Monday, February 27, 2012

How to Use Glitter – Glitter 101

This post is all about the basics, after all, what isn’t better without glitter on it? (The carpet doesn’t count!)  Just about everything is much more awesome with glitter, but it’s easy to forget that there is more than one type of glitter out there.  I’m going to talk about different types of glitter, as well as best practices for how to use glitter.  (Yes I can already feel myself succumbing to corporate America.  “best practices!?”  le sigh…)

How to Use Glitter

The main type of glitter is loose glitter.  This is the most common, and many brands carry some collection of glitter in their craft repertoire.  Similar to this is PK Glitz brand glitter, which is a well-renowned micro-glitter.  This just means that the pieces of glitter are very fine and excellent for use in detail work.  The photo on the left is just regular glitter, the photo on the right is PK Glitz micro-glitter.

Glitter 001   PK Glitz

Another type of glitter is called German glass.  This glitter is actually made of glass and is very high quality, no dollar store stuff here.  Meyer Imports is one of the most well known companies to carry this, just be prepared to shell out some $ for it. 

Meyer Imports German Glass Glitter

Vintage leaf glitter is a style that resembles flakes or shards, kind of like fish food, but…ooh shiny!  It is not quite as shimmery as regular glitter, but is definitely very unique looking on projects.

Martha Stewart Vintage Leaf GlitterGlitter 003

Tinsel glitter is more like lines, than the traditional flecks of regular glitter or the flakes of vintage leaf.  Think of the tinsel on a Christmas tree garland; very metallic looking.

Martha Stewart Tinsel Glitter                       Glitter 004

Flocking with glitter is just that – flocking powder (that fuzzy soft stuff, I did a post on it not too long ago, check that out for ideas on How to Use Flocking Powder) + glitter.  Sparkle N Soft is a brand that has several colors.

Sparkle N Soft

These are the main types of glitter, and they can be applied with several types of glue.  I happen to be a huge fan of Ranger Inkssentials Glossy Accents.  If you don’t have a bottle of this stuff in your craft supplies you are seriously missing out.  It is clear and dries quickly, with a fine applicator tip for precision.

Glossy Accents

Many people avoid using glitter because it is messy, and inconvenient.  The easiest way to apply is to keep glitter in Tupperware and use a spoon to apply to your project.  Unfortunately if you have a lot of different colors of glitter, this may not be the best solution as this will eventually start to take up lots of space.  Another common method is to apply the glitter to your project over a piece of paper, then fold the paper and pour the remainder back into the original container.  Some crafters choose to use coffee filters instead of paper.  If all of this sounds like too much of a hassle, don’t worry – there’s more options to get that shimmery look to your projects!

Glitter Spoon

In addition to loose glitter, there are several other mediums it comes in.  Hands down my favorite is the famous Stickles, another wonderful Ranger product.  Stickles is a glitter glue – but not just any glitter glue.  It has a higher concentration of glitter to glue, so you use less and your projects are more concentrated.  Stickles currently has 4 lines: (regular) Stickles, (Tim Holtz) Distress Stickles, Ice Stickles, and (Suze Weinberg) Glitz Stickles.

Stickles  Distress Stickles
On the left: regular Stickles     On the right: ‘Designer Series’ Tim Holtz Distress Stickles

Ice Stickles  Glitz Stickles

On the left: Ice Stickles     On the right:  ‘Designer Series’ Suze Weinberg Glitz Stickles
Regular Stickles have very bright glitter, and I use them all. the. time.  I mean, on almost everything.  They are the perfect addition to pretty much anything you can think of.  Tim’s Distress Stickles are part of the ‘designer series’, and were created to coordinate with his famous Distress Inks.  The glitter in these are more chunky, and vintage looking with a much more muted tone than the original Stickles.  If glitter could be masculine, the Distress Stickles are definitely it.  The Ice Stickles are contained in larger bottles (if anyone knows why, please let me know, this drives me crazy) and have large chunks of holographic glitter pieces in them.  This year Ranger has released 12 new colors that are from the original Stickles line to be introduced with the Ice Stickles line.  Last but not least is another set of ‘designer series’, which feature another Ranger artist, Suze Weinberg.  Her 6 Stickles are mostly one tone containing similar colors within that tone.

Another great option for adding glitter is to use it in your embossing powder.  Zing! is a company that has some embossing powders that have glitter in them, but the original messiness of regular glitter still applies.  For a tutorial on How to Use Embossing Powder, click on the link.

Zing Powders

Tattered Angels Glimmer Mists are a great way to get an all-over faint glittery look.  They come in tons of colors and are a lot of fun to work with. 

Glimmer Mists

Microbeads are not actually a glitter but can be applied with the same concept.  I did a post on How to Use Martha Stewart Microbeads which may be helpful.

Martha Stewart Microbeads

Lastly, you could always just purchase papers, ribbons, and embellishments with glitter already on them.  But where’s the fun in that!? Winking smile  Let me know if I’ve forgotten any glitter types or if you have any questions on how to use it.  Congratulations if you’ve made it to the end, it’s hard not to get distracted…ooh shiny!!

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