Tuesday 15 July 2014

Making Water Decals

D.I.Y Water decals

Hello and here I am again with another how to blog post. This time on how to make your own Water Decals. I will link to everything I bought to make these below, so you can purchase the items if you too want to have a go at this. 
It took me a while (5 hours!) to find the images I wanted as decals, and to resize them. I haven't got Photoshop, so I used Microsoft Word to do this. The one good thing I found with Microsoft word is that the sizes of the image came up so I measured my nails and could make each image the right size. The one bad thing though is all the pictures were spaced apart and that would mean a waste of the decals paper, so I copied and pasted them onto paint.

 Here you can see what pictures I have on paint.

 This is the finished sheet on paint.

Then I printed in colour to see what each image was like and also to double check the sizes for each nail.

I bought two clear sheets of decal paper and one white. As if you print an image on the clear and it has white in it, the white colour won't show as printers don't print in white ink. 
The clear decal paper from ebay. The white decal paper also on ebay. And finally an acrylic spray. This is used to seal the images on the decal paper when printed, so that when you place in water to use the ink doesn't run from the paper. You spray the printed sheet evenly with the spray until the sheet has a shine, about 2/3 thin coats 15 mins apart. If you spray too thick it will make the decal harder to remove and could crack. allow about an hour or more to dry completely. Then use as normal decals.
I changed my printer settings to print in 'best' quality, and placed the decal paper so the images would print on the shinner side. Once printed you need to leave for 30 mins so the ink can dry.

White and clear decal paper, packaged well with a cardboard backing.

Yes its has a car on the front lol buts its an acrylic spray, much bigger than I was expecting so will last ages, and delivered by UPS.

The final printed decal sheet, still waiting for the ink to dry...
And now after with 3 thin layers of the acrylic spray.

You can see a shiny finish, and other acrylic sprays may work too, but if you purchase this one, spray in a well ventilated area, I did mine outside, and the smell soon went and left no smell to the decal paper. Now to see if they work...
I did my test on a swatch nail painted white.

Cut the design I wanted to test out...

Phew...the ink didn't run in the water!

Just like shop bought decals the white backing just slipped away, however these decals feel alot thinner than normal. Placement was a bit dodgy, and I found that if I kept touching the decal it would just disperse. So maybe I need to make my layers of acrylic spray a touch thicker. It is all trial and error, but hey that's how we all learn new things. Overall I'm very happy with how these turned out, its just a case of resizing your pictures so they don't blur, but other than that I'm glad I tried this out. I hope you guys found this post both interesting and helpful, and be sure to let me know if you try making your our Water Decals. I quickly tried another test and painted a very thin layer of topcoat over a decal. When dry applied as normal. It was much easier to work with and the finished result looks much better. So I'm not to sure if you need the acrylic spray just to seal the ink from smearing when you add the topcoat. If you do have a go without the spray I'd be interested to know. 

Till next time, stay safe and much love..


  1. Brilliant Trace! Very interesting read.

  2. Amazing hun ...such a great idea and thanks for sharing xxxx

  3. great decals hun I may give this ago sometime :) xx

  4. Do you sell these? I love the baloons and sugar skulls

    1. Thank you :) I haven't considered selling them. But possibly would if I got enough interest x