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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

DIY: How to cut your own FIMO nail art slices from canes

DIY: How to cut your own FIMO nail art slices from canes
This is not a tutorial as much as a DIY learning experience.
In a moment of inexplicable brain-melt last year, I concluded that it was cheaper and better to buy full FIMO canes rather than pre-cut slices. The canes came in - all 50 of them - one cuter than the other, and I had visions of gorgeous nail art featuring the strawberries, the kiwis, the leaves and the cute butterflies. The first time I tried to slice the canes, I got each round at least a millimetre thick and highly uneven. You can see the nail art I did with those extra-thick slices here. I decided to try again. 

Read on to find out what happened when I tried to cut thin FIMO slices out of the canes.


What I needed to cut FIMO slices:

I had read that regular kitchen knives and the blades they send you with FIMO canes were rubbish, so I chose the sharpest craft knife I could find. I usually use this knife to re-sack fountain pens, so you can imagine how sharp that blade is.
DIY: How to cut your own FIMO nail art slices from canes
I also emptied a nail wheel to store all those thin FIMO slices I was going to end up with.
DIY: How to cut your own FIMO nail art slices from canes
This was what I ended up with after a whole weekend. Awful, innit?
DIY: How to cut your own FIMO nail art slices from canes
Nothing loth, I tried again last weekend. This time, outdoors. Both times, the surface was granite and you can't get any firmer than that. I'll show you the decent results first.

Here is how I sliced the FIMO canes (reasonably) correctly:

I first held the blade as closely as possible to the edge of the cane.
DIY: How to cut your own FIMO nail art slices from canes
I pushed the knife downwards firmly with some back and forth movements.
DIY: How to cut your own FIMO nail art slices from canesDIY: How to cut your own FIMO nail art slices from canes
 And this is how it turned out - thinner than the edges of my tweezer. It is not uneven either (sorry about the bad angle) and I am pleased with this slice.
DIY: How to cut your own FIMO nail art slices from canes
I got some of them sliced out nicely. I'll tell you what I learnt in a minute.
DIY: How to cut your own FIMO nail art slices from canes

What could go wrong while slicing FIMO canes:

My biggest problem was uneven thickness.
DIY: How to cut your own FIMO nail art slices from canesDIY: How to cut your own FIMO nail art slices from canes
Followed by torn slices. 
DIY: How to cut your own FIMO nail art slices from canes
And chipped edges. 
DIY: How to cut your own FIMO nail art slices from canes

How to get FIMO cane slicing right:

  1. The trick is to slice them at a comfortable thickness, so that they are not paper thin. Apparently paper thin slices curl up on the nails. So even if they are a bit thicker than you would like, keep cutting. You can affix them to the nails with a drop of nail art glue.
  2. And, I realise that you must rotate the cane to avoid uneven thickness. And you may have to move the knife around a little if the slice is beginning to tear.
  3. Most importantly, do NOT pull the slice as you are cutting it - chipped edge guaranteed.
  4. If you are getting continuous jagged edges, smoothen the edge of the cane by chopping off uneven bits.
  5. If you are cutting triangles, hold the cane with the flat surface facing upwards. The lower surface area must be at the bottom, so it suffers minimal damage.
  6. It also helps if you rub your fingers around the edge of the cane and warm it just a little - I find this lets me slice through easier. Don't heat it, though!
The round ones are the most difficult. All other shapes among my canes are easier - I can't speak for spider-shapes. I have ordered a few nail wheels with pre-cut FIMO slices just so I can find out what went wrong and hone my slicing skills.
Bottom Line
It is certainly a lot cheaper to buy your own canes and you get some fun slicing 'em up. But there will be heartbreak and frustration as slice after slice comes out damaged, and more wastage than good slices out of it. It is a trial-and-error process and there is no guarantee that a slice will come out fine, unless you want it half a centimetre thick! Watch out for nail art with those strawberry slices!

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