From card making to furniture restoration, glitter is perfect for any number of crafts… Scrapbookers adore the stuff for its ability to make anything pop out. And children everywhere light up whenever glitter is involved. Really, nearly any craft, from floral projects to candle making, can take a layer of glitter. Its sparkle and shine makes it a blessing to any crafter. However, like any material, successful glitter crafting requires a bit of know-how. This article covers what you need to know about craft glitter. It describes the different types of loose glitter. Application tips, including which glues to use, are also included.
Types of Glitter
All glitters are not created equal. The first distinction is the material: glitter is generally made from plastic or metal, or a combination of the two, such as a polyester glitter with a metal core. There are exceptions to the plastic-or-glass rule; for instance, Martha Stewart is known to use vintage glass glitter, which is very pricey but adds an old-fashioned touch. In general, plastic glitters are chunkier, and provide more texture, while metal glitters provide more sheen.
Another important characteristic to keep in mind is the size of the glitter particles. Larger particles create a rougher surface.
Micro-fine glitter is best for body application including nail polish. It’s also wonderful for adding a subtle shine that preserves the underlying color. Micro-fine particles reflect less light but give a more consistent appearance.
Fine glitter is twice the size of micro-fine glitter. Because it’s a bit larger, this glitter can turn out smooth or textured depending on how you use it. Both micro-fine and fine glitter look a bit like fairy dust. Paper projects, canvas art, and fabric collages are excellent applications for micro-fine and fine glitter.
Regular craft glitter is what kindergarten classes use. Generally made of plastic, low-grade craft glitter creates a rougher looking surface with more reflection and less color intensity. This kind of glitter is perfect for kids’ projects. Sometimes this is also referred to as “chunky” glitter.
Large glitter is very choppy and quite reflective. As it looks like sequins or confetti, people use large glitter when they’re looking to highlight the particles themselves.
Glitter Application Tips
Many people use a spoon to sprinkle glitter over whatever craft project they hope to cover. While this method works, it’s much easier to buy or create a glitter applicator. To make one yourself, buy a plastic bottle with a very thin, tapering top. To provide a clearer image, these are the types of bottles used to apply hair dye. Leave a little air in the bottle; don’t fill it up all the way. This way, you can use the air to push the glitter out at the rate you choose. You can cut the size of the bottle’s opening if you like; the larger the “mouth” of the applicator, the more glitter that will come out.
Glues for Glitter
Any water-soluble glue will work when applying glitter. You can water it down, mix in the glitter and paint or spray it onto your surface. Craft stores often sell spray-on glue, which is very easy to apply. There are also special glues for applying glitter to cloth. However, keep in mind that different glues dry differently. For this reason, whenever you’re using a new glue, you should test it first. This will show you whether the glue will dry to the color and hardness you want. My favorite glitter application product is Judikins Diamond Glaze, which dries completely clear and provides a durable, hard surface.
To create a protective layer for your craft, so that the glitter doesn’t flake off later, add another layer of protective glue. Diamond Glaze works especially well for this purpose. Some people even use furniture lacquer to finish their products. Verathane is a good lacquer brand for protecting glitter because it dries clear and doesn’t turn yellow.
Just like crows, people are attracted to shiny objects. Everyone loves glitter because it is shiny; that’s why people love crafts with glitter. And because glitter makes everything brighter and more colorful, it is a mood-lifter. So, the next time life has you in the dumps, grab some craft glitter and get creative.