Hey everyone! NerdLifeNails here with another test and review type post! This time with a couple image shrinking stamper kits!
I am literally typing this up along side testing these out so it should be almost like a live video in blog form! I have also never shrunk an image before so this will be a learning opportunity for me for sure. Now, that will probably affect this blog post and make it a little too wordy and possibly all over the place, but I will keep it honest and real like I always try my best to do. 🙂
UPDATE AFTER TESTING: After attempting to shrink an image for the third time, I realized that I was really struggling because stopping to take photos was very time consuming and this was causing the polish to dry before I could finish. I finally started taking videos instead and that helped save some time of course! So please bear with my rambling and random photos at first before I started taking videos.
I also end up showing two different methods of image shrinking!
I did purchase both of these shrinking kits that I am testing out today so they were not gifted or PR samples or anything.
The plate I will be using to test them out with is the Apipila stamping plate that was a part of the Mario January Polished Gamers Box. I was gifted this plate, but also purchased one because it is so awesome!
NOTE: This plate was exclusive to the January Polished Gamers Box and it is no longer available.
I will be using my Maniology Straight Up Black stamping polish for testing as well.
Now, posts that involve stamping and photos are fun because you have to work fast! Some of the photos below may come out a little blurry because I’ll be working against the clock, but I will try my best to make them as clear as possible! I also will fully admit that this is not my best stamping work so please take all of the stamping itself with a grain of salt.
NOTE: This is also no longer an issue once I started taking videos!
I am going to stamp the images as they are without shrinking on a nail ring stick, and then I will stamp the shrunken images on another nail stick using the shrinking kits and see how they compare! I will make sure to take a photo of the nail ring stick next to my actual nails so you can see the size difference next to my hand and nails.
I chose three images to test out for each kit. I picked one that I thought was decently simple but larger (the Bomb-omb), one that was rather detailed (Mario jumping on a Koopa), and one that was a larger grouping of a single image (the ? Blocks). I hope these were good choices and I felt that these would give a good representation of what the kits can do. 🙂
Also, I didn’t realize how terrible my hands look (I have been on a swatching break and have completely stopped taking care of them. Oops!) so beware the awful cuticles in the videos below. Sorry in advance!!
But I think that covers everything and please, any questions you have, comment them below on this blog post and I will do my best to answer them! 🙂
2-in-1 Image-Shrinking Stamper Set
Where to purchase: https://maniology.com/collections/stampers_scrapers/products/2-in-1-image-shrinking-stamper-set
NOTE: As of 3/17 it looks like this set is sold out on the site, but you can sign up for an email notification for when it returns to being in stock!
Price: $12.00 USD
So full disclosure, I am a Maniology Ambassador. I definitely love the brand so I was very excited to see this released by them and I can’t wait to try it out. Don’t worry though, I always keep things honest!
If you would like to use my discount code at Maniology, SMASHLEE10 will get you 10% off your order or $5.00 off a ManixMe box subscription. I can earn a commission off of sales made using my code. None of the links in this blog are affiliate links. 🙂
This kit comes packaged up in a box and it contains the two stampers needed within one holder and you get a little mini scraper as well! I did find instructions on the Maniology site, but PLEASE NOTE, this image was created by Maniology and it is on their site. These are the instructions I will be following / using for both shrinking kits though!
First try: Well. I followed the instructions above, but I worked a little too slow for this one. I got the image onto the yellow marshmallow stamper and then couldn’t get it onto the nail stick from there. Then I tried putting some sticky base coat down on the nail stick and only a little bit of the image stuck because I think this sticky base coat is old. haha oops! I am actually going to test this image out again and post new photos. BUT it did work and I was able to shrink the image, I just went way too slow.
Second try: Welp. I took too long again. I’m going to try again. I did not get the 2nd try stamped onto a nail stick.
Third try: Well, third time’s a charm. I did mention that this is my first time trying this, BUT what I did is I skipped the photos basically. Stopping to take photos and focus them is not the easiest thing time wise as mentioned. 🙂 I also tried to hold the stamper and the nail stick at weird angles and yeah that definitely didn’t work as you can see from the size comparison image. I definitely messed up placing the image on the nail stick. I’m going to try this one more time without stopping to take photos and I will let you know how it goes!
Fourth try: LOL I am still trying to get used to stamping using a non clear stamper. I super warped the image and I can’t stop laughing at it.
Fifth try: YES. I GOT IT! (said in the Mario voice of course)
First try: I worked a little too slow. But that is strictly due to me taking photos I’m realizing at this point. I will try again! But I can tell you already that my first impression is that I am very impressed at how this image held up being shrunk.
Second try: There we go! I almost got it all. I just once again stopped to take pictures. I will try one last time without taking pictures. 🙂
Third try: YES! Got it. This is definitely much easier already!
Wow for this one I actually shrunk it even smaller on my second try than my third. The image still looks great either size though!
First try: Okay stopping to take pictures is the worst. haha! I am going to try one more time without photos.
