I’ve made nail polish jewelry in the past, by painting the backs of glass cabs and gluing them into a setting.
But I recently picked up a second-hand Silhouette cutter and decided to take it a step further: why not cut intricate decals out of the vinyl, stick them onto the glass, then paint the nail polish on top?
Great idea, right? In theory… In practice, well, I’ve run into trouble.
Here’s my process:
I use the Silhouette to cut decals — in this case, faction symbols from the game World of Warcraft—out of permanent adhesive vinyl (Oracal 651). I clean the surface of the glass cab with rubbing alcohol to ensure there’s no oil or little bits of debris that could be caught underneath. I apply the vinyl, and smooth out any bubbles or ridges so it’s nice and flat. Then I take clear nail polish and apply two coats on top of the vinyl decal to seal it.
Once that’s dried overnight, the piece is ready for the coloured nail polish. I use two different polishes — a glitter, and a solid colour to back it. Again I leave it to dry overnight, then paint on two coats of Mod Podge to create a barrier between the polish and the glue.
Once everything is bone dry, I glue the cab to its base with a small amount of E6000 and let it cure.
Every piece looks perfect when it’s first glued. No bubbles, no unseemly crystallized bits. But almost every piece after a few days develops these little air bubbles or crystals around the edges of the vinyl, and eventually it spreads. I say air bubbles or crystals because I can’t tell what they are exactly.
I can’t for the life of me figure out what’s causing it. I suspect it may be the glue; if I leave the painted cabs on their own, some itty bitty “bubbles” (let’s call them that) might show up, but they’re pretty stable. It’s only after I’ve glue the cab to its metal base that it becomes very visible. Argh!
Any ideas? Is the E6000 reacting with the polish and vinyl somehow? This seems to only happen to pieces that include vinyl, not just nail polish on its own on a cab.
For now, I’m testing a new glue: G-S Hypo Cement. We’ll see if that makes any difference.
I’d love to hear your comments and suggestions below! Thanks!