How to make toppers
HOW TO MAKE TOPPERS
Here is a step by step guide to help you make toppers! First I will go over supplies you will need. This is how I make them, there are many ways to make them. You do what you want, change what you want, but this is how I make them.
SUPPLIES LIST (amazon links on topper supplies menu page)
5X1mm N52 or N50 (the N stands for Neodymium, and it’s a very strong metal)
UV NAIL LIGHT (for gel nails)
WEEDING TOOL FOR CRAFTS
SELF HEAING CUTTING MATT
PAPER/PAINT/GEMS/GLITTER (try things, having a cricut to cut out the shape is helpful but not necessary. If you need help deciding what cricut to get I will have a blog post about that as well.
SVG of your style of toppers (I sell them all on my etsy)
Take your blanks you have ordered from me. Take your weeding tool that looks like a dental tool. Stab it into the bottom of the circle for where the magnets go. I stab it on my self cutting matt. Once you have stabbed it you pick it up and gently push the tool through the hole. Sometimes they pop out easily, sometimes you get a tricky one that holds on for dear life. Make sure you do not stab your index finger (don't ask how I know).
**Even if you break the edge of the topper and where the magnet is, take a deep breath! This is fixable! It’s all good! When you go to resin the magnet in just add resin where it is broken and sothe it out with either a popsicle stick, paint brush (this will wreck it), I use a resin safe silicone tipped pointy tool. You don’t neeeeeed one but it can be helpful!
Using the long round barreled nail drill tip that should fit PERFECTLY in the magnet hole, gently sand down the inside of the magnet hole and make it a smidge wider so the magnet fits in easily! SOME TOPPERS will need some adjustment on the holes! Sometimes they need to be adjusted further inward or down. You can line them up with your existing toppers and see where the magnets need to be. I only have wanda, so I can only test wanda.
**Issues with magnet placement. Use the nail drill to go further inward or down. Remember you can hide your mistakes with uv resin. Place some magnets ontop of your existing toppers and lay the blank over it and see where you need to drill or head towards. Use a sharpie to mark where you need to drill! I am telling you the nail drill is the best tool for making toppers and worth every penny. (They are cheap, you can get them for $14.)
Lay your self healing cutting mat down infront of you, with wax paper on top of it. Place one blank and put something to weigh it down in the middle. Something small and flat like a paper weight. Take some existing toppers and place one magnet on the top side of your existing toppers.This step is to make sure the polarity of the magnets are correct so they will attack correctly. Put one dot of uv resin in the magnet hole. Pick up your magnet and slide it in the hole without loosing track of which side was up/down. You can always color on one side with a sharpie so you don’t loose track! Sometimes they can flip on you! If you are unsure just use your existing topper to magnetically pull it back out, wipe it off, try again. Cure for 30 seconds. Fille any weird edges with the largest sand paper grit looing nail drill tool.
Put a layer of modpodge down on your blank. It’s easy if you just did the magnet placement and go straight into the modpodge phase since it will stay in place without needing to touch the blank. You can use a paint brush to apply the modpodge (it will be ok if you wash it before it dries) I have found it is easier to just do the top of the topper and quickly lay down your design I like to hold down on the top most edges basically where the magnets are for about 8 seconds and then the bridge of the nose. Then gently around the rest of the edges. I put something heavy on top of it at this point but you MUST PUT WAX PAPER OVER THE TOP AND BOTTOM! If you don’t, your design will peel up!
After you let it sit for 10-15 minutes take it out, let it dry in the air on its own! Do not pull the wax paper off!! It must be dry and fall off on its own! If you choose to not do the weighted method you might get buckling. After it is free from the wax paper you can use your paint brush to make a very light layer over your design to waterproof it! You need to do this so the resin doesn’t leave weird splotches. It will soak into the paper in some places and not others. Let it dry again. (Basically making toppers is done in waves. Go do a load of laundry now….
It is now the resin phase! Have your cutting matt, wax paper, and toppers laid on top. I have found the best way to do this is to get some magnets (I use larger ones not for toppers) and I magnetically attach the bottom of the mat so the toppers lay 100% flat. I just started doing this so it’s not necessary but it sure makes it easy! Use a squish bottle of uv resin and you want to get as much as you can without it spilling over the edge of the topper! It’s like when you have a glass of water and you can fill more water than the glass can hold and it domes at the top! If you have any bubbles in the resin you will need to use a lighter to heat them up and pop them. You can try to hunt them down and pop with a tooth pick but the lighter is easier. Make sure your application of resin is even. If it is not you will have weird lumpy areas like a mountain and a valley. I use the silicon tipped tool to move resin if needed.
Cure under your nail lamp for 90 seconds. During this time you can prep the next toppers you need to do, or sand down ones you already cured. Sometimes I do 2 rounds of 90 seconds but I sometimes like to really make sure it’s set! It should not be sticky at all, it will be fully cured.
Congratulations you have made it to the final step! You will use the large sandpaper looking nail drill tip to get any weird edges on the inside and outside of the toppers from resin. Sometimes you have spill over and you can fix it you just need to sand it longer. Sanding will make a mess. Wear an apron or something to catch it all. A mask can be worn if you wish. Be careful not to sand to much! It’s best to make long strokes, not one singular stroke. If your toppers have a nose piece that is shapey using a smaller nail drill tip to get in the cracks is recommended.
You are done! Now do that over and over again! It gets easier every time you do it!
I have compiled a list of the items I use and buy off amazon in another post. Head over to that post to get the same items. I try to get cheap and quality. I am a disabled artist, therefore I am on a budget. I hope this guide helped you out!