Tips and Ideas to Use Glitter for Paper Crafts

Updated on May 15, 2019
linfcor profile image

Professional scrapbook artist, paper crafter, and author, I have taught people how to make family memories into legacies for 20 years.

What Do I Need to Know About Loose Glitter?

I have—on more than one occasion—been called the glitter queen. I just love to add bling to almost every project imaginable. Add a touch of glitter to a simple project and it will exude some personality.

So many colors of glitter exist that you will never have them all! Start with the ones you really love and add others to your collection as you find them along your journey. The varieties will amaze you and create new options for your projects.

  • Neon glitter
  • Glow-in-the-dark glitter
  • Matte glitter
  • Hologram glitter
  • Transparent glitter

Most companies that sell loose glitter have both a color chart and a size chart so that you can select the right glitter for your project. You can buy loose glitter in small containers or sets of containers; the latter is more economical.

What Are the Different Types Of Glitter?

  • Ultra Fine: This glitter will float in the air if you throw it. It is like fairy dust. There is an opalescent ultra fine that is nearly invisible until it hits the light. Crystalina ultra fine is opaque glitter that reflects color in a different way. You have to get up close and personal to see this glitter. This is the type of glitter used on nails, so you should be able to find it almost anywhere
  • Extra Fine: This is available in a wide range of colors and has excellent coverage. It carries a beautiful delicate sparkle. It can have a similar shine and coverage, but it's available at a lower price than the ultrafine glitter.
  • Fine: Probably the most used of all the glitters. It covers well, has plenty of shine, and is very economical. It is easier to clean up than the ultra-fine and fine glitters. But it has less glitz than the ultra fine and the fine.
  • Medium: This glitter is meant to be seen from a farther distance. It's available in a limited range of colors, but the price point on this glitter is very good.
  • Large: Large glitter is not generally used in paper applications. It would be used more on floats than on pages.

Types of Glues for Loose Glitter

  • Clear or Tacky Glue: You probably have what you need in your stash.
  • Spray Glues: Anything that dries clear will work. There is also a specific glitter glue spray. Whatever you use, always remember to use spray glues in a well-ventilated area.
  • White Glue or Modge Podge: Most common glue for glittering
  • Double-Sided Tape: Comes in many sizes

Glitter ribbon made with foam tape. This gives new dimension to your products
Glitter ribbon made with foam tape. This gives new dimension to your products

Make Your Own Glitter Ribbons

It is so easy to make your own glitter ribbons to use on your greeting cards, scrapbook pages, and tags.

What You'll Need

  • Double-Sided Tape: Use them in the width of your choice.
  • White Cardstock
  • Very Fine Glitter: Any color will do.

Instructions

  1. Tape strips of the double sided tape to the card stock in the length of your choice.
  2. Peel back the top strip of the double-sided tape.
  3. Apply the glitter, completely covering the tape.
  4. Work (burnish) the glitter into the tape.
  5. Brush any loose particles of glitter off the ribbon (tape).
  6. Cut the strips of ribbon.

Glitter Clean Up Tip

Always use glitter in an area that makes clean up easy. Try to avoid using glitter over carpeted floors. Craft with glitter over a table or tray where you can salvage leftovers. Try doing your glittering in an area where clean up will be easier

Applying Glitter With Double-Sided Tape

Score tape or any double-sided tape is the perfect way to add a line of glitter to a greeting card or scrapbook page.

  • Place a large sheet of scrap paper on your work surface.
  • Place your project on top of the scrap paper.
  • Apply the double-sided tape by removing one side and placing on the area you want to glitter.
  • Remove the other side of the tape.
  • Apply the very fine glitter across the tape.
  • Tape or brush the excess glitter away.
  • Fold the scrap paper over the taped area and rub it in with your fingers.
  • Take a bone folder and burnish it some more.

Glitter Lace Card Base

Protect Your Hands

Apply baby powder to your hands before using glitter, and it will not stick to you!

Stamp With Glitter

Want to have a little fun with your acrylic stamps? Here is a fun technique that adds some bling to your paper crafts

What You'll Need

  • Cardstock
  • Acrylic stamps
  • Glue
  • Glitter

Instructions

  1. Mount the acrylic stamp onto a block.
  2. Rather than using ink, use glue.
  3. Stamp the paper with the stamp.
  4. Sprinkle the stamped image with glitter. Be sure to cover the entire stamped image.
  5. Allow the image to dry.
  6. Note: Wash the acrylic stamp right away in warm water so that the glue does not dry on the stamp.

Glitter Embossing Tip

You can use Ranger Sticky Embossing Powder to adhere glitter. You stamp with embossing ink, then add the embossing powder. Heat the stamped image with a heat tool. Add the glitter immediately and wipe away with your fingers.

