No matter how long your nails are, we have all had images that are too big for our nails but really wanted to use them. You can shrink the images by stretching your nail stamper carefully and when it bounces back into shape, you get a smaller image. It does take a few tries to perfect the technique and you have to choose the right kind of stamper to shrink nail stamping images. I used the MoYou Comics Collection 05 plate I reviewed last week as most of the images were too big for my nails
Choosing The Best Nail Stamper For Shrinking Stamping Images
Nail stamping is a lot about personal preference, but in general, you want a rubbery finish stamper that is fair sized and squishy. My personal favourite stamper for shrinking stamping images is Born Pretty’s 4cm squishy stamper. The red one works better than the semi-clear in my experience as it seems a bit softer and the doesn’t break as easily when stretched.
I played around with shrinking a few of the images from the stamping plate, shown here at regular sizes and shrunk. You can see what a difference shrinking them down makes if you do not have super long nails, or even shrinking a little to get all of the detail if a stamp is just a little too wide.
Without shrinking this image, I get mostly her face and neck on my nail without any of the butterflies around here. It is a little harder to colour in butterflies but you can just leave them black over a bright background.
The same is true for this image. On the stamping plate, it is big enough to put over several nails down her outfit but her head is fairly large for shorter nails too. By shrinking you not only see some of clothing on a shorter nail but some of the background too.
There are some downfalls to shrinking images, you have to be careful or they end up a little warped. This is especially true at the very edges which generally do not fit on the nail anyway but as you can see, it can take a few tries to get a good image when shrunk so check the image before pushing onto the nail.
You can also stretch the stamper difference amounts to make the image even smaller. For the larger images, I shrunk them a little and then a lot to make them fit on a really small nail like my baby finger nail. Stretching them a lot does tend to make really fine details less opaque as the polish pulls apart when the stamper stretches back.
How To Stretch The Stamper to Shrink Nail Stamping Images
Unless you are just shrinking the width of an image, you want to try and stretch the stamper in all directions as evenly as possible. If you are new to shrinking nail stampers, you may find it easier to use both hands, holding the sides between the thumb and a finger and the same with the top and bottom with your other hand. Try it a few times before applying stamping polish to your image as it will dry out while you get the hang of it. Even after doing it for a year I still get the occasional image I dump onto my lint roller because it isn’t right so don’t get discouraged.
Once you have your stamping image on the stretched stamper, gently release the sides and let it bounce back into its normal shape. Then apply the image to your nail as normal. Sadly, most clear stampers do not work well for this you could always stamp onto a decal and apply that to your nail.
Tip: If you have a small image you want to enlarge to cover your nail, pick it up on the stamp head as normal then stretch the stamp head and press on the nail while stretched. As with shrinking, this works best with a flexible stamp head.
If you try this technique, I would love to see your mani, tag me with @teanailpolish if you post it on social media!