Midnight Stamper's Guide to Nail Stamping: Advanced Techniques

Hello Readers!

Now that we've covered the meat and potatoes in this post about supplies and this post about basic technique, it's time to move on to the fun stuff!

We'll start this out with some of the easier ways to add pizazz to your designs:

1. Fancy Backgrounds

Whether you've been doing nail art for a while or you are brand new, backgrounds are a great way to add some intrest to a stamping design. You could try a gradient background, a smoosh background, dry brushing and more to add detail behind your stamped image. There are many tutorials on these techniques, so I won't go into too much detail here, but here are a few examples of these ideas in action:
There are two different gradients going on here- a more subtle
light gray to dark gray, and the more obvious yellow to blue.
Always Be Batman blog post

In this mani, I used a "smoosh" technique on my pointer
and pinky finger to create a multi-colored background.
Spring in the Garden blog post

An example of a dry-brushed background, where most of the
nail polish is removed from the brush before applying
to the nail.
Grumpy Cat's Valentine blog post
Stamping over glitter can really make your designs
come alive.   Polar Express blog post

2. Double/Layered Stamping

This technique simply involves layering different stamping images and stamping polishes together for a more dynamic effect. This is pretty easy to do, and a great technique for beginners!

The middle two fingers here are reverse-stamped, but the pointer
and pinky fingers use the double-stamping technique.
Jungle Monkeys blog post

With the exception of the ring finger, the multicolored look on these
nails was done with double stamping.
Pop Art Ghost blog link 

3. Gradient Stamping

This is achieved by applying more than one color of polish to your stamping plate prior to scraping. The stamped portion of you final look will have a fun gradient to it that is easy to create.

4. Lead-Lighting

For this look, start with a silver or white polish and stamp a line-art image in black. Then use jelly-type polishes (polishes that have a low opaicity, or are sheer) or create your own jelly polishes by mixing any color with clear polish (not quick-drying). Fill in the stamping image with the jelly polishes like an adult coloring book.

5. Reverse/Advanced Stamping, or Decals

This technique deserves a page of it's own, where I will go into more detail, but the basic idea is that you fill in a line-art stamping image with whatever colors you please to create a detailed picture. This is my favorite technique, though time consuming, it's worth learning.

Reverse stamping makes colorful looks like this possible!
Tropical Toucans blog post

6. Adding Details

You can add small details to your stamping images with brushes, dotting tools, toothpicks, rhinestones, and even tiny glitter pieces.

On this Christmas mani, I added a tiny rhinestone star to the
top of the tree.
Simple Sunday Christmas blog post
Tiny rhinestones added to R2-D2 add some sparkle to this little
robot.  R is for R2D2 blog post

7. Using the Edges

Take advantage of the rectangular design of stamping images by stamping only parts of them onto your nail. You can create a french tip-type look this way, diagonal lines of pattern, or even triangles.

On the ring finger, the corner of a rectangular stamping image
was used to create a triangle shape.  Simple Sunday blog post
In this mani, the polka dots were applied over only part of the nail
by turning the stamping image sideways.
Pop Art Zombies blog link

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