The three most common questions I get about vinyl nail art are:
- How do you successfully get the Silhouette to cut so small without tearing the vinyl?
- What size should the vinyl decals be to fit my nails? Or my child's?
- How do you get the vinyl to stick to your nails for any length of time?
Tips for Successfully Cutting Tiny Vinyl Designs on SilhouetteCutting vinyl as small as it needs to be is not difficult if you're using the right blade, a mat that's sticky enough to hold the vinyl firmly in place, have the correct cut settings and pick the right design.
It all starts with picking the right design. When you're cutting this small it's best not to pick designs that are overly intricate. Designs that are 'solid' as opposed to those that have cut outs (like the ones above) within the design are easiest to cut.
Ideally, the Silhouette Premium Blade or the CB09 should be used when cutting small intricate vinyl designs. The blade drags through the vinyl at a different angle than the regular ratchet blade preventing the vinyl from tearing as it makes the tiny cuts.
Slowing the speed to a 2 in the Cut Settings window in Silhouette Studio will also help you get a better cut on small designs, especially intricate designs.
Finally, make sure your mat is sticky enough to hold the vinyl in place while it's being cut. An unsticky mat will let the vinyl scrap move around while it's cut and you won't get a clean cut - or a cut at all.
Vinyl Nail Decal SizesBefore you cut anything you want to make sure your designs are sized to fit your nails. The size of the nail art decals will depend on where you're placing the vinyl nail designs: your fingers or toes or a child's fingers or toes.
In general, I have found nail decals in the following dimensions to work best. Of course, depending on the size and length of your nails or the age of the child, you may need to adjust the sizing slightly.
Big Toe: 0.4" x 0.45"
Fingers: .025" - 0.32" x 0.35"
Polka Dots: .09" - 0.11"
Big Toe: 0.32" x 0.35"
Fingers: 0.20" x 0.22"
Polka Dots: .09"
Keeping Vinyl Nail Decals On!There are several things you can do to help keep nail decals in place longer. The first thing you want to do is start with the right vinyl and that's 651 permanent outdoor vinyl. This vinyl has a stronger adhesive which will help it stick to your nails longer.
You also want to wait for several hours after painting your nails to apply the vinyl decals using a small piece of transfer tape or paper. After you've applied the vinyl nail decal, use a clear coat over it to help keep it in place. You can add a new clearly coat daily if you'd like.
Nail decals will stay on your toe nails far longer than your finger nails. I've had vinyl decals on my toes for several weeks.
The longest I've been able to keep a vinyl nail decal on my finger nails is about 6 days - it even outlasted my nail polish during a recent trip to Disney! The larger the nail art the longer it should stick - this solid design stayed on my finger nail about twice as long as very small polka dots simply due to the surface area of the adhesive.
Try these tricks the next time you decide to give DIY nail art a try at home with your Silhouette and vinyl! You may also want to check out this video of applying vinyl nail art that I shared on Facebook.
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