The Digit-al Dozen DOES Texture, Day 1: Fossil Nail Art!

In Digit-al Dozen, Nails, Nicole by OPI, OPI, Zoya by Jacki26 Comments

Good morning, readers!! It’s time for this month’s Digit-al Dozen nail art week and the theme is TEXTURE!! I’m pretty excited about this theme, you know how I love textured manis and I’m brainstorming up some fun ideas.

For today’s post, I went a little outside of the box. Instead of going for textured polish (which you know I will probably use this week in a few different ways) I tried to think of things in nature that are textured. My daughter, Hailey, had a school project recently where you put things under your paper (rocks, leaves, etc) and rub a crayon over the paper to see the “fossils.” Sounded like a cool concept for nail art, right?

So here I am, trying to figure out how I can get imprints of objects on my nails for fossils. Sarah from Chalkboard Nails recently had a great step by step on pressing a dotting tool into partially set polish to make a perforated leather look. Once I realized fossils could be done in a similar way, it was time to find things that were small enough to press into my polish in the shape of familiar fossils. In steps my friend Courtney from 6 Harts Polish with the BRILLIANT idea of using rubber stamps!

So off I ran to Michaels craft store with coupon in hand and found a few stamp sets that were “fossil” appropriate: a pack of leaves and also a sea creature pack that had a snail shell that you see so often when you google for fossil images. They were obviously too big for my nails so I just used part of the stamp image.

The base color is three tan and taupe polishes sponged over randomly to make it “rock like.” I used Zoya Flynn, Nicole by OPI Taupe Of My Class, and OPI Don’t Pretzel My Buttons.

The key to this technique, after letting the thick quick dry top coat(Seche Vite) and then the matte top coat (Butter London matte top coat) dry for about 2 minutes each to partially set, was to paint cuticle oil on the rubber stamp so it wouldn’t stick and pull up the polish.

Make sure you work on one nail at a time when you get to the top coat step.

After I pressed the image into the polish, I went back with a thin nail art brush and a dark brown polish to fill in the fossils so you didn’t see bare nail. It was more true to life when it was a little darker than the surrounding rock color. The brown polish wasn’t thick enough to fill in the impressions so it worked out really well.

What do you think of this technique? Thanks so much for reading, don’t forget to check back each day this week for more texture manis.

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– Let’s paint something amazing! –


  1. Jill

    That is stinkin' cool! Who would have ever thought to use rubber stamps in nail art? I'm totally going to raid my mom's scrapbooking stash this weekend!

  2. Gnarly Gnails

    a rubber stamp!? genius! i have a terrible dd mani for friday i might try this and substitute it if i can make it work – this is fab!!

  3. Emma Hoop

    THIS IS SO AMAZING! I totally want to go buy a ton of rubber stamps now. I feel like I spend more money at Michaels on nail art supplies than I do at beauty supply stores :p

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