Last month I upcycled an awesome nail polish cabinet (original post here). I LOVE my cabinet and knew immediately upon it's completion that I needed to do swatch sticks. Looking for the perfect nail polish for a nail art vision I have in my head proves tedious with everything in drawers by brand and not color lol.
So, I went on a hunt and found sticks on Ebay. The original sticks I bought are sold out, but I underestimated the number I needed and had to order more. I ordered from this listing. They ship from Hong Kong, so the wait is long, but worth it. It only costs $2.78 for 50 of them, with free shipping.
While I waited for them to arrive, I typed up my labels. I couldn't find a pre-cut label size I liked, so I decided to print on paper and tape them on. In hindsight, Im glad I did because the tape sealed the paper and will keep them from getting dirty. While I typed them up, I labelled the top of the bottles with a number, this number was typed on the label. So, if I want Zoya Song, all I have to do is go in the Zoya drawer and look for the number on the stick (85). I organize the drawers by number, and not color.
I printed and cut them, and put the brand stack in the appropriate drawer, then I waited. And waited. And waited.
I FINALLY got them, and started almost immediately on my project. I labelled all the sticks before I started painting. Here are the tools I used...
I have a small self-healing cutting mat, rotary cutter, tape adhesive and transparent Scotch tape. I used the tape adhesive (bottom right) to put a bit of sticky on the back of the labels in order to keep them where I wanted prior to sealing them in with the scotch tape. (all part of my crazy)
Now, at this point, most sane people (ie - not me) would just wrap the excess tape around the back. But, I'm not sane. My OCD took over and decided it would not only be cleaner to cut it off; but there is also a chance over time of the excess tape lifting on the back and catching on other sticks. No bueno. So, I flipped them upside down and used my rotary cutter to cut it off. If you are sane, you can skip this part and make it easier on youself.
Once all of them were prepped, I started my swatch-a-thon. If you follow me on Instagram, you saw my nightly work lol.
I painted the underside of the sticks. There are two thoughts on this:
1 - the swatch stick acts as a top coat.
2 - the nail swatches are more protected from scratching and chips.
I did them in batches, and let them sit overnight to be sure they were dry. When I finished a stick, I wrote the number of coats on the back of the stick behind the label.
When all 296 of them were done, I grouped them in their specific groups and wrote down how many in hopes to figure out how to organize them on the 6 bolts I had, but no luck. I will be running to Ace Hardware to buy some additional ones, but for now I have loops.
Then I had to organize them within their color groups. Here's how they turned out.
|Coral - Orange - Yellow|
|Metallic - Grey|
|Red - Maroon|
|White - Black - Brown|
|Mint - Teal|
And the labels turned out so lovely... I used the transparent tape because the other tape is milky and can be seen from the side. This tape is more invisible and makes my OCD much happier.
And they sit so happy in their drawer (please excuse the pic quality, I used my cell phone because my camera hates low light).
My OCD is at peace... For now.