How To: Nail Stamping

Hi all! I’ve had a lot of questions about Konad nail stamping, so I thought I’d make a video sharing what I’ve learned over the last couple months.

Konad nail stamping is what allows me to get super detailed images and patterns on my fingernails. It looks a bit intimidating at first, but it’s actually super easy. Like these examples…

To get started with Konad, you really only need 3 products: the stamper (I suggest the double-ended stamper), an image plate ($4-7 online), and the Konad Special Nail Polish (or a metallic/chrome nail polish–just experiment). Everything else I mention in the video is in addition to those three things, but can be swapped out with whatever you have on hand.

You can get all three products from websites that sell Konad. I ordered from wowsocool.com and they had great customer service. They even offer a kit–which is what I ended up doing–where you get three polishes, the stamper, a scraper, 5 image plates of your choice, and the plate holder. I don’t even use the plate holder or scraper, so I don’t know that I would recommend those products, but they did come in the kit. You can order the same products from ocnailart.com, although I don’t think they have them in a kit like that.

OR, you can go to Amazon and find the same products for less. :) Here’s a link to some over at Amazon. I’ve since ordered some of the image plates from Amazon sellers and it was a great experience. Less expensive for the polish and image plates. An all around good experience. :)

Also at Amazon, you can get the knock-off brand image plates. These “fake” Konad plates are sold under a few different names, but the ones I bought are from Bundle Monster. 21 image plates for $17.95! Hello?! Such a good deal. You can get them here. I’ve used them and the results are very similar to the Konad brand plates. The full pattern images tend to be a bit smaller (won’t fit on longer nails or large nail beds), the edges are sharp (watch your fingers!), and there is no paper backing on the pates, but other than that, they are awesome!

EDITED TO ADD: Bundle Monster now has a second set of plate which have paper on the back and larger designs for full nail stamping. Check them out HERE.

NOTE: In the video, the blue nail polish I used as a base color is Slushied from the Sephora by OPI Glee mini kit. :)

Anyhow, enjoy!

55 Responses to How To: Nail Stamping
  1. Beth R

    Thank You ! I just asked a question on one of your other posts , looking for this exact info.
    Daughter is excited to get started, love this new blog.

  2. howdyheidi

    There is a youtube video out there using the nail polish stampers to stamp on brads for paper crafting. I got the kit to try, but I need a different polish, I think, for the stamped part….it was too light…

    It’s funny that I first heard about nail stamping for brads, not nails. I’m gonna try it though…

  3. Allison

    Hi Kristina!!! How are you?? It’s been a LONG time! I just found your new nail blog and I LOVE it! I’ve been stamping my nails for awhile now… so fun! But… Do you have any tips on stamping your thumb? I can’t get the whole stamp on my thumb (or big toe) and i don’t know of a good way to match up the stamps.

    • kristina

      I generally stamp a smaller image, or even do the full patterns at a diagonal. Make it look purposeful. :)

  4. Bonnie S

    You are amazing. Even though my nails don’t grow very long, I’d like them to look nice. You’ve given me hope!

  5. Jessica

    Hi Kristina. I’ve been a big fan of your card making blog for say three years now (!!!) I just discovered your new nail painting/stamping blog and have to say – love it!

    I think I may have a new hobby :D

    Thanks so much for the great tutorial – you’re awesome!

  6. Nancy Hoetker

    Hi Kristina,
    I’ve been following your papercrafting blog for several years now, and recently found this one. I’ve tried the nail stamping a couple of times now, most recently with the Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in 230 Silver Sweep over a deep purple metallic. It looked great until I put the Seche Vite top coat on…then the purple “bled” through on top of the silver. Did I do something wrong?

    • kristina

      I have noticed that with silver stamping in particular that sometimes the base color comes through. For example, I stamped Silver Sweet over green polish and then the silver looked more gold and yellow than silver. You might try a different topcoat. Or perhaps maybe waiting a little bit longer before applying the topcoat?

