Wednesday, February 27, 2013

DIY Nail Decals

"wrap a plastic sandwich baggie around a cd and secure. Paint hearts of varying sizes and colors making sure to use a lot of polish so it won't crack when you remove them later. Let dry for 6+ hours. Carefully remove hearts from plastic. Add to your nails using clear polish. Finish with a top coat to seal." 

Ok I will admit two things - first, I'm just as guilty as a lot of people for reopening this idea. It SOUNDS like it would work. Second, this is a bit different from my usual posts in that I don't have a lot of research or data to back this, nor is it all that bad. 

I spent 4 hours yesterday experimenting with this pin. I originally had just set out to do my nails, but as it failed time and time again I realized there was a post to be had with this. 

I started out with 2 forms to try this on - a plastic bag like the pin states, and wax paper. I figured I could try both and see which worked easier. The problem comes about when you look at how nail polish differs from other forms of paint - it's far thinner and binds differently than, say, craft or wall paint does. 

I had started out with 2 colors, done in 2 coats on wax paper. Attempting to peel it off just resulted in crinkled and torn paper. So I tried the plastic baggie. Again, no amount of picking at or scratching was getting the paint to peel off. So I added 2 more coats and let it dry and tried again. It wasn't budging. 2 more coats, letting that dry, and still nothing. I finally gave up and tried another trick that was posted on pinterest - painting your basic scotch tape with nail polish and using that as decals. At first it actually seemed to work - it was far easier to just cut the painted tape into the shapes I wanted (racing stripes, because I like my nails to look like they are going fast) but about an hour later, after being sealed with 4 top coats and a quick drying drops, the edges were starting to peel away from my nails. As I write this, the paint is actually flaking off the tape it's self, despite the top coat and all. 

Over at The Craft Patch though, she seemed to have had better luck than I did with this. Maybe the difference is thickly painted designs verses a large painted patch (I was planning on peeling it off, cutting in stripes, and laying them on my nails like that.)

So what do you think? Good idea or bad idea? Have any of my readers tried this before? Did it work better for you? Comment and let me know! 


  1. Hi! I love your blog!

    I've tried this before and gotten it to work, but the version I learned says freezer bags work better (so that's what I use), and also emphasized that it's better to wait at least a day before trying to peel them off. I've found that it works pretty well and as long as I apply them to a base coat that's mostly (but not completely) dry, they stick as well as if I'd painted them directly on my nails. I also use top coat- not sure how they work without it. Also, some polishes dry more brittle than others- it defs works better with thicker, more rubbery polishes.

  2. Gleo3/6/15

    Was wandering around on the web when I came across your blog; I love it!

    I do realize I'm two years late to the party, but there's a way to make this work. The trick is applying a small amount of oil on the waxpaper/plastic you're using. A really really small amount. You should barely be able to notice the oil. The polish peels of much, much easier then. Try it!

  3. Anonymous7/7/15

    I have tried this; I used parchment paper and it worked great for me. I did whole 'nails' instead of decals, though. I found the hardest part was trimming them neatly once I'd applied them, without cutting myself. I didn't have any difficulty pulling them off the parchment paper, though.

  4. Anonymous10/5/16

    This actually does work. You just have to draw the designs on a base coat, either a clear one, or the color that you want the base on your nails to be. I just used a sandwich bag, no cds. It's easier with the base coat because you can peel it up from the corners without ruining your design.