Project: Perfect Manicure with Stamped Nails

Craft & Design

Fun, creative, crafty manicures are the bees knees. I have recently become addicted to the art of nail stamping. The little stamp kits are simple- etched plates, a scraper and a stamp. They allow anyone to apply perfect designs to their nails, without having to be an expert.
My cousin Mallory has a rainbow collection of polishes and a ton of fun stamping designs, and she taught me how to use them. We had a late night nail party, and it was so much fun! One thing she taught me- different polishes work better than others for stamping. Thicker paints, and quick drying paints worked the best. Some thinner polishes just wouldn’t lift up from the engraved plate. Experiment with different types and different colors to find the best combinations.



Nail clippers
Nail file
Base coat/top coat
Nail polish in 2 contrasting colors
Nail stamp kit, with engraved designs, scraper, and stamp
Pointed wooden stick


Step 1: Clip and file your nails. Run the file along the edge of the nail, and also over the entire surface of the nail.
Step 2: Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. As simple as it is, washing your hands before you paint removes oil that would otherwise keep paint from adhering to the surface of your nail.
Step 3: Apply a thin layer of base coat to each nail. Let the paint dry until it is no longer tacky to the touch.
Step 4: Apply 2 coats of polish to your nails. Paint the whole nail, then run the brush along the edge. By painting the edge, you help prevent chipping. Let the paint dry as long as possible in between coats, and let the final coat dry fully before moving onto the next step.
Step 5: Dab the second color of nail polish onto the design that you want to stamp. Cover and fill every groove of the design with paint.
Step 6: Use the scraper to remove the excess paint from the engraved plate.
Step 7: Working quickly, press the stamp onto the design. With even and firm pressure, roll the stamp over the paint to lift the design up.
Step 8: As soon as you have lifted the design, transfer it onto your nail. Roll the stamp over your nail smoothly and evenly. Stamp each nail, then let them fully dry before moving onto the next step.
Step 9: Use polish remover to clean up any paint from your skin, then cover one nail with a thin layer of top coat. If you didn’t let the paint dry completely, or if you add too much top coat, the design could blur. After all the work you’ve done, you don’t want to ruin it now, so work carefully and be patient.
Step 10: While the top coat on the nail is wet, use the wooden stick to pick up a crystal. Moisten the end of the stick (I give mine a quick lick) and touch the point to a crystal. It will lift the rhinestone right up. Then press it onto your nail, and give it a moment to set into the wet top coat. Repeat steps 9 and 10 for each nail.

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