October 15, 2014

Stamping 101 Part 2: Struggling with Stamping? Try These Techniques!

First let me say that I am sorry you are having trouble learning to stamp your nails. I had a terrible time myself, struggling for months and giving up many times, figuring it just wasn't meant to be. I watched a ton of videos during that time created by some of the most experienced stampers on YouTube. I picked up bits and pieces from all of them and ultimately learned that there are several different ways to perform all of the steps that are part of the stamping process. Some of them worked for me, some didn't, and I added my own twist to a few. I decided to create this set of HD videos to show you every way I know of to do each step and I perform them using varying tools. This is a lengthy post so I recommend you grab a beverage and get comfy.

Struggling with Stamping? Try These Techniques and Start Stamping now!

Before we get started I thought I would mention that if you have any questions or concerns about whether you have the right tools to do the job you may find my "Know THIS Before You Spend $1 on Stamping" article helpful. It covers things like choosing the right plates for your nail size, picking a stamper based on your nail type, stamping polishes and the various scraper options.


Before we jump into the techniques I'd like to share a few tips (and a touch of my sense of humor) that I would have found helpful in the beginning: 
  • Expect that stamping will be difficult. This way you'll be pleasantly surprised when it ends up being easier and exceeds your expectations. 
  • Stop for the day, or at least step away for a while, when you get frustrated. Nothing is going to work right once you're aggravated.
  • Don't take out the trash on days you've decided to throw away all of your stamping supplies. I am fairly certain you'll want to try again. :)

I have divided the videos into 5 segments. If you are only having trouble in one or two areas you can scroll right to those segments. I have also compiled all of the segments into a single video in case you just want to kick back for about 15 minutes and watch all of it uninterrupted. You can scroll straight to the bottom for the complete video. These are the segments:

1. Priming Your Stamper
2. How to Swipe/Scrape
3. Picking Up an Image
4. Stamping an Image
5. Bonus! The Finishing Touches

1. Priming Your Stamper
With XL squishy stampers being all the rage today I decided to put this segment first. The 1st tip will help you determine if your stamper needs to be primed and, if so, I'll be showing you how to do it with a new method that uses a Magic Eraser sponge. It's easier and faster than priming your stamper with nail files. But I will include the video tutorial about priming with nail files at the end of the post for anyone who wishes to learn that method too.



2. How to Swipe/Scrape
The 2nd tip will touch on every aspect of swiping from how much nail polish to apply to your design, how to hold the scraper and how much pressure to use for a clean design every time. I will be demonstrating using multiple stamping plates and different types of scrapers.

You'll need to REMOVE THE BLUE FILM FROM YOUR STAMPING PLATE before trying this step. Most plates will arrive coated with this blue plastic film to protect them from scratches in transit. You need to peel the film off and then I recommend removing any residue by cleaning the plate with some pure acetone before attempting to use it.

 


3. Picking Up an Image
This was the first step in the process that I had a hard time with. In this 3rd tip I will show you how to pick up an image 2 different ways using both a firm Konad stamper and an XL squishy stamper.




4. Stamping an Image
And once I finally mastered picking up the image I couldn't get it on to my nails! Can you relate?? The 4th tip will show you five different ways to stamp an image onto your fingernail. I'll be demonstrating using multiple stamping plates and 2 different stampers.




5. Bonus! The Finishing Touches
I am really hopeful that you will find something in these videos to get you stamping right away! I'll never forget the first time I got it to work. I was so excited to snap a few photos and share it everywhere! And if you are involved with social media I am sure you'll want to do the same. To ensure your photos look amazing I put together this final video that shows you how to clean up your nails and apply topcoat without smearing your designs.




The Complete Video

In this video I have consolidated all 5 segments. Since you may have scrolled directly here I thought I would give you a short overview of the tips you'll find in each section:

1. Priming Your Stamper The 1st tip will help you determine if your stamper needs to be primed and, if so, I'll be showing you how to do it with a new method that uses a Magic Eraser sponge.

2. How to Swipe/Scrape - The 2nd tip will touch on every aspect of swiping from how much nail polish to apply to your design, how to hold the scraper and how much pressure to use for a clean design every time.

3. Picking Up an Image - The 3rd tip will show you how to pick up an image 2 different ways using both a firm Konad stamper and an XL squishy stamper.

4. Stamping an Image - The 4th tip will show you five different ways to stamp an image onto your fingernail. Demonstrated using multiple stamping plates and 2 different stampers.

5. Bonus! The Finishing Touches - This final video that shows you how to clean up your nails and apply topcoat without smearing your designs.



And there you have it. All of the techniques I that I learned along the way that made stamping possible for me. I hope something you read or see in the videos makes it work for you too! If so, I would be honored if you shared your first stamping photo with me in the Comments section below! If you would like to purchase any of the items I used please see the list below on where to buy them.

