Monday, September 19, 2016

The Fair: My First Attempt at Stamping Decals and Tips to Help YOU!

A few years ago I went to the Fredericksburg Agricultural Fair to film an episode for my show, Out & About in Central Virginia. I wanted my nails to match the theme of the episode, which was filming at the newly opened museum right on the fairgrounds.

I found some images from the Cheeky Jumbo stamping plates that fit the theme. The above hot air balloons, some horses (Fredericksburg used to have horse racing as part of the fair), music notes to signify the parade that used to go through the historic downtown area (I was even told that the entire city used to have off school to go to the fair), flags, and ice cream cones.

I used a plethora of colors including Il Etait un Vernis Paint it Black to stamp. Since this was my first attempt at the decals, you can tell how rough the final product was. The images weren't long enough for my nails so there is space leftover at the bottom.

I learned a lot doing this manicure. If you look at the image above you can see how the decal sticks out from the nails a bit in places and didn't lay flat. I've since learned the trick is to get it all wet again while applying it on the nails with top coat. This allows the image to "relax" and be able to smooth out a lot more. I also learned that you should try to trim it as close as possible to your nail size BEFORE placing it on the nail. If you don't it can also lead to the image sticking up at the corners and ends as you can see on the hot air balloon nail.

Once you put the decal on, you should also put a coat of top coat over it again to help even out the final product. It can appear lumpy if you don't do this as the nail picture above shows. You can smooth it out just with your finger or even using a stamper head to help get in all the corners.

This last photo shows what happens when you don't cut the image before putting it on the nail. As I was trying to smooth it out and push the image into the corners it ended up ripping part of it off and my attempt to put it back together cause the image to be distorted. It also ripped off a bit on the bottom leaving that area of the nail blank.

I'm come along way since then but still need to remember these tips each time I prep for a decal manicure. Have you done decal stamping yet? What tips do you have to share?


  1. Decals are my preferred method of stamping. The right top coat is a must AND if you don't let it dry all the way you can carefully stretch the decal to fit your nail or get an image just the way you want it. Happy stamping!

    1. Ooo, I'll have to try the decal stretching. I had never heard of that before. I'm currently testing out all kinds of top coats to figure out which works best for what when it comes to decals.

      I keep finding other clear or top coats that I haven't tried yet so this is going to take a while, lol.