Nail Art Tutorial: Working With Fimo Canes

Adding Fimo Canes to nails allows you to easily add fun, intricate designs without meticulous brush strokes – and they come in a limitless variety of styles and colors (hearts, flowers, fruit, snowmen)! While some come pre-sliced, it can be helpful to cut your own so you may select a thickness that works best for you.

First — How To Cut The Canes

The best way to cut your Fimo Canes is with a heated Xacto knife, which can be purchased from craft supply stores. You will also want a slicing block that acts as a cutting board, a gripper to hold the cane steady while you cut, and a small container to store the finished pieces in. Each cane will give you about 50 pieces.
If you are using a heated knife, the best way to go about this is to let it heat for a few minutes, then unplug it and let it cool for a bit. A fully heated knife can melt the whole cane, distorting the design. If you aren’t using a heated knife, you should warm up the canes before cutting with a regular blade by wrapping the sticks in a heating pad set on high for about 5 minutes. Slicing at an angle can be more successful that slicing straight down. If you cut pieces in half accidentally, or cut at too wide an angle, don’t throw the pieces away! You can use these half-slices on the edges of nails.

Once you cut the slices, it can be helpful to slightly bend them while they’re still warm so they fit the nail better later.


Here’s how you then apply them to nails.

Step 1: Prep nails as usual for enhancements. Begin building the nail, but make sure that you keep the enhancement very thin.

Step 2: Pick up a fimo slice. There are a couple of ways to do this: You can use tweezers to place it on the nail, or you can use a small amount of product on your brush to pick up the slice and place it onto the nail. Press the slice onto the nail with the tip of the tweezers or just flip your brush around and press down the slice with the tip of your brush handle. If you’re using gel, be sure to place the slices into uncured gel, and then cure the products. Don’t use the gel inhibition layer to adhere the slices. Also, with slices that are partially translucent, you should first wet the slice with monomer, and then lay it into the product – otherwise it may appear lifted if air is trapped between the slice and the product. You can also use this trick to soften up the slices for easier manipulation.

Step 3: Completely encase the slices with product. Shape and file the nails, but try not to file through your design. If some clay slices are sticking up a little, it’s okay to file off the edges that are sticking up. This will happen sometimes with thicker slices.

Step 4: Apply finishing gel or top coat. Massage oil into the cuticles.

Have fun with fimo!


[Photos: Hannah Ross. This article origially appeared in Nailpro Apr. 2009]

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