Not to burst your bubble when you just got it working, but you need to know that there will be bumps along the way. Sometimes your "tried and true stamper" and "go to scraper" won't work with a particular plate, as you saw in my swiping video. I'll go over the steps I take when I run into a problem in more detail in an upcoming "Troubleshooting" post.

I would be happy to answer any questions you have in the Comments section or you can email me directly at nailsofaquarius@comcast.net. It would be great to hear your feedback about this post or any ideas you have for articles you would like to see in the future.


** Here's my YouTube video that covers Priming Your Stamper with Nail Files. Done carefully, slowly and gently it is an effective way to prepare your stamper and I used this method many times successfully.**

 


Here is some information about where to buy some of the products I used in the video.

Magic Eraser sponge - available at super markets, drugstores and Amazon.com

Messy Mansion stamper heads - http://www.messymansion.com.au/

Dashica Infinity stamping plates - http://www.dashicabeautyshop.nl/

MoYou London stamping plates -  http://www.moyou.co.uk/

Bundle Monster stamping plates - http://www.bundlemonster.com/

Mundo de Unas stamping polish - http://www.mundodeunas.com/

HK Girl Fast Drying Topcoat - http://glistenandglow.bigcartel.com/

Seche Vite Topcoat is available at Sally's and many online shops.
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9 comments

  1. Translucent MermaidOctober 16, 2014 at 2:35 AM

    They're lovely! I love butterflies and even if I already have Nailz Craze 01, I need at least one of these... But it's always hard to choose between XL and regular!

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  2. Ummm...ok...words, c'mon....ok, here goes: Woah!!! This is awesome, Karolyn!! There is so much here, it will take a few times to digest and benefit from it all. It is very clear that you worked long and hard to put this together to share with anyone who wants to do stamping nail art. And, for those of us who've been doing it for a while - you're right, having many bumps along the way has now become an expectation of mine. Your post will help us return to the basics and review techniques we may have forgotten about. Great job!!!!! Bookmarked & shared!!!

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  3. I think I am a "never too many butterflies" girl, but I would still need at least one of these if I wasn't. You're right, they are lovely! If you are on the smaller side of XL, Regular could work good here, since so many of the wings aren't true full nail designs. Happy shopping!!

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  4. LA CAJITA DE DIANAOctober 16, 2014 at 9:38 PM

    Thank you so much for this complete information ,woow they´re good videos... really it is an important information for dummies like me... God Bless U

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  5. AWESOME!!! One of the best post I had read EVER!
    I have a question, Karolyn: I have the double-size stamper and I tried to priming it with nailfiles, but I have ripped it! I have to say that the silicon stamper was sticky even after I have filed it. Is it possible that I purchased something flawed? And, question numebr two, where can I purchase the two stamper you show us in the first video (the yellow and the red)?
    Thank you! You made my day!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thank you for your amazing compliment Francine! <3 Great questions! Let me give it a go!

    Question #1: Silicone stamper heads that are very sticky are most likely Marshmallow stamper heads. They are more delicate, which is probably why it ripped, and don't usually need to be primed, at least in my experience. Believe it or not, they are supposed to be sticky so I don't think you received anything flawed, just not what you were expecting. They are harder to come by these days, but I also got one by surprise once from a seller that listed them as "squishy". I even thought she had made a mistake and asked for another, so now I have a collection. Some people LOVE them, so I guess they are able to get over it sticking to everything, including the plate you are trying to use. I couldn't! LOL!

    Question #2: My apologies, I meant to include "Where to Purchase" links at the bottom of the post. I will rectify that. In the meantime, you can purchase that set from http://www.messymansion.com.au/. They offer 5 different levels of firmness and I recommend you check the 'Product Description' to see which level is recommended for your nail type. I got the Medium Soft for my definite C curve. Soft would be equivalent to the sticky Marshmallow you already have, as an FYI. Their stamper heads are fairly new and quite popular, so I recommend you check back frequently for restocks, or sign up for their newsletter.

    I hope I've answered your questions! Thank you Francine, you made my day too! xoxo

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  7. Thank you very much Diana for such wonderful feedback! I am glad you enjoyed the videos! LOL, you are far from a dummy and do amazing work sweetie so I appreciate you sense of humor! God bless you too Diana! <3

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  8. Thank you so much Kim for your awesome compliment! You are right, there is a lot of information here and I hope it was best decision to get it all out there at once instead of releasing it in bits and pieces. I had "one stop shopping" in mind. LOL! Thank you for bookmarking and for sharing! It would be great if others follow your lead to help get the information out to all of the ladies that need it! <3

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  9. Hi Karolyn, just wanted to say thanks for all this information! I read all your articles about stamping before I bought any plates and I've been really successful with my attempts. You've explained all the techniques really well and it saved me a lot of frustration when trying to get it to work. Thanks so much!

    ReplyDelete

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