Second try: Okay yayyyyy! You made it through the awkward pictures and text and I finally took a video! Now you can see how easy it is when you’re not stopping to take photos and taking too long like I was. 🙂 I think videos will be easier to talk through what I’m doing as well.
So as you can see below, I am stamping the image using the clear stamper, then before “stamping” the image from the clear stamper onto the yellow sticky stamper head, I pull the yellow stamper head tight. The yellow stamper head is just sitting freely on top of a Maniology polish bottle as mentioned above. The tricky part (for me at least) is then releasing the squishy marshmallow stamper head so that the image remains even and doesn’t warp while shrinking. I did a little bit better job of that in my third try video down below, but it does seem like it does take a little practice, at least in my opinion.
Third try: I think I have it down now!
Final thoughts: This kit works great! The parts I struggled with the most are the final stamping portion and the releasing of the stamping head evenly to actually shrink the image. I think it’s because I’m trying to place the images on a nail stick and that’s awkward just due to it not being my hand where I normally stamp, so that shouldn’t be a problem if I actually shrink an image for my nails. Also, I think there aren’t any clear super sticky marshmallow stampers out there? I am pretty sure that is the case, but I could always be wrong. Having a clear stamper would of course make it easier to place the final image, but I’m pretty sure there is a reason for no clear sticky marshmallow heads. I know trying to shrink an image with a regular clear stamper head would tear it though, so I don’t recommend trying that. I think also with a little more practice I will be able to release the marshmallow stamper head evenly so that shouldn’t be a problem forever. But otherwise, I cannot complain about this kit.
I do also want to point out that the image you stamp does get reversed using this method! This is of course due to stamping it twice. If you were to place the yellow squishy stamper in a tighter holder as you can for the H la Cosedora stamper below, and only use the yellow stamper to pick up, shrink, and then stamp the image, the image would not be reversed.
This is a very nice set though and I’m very glad I picked it up! I very much appreciate the instructions and having a base and holder for both of the stamper heads is really really handy. I personally feel like this is great for beginners especially (and any skill level of course!) probably because I enjoyed using it as a complete beginner, and I really like Maniology’s clear monocle stampers, so to me, this is just a win win. I get another clear stamper and a marshmallow stamper in one kit!
H la Cosedora
Stampers Kit – Shrink & Enlarge Images
Where to purchase: https://hlacosedora.com/collections/nail-art-accessories/products/stampers-kit-shrink-enlarge-images
Price: $12.00 USD
This kit comes with the two stamper heads both within a tin and there is a lovely large scraper!
Unfortunately there are not instructions on the item listing, nor did any come with the item itself but that is totally okay! If you google “shrinking a nail stamping plate image” or something similar there are definitely quite a few tutorials out there.
I actually very very briefly looked at the H la Cosedora Youtube channel and found this video on shrinking images: Nail art en vivo con reducción y reversa
There is also this video as well: Ampliación y reducción en Stamping
I’m a very visual person so they were definitely helpful and I imagine there are even more or that there are some on the Facebook page as well.
Also full disclosure, before looking around as mentioned below, I was definitely using this kit wrong at first. I was trying to use the white stamper head to pick up the image, and then use that to transfer the image to the squishy marshmallow pink stamper head like with the Maniology kit (I did say that I was going to follow the same instructions for both! 😉 ). That just was not working for me. I was about to try washing the white stamper head in dawn dish soap thinking it wasn’t working because I needed to “prime” the stamper, but then I did some more searching first.
The pink sticky stamper included is for the image shrinking. The white stamper included is for image enlarging. BUT I imagine that there are multiple ways you can use both of these so please do not take those statements as the final golden rule or anything. This is just how I plan on describing them / using them for now based on what I have seen.
I was searching in the Nail Stamping Sisterhood Facebook group and found some videos of this same kit in use. If you search “h la cosedora shrinking” within the group you may be able to find the same videos.
I will say upfront that I would recommend purchasing this kit if you have a small enough holder for the shrinking stamper. The video that I saw earlier shows the person putting the pink stamper head in a cap of some sort (like for soda, or acetone, but it was larger) and I’m remembering seeing folks place their stamper heads in other containers from around the house or other random stamper holders. You want the stamper to be tight inside of the holder to squeeze the stamper like I squeezed the squishy stamper head over a polish bottle with the Maniology kit, but not too tight. So I think you just have to test it out. I don’t think I can give you the perfect measurements of what to put the stamper head in unfortunately. I will be attempting these tests with a hopefully not too small bundle monster stamper head holder.
I believe the stamper holder I used is this one from Maniology. It worked, but I was paranoid that I was going to rip my squishy stamper or something. I think something maybe the littlest bit larger would have worked better? But this did work in the end. Definitely check out the second and third videos I took because I show how I got the stamper head “ready” inside of the holder before picking up the image.
So as you can see in the video below, I have the pink squishy stamper head from this H la Cosedora kit in the Maniology stamper. After picking up the image like normal, you just need to remove the stamper head from whatever it is in!
This does save a step as you are not having to place the image on another stamper, so that is cool!
