What is Fimo Nail Art?

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  • Written By: Mandi R. Hall
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 16 August 2019
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Fimo nail art is a type of nail design made from moldable polymer clay. Roughly one-quarter inch (6.35mm) in diameter per individual design, these miniature works of art come in many shapes. Though Fimo and its parent company, Staedtler, don’t actually market Fimo nail art products, their clay has become quite popular amongst groups of accessory-makers and nail designers. The clay itself comes in an array of sizes, colors, and grain quality, and is known to bake to the desired firmness used for nail art.

To make the Fimo fingernail art, small logs called canes are produced with an image displayed throughout the center of the log. The logs are typically round with a colorful design in the middle, though logs of all sorts of shapes do exists. Flowers, for example, come from a log with grooved edges.

A cane worker then slices the logs, using an extremely sharp razor, into nearly paper-thin pieces of art, displaying the once three-dimensional design as a two-dimensional work of nail art. As each log is roughly 2 inches (5cm) in length, it should product roughly 125 sliced nail designs, depending on how thick the cutter razors them. The clay product can then be put onto a nail and glued into place using a nail adhesive. Such products are recommended for artificial nails over real nails.


Fimo clay products are used by artists including sculptors, painters, jewelry makers, as well as hobbyists, and crafters worldwide. While such polymer clay has long been used to create small sculptures and accessories, Fimo nail art has been utilized since at least the early 21st century. There are many online tutorials that can teach consumers how to make their own canes, though most nail designers and manicurists choose to buy the canes pre-designed.

While it’s fun for adults and children alike to use these small accessories, children should be supervised. Not only can the tiny pieces of art easily be swallowed, but the razors used to cut the nail art canes should be safely out of a child’s reach. It should also be noted that like any nail art, such decals have the chance of falling off of the nails, cracking, or breaking.

Popular Fimo nail art designs include flowers, sea creatures, fruit, butterflies, initials, and colorful shapes. Holiday nail art decals are also popular, as Fimo nail art can be made to resemble Christmas trees, candy canes or spooky Halloween themed shapes such as black cats or eyeballs. Though Fimo nail art products can be purchase pre-shaped and pre-painted by crafters and cane workers, users can also paint the clay nail art with acrylic paint.


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Post 2

@raynbow- My sister had Fimo nail art done on her natural nails for her wedding, and it looked great. So yes, it can be done on real nails. The problem is that the nail adhesive used to adhere the art to the nails can be damaging. If you are willing to accept that risk, then you will be able to enjoy Fimo nail art on your natural nails.

Post 1

I have a friend who had her nails done with Fimo nail art for a special occasion. I thought that it looked really nice, and would like to have it done for a formal dance that I have coming up this year. The difference between me and my friend is that she had acrylic nails while my own natural nails are quite long. Is it possible to have Fimo nail art done on natural nails, or does it not work as well on them?

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