Monday, June 17, 2013

Nail Art+Mosaic/Stained Glass Tutorial: Inspired by Taylor Swift's "State of Grace"

Please Note:  If you have a problem with Taylor Swift, I ask that you keep your feelings to yourself and that you just focus on the techniques used in the nail art.  Thanks!

The blog Leesha's Lacquer is holding a nail art competition!  The challenge is to do nail art inspired by anything.  Yes, you read that correctly.  ANYTHING.  Nice, right?  I love contests because they force me to stop procrastinating and get some art done.  I've been meaning to do some music-inspired art, so I figured this would be a great time to give that idea a whirl!

My favorite version of "State of Grace"
(video by YouTube user Katie Fisher)

For this piece, I chose to base it on this group of lyrics from Taylor Swift's "State of Grace":

We are alone, just you and me
up in your room and our slates are clean
Just twin fire signs, four blue eyes

So you were never a saint, and I loved in shades of wrong
We learn to live with the pain, mosaic broken hearts
But this love is brave and wild

I put the song title on my thumb, 2 sagittarius symbols on my pinky ("twin fire signs"), Taylor and Jake's eyes on my middle finger ("four blue eyes"), and mosaic broken hearts on my index and ring fingers!  I know the eyes might look a little creepy, but I just love that line in the song, so I wanted to include them.

Polishes Used:

Background-OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls
Text, images, outlining-Orly Liquid Vinyl
Eye color-mix of Cult Nails Manipulative, China Glaze Shower Together, OPI What's With the Cattitude, and Orly Liquid Vinyl
Mosaic Tiles-JulieG Crushed Candy, JulieG Hot Cinnamon, JulieG Sugar Rush, and OPI The Impossible

This mani took me forever to do (7 hours, with nearly half the time spent working on the eyes), but I think it was worth it.  At the very least, it was good practice on lettering and symmetry!

Mosaic/Stained Glass Tutorial

My favorite part of this mani is definitely the mosaic broken hearts!  Once I had completed them, I realized that they also kind of look like stained glass, since the black "grout" resembles the leading used in stained glass.

You will need:

-Nail polish (obviously)
-Striping tape
-Decorative hole punch (I used a Recollections brand punch purchased on clearance at Michael's)
-Glossy sticker paper (not the papery kind!  I actually used an old Ninja Polish receipt, since the receipts are stickers)

Decorative hole punch

  • Punch out your shape
  • Cut out a rectangle/square containing your shape
  • Remove backing and place the sticker on your nail (make sure your base color is fully dry before you do this!)
    • If you want to have colored "grout" or "leading," paint inside the shape with your desired grout/leading color and remove the sticker stencil while the polish is still wet.  After it is fully dry, make a new stencil and put it exactly where the first stencil once was
  • Plan out your grout/leading lines on scrap paper.  While it's easier to just criss-cross the lines, it looks better if you don't do that.
Gray=sticker stencil, blue=striping tape, white=polished nail
  • Place striping tape on your nail.  Make sure the tape is securely attached to both the stencil sticker and the nail.
  • Using a nail art brush, paint inside the little shapes
  • While the polish is still wet, remove the stencil sticker (the striping tape should come away with it)
  • If any polish was accidentally removed, use a tiny nail art brush to fix it
    • If you are doing colored grout/leading, use a tiny nail art brush to carefully outline your shape
  • Let dry, then add top coat
Gray=sticker stencil, blue=striping tape, white=polished nail

Gray=sticker stencil, blue=striping tape, white=polished nail

It's a bit tedious, but I think it's worth it!

What do you guys think?  Would you ever do a mani inspired by a song?  Do you like the mosaic/stained glass technique?

Products purchased by me.  I am not affiliated with Taylor Swift.  I do not own the video and I do not own the song.


  1. These look awesome! Great song to draw inspiration from :) You did amazing on the stained hearts too!

  2. I love the mosaic heart! I've thought about doing the punchouts on tape to make shapes like that, but adding the striping tape to go different colors like that is genius. Defintely pinned for stealing ;)

    1. Thanks! I was afraid it wouldn't work or that it would leave sticky residue behind or something, but it all worked out!