Tutorial: How to use vinyl nail decals

A couple of months ago I bought a Silhouette Cameo on sale at Michael's.  A friend of mine has an etsy shop (Delight Designs Vinyl) where she sells vinyl decals, cups, etc and when I told her I was in the market for a die cutting machine she recommended the Cameo.  

She was right, this thing is amazeballs.  What I love to do most on it is what I bought it for.  Vinyl decals.  And while I was making these lovely creations it occurred to me...I could make them for my nails!  So I did!



As a wiccan I can say that I definitely know how hard it is to find wiccan items that aren't hideously expensive or horribly cliche (Halloween discount rack, anyone?).  So when I am able to make something so awesome myself for a minuscule price I always dance a mental jig of glee.

Those who don't have a die cutting machine, skip down to the application part.

For those of you who have a Cameo I'm going to assume that you know how to use it.  If not, there are TONS of videos on YouTube on getting started.  I like the one called "Tracing Without Tears".

When you select your design the key is to make sure that there are no fine details such as a tiny filigree since these don't work that well on such a small scale.  Bold, simple designs work best.  I chose the pentacle.


You'll want to scale it down to about 1/4" depending on the nail you want to apply it to.  This size worked great for my ring fingers.  Weeding the design at this size is quite a pain however so you will want to employ some fine tipped tweezers.

The first ones I made too big.  I sized them down and re-cut, adding some owls for future use.
APPLICATION:
Make sure your nails are clean and dry.  I've learned that it's better to work with one hand at a time to ensure that your designs come out even and clean.  Get your polish(es) together along with a pair of tweezers.


Because I was only going to add a decal to my ring finger I went ahead and painted the others with two thin coats of polish and let them dry completely.  It's MUCH easier to apply the decal when you aren't worried about smudging polish on your other nails.


Next paint your "decal nail" with two thin coats of polish as well.  I find that two thin coats works much better than one thick coat.  Let it air dry for about 1-2 minutes so that the polish is still tacky but not wet.


Use your tweezers to peel your design off of the paper backing.  Make sure you have it in the correct position over your nail before you touch it down.  You can use the back of your tweezers to carefully press the design down to make sure it's adhered well.


Once you have it placed you'll want to go over it with a clear topcoat to seal the design in place.  This also helps bring out shine in matte vinyl.


And that's all there is to it!  The decal will last as long as your polish does.  When you want to remove your design just remove the top coat with nail polish remover and peel it off.

The design options are endless!  You can do creatures, french tips, letters, team colors, anything!



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