I did struggle with getting the stamper out of the holder though. I think that is partially because the stamper head is a little ways into the holder, so you have to twist it a little bit to get it out, but it’s also partially my grip on the stamper head. That is the part I still need practice with just in general. If you recall from up above, I was having a hard time with that while using the Maniology kit as well. So definitely just something I can work on!
Okay. Soooooooooooo please don’t judge me. I recorded this (my first try!) and accidentally stamped the Luigi instead of the Mario….I did not notice until the next day. The full size Luigi image is a little bit smaller than the Mario image though, which means I maybe should have used that one for both tests because if it’s smaller, that means shrinking it should make it really hard to see the image clearly, right? Wrong! It came out great! You can still see everything clearly and I am just very impressed with the etching on this plate. The stamper, polish, and plate all worked great together in my opinion.
So, at the beginning of this video you will notice I am squishing the marshmallow stamper head while it is in the stamper. It is a little bit cramped in the holder so I was trying to spread out the marshmallow stamper head just to make sure it was evened out and there weren’t any weird lumps. I recommend pushing the marshmallow stamper head further into the stamper, or pulling it out more as needed so that the stamper head itself is as even as possible.
Then you just stamp like normal and remove the marshmallow stamper head from the stamper to shrink the image. I think gripping the marshmallow stamper head as close to the bottom as possible makes it a little easier to remove from the stamper. It also seemed to give me more control so I could try to keep the marshmallow stamper releasing evenly so that the image didn’t warp.
This is about the same result as the image 2 test. 🙂 I just need a little more practice removing the marshmallow stamper head as mentioned. Enjoy my last video for this blog post!
Final thoughts: I do feel bad only testing out part of this kit, but I was only wanting to test out image shrinking for this blog post.
I think the pink squishy marshmallow stamper included is a great one and I do in a way like that you can put the stamper into stamper holders that you already own, but unfortunately if you don’t have any (or any household items) that it fits well in, that could be a little bit of an issue. I do actually really like using the squishy stamper to both pick up the image and to shrink the image because it cuts out needing another stamper–that part is handy and saves some time. This also does not reverse the image since you are only stamping once.
I do wish there were instructions for this kit specifically on the site, or that it came with some, but I was able to search and find videos of it in use. I also want to admit to judging this kit a little bit too harshly I think. I think I was a little flustered while trying to decide what stamper (or household item) to put the marshmallow stamper head in, and because of that I was just angry at it for no reason. I think also I was so new to the whole shrinking technique in general that I just didn’t understand how to use it, or what I should be doing, but I can definitely say I’m not angry now and am looking forward to trying it out again! It was also, probably too close to bedtime when I tested this one out. Oops! I will definitely be giving it another shot because it does work and even saves a step. It just takes a little bit of practice. 🙂
I think I personally might recommend this kit / method of shrinking if you are a little more experienced with the process maybe? That may just be due to not having instructions though…..but if you just read this, I guess these could be considered instructions. I hope it all helped!
Overall Final Thoughts
Shrinking images is actually pretty fun! As mentioned 20 times already, if you are not taking photos in between every step, it takes just about the same time as regular stamping so you shouldn’t have an issue with images drying too fast. 🙂 Videos were definitely the better way to go for this blog so my apologies for not doing those for every test!
As for the images, I think if the plate is well etched and the images are clear, just about any image can be shrunk and retain its original shape and “clear-ness”.
Shrinking images seems to be largely focused on keeping the sticky stamper pulled tight evenly and when you release the stamper, make sure you release it evenly as well or you can warp the image like I did at times. Make sure you aren’t letting the stamper move while you’re placing the image either. I struggled with that a little bit since I was trying to take photos / video at the same time at a weird angle. I will say shrinking definitely takes practice! And this blog features my very first attempts at it, but I think I did okay!
I also really like that you can pull the sticky stamper tighter or loosen it and that allows you to decide how much you shrink the image. That part of this testing was cool to see and experiment with.
Part of my issue as well was that I was trying to place the images at a somewhat weird angle on a nail stick. I hope I was still able to get the point across though with using nail sticks and that this blog post helps in some way. If I’m being honest, I really didn’t want to have to remove black nail polish or peel off base coat all night….so that’s why I did the nail sticks. I hope you will forgive me for that!
I know I didn’t test out the image enlarging portion of the H La Cosedora kit as well, but maybe I will save that for another blog post! I really want to find a little bit better holder for the pink squishy shrinking stamper head first (well, a holder for both honestly). I think mine worked, but I want to test it out in more to see which / what works best.
As for my final final thoughts, I think if you have a good clear stamper and a good sticky stamper you are set! OR if you have one good sticky marshmallow head and a perfect size holder for it you are set as well. I didn’t write this blog post to push product on anyone, but rather to just test these out and get a feel for shrinking images. I see plenty of folks achieve image shrinking with various stamping heads so I say whatever works for you, works!
I hope this was in someway helpful and please let me know in the comments if you have any questions! I will try my best to answer them! Thanks and enjoy!