woensdag 12 januari 2011

How to make your own water decals!

A lot of you asked me if I would like to blog about making your own water decals. So here it is as promised. I did my best to explain it in English ;)

Before you start making your own water decals you need: decal paper, a computer with some good photo software and some transparent/clear (acrylic) spray paint/ lacquer/ varnish/ coat to seal it.

Decal paper:
There are different sorts of decal paper, you have paper for inkjet and laser printers (also for OKI dry ink but what that is I don’t know) So please look at home if you have a laser or inkjet printer (most regular printers are inkjet). Then you can choose if you would like white or transparent/clear paper. When you choose white paper everything gets a white background. It is nice for on a dark nailpolish, but you have to be able to cut it very precisely, because every little edge and corner is showing white. I personally don’t like white paper because it’s almost not possibly to cut so precise. Even when you cut a square it is showing.

When you choose transparent/clear paper everything that looks white on paper is in real life transparent and gets the color of your nail (polish). A regular printer doesn’t have white ink, so you can’t print anything white. You get the best results if you place the decals on a white or light nailpolish. It also depends on the colors of your decals and the color of your nailpolish.

You can buy decal paper at modeling shops (you know where you can buy small cars/trains and radio controlled cars and stuff) Decal paper is often used to make your own designs on cars or remake traffic signs for the small villages people build for their little trains. There are also a couple of websites just google decal paper. I buy it here at a local store or website in Holland but there are a couple of websites who ship internationally.

Photo software:
Images for your decals you can find anywhere on the internet, but you can also use your own pictures or if you're a bit handy make your own designs. You need a good photo software on your computer to make the decals. I use Adobe Photoshop CS3. Here I sharpen, resize, mirror and copy the images. But every software program is different so how that exactly works is up to yourself to figure that out. I recommend that you don’t resize the images to small, because then you might lose the sharpness when you print them. So make sure your resolution isn’t too small.  I resize the image to the size I want in my printer options, so I keep the images around 3 cm (1.18 inch)  and then I print at 33% so the image on my nail is about 1 cm (0.39 inch). I may sounds very complicated but it really isn’t that hard. Just do some testing on normal paper before you print it on decal paper. Once you figure out the right settings for you it is really easy.

I find it a lot of fun looking for images and sometimes I adjust them for example different colors or with Christmas I gave Chip and Dale and Chococat their own Christmas hat or candy cane.

Spray to seal it:
You can use all kinds of sprays/lacquers/coats/varnish to seal the printed images. That is also just a matter of testing what you like and works best. I use a clear spray that I buy at my local DIY (do it yourself store) it can also be used on wood and metal and charcoal drawings. It is a shiny fast drying spray. I believe they called it an acrylic spray. Many websites say any acrylic spray will work, so just visit you local DIY to find a clear spray.

Make sure your ink is completely dry before you start spraying. Spray 1 thin coat from a distance not to close on the paper because it might get to wet then. Repeat this when the first coat is completely dry. Let the second coat dry and you decals are done.

How to use your own made water decals:
Like I said before remember that self made decals are transparent/clear (unless you’ve used white paper). A normal regular printer doesn’t have white ink. So everything that looks white on paper is transparent and gets the color of your nail (polish) You get the best result on white or light nail polish.

-                Cut out the decals as precise as possible.
-                Place the decal on top of your finger or table with the white side facing upwards.
-                Make the back (the white) wet with a wet Q-tip or a wet finger.
-                You don’t have to soak the decal in a bowl of water.
-                Wait a few seconds.
-                Then slide the white paper carefully off.
-                The side that lets go of the white paper is the side that you have to place on your nails and is a little bit sticky.
-                Place the decal on your nail where you want it.
-                Gently press it with for example your finger or a (wet) Q-tip.
-                Apply a topcoat and let it dry.
-                You can decorate the rest of your nails with other nailart J
I love making water decals and make and sell them by request, I’m not going to post all my decals, that is too much. I often make decals for people from pictures of their boyfriend, best friends, children, idol or pets. And I make everything by request so if I don’t have such an image I’ll do my best to find or make it.

Sorry that this is such a long text blog, but making your own decals is a lot of fun and I hope this blog is a bit helpful and you can make your own decals now.

If you would like to know something or have any questions you can always contact me

18 opmerkingen:

  1. heel erg duidelijk!!
    knap geschreven hoor!!

  2. Thanky you for this! I find it very useful!! :)

  3. Erg duidelijk! Binnenkort toch maar eens de stap nemen om ze zelf te maken :P

  4. Dankjewel Renate, was best een klusje ;)

    Ja moet je echt doen Mandy is heel leuk :)

  5. Dat lijkt me zo leuk om eens zelf te doen! :D Maar die transparante spray. Hoe noemen ze dat in het NL's? ook arylic spray? :)

  6. @ ArtisticNailArt...nee gewoon blanke/transparante lak kan allerlei soorten lak zijn. Gewoon bij de bouwmarkt kijken naar een snel drogende blanke lak. Is kwestie van testen wat voor jou fijn is, Duplicolor van de Gamma schijnt een goede te zijn, daar staat op de achterkant ook voor houtskool tekeningen.

  7. thank u so much for sharing on how to make ur own water decals.. this is really informative.. i would try to do this at home and I'll share this link on my blog...again thank u sweety.. xoxo!!

  8. Awesome tip! I've just been searching for this as a favor to a friend and here it is:-_) Thanks!

  9. Thank you so much for this post! I just recently found out you can make your own decals and I'm definitely gonna give it a go. Sadly I don't have a colour printer, but still.

    BTW, you can buy these papers also from Ebay when you search for water slide paper.

    I have a question about the printing. Do you have to print the whole paper at once or can you just print a few decals, cut them out, and print some more later? Will the paper get jammed in the printer or something if it's a strange size or shape?

  10. Hey! This is great thank you :D I tried it myself several times and although I really liked the outcome, the pictures weren't as sharp as I would like them to. Could you make a tutorial about how to resize and sharpen images?


  11. Thanks for the helpful post, making water decals is pretty difficult in home.

  12. hi wanted to know if you could make a video showing how to make the transfer paper please,,,,, excuse the spelling is not English, kisses

  13. my email .. is shiakurit@hotmail.com, to teach me better decal paper technique,,, and sorry for the inconvenience ...

  14. Water decals are less complicated and expensive as well than the ceramic decals. Its good to make it by your own than from any company to design and print it.

  15. what kind of format picture did you use? JPG or PNG?


    1. I always use JPG. But when I make them in adobe photoshop I safe it as a PSD

  16. Hi, this is great, thanks for the helap really!

    Tout sur les astuces bricolage.