Friday, 7 June 2013

Home Made DIY Nail Transfers

As promised here are the tutorials that I saw that gave me the idea for the peacock transfers that I did in the mani from yesterdays post. These are actually 2 different tutorials and I combined their seperate methods to get what I wanted. I used the dotting tool paint idea from the first tutorial, and the freezer bag and peel idea from the second tutorial. Make sure you read my comments after these videos to discover the problems I came across, and my tips to get it just right!

So my first comment is in reference to the drying time of the stickers before you are able to peel them off whatever surface you used. The first video suggests that an hours drying time is sufficient, but as I used her technique with the dotting tool to layer the colours over the top of each other for the centre of my peacock feather, 1 hour was not sufficient at all and with all those layers of polish (keeping in mind that my single peacock feather was much larger than her small multiple feathers) it actually took all afternoon to dry thouroughly. 
As I disovered, if you try to peel the design off the surface too early, any wet polish will remain stuck down and actually stretch out like glue as you peel, completely ruining the design. When the polish is properly dry is should peel right off without any resistance, so if you feel any pull at all when peeling the transfer off, stop immediately and let it dry for longer. The second video's suggestion of doing the transfers the night before and letting them dry over night is a much more realistic method if you are going to layer polish. If you are just doing a single layer like the second video's silver shaped stickers an hour is sufficient.
I also had prolems with drying time when layering polishes. If I tried to dot a second colour on top of the first, but the first wasnt quite set then it would smudge both layers, so to counteract this, I painted my first layer of colour, but the freezer bag in the freezer for a couple of minutes, and then I was able to apply the second layer of polish over the first without smudging anything.
The biggest problem I came across was sizing. As I was trying to paint a single feather to place in the center of my nail and not a pattern that would just cover the whole nail, I had difficulty keeping the feather a small enough size to be centered on my nail without loosing any of the detail on the edge, and it took a couple of attempts to paint the feather small enough to fit. My suggestion would be to take the freezer bag and place it over the nail/s that you wish to make a transfer for, and using a fine tipped permanent marker pen, draw around the edge of your nail so you know exactly what size area you have to work with. Turn the freezer bag over to paint on the other side, so you are not painting onto the marker pen but can still see it through the clear plastic bag, and try to paint your design within the lines you drew on the other side of the bag.
The first video suggests painting over the design with the base colour you are using, which if you are trying to do something fast without actually putting the base colour on your nails first, is a great idea. But if you already have the base colour on your nails then painting over your design with the same colour polish you already have on is just a waste of expensive coloured polish! I just used clear top coat over my design as my nails were already painted, and I actually found that the transparency was helpful in trying to decide where exactly I wanted to place the transfer on my nail. Rather than painting over the design with 2 coats of polish, I just used a very thick top coat and one layer was sufficient.
When you are trying to stick the transfer onto your nail, you should coat the nail with top coat but let it dry for a minute. The transfers are very delicate, and if you place them onto wet top coat they will slide around the nail, and then tear and wrinkle as you try to drag them back into the right position. The top coat on your nails needs to be tacky but not wet and your transfer will stick properly without sliding. The downside to this is that you need to get the position right first time, as trying to move or remove the transfer once applied will cause it to tear anyway. Once the transfer has first contact with your nail, I suggest using a cotton tip to smooth it down onto your nail rather than your finger. Start by sliding the cotton tip up and down the length of your nail right in the center, and from the center, always sliding the cotton tip up and down the length of the nail work your way down each side, one side at a time, the same as you would when applying nail foils, and then finish by pressing around the cuticle area.. This gives a much smoother surface on your transfer, makes it take the shape of your nail properly and prevents any wrinkling.
In the first video she removes the rest of the strip from her finger nail by just tearing it off, but this is not going to work unless the topcoat you put under it is completely dry. The rest of the nail strip may also stretch and ruin as you pull it depending on what polish you are using. I just used nail scissors to cut around the edge of the transfer just inside my cuticle line (and got a much neater edge for it), and any loose edges were stuck down by applying a layer of top coat over it.
So there you have it! Now you know how to make your own nail transfers, and I've cut all the problem solving out of it for you too! This is a really great technique for many reasons, it's versatile and there is no limit to the designs that you can come up with, if you can make a stash of them then later on when you dont have time to do a full manicure you can just stick these straight on and be done, and if like me you have a retarded left hand thats incapable of replicating the designs you already painted onto it with your right, you can just paint the design for every nail with your right hand, stick them on and both hands will be perfect! (There is a reason that in nail blogs you only ever see the left hand!!)
So go now, enjoy yourselves, and I would love to see some of your designs so feel free to post your pictures on my facebook page at
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