A few wire flowers with a thin film of dried nail polish as petals. There is a bottle of nail polish and a wire twisted around a round makeup tool that shows a flower mid-construction.
Throwback Post, Tutorial

Nail Polish Flower Compact (Throwback Thursday!)

A few wire flowers with a thin film of dried nail polish as petals. There is a bottle of nail polish and a wire twisted around a round makeup tool that shows a flower mid-construction.

Have you seen those nail polish flowers? They’re a classic Pinterest staple and while they can be a little tricky, they’re not so bad with a little of the right technique. But… what do you do with finished nail polish flowers if you don’t want to make about a thousand of them to complete the Pinterest crown? Well, here’s one of my old tutorials from 2014* with an idea for decorating compacts and vanity items.

*You’ll have to forgive that some of the titles on these pictures may not match well for this tutorial. Although the pictures are a throwback, I’ve written new descriptions!

STEP ONE: Gather similar materials

A collection of tools needed: needle nose pliers, round objects to twist wire around, thin wire like 20g or smaller.

Pliers help you twist the fine wire. The wire itself will be easiest to work with if it’s around 20g or finer. The round objects can be any size, but their girth determines the width of your petals.

STEP TWO: The flower formA closeup showing the hands of a pale-skinned person twisting wire using the tools as described in the coming passage.

To form the flower, cut a wire a few inches in length. This should be long enough for as many petals as you’d like, plus a flower stem.

Allow a tail as long as you’d like for your flower’s stem to be and then create your first loop by twisting the wire around a round object. Twist the short ‘stem’ tail and longer tail together, using pliers to help you get a good grip and uniform twist.

The same hands now hold a cluster of three circles twisted into a single wire. The tools are unfocused in the background.

Continue this pattern until you create the number of petals you want. If there are some undesirable spaces where the petals don’t look like they meet closely enough in the center, you can reduce some of the space by folding them over one another (as if you’re about to start braiding them) until you’ve woven the extra wire away.

Twist together any remaining tail wire into a sturdy stem and trim as desired.

STEP FOUR: Shaping the wire

Hands show the technique of bending the wire petals over a rounded object as described in the following passage.

Before going on, do any shaping to the petal wires you’d like in your finished design. You can pull the wire a little to make the petals more tear drop-shaped. Try bending them over your round form to get a more natural curve.

STEP FIVE: Create the polish flowers

The hands show the technique of dragging nail polish over the top of the wire petal shape slowly with the brush sideways, in order to create a nail polish film.

Here’s the tricky part! Creating the polish petal isn’t so bad if you keep 2 tips in mind:

  1. Paint the wire rim with polish first
  2. Apply the polish with your brush sideways

Creating the nail polish film is a lot like getting a round bubble wand fully coated in soap suds. The liquid polish will want to cling together, so painting the wire edge first will help give the polish somewhere to connect to when you pull it across the open space of the wire petal will make your job easier.

And, for creating that film, try holding your brush sideways. You’d be pretty hard-pressed to fill a petal’s empty space with film using just the tip of the brush. Think of spreading the polish across the empty space much the same way you see people drag paint over a shirt when doing screen printing.

STEP FIVE: Do something fun with them!

A card stock spool shows cream colored ribbons and laces wrapped around it. A piece of its lace has been attached to the top of a sage green makeup compact. Pearlized white nail polish flowers have been added on top of it. There are a few loops of natural cording and a vintage-style laundry pin added on as an accent bow.

After your flowers dry, they can be used just like a cabochon. Of course, they’re not as sturdy as plastic or stone, so be conscious about where you put them. I put them on a blush case that I keep at home and don’t bring around with me. They look delicate, but are strong enough for handling.

A closeup of a dish of mixed beads and components like a flat pin back with scissors and pink fabric in the background. Also in the foreground, an accordion fold of pink fabric that is accented with some cream lace, green and white nail polish flowers, and a few crystal beads. A text overlay explains the brooch was made by a four-year-old child.

These flowers are also not too hard for kids to do with a little supervision. Although my kiddo is almost 9 now, I still have this little brooch pin she made for me. Super cute!The brooch and compact are shown again, from a new angle. A metal charm that reads "LOVE" is visible on the brooch from this angle.



Here’s the finished polish flowers being used for a compact and a pin! Have you ever tried to make these before?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s