Mint Green, Gray, and ... Yellow?
When I saw the colors for the July Pretty Palettes Blog Hop, I loved the mint green and gray, but felt nervous about the bright yellow. That sunny shade can easily take over an entire design. These colors appear to be trending for weddings since at least last year:
- Yellow + Grey Contemporary Wedding - from Belle, The Magazine
You need to look at the wedding cake on this site. It's adorable!
- 2013's Hottest Wedding Looks - from Etsy
They include mint green as one of the trends, specifically recommending that it be paired with gray.
I decided to use the mint green and silver (gray) as my main colors with just specks of yellow. And just how would I get those specks? Nail polish, of course!
Using Nail Polish as a Paint
There are pros and cons for using nail polish, just as there are for any medium.
- It comes in a huge range of colors and typically will match the popular fashion colors of the moment.
- You can also find some special finishes such as glitter or metallic.
- It's cheap—or can be. You can buy a bottle of nail polish for a dollar—or ten dollars.
- It comes in small quantities. If you just want to paint a tiny design, you don't have to worry about having a lot left over.
- You can buy it almost anywhere—the grocery store, a tiny corner drug store, a big box general store.
- It can chip. Chipping is mainly a problem when the color is in an area that will get a lot of use or contact with hard surfaces. In other words, it's more of a problem for bracelets and less for earrings and necklaces. That said, if you're concerned (or making a piece that you want to wear past one fashion season), you can easily use a clear top coat or sealant on top of the color to ensure that it lasts longer.
- It smells. Some people don't mind the scent, but I am not one of them. (I once sat on an airplane next to a girl who insisted on painting her nails. That was the worst!) I recommend using it in a well-ventilated area.
- The small quantities can be a problem if you're painting a lot of big pieces. In that case, you might want to use a special paint for metal that comes in larger cans.
- The color spectrum can be limited. If you're designing something neon and neon isn't in fashion that year, you might be hard-pressed to find nail polishes in those shades.
My Afternoon Sun Earrings
I used a toothpick to make the tiny splashes of yellow with nail polish on filigree leaves. I ended up using white nail polish on some of the leaves because I thought all yellow leaves might be too overwhelming. I like the amount of yellow in these earrings; it looks like the amount of sunshine you'd see if you were sitting below a tree and looking up through the leaves on a summer day.
I combined the painted leaves with mint green faceted rondelles, and silver-plated spacers. All materials (except for the nail polish) are from Michaels. You can see the full instructions for my Afternoon Sun Earrings on the Halcraft website and view the other Pretty Palette designs for this month's challenge.
Here are a few places to check out if you're interested in learning more about using nail polish to color metal:
Coloring on Metal for Jewelry Makers with Gail Crosman Moore. I haven't seen this DVD, but I have seen Gail's work and it's gorgeous. She covers a range of techniques, including nail polish.
Earrings Painted with Nail Polish from the A Couple of Craft Addicts blog. I also found a blog post by Thoughts from Her where she tried this tutorial and comments on it. It's interesting to compare the two experiences.