Elaine Watson, a Los Angeles-based educator for inm, describes the acrylic rings she meticulously crafts as a labor of love. An admitted nail fanatic, Watson has been sculpting rings as well as tiny figurines from colored acrylic for about four years. To create the band of the ring, Watson lays acrylic on tin foil in a long rectangle, removes it from the foil while still pliant, and binds the ends together with matching acrylic. “I usually place the ring on top of a polish bottle to harden completely,” she says. Watson forms all the tiny 3-D components in the same manner, using a brush to create the desired shape while the product is still flexible. To extend set time, she employs a trick also used by fantasy nail artists. “Adding a drop of acetone to your acrylic mix slows down the set time allowing you more time to work,” she says.

MaeLing Parrish and Mary Seitzinger, both EZ Flow educators and nail techs at Nail Sensation in Columbus, Ohio, have also turned their hands to the jewelry trade, employing a similar technique. Parrish forms the band of the ring around a finger-sized dowel rod. Then she adds the 3-D elements and caps the entire ring in clear acrylic. “You can use any brand of product, but if that brand’s dear acrylic is not 100% clear, it may look cloudy,” advises Parrish.

Like Watson, Parrish and Seitzinger don’t actually sell their more ornate creations, but they do make more practical inlaid designs for clients. “The inlaid rings are more durable and wearable,” says Seitzinger. “I make the band from colored or glitter acrylic and then file and buff it. Then I place the flowers on top, but they have very little depth.” She finishes the ring with a protective coat of clear gel.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, Click here.