Homemade Nail Decals

by Linda Donahue

Fingernail decals are fun and flirty. They make very popular nail accessories and can be found at beauty supply stores as well as most grocery stores. There are even press-on nails pre-decorated with decal art. But if you want something more individual or unique, or perhaps a particular design is warranted for a particular occasion, you can make your own nail decals at home.

Making Nail Decals

Print homemade nail decals right on your injet or laser printer. Special decal paper is available in both white and clear. Decals can be printed then cut out and applied to your fingernails over your nail polish. Then add a clear coat of nail polish on top to protect the decal and smooth the surface.

When choosing a design to print, consider size. Work with designs that can be sized up for the thumb and sized down for the pinkie. Consider variations on a design. For instance, perhaps you have a cluster of three flowers for the thumb, but smaller two-flower clusters for the fingers and a single-flower design for the pinkie. Also consider flipping the design so that the images mirror on the hands. In other words, create right-handed images and left-handed images.

When making your own nail decals, you can do decals just for a special few fingers or for all of your fingernails. You can have something different on each nail or keep with the same (or similar) design, like most designer nails.

In choosing the decal paper, consider the pros and cons for both the white and clear. In cutting out designs on the white, you'll have to cut closer to avoid having a white edge, which can be difficult. Cutting out the clear will be easier as the edge won't show. However, a design on clear may show the nail color through and make the image less sharp, or more muddy. A design on white will remain brighter and sharper, even if placed over a dark nail color. So consider the base nail color and the difficulty in which your design will be to cut out before choosing white or clear paper.

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