Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tutorial Tuesday: Mirror Image Stamping Trick

I promised this tutorial more than a month ago and I'm really ashamed that it took this long, but I'll spare you the excuses. You can actually thank my boyfriend for motivating me to finally find the time to put this together. He started bugging me and asking me why I have not done something I promised to all my lovely readers. He even insinuated that I would never hit 1000 followers unless I got this done. Sheesh! Well I'm really, really, really thrilled to have reached 1000 followers last night and I got this done to boot! I can't even tell you how excited I am right now. Thank you everyone who reads my babble, follows this blog and takes the time to comment. You are certainly my motivation to keep this going. :D

Before I get to the tutorial, I want to point out that this assumes you already know how to stamp. If you do not, there are a lot of wonderful tutorials online. One I always like to recommend is the Getting a Good Stamp Image tutorial from soguesswhat11.

This tutorial is based on the emerald manicure which had one hand mirroring the other. I'm going to show you the trick I use to do that without having mirror image stamps available. Now on to the tutorial... 

  • Zip-lock (or any plastic) bag
  • Polishes: Clear polish, base color and stamping polish
  • Stamping supplies (Stamp/stamper/scraper)
  • Cuticle nippers
  • Cleanup brush & nail polish remover
Click on the image to zoom in...

  1. Using clear nail polish, paint rectangles slightly larger than the nail.
    - Allow the strips to dry for a few hours.
    - I make make these ahead of time and allow them to dry overnight so they are dry enough to peel off easily
  2. Stamp the desired image on to the clear polish strip
    - I'm using Mash plate Mash-46
  3. Using tweezers, gently peel the strips off the plastic bag
  4. Apply desired number of base color coats.
    - I'm using two coats of Ulta Green with Envy followed by one coat of Barielle Budda-Ful
  5. Stamp directly onto the nail for the nails you want to have the image as it appears on the stamping plate.
    - For example, I stamp the nails on my left hand directly from the plate onto the nail (as shown above on my index finger)
  6. For the nails you want the mirror image, apply a coat of clear polish and allow it to get sticky, but not completely dry. Flip the stamped nail polish strip with the stamped side down and apply it to the sticky nail, as shown above on my middle finger. Smooth out any bubbles.
  7. Using cuticle nippers, trim off the excess nail polish around the nail.
  8. If there is any nail polish remaining that needs to be removed, you can clean it further using a brush and acetone/nail polish remover. For detailed information on how to do this, you can take a look at my clean-up tutorial.
  9. Add a topcoat and you are done! 

I hope I have succeeded in making a clear tutorial on the technique I use. If something does not make sense, please don't hesitate to ask questions.

I'd love to know what you think of this!

Thanks for looking!
Anutka :)


  1. thats an awesome idea! I dont stamp but if I did I would get aggravated with the fact that my pics werent mirrored.

  2. OH MY GOSH! THIS IS BRILLIANT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. this is GENIUS!! I will for sure be looking into trying this!!!! :D

  4. Great tutorial! Thanks for sharing your trick with us.
    Congratulations for your 1000 followers! Wow!!

  5. This is so clever! I would never have thought to do this- GENIUS!

  6. What a great idea!
    I've been wanting to try out stamping but have always failed....this might work out to be better :D

    thank you!

  7. This is great for mirror images, but also for those that still need serious stamp to nail practice and are impatiently wanting awesomely patterned nails!

  8. This is a great tutorial, might be good for those small stamping plates since it won't fit the whole nail maybe you could use that method to position it differently.

  9. Can't say I've ever seen this technique before! You could use this for more than stamping too. Will have to try.

  10. What a great idea! I need to give this a try. Thanks for sharing.

  11. I swear, you give some of the best tutorials and this one is right up there! Fantastic idea! I need to try this, if only as a way to practice my stamping and to find a way to get the images on my big fat curvy nails. :D

  12. great tutorial, thanks for sharing it :-D

  13. Thank you so much! I'm so glad you found this useful. As some of you pointed out, it can be used for so many more things than just a mirror image, including to practice, create your own nails strips, or position things just right. I hope you enjoy and let me know how it turns out! :)

  14. Hi ! Very good idea thank you !!

  15. That's such a great idea! I can't wait to try it myself.

  16. Thank you! Let me know how this works for you! :)

  17. Ohmygosh, genius! I'm trying this as soon as possible. I may even have to use this trick all the time for stamping, since I always seem to get my stamps off-center.... lol.

  18. @Katie, I'd love to see when you try it! It does work well for centering stamps too!

  19. This is a brilliant idea! I'll have to try this :D

  20. @Emma, thank you so much! I really hope you give it a try :)

  21. Ahh here it is! lol I agree that it's best to use this way in bigger images... but i wonder if i can be fast enough in transfering designs between two stampers :p Thanks for the tutorial! :D**

  22. @Christina, definitely give it a try between two stampers because it is quicker. In my experience the fine details of most full nail stamps dry too quickly to transfer well, but I'm sure it is not impossible :)

  23. Brilliant idea. I guess this coul also be used to grt newspaper text mirrored so it isn't mirrored on the nail (hope this makes sense)

  24. @TrekkieGrrrl, that is such a great idea to use it to reverse newspaper print. I've never gotten the newspaper soak mani to work for me on the nails, so this might be the way to go :)

  25. This is a cool technique. I am certainely learning a lot from your tutorials. Especially since I am new to the world of stamping

    1. Thank you very much! I'm glad to hear that you are learning a lot from them! That means so much to me :)

  26. I feel like an idiot asking this, but you always say to wait until the nails are fully dry. How do you tell when they are fully dry? I've heard a couple different ways but even just waiting 45 minutes my nails are still able to be dinged. Thanks! ~ Sara Beth

    1. No, please don't feel like an idiot! It's a good question
      It really depends on the polish and what I'm doing before I consider them 'dry'.
      I've heard of different ways of telling if they are dry such as touching two nails together, but I don't bother with any of that. I simply wait about 10-15 minues, depending on the type of polish. Jellies take longer to dry than creams/shimmer. Then I just touch them with my fingertips. Depending on what nail art I'm doing, I might need them to be more or less dry. If I'm using tape, then they need to be rock solid so that the tape doesn't lift the polish up. I often use a fast dry top coat in that case to really get them thoroughly dry to the touch. If I'm just stamping over them, then I wait until they are dry to the touch, but maybe still dentable. I find that they don't have to be rock solid for me to stamp over them.
      It shouldn't take 45 min for your nails to be dry. If it is taking so long, try a different top coat that is quick drying. Also try applying thinner coats of polish. For example, I often use three thin coats of polish instead of two thicker ones because I find it dries faster that way. Thick coats take a long time to dry... and I always use a quickdry topcoat when I need them really dry.
      Hope this makes sense :)


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