Friday, 19 July 2013

DIY Decals: Bluebird

Hi guys! Today I bring you a little tutorial about how to make your own decals. Recently the nail world has seen a boom in stamps, stickers, tattoos and transfers, which got me to thinking about making my own version of pre made nail art. Decals are really simple and fun to make, plus you can make them a lot more detailed and precise than painting directly on your nails. What's more, you can ensure that your neglected Cinderella hand (the one that does all the work and ends up looking rubbish in comparison, unless you are extremely skilled in ambidexterity!) looks just as lovely as the other. I Googled 'DIY decals' and adapted this technique from a range of other methods, some of which involved greaseproof paper rather than acetate. It's such a cheap and easy way to decorate your nails, and can be achieved by using household items. Enjoy!
The equipment:

Acetate (I used an unused iPhone screen cover)
Fine nail art paint brush
Nail clippers or scissors
Clear top coat
A selection of nail polishes, depending on your desired design
Here's the inspiration for this design. As you may know, I've just been to the South of France on holiday, and of course wine played a big part in this break. I am extremely partial to a glass (or a bottle) of wine, especially rosé! This rosé was from a lovely little shop in Lorgues, Provence, and I fell in love with the bird design on the label. 
First of all, I painted a nail-sized square of clear varnish on to the acetate. I used Essie 'Good To Go' which is a rapid dry. I recommend using a really good quality clear varnish for decals, even if the rest of the polishes are just cheapies! Once the clear coat was dry, I used Essie 'Sweet Talker' to paint the base of my bird.
When my pale blue base was dry, I added more details. I created feathers using Rimmel 'Azure', W7 'Purple' and Models Own 'Grape Juice', then added a beak and claws using Models Own 'Peach Sherbet' and Fearne 'Burnt Out'. When I was happy with the design, I added another coat of 'Good To Go', and left it for a good 15 mins to ensure it was dry.
Next, I took my tweezers and gently teased away at the edges of the nail polish. I made sure to loosen it all the way around, as I didn't want to risk slicing my bird in two! Make sure you're extremely careful with the removal, and don't rush or be too heavy handed.
So here's my bluebird once removed! I took my nail clippers and trimmed around the edges, removing as much dry clear varnish as possible. You could also use a tiny pair of scissors for this.
I painted my thumb nail with 'Grape Juice', and once dry, I added yet another coat of 'Good To Go' (this nail varnish is going to run out so quickly!) While it was still tacky, I carefully applied my decal. When I was happy with the placement, guess what I did... Yep, another coat of 'Good To Go'!

I really love my little bluebird and I'm so pleased I plucked up the courage to try this technique. Have you ever made your own decals? It's such a fun process and well worth a try, plus it's no where near as expensive as buying transfers. What do you think? I'd love to know if you use this method to make your own decals.


  1. Uwahh the bird is stunning! Love the inspiration! So beautiful! So far I've not tried making my own decals. I'd usually just paint them on. I'm not sure, I think I might give diy decals a try sometime in the future.

    Btw, I do really adore your diy bird decal! Looks so awesome! You have put so much details into it ♥

    1. Thank you :) I think next time I do it I will add even more detail. It's so much easier than painting directly on to my nails! I love trying out new tricks, you should definitely try it xx


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