a success since the decals worked or a failure since I look like a glitter factory exploded on my thumb.

It was late and I was sleepy and impatient, I apologize for the poor quality pictures. I’m also sorry about the slight staining on my nails…I haven’t found an effective way to entirely remove it. Any tips are appreciated!

  • Sally Hansen Whirlwind White
  • China Glaze Ruby Pumps
  • China Glaze Blue Iguana
  • Custom franken Blue Box
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One thought on “Nail decal experiment–in spaaaace

  1. […] went to bed with naked nails last night after my semi-failed experiment so I wanted something quick and simple before leaving the house today. I don’t think […]

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