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DIY transfer nails using a laser printer

Inspired by newspaper nails and map nails, I thought I’d try to see if I could make my own transfers (or decals or tattoos or whatever they are called). To my great surprise, it was a real success.

This is a manicure in honour of one of my clients, whom I’m meeting with tomorrow. (Hope they like it!) I printed the logos out on my laser printer, making sure I had reversed them first.

Then I cut out the transfers and painted my nails with the orange and white base colours. I used three coats of Barry M Matt White and a coat of Seche Vite; or two coats of Barry M Mango and a coat of Seche Vite.

Once my nails were dry, I dipped the nail in vodka for 5 seconds, then quickly dipped the cut out transfer also. I placed it onto the nail, and without moving it, held it in place for 30 seconds.  I removed the paper using tweezers. Sometimes a little paper was left and so I just used a cotton pad soaked in vodka (what a waste) and lightly rubbed it off.

The good thing was that I found I could remedy a mistake. On my right hand, I placed the icon a bit off centre, but quickly rubbed at it with some vodka and it easily came off.

Finally, I top coated the transfer nails with a (new to me) top coat, Essie Good To Go. It made the colour bleed a little – and I’m not sure how any other top coat would have fared.

The little finger has the company’s icon on it, but it’s sideways, so it may not be obvious. It’s a director’s chair, as the company is all about providing in-flight movies and entertainment.

DIY homemade transfer nail decals laser printer
DIY nail transfers/decals/tattoos using a laser printer. Nail polish used is Barry M Matt White and Barry M Mango


I can’t wait to try this out with more complicated images. I searched to see if anyone else had done this yet – but couldn’t find anything (do let me know if I’m wrong). I’m loving this new technique.


For this manicure I’ve used:
  • Colour: two coats of Barry M Mango or three coats of Barry M Matt White
  • Intermediate top coat: Seche Vite
  • Transfers: DIY decals/tracsfers/tattoos printed in reverse with a laser printer, then applied using vodka
  • Final top coat: Essie Good To Go

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