Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Nail Polish Flowers

I love perusing Pinterest for projects that look too good to be true. Those ones are so much fun to test out and research! This past week I decided to test out one of these pins which looked way too simple on Pinterest. Figured that'd be the perfect H.U.M.P. Day kind of post. 

There's no way this could be as easy as it looks, right?

The Original Pin
Nail Polish Flower Crown. I don't know if I will ever do this, but I didn't even know it was possible. Really cool.
http://www.duitang.com/people/mblog/93489682/detail/
They look like gorgeous glass flowers! No way that's real...right? So I decided to test it. 

As it is Use it Up month, I wanted to see what I could find around the house to try this out. I pulled out my most expensive nail polish (for me it was expensive...I usually stick to the $1-2 range...$5 for a bottle of polish was really pushing it for me!), a mid-level, and my cheapest polish. I wanted to see if the quality of polish made a difference.  I also found some floral wire to use. I was set to go!

 I wrapped the wire around the pencil and twisted and warped and finally ended up with my flower shape. The wire didn't want to cooperate and it took some work to get it where it didn't look all weird, but I finally ended up with this:

Now time for the polish. Started with the cheapest polish first. It was a no go. I couldn't get it to form the film!

Surely the more expensive ones would work...right? Nope! Same results.

I was disappointed. But then I thought that maybe it was a problem with the size of the petals. So I rummaged through the house and found a lollipop stick in my baking stuff and figured that would work.

The lollipop stick produced petals that were more the size of the original picture. Now I figured we were good. 

Success! The polish finally was able to form a film between the wire.

So now that I knew a smaller petal would work, I got busy making a full flower.  Again...the wire did not want to cooperate, especially now that we were working with smaller proportions. 

Once again, I tested all three polishes and all three worked, but the blue one covered up the green of the wire better than the others.

Here's the finished teal flower:

Meh. The thick wire really just made it look sloppy I thought. I wanted the dainty look of the flowers in the original picture. So while I was up in Albuquerque for Darrow's MRI (he's good! Everything came back with good reports!), I stopped in at Hobby Lobby, broke the Use it Up rules, and bought a $2 spool of thin wire. Now I was set to try it again.

After putting together the first flower, I knew this one was going to work way better.


I decided to just stick with teal and cream. The cream worked really really well, but I had some trouble getting the teal (the more expensive polish) to make the film. But, they both worked in the end.

My original idea was to make a ton of these and put together a fun spring centerpiece for may table. 6 flowers in and I was done. I didn't want to have to make enough for a centerpiece. So I improvised and made a pin.



So, the original pin actually works! And it works well as long as you don't make your petals to big, and don't use thicker wire. This really would be gorgeous in a wedding bouquet, or in a crown (as in the original pin) for a flower girl, and it would be super cheap! 

For once, I am quite happy to say I was wrong.



28 comments:

  1. Color me surprised! I thought there was NO WAY it would work. I love how you made it into a broach. Lovely!

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  2. Beautiful! How fragile is the nail polish once dried?

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    1. The nail polish will flex and bend with the wire some, but once stretched too far it will get holes torn in it. It won't "break" like glass, but more it'll tear like plastic wrap.

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  3. I never would have believed this if you hadn't tested it! I've seen so many people pinning it, and all I kept thinking was how absolutely gullible they were for thinking it would work. Wow. Mind. Blown.

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  4. So cheaper polish worked better? I have lots of that so this would be a good use-it-up project (I'm sure I have a spool of thin wire around here somewhere....)

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  5. I did notice on some of the instructions I looked at this week that they specified nail enamel. I'm not sure how that differs from polish though. I am hoping to try this for myself. In the 70s I had a great flower making kit called Dip It, that had special liquid film into which you dipped your formed petals and leaves. The film dried very quickly and was pretty and fairly durable. Those instructions said to make each petal separately and then join them all together into a flower after they'd dried.

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    1. Me too! My aunt and I spent *hours* with that stuff! We had a mistletoe and berry centerpiece that my aunt and I made for years and years, finally the leaves just couldn't survive the storage process... I'd so love to make that stuff again...

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  6. very pretty! I definitely thought it was going to be an utter fail.

