For today's post I am going to be showing you a bare-bones stamping process overview.
A big thanks to Rebecca at Rebecca Likes Nails for teaching me the ways of the master stamper.
First of all, you will need plates! There are tons of plates out there. I particularly like the designs that I've seen from Vivid Lacquer and Nailz Craze, but there are many more fantastic brands including Bundle Monster, MASH, MoYou, Winstonia, Messy Mansion...the list goes on!
You will also need a stamper. This little doodad is also from Amazon. It has a larger end and a smaller end. The ends are rubbery, and I filed mine a tiny bit with a rough nail file to get them to pick up the image better.
You will need a scraper. There was a metal Konad brand scraper included with the stamper, but I learned from the pros that an old, empty gift card or something similar works best. The Konad metal scraper can scratch the plates, too, which we don't want!
You will also need stamping polish. Rie from Nails and Noms reminded me of this great tip and I wanted to make sure you guys read it: if a polish goes on opaquely in one coat, it will probably make a good stamping polish. Most metallics work well, as well as most Sally Hansen Insta Dri polishes.
Paint your polish over the stamp stencil that you want to use. Make sure that you cover all of the stamp! I use a pretty generous drop.
Take your scraper or old gift card and scrape off the excess polish. I learned that a 45 degree angle is best for this! Do a smooth, fluid scrape, and don't press too hard. You may have to experiment to get the pressure right.
Grab your stamper (work as quickly as you can!) and roll it over the image on your plate. Only do one pass, rolling from one side to the other side.
Using the same rolling motion that you used to pick up the image from the plate, press the image on to your nail. Add topcoat and you are done!
To clean your plates, take a Q-Tip dipped in 100% pure acetone and rub the plate with it to remove the polish. It will leave some streaks on the plate but it will not damage it. I clean my plate every few stamps to keep the transfers clean, and then obviously when I am finished.
Hope that was helpful for those of you that aren't familiar with stamping. If you want further tips and tricks, check out Rebecca's stamping FAQ post.