      • Nancy Hoetker

        What about a layer of clear or topcoat before stamping the silver…then the final topcoat?

        • Twinkler

          a layer of tc before stamping is always good because you can remove the stamping without destroying the basecolor if you don’t like it. ;)

          • kristina

            I generally don’t do this because it makes the polish on my nail pretty thick and more prone to peel off in large chunks. Also, if you use Seche Vite for both the pre-stamping top coat and the finished manicure top coat, there is a lot of shrinkage. I always see the very tip of my nails when I do that. However, perhaps other combinations of top coats would work better? Definitely something to explore. :)

  7. Twinkler

    sorry, but oh wow, what a waste of polish and q-tips. Oo otherwise nice stamping. ;)

    • margaret ann chamblee

      fyi – not really. i use one-two q-tips, and only enough polish for each nail that i’d already be using.

  8. Betsye Rose

    wow! I came over here after listening to PRT, and have now spent too much time discovering this! I’ve GOT to try it. I love to stamp, so it shouldn’t be that hard, right?

    f.y.i. I called Sally’s and they do have a nail stamping kit for $10. I did a little research on it, and it looks like it would be a good deal for experimenting, from what others have posted online, they include konad plates in the kit.

  9. Taylor

    Hi! Great video! I’ve been wondering about stamping for so long and this was so helpful! I did have one question though about the paper on the back of the plates. With all the use of the polish remover and multiple uses (of possibly different colors!) does that paper wear out or get crappy after a while or has it held up pretty well?
    Thanks again for the great nails! :)

    • kristina

      Mine seems to be fine. The paper is coated so it doesn’t absorbs the polish or remover.

  10. Perla

    Hi Kristina,
    I was sooo excited to get my stamping kit yesterday and when I started stamping I couldn’t get the color to transfer from the plate to the aplicator :(

    • Jen

      Perlal, try running a nail buffer or smoother nail file over the stamper and then cleaning with polish remover. This seems to help the polish stick on some stampers. :)

      • Lainie

        Jen, thanks for the tip! My stamper is actually working now! :)

  11. Carol

    do you remove the paper backing from the new nail plates?

    • kristina

      No, the paper backing makes the plates less sharp on the edges. You only want to remove the plastic film on the top of the plate.

  12. Laura Bloomfield

    Kristina,

    I just got a bunch of stamping stuff yesterday for my birthday (ooooh Happy Birthday to me!!!) and I LOOOVED it!! Thank you so much for the tutorial. I did have trouble with a few of the designs, though. It seemed like the designs with more details wouldn’t transfer to my stamp, like on plate M63, the only design that transfers is the houndstooth design, and I’m having a hard time getting the Zebra and cross hatch from M57. Any suggestions?

    PS – I’m so glad that my sister, Kelly (your long ago roomate) clued me in on your blog and thus stamping. Seriously so cute!!!

    • April

      Haha it just so happens that I am trying to use plate m63 and can’t get the patterns to transfer onto the stamp! I was getting frustrated because I thought I was doing something wrong or that the black special polish was bad but then I read your comment and it made me feel better lol. Did you ever figure out how to get these patterns to transfer? I love this plate but am about to give up on it! {=0)

      • kristina

        Try using a credit card or old gift card as a scraper instead of the Konad scraper. Maybe that will help? Also, be sure to use 100% acetone remover to clean the stamper, scraper, and plate. If you use a remover with moisturizers in it, it won’t work. Hope that helps!

  13. Sherry

    Can you stamp over Gelish Nails?

    • kristina

      Yes. I’ve done that for a friend. The best part is that if you mess up, or you just want to change the design, you can remove it with non-acetone remover. Then you can stamp again. :)

  14. Christy

    Hi, I just love this. It looks sooo cute! I have bought two different stamping sets and they don’t work. They just won’t transfer from the metal plate to the rubber stamp? Any advice? What brand do you recommend?

