Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Money Smart Nail Art- Cork Stamp

Hey guys! Guess what?! This is my first ever tutorial! It's for's Money Smart Nail Art contest, basically to create a money saving nail art look and post how you did it, so let's get right into it shall we? I'm excited! 

So first I want to warn you that this will be very picture heavy, I'm a very visual person so my tutorials will tend to be this way. I know there are TONS of ways to save money with nail art, using bobby pins or sewing pins as dotting tools, old liquid eyeliner brushes as striping brushes, ect. I wanted to come up with something a little bit more for a unique look, and I just love when you can take something you're going to throw away anyways and revamp/repurpose it. So I came up with the idea to use old wine bottle corks as nail stampers, kinda a twist on what you did when you were in kindergarten to wrap presents for your mom. 

First of all you're going to need corks of course. I took these out of my parent's cork holder in the kitchen. Try to pick ones that have flat bottoms, and don't use those weird foam corks. If you're not a drinker or underage (like me) without access to wine corks don't worry, you can get sparkling cider or something of the like, it's super yummy. 

Start by drawing out what you want your stamp to look like, and take into account that a cork is more than likely bigger than your nail.

I would recommend using an exacto-blade set like this to carve your pattern out, but if you don't have one of those around the house try using a regular exacto-blade before you bust out the steak knife. Please be careful, cutting off your finger is going to be counter-producive.

I decided to just stick with the star design, I thought it was the most interesting. Make sure the grooves in your design are very deep so you get a clear stamp. 

Take a minute to get yourself a soda because being all crafty like Martha Stewart is hard.

Paint on your basecoat, I painted my nails with two coats of Pure Ice's Platinum Magic Basecoat.

Next you will need acrylic paint, you can find it pretty much anywhere really cheap, I'm using Blick's generic brand. I highly recommend using acrylic instead of nail polish, it worked much better in all of my trials and it will make clean up a whole lot easier.

Spread your paint evenly on your pallet so you get good coverage on your stamp.

Press your stamp lightly into the paint, you might need to press it onto your pallet once or twice before applying it to the nail so you get any excess paint off. You don't want it to be all gloopy.

Stamp the first layer of paint on, you will need to roll the stamp around on your nail a bit to get full coverage. 

Second layer of paint.

 Now apply a generous amount of topcoat once the acrylic has dried, since acrylic is water soluble it will wash away the first time you take a shower. I used OPI Rapid Dry.  Wait a decent amount of time before proceeding to the next step, really let the topcoat dry. Maybe get dinner, I chose a burger from Sonic.

Wash off the paint in warm water with soap. Use a washrag to gently rub it off, you don't wan to scrub and damage your cuticles. Protip: don't use a washrag you're keen on, acrylic stains fabrics forever. Seriously that stain will still be there after the end of humanity.

You're all done! After some thought this look reminds me of when I would play with the ketchup and mustard on my plate as a kid instead of eating my food. You can use lots of different colors and as many layers as you like, also experiment with the amount of paint for different outcomes. I hope you liked my first tutorial, let me know what you thought in the comments. Too many pictures? Too little detail? I'd love to improve! See you guys tomorrow :)


  1. Terrific job! Enjoyed your relaxed presentation. Thanks for sharing ;-)

  2. Terrific job! Enjoyed your relaxed presentation. Thanks for sharing ;-)


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