This is part one of our Fimo Nail Art Series.
My skills with a brush are limited, especially when I’m working on my own nails. Instead of struggling with my nail polish, removing it, and started again over and over I’ve decided to start working with Fimo brand modeling clay to create some fun accessories for my nails. I asked Staedtler if they would help out and send me some of their amazing clay so that I could teach you how to make simple accessories for your mani/pedi too.
This week I’m showing what I like to call the Hello Kitty Inspired Bow. It has a circle in the center and flared edges much like what you see on everyone’s favorite cartoon kitty. This is great if you’re experimenting with faces on your nails, but also awesome for just adding to a design by itself. Bows are great for a nice feminine addition.
This bow is being made in what’s become my signature pink for nail art and rings. To create it you’ll need a block of Fimo Red () and White (). We’re using 2.5 parts white to 1 part red.
Start by conditioning your clay. I like to do this while I’m watching TV for a while. You want to squish, fold, and warm the clay with your hands until it’s nice and soft. For large amounts you can do it like kneeding dough. For small amounts, doing it between your hands is fine. You should be able to squish it into a disc between your fingers without the edges of the disc cracking.
There are lots of ways to blend clay together before working with it, but my favorite has always been to twist it. (Most people who do this often or professionally buy a separate pasta machine for it, but I want to show you guys how to do all of this series without any special tools.)
Take your clay and roll it into balls, then into ropes by rolling it against your clean work surface with your clean hands. Then twist the ropes together like a candy cane. Roll that into a ball, then a rope, fold it in half and repeat the twisting until your clay is completely blended.
Now take a pinch of the clay and make it into a ball. What I’m showing you guys here is almost twice the size of what I typically use per finger, but I’m keeping it on a larger scale to show you the steps a little easier. You can also use this larger amount to put on a pedicure now that it’s sandal season.
Roll this into a ball, then a rope, making sure that you have no folds or cracks standing out. The rope should be even all the way down. Roll the center a little harder to make it just slightly thinner than the rest. Press down lightly all the way down the rope or roll it out with a clean roller to make a thick bar. Don’t make it too thin and don’t be afraid to start over. I’m using a small, empty glass bottle.
Take your finger and place it lightly on the rope on either side of the center, leaving about a centimeter in the middle untouched. Gently push your finger down, rocking it up and down away from the line of the rope, until there are two small disc shapes with the center still intact.
Cut the outsides of the rope until the amount matches the size of the center. You can use any craft knife, scissors, or even your fingernail itself for something this small. Now take the end on one side and fold it up and over, pressing it gently on top of the center. Make sure when you do this that you’re not pressing down the thicker loop of the bow. Do this again on the other side, bringing the end down on top of the other. Now take something small like the side of a plastic fork and press down to make sure all of the end pieces and the center are sticking together.
Roll another little ball of the pink clay we mixed and squish it between your finger and thumb a little to make a circle. Flip your bow over so that all of the ends are at the back and place the disc firmly in the middle of the bow.
Bake your clay according to the package directions. We use a dedicated toaster over for it because I work with this clay often making jewelry and housewares. The beautiful thing about working with Staedtler’s FIMO brand clay is that you can cook it in your oven or a toaster oven, rather than buying an expensive kiln. Bake your bow with the disc facing up and allow it plenty of time to cool before attaching it to the nail.
You can attach the bow to your nails with a tiny dab of nail glue. If you’re planning on reusing the bows often, coat them with a layer of Fimo’s Gloss Varnish to protect it and make it shiny.
Don’t throw out that spare clay! Our next part in the series is going to feature this same pink and the white to do Fimo Canes for quick 3D slices of color for your nails. Store the clay until then and we’ll get to work again.
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Staedtler was kind enough to give me a sample of Fimo clay to create these looks. All opinions expressed are my own.