  15. Julie

    Hi There…I was just wondering if you can do the konad stamping after gelish top coat once you wiped the stickiness off …then do another gelish top it off coat on top to seal it? THanks, Julie

    • kristina

      Yes, you can!

  16. lindsay

    I have a question about which nail polish you recomend for stamping? Most of the polish I have is sally hansen, and its really thin polish. When I stamp with it I get very light transparent images that aren’t true in colour….any recommendations?

    • kristina

      Check out my post about non-Konad nail polishes that working with stamping.

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  18. Lynn

    Very Helpful!! Thank you!!

  19. Renee

    Love your video! I get my nails done at a salon & do the gel polish. I was wondering if I could do this after I get my gel polish nails, will it still work?

    • kristina

      Yes. Just use an acetone-free polish remover to remove it later.

  20. Luanne

    Thanks for the video! I’ve been wanting to try this and you make it seem simple! Just one question though…how do you make sure the stamp is turned in the right direction when stamping so all your nails are uniform? Especially when changing the stamper from one hand to the other?

    • kristina

      A quick glance at the image on the stamper should solve that issue. :)

  21. RobertsMom

    Great video. Very informative. Thanks for posting it

  22. Tara (aka Craftilicious)

    I’ve just bought a plate and had a go after seeing your video (using pearl black polish from konad) but when i put the top coat on the black streaked – any tips for where I went wrong?

    • Rema

      Use allot of top coat & do not drag it more than once :)

  23. Rema

    It is still not clear from any web site I have read ! After I have just polished my clients nails how long do I wait till I can stamp them ? Thanks

    • kristina

      It has to be completely dry.

  24. Alisha

    I am trying to find the Konad BM 201 plate, and can not figure out where to buy it, any suggestions?

  25. Annie

    Really helpful tips, especially using Q-tips and the credit card as a scraper! (I was disappointed my plates were getting scratched!) The Q-tip really cleans the plate so much better than cotton pads/balls that I was using, and causes less mess to your hands / manicure. Also really glad I discovered that Sally Hansen Insta-Dry polishes (the ones with a sticker on top in particular) work great as stamping polishes! Good to have something that is more readily available than Konad.

  26. Robin

    Bought everything needed & was excited to start stamping. Guess my big mistake was to sit in the garage with the wind blowing. Just couldn’t get this to work for me. Looked so easy & i waisted half a day trying. Guess i will need to stay inside next time i try??

  27. Kathy

    I just started stamping this week and I’m finding that the image does not cover my entire nail. Do I just have unusually large nails? The only nail that is completely covered by the image is my pinky. Your video shows the image covering your nail completely with a lot going over onto your skin. I wonder if my images are smaller than normal. I bought a kit at Sally’s Beauty Supply and it’s by Salon Express that came with a few plates.

    • kristina

      Most likely the images are smaller. I sometimes have trouble getting the image to cover my thumbnails, though. The rest of the nails aren’t too big.

  28. Jaz

    What gold stmaping color did you use?

    • margaret ann chamblee

      hi – i stamp with gold a lot and use two polishes: the sally hansen complete manicure polish in “gilty pleasures” and another SH Insta Dry gold. they both work great.

  29. Pame

    I’m really frustrated cause I bought the whole set, I was sooo excited to design and stamp a lot of things on my nails, but my stamper isn’t working. I mean, I press it on to the stamp and the image doesn’t print :(
    I have stamps from the brand “gals” (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009NCM6JY/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1)
    and Konad special polish.. I don’t know why it won’t print the image on the stamps :(
    What do you think I’m doing wrong? I thought maybe my nail polish remover is the problem.. I’ve cleaned my stamper with that.. have i ruined it?
    Hope you answer back, when I see you do it, it just looks sooo easy!

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  31. Karen L K

    Great video! I had not even heard of this before. I don’t really paint my nails but I still find it interesting.

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