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  7. So pretty! Definitely going to try this.

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  8. I did something similar when I made wings for a beaded bug. I used 0.3mm wire but dipped the frames in PVA glue first, then after it was dry I painted iridescent nail polish in thin layers. I don't know if the glue is better at creating a film because my wings were very small, but it did help with the chemical smell. I suppose the ones you made are very stinky? They look wonderful though.

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    1. The flowers were stinky while they were drying, but now that they are dry they don't stink at all.

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  9. That is so awesome! I hadn't tried this because I thought it looked too good to be true, I'm so glad you tried it! New spring break project, whoop whoop!

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  10. I love this as a hair pin! Super cute. : ) There is NO WAY in a million years I would have enough patience to make enough of these for an entire crown. Maybe if I was locked in a basement under threat of torture and death.

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  11. How flexible are the petals? I would just worry about them shattering after a very short time.

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    1. The petals are still a little flexible. The nail polish doesn't shatter when you bend the petals, but it does warp it and can eventually pull a hole in the polish petal.

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  12. I must do this! Was your first wire coated? I would think that would make a difference.

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    1. My first wire probably was coated...it was just cheap generic floral wire.

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  13. I think I had a similar flower-making kit as a kid, but instead of painting the flower petals "in midair" you painted them flat on wax paper then peeled them up and bent them into shape after the paint dried. That let you make larger petals, though it was easy to tear/wrinkle them while peeling them off the wax paper.

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  14. I have a ton of wire around! I wonder if it's too thick for this. I also wonder someone above mentioned nail enamel? I SO never worry about my nails so no clue what that is. Is it very expensive? I am also curious -- thinking off on a limb here if you could color dye modge podge and use that instead of nail polish.
    I wonder what the brown wrap is that they are using it looks very thin and must have some self sticky property like a solid colored plastic wrap lol. Anyone have a clue what it is?

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    1. Nail enamel runs about $9 a bottle (from what I'm finding online). From what I'm reading it is a little stronger than regular nail polish.
      I've never tried coloring mod podge, but I'm finding people online who do. The only issue I see there is that it would take a few coats to get a petal that wasn't translucent (but a translucent petal might look cool).
      The wrap they are using is floral tape. You can find it in Walmart in green, but you can get it in other colors in hobby stores or at a floral shop. It adheres to itself to make wrapping easy without being a nasty sticky mess on your fingers.

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    2. Yup I thought about floral wrap later and picked up some brown at Hobby Lobby. I also found that a pencil can work just squish in the petals a little so they are a little longer and skinner instead of round. Beading wire seems to work good. Also, I found that sometimes you may need to just coat the wire with nail polish and let it dry for a few moments and then try again because it seems to make a better seal. Yup after work Thursday I ran out to hobby lobby and picked up floral tape and extra wire and set to work. I still have a lot more to do. Oddly enough I'm finding trying to get the flowers on the band to be one of the hardest parts. It could be I'm not accustomed to using floral tape though.

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  15. This woman in the video makes larger petals and shows a method for making the nail polish completely cover them:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O3pmxJ6zE04

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  16. I actually did something like this a couple of years ago. I think, maybe, it was the wire you used. Mine was a thing guage craft wire (22 or 24g) and the petals were somewhere between the sizes of your two examples. It could have just been the polish didn't like the coated wire.

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  17. I saw a demo of this and the crafter first painted a thin film of clear tacky glue and let it dry... then the polish. gorgeous results just like the pin

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  18. This does work with bigger petals as well. The problem you're facing with these is due to the lack of proper instructions on this pin. The trick is to lie the brush flat against the petal and slowly going across it, from one corner to the other, and the brush must constantly touch the outer edges of the petal, both the upper and the lower one. That is the most important part. This will allow a thin film to form. You may also want to paint it again when it's dry though, since it's gonna be rather see-though and delicate otherwise.

    I've already made several flowers like this and it works almost every time, except for when I used a nail polish that was too thin and runny, so the film just broke, and when I used one that was clumpy due to it having dried a bit. It was a bit tricky to keep the brush in contact with both sides of the petal at all time first, but once you get the hang of it it's super easy and it makes gorgeous flowers.

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