Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Tutorial: Distressed effect


I got a request for a tutorial on how I created the distressed effect in this manicure, using Bunny Nails HD-A:

So I've put one together, and I'm back with it today. :)

1) Start with a dry base of your preferred color. I've changed them up a bit for the tutorial, and this time I'm using Barry M Silver Foil as my base polish:

Step 1: Base color

2) Place dots of the polish you want to use for your distressed effect randomly on the top of your image. Vary the height of the dots in order to create an uneven edge. In this case, I'm using Sally Hansen Mint Sprint:

Step 2: Place dots of polish at varying heights on the image

3) Scrape the polish off of the image, in a direction that leaves most of the image uncovered. In the picture below, I've scraped at a slight angle toward the left, but you can scrape it straight up or to the right; as long as you are preserving the random edge:

Step 3: Scrape up or slightly to one side of the other, preserving the lower edge of the dots. 

4) Pick up the image with your stamper. You'll notice my picture below doesn't match the edge on the picture above. This is because the polish dried while I was taking the picture, and wouldn't transfer, so I had to do it a second time. I scraped at a more dramatic angle for the transfer on the stamper, so you can see that you can get some really interesting effects. Play around and see what you get. :)

Step 4: Pick up the image with your stamper.

5) Roll the image onto your nail. Again the image below doesn't match the image above because the polish dried out while I was taking the picture, and I had to restart. (Note the cat hair on the upper left-hand corner of the nail...this will become sadly relevant later on.)

Step 5: Put the image onto the top of your nail.

6) Repeat the process on the bottom of the nail, if desired.

Step 6: Repeat if desired on the bottom of the nail.

7) Stamp your roses on top of your distressed effect. Here I've used Konad Black.

Step 7: Stamp your main elements over your distressed effect.

8) Finish off with your preferred topcoat to seal your design. (Fight back the urge to try to remove the cat hair you've just noticed, or you'll smudge your design. Ideally, if you live in a mini zoo like I do, you might want to check for such hairs before it's tragically too late.)

And there you go! All done and bee-you-tee-ful, but so easy! This technique can be used with any stamp that you like to create a partial or ripped-off edge look. :)

For ease of use, I've compiled all of the steps onto one image for your grabbing or pinning pleasure:

Thanks so much for stopping by, and have a lovely Tuesday. :)

Hugs and loves,


  1. These are great! Wonderful tutorial too :)

    1. Thank you! Such an easy technique once you know the trick. :)

  2. Such a cute idea- now I need that plate.

  3. I'm green! I wish I had your tech skills. <3

  4. This is so cool!
    And hey, that stray cat hair there actually kinda looks like a stem of that rose :D (see, not that tragic after all)

    1. This is one of the many reasons I love you--you are always so positive and kind! :) <3

  5. Wow! I love this idea! Looks so intricate but actually quite simple to do!

    Guess this can solve my problem that I was complaining about in the comments on your MoYou review... that the regular size images are always too small for my thumb nails but fit my other nails well so I wouldn't get XL either.... I can just do this now! problem solved!


    1. Thank you so much! It really is simple, and you're right, it would work for all sorts of different images. I don't know how you feel about accent nails, but you could create an accent nail on your ring and thumb, with a partial image and an accent image, with your regular full-nail image all the way over the rest. Or, do a skittle type thing with stamping only on some nails, but not on your thumb and one other...:)

    2. Ya I usually do an accent nail with my thumb in a matching glitter color or gradient when the stamp image won't fit but I think a partial stamp image using your technique would"match"better and be more cohesive :)

    3. It sounds like a good plan...I'd love to see it when you do it! I'm sure you're not the only one that has that issue. Please share!!


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