Saturday, November 22, 2014

Tutorial: Shrinking stamping images

(Nothing to disclose)


Last time I showed you this manicure, and told you that I shrank the angel's head so that it would fit onto my nail:

I'm back with the tutorial I promised on how to do this; to be clear, this is not my idea, it's been going around the blogosphere and YouTube, and I'm not sure who originated it iIf you know, please say in the comments). So I didn't originate it, I just want to show you how I do it for minimum distortion and give you a tutorial pin for it. :)

The basic idea here is simple: you stretch your stamper head before picking up your image. Then, you release the stamper head back to its original shape before stamping the image; when you release, the image will contract, and be smaller. But it can be tricky to do it without distorting the image. So let me walk you through it, with my little tip.

First, apply your polish and scrape as you normally would.

Next, take your stamper head, and stretch it. You'll need a squishy stamper head for this, and the squishier the better:

Stretch your stamper head with two fingers and your thumb

What I've found is that the people I've seen use two fingers with this technique end up with an image that is fairly distorted--it shrinks more in one direction (how tall it is, say) than the other (how wide it is). That's fine for a lot of images, or if a bit of distortion doesn't bother you. But for things like faces, it can make a big difference. I found that when I use three fingers (well, two fingers and my thumb) to make a sort of triangle shape like above, I can get rid of the distortion to the point that it's barely noticeable.

Once you have picked up your image with the stamp, release it from the stretch, and take a look at it to be sure it looks acceptable:

Release your image and check it.

You can see there is almost no distortion here; there is a little bit though, so you might decide you want to do it again.

Once you get an image you like, stamp it onto your nail as you normally would; don't bother about putting it back into the holder:

Stamp image onto your nail.

And there you have it! As you can see, I have almost no distortion at all, and the image is about 2/3rds the size of the original image.--This will make lots of images on collage-style plates that are just a liiiiittle bit too big useable for you. :)

Here's the technique in one picture for you so you can grab it:

Tutorial on how to shrink stamping images
Tutorial on how to shrink stamping images

Play around with it--practice a few times, and you'll get the hang of it in no time. :)

Hugs and happy Sunday!


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you so much! I just can't get behind distorted's like realizing your underwear are showing, lol!

  2. What a helpful tip and tutorial to see.

    1. Thank you so much! It's such a useful technique. :)

  3. Thank you (and whoever it originated from) for the tip! I'm going to try this out the next time I stamp :)

    1. I'm glad it was useful! Let me know how it goes. :)

  4. Replies
    1. Right?! Such a cool technique, esp for those plates!


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