Friday, 7 September 2012

Nail Stamping Tutorial

I wanted to write a post about my new nail stamper kit which I'm having lots of fun with at the moment. I never would have thought I'd enjoy decorating my nails so much, but it is quite a relaxing and fun hobby, and you end up with awesome nails. :D 

This is the stamper and scraper set I bought from eBay.

I got mine from this eBay seller along with 3 different metal design plates for around £6. 

The way it works is first you paint your nails with a base coat, and then your chosen colour. On this occasion, I went for 2 coats of Barry M purple. 

You then make the tough decision of choosing a pattern. I went for one of these lace ones.

You take your stamping polish and paint it over the pattern on the plate.

You can buy special stamping polishes, but I discovered via this post in The Nailasaurus that a lot of normal polishes work as stamping polishes, provided that they are a thick consistency. The general rule is that if the polish goes on well in one coat, it will work well as a stamping polish. These limited edition foil style Barry M polishes work perfectly. I bought the silver and the lilac from Superdrug. 

Once you've painted it on the stamping plate, you have to work quickly. Scrape off the excess polish with the scraper at an approx 45 degree angle. I'm still not very good at this part and often have to scrape it twice, but as long as you're quick I don't think it matters.

Take the stamp and with a gentle force, stamp it once over the pattern. It should pick up the pattern. Be sure to do this quickly, otherwise it won't pick it up.

(Check that it has stamped properly. As you can see here, I lost a teeny bit of the detail so I wiped it clean, and wiped the plate clean, with acetone free remover on a cotton bud and re-did it before stamping it on my nail).

Then take a moment to work out where exactly you want the stamp on your nail and gentley roll it over your nail, pressing down gently. The design should be transferred on to your nail. Ta-da!

All you need to do now is clean up. I used a cotton bud dipped in acetone free remover to get rid of the polish on my skin.

I didn't tidy up my nails much on this day as I decided to remove it straight away as I messed up the ones on my other hand. D'oh! This hobby does require a lot of patience and practice.

I re-did them with a different pattern. 
You wouldn't think lilac and red together would work but I really like this combination.

(Sorry my pictures are not that great, I really need a macro lens!)

                                    I used these polishes. The red one is from Topshop.

When you are completely done,you can also tidy up the edges using a cuticle stick covered with a bit of cotton wool dipped in remover (a handy tip I learned from the blog Bonita BonBons). 

Also, very important: don't forget to add a top coat! :) (I never used to bother with them, but it is worth it)


Here are a few links if you're interested in buying some stamping goodies:

- Bundle Monster - apparently, they sell good plates in bulk at a low cost. You can get them on Amazon too.

- Konad website.

- Born Pretty - this seems to be a very cheap nail art store which has free shipping from the US. I have ordered one Konad plate from there (with music notes on it!) for a total of £1.30(!), which seems crazily cheap considering it's coming from the US. If it turns up ok, I'll definitely be ordering from there again. :)


  1. I haven't seen these nail stampers before. They look like a nifty piece of kit. I may have to invest in some because your nails look so pretty

  2. Thanks for the tutorial, Libby bought me a set for my birthday and now I have patterns on my toes! :P I agree it does take patience, I think it will take me a while to get the hang of. Great tutorial post!

    1. Oh yay! I was thinking it would make a great birthday present. I'm glad the tutorial was helpful too :D
      xx :)


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