Sealing Your Glitter Projects

Once you apply your glitter, there will be some loose glitter on your projects. Sealing your glitter will make it permanent. It is easy to do, and you will be pleased with the results.

You can use a little decoupage medium or some white glue mixed with a little water. Avoid any "matte " mediums as it will tend to dull the glitter. Use a satin or glossy medium. Two coats will make a permanent seal.

Cleaning Up The Glitter Tip

Always vacuum and dust the areas where you will be using glitter. Lint rollers and Swiffer dry dusters work really well to get those stray pieces from migrating.

What Is Distress Glitter?

Distress glitter is a little different than regular glitter. It has a more vintage mica look, and is manufactured by Tim Holtz/Ranger. The line coordinates with the colors of the stain, inks, and paints. It is considered a coarse glitter that really reflects the light. As of now, it comes in 24 colors.

  • The best thing about this glitter is that you can add ink on top of the glitter!
  • It works well on every type of paper, including watercolor paper. It is very effective on darker color papers.
  • You can use it on packaging plastic. The light will shine through the glitter and the plastic.

You can use Modge Podge, Glossy Accents, or any liquid glue of your choice. If you ink the project before applying the glitter, the glue will react with the ink and intensify the ink color!

More Distress Glitter Tips

  • Use a cupcake liner or a coffee filter under your project to collect and save the excess product.
  • Coat the project liberally with the glue.
  • Use tweezers to pick up the project to move it to a drying area if it is small.
  • If you use the same ink to pre ink your project before glittering it, you will get more vibrant color and sparkle.
  • It is better to use a wet adhesive for this product rather than an adhesive sheet. The glitter will attach better and reflect more light.
  • You can allow your glittered project to air dry or use a heat tool to dry it.

Stenciling With Glitter

It is so easy to get a beautiful stencil with very fine glitter and a double-sided adhesive page.

Supplies

  • Double-sided adhesive strip. Stick It is my personal choice
  • Very fine glitter: The finer, the better
  • Some painters tape or washi tape
  • A stencil: Pattern stencils work best
  • A soft brush

Directions

  1. Place the adhesive paper on either a craft mat or a large sheet of card stock
  2. Remove the top of the doubled sided sheet
  3. Place the stencil directly on the sheet. You can secure it with some low tack tape so that it does not shift
  4. Apply a liberal amount of glitter on top of the stencil.
  5. Brush the excess off
  6. Burnish ( rub ) on the glitter with your finger or a bone folder
  7. Rub lightly with a brush to get any excess off
  8. Put any remaining glitter back into your container
  9. Wash the stencil right away with dish detergent and water

You can now apply the stenciled piece to a piece of cardstock to make a greeting card. You can also cut it into strips for a card or a scrapbook layout.

Simple Way to Glitter a Die Cut

Take a die cut like a butterfly or any other die cut and place it face down on a craft mat. Cover the back of the die cut with packing tape. Flip the die cut over and sprinkle glitter over the front of the die cut. Tap the excess off. You now have a perfectly glittered die cut.

What Are Glitter Glues?

Glitter Glue has become very popular among paper crafters. It comes in both bottles and pens. Probably one of the best known and most popular glitter glues are the Stickles made by Ranger. Their particular line has 48 colors in an easy to use bottle with a fine tip. It comes in quite a few different finishes too—from fine to chunky. Best of all, it dries flat, and there is virtually no flaking. You want to be careful with it because if you use it too thick, it can take quite a while to dry.

  • There is another product along this line called Glitter Glaze. It comes with an applicator like nail polish. The product is acid-free and archival. It also dries quickly.
  • Elmer's also makes a glitter glue. It is used to make glitter slime, but also has application for paper crafts. It comes in bottles and pens.
  • Crayola makes a line of glitter pens as well!

Glitter Glue Tips

  • Before getting started with any glitter glue in bottles, make sure to remove the cap from the bottle and stir the glue with the tip of an old thin paintbrush. That way, the glitter will be disbursed evenly throughout the bottle.

Wet wipes act like magic to clean your craft surfaces.

Glitter markers are fun and easy to work with
Glitter markers are fun and easy to work with

Glitter Markers and Pens

There are many different types of glitter pens and markers. Most of them have very similar components. The glitter inside these markers are extra fine, otherwise, they could not come out. Most of them have a brush type tip, or they have a flat tip.

Some markers also have to be activated. The ink is generally stored in the larger base of the pen. The glitter is stored in the capsule closer to the brush part.

When you get the pen, you will need to prime the pen.

  • Unscrew the top part of the pen where the brush is.
  • Notice a ring around the base part of the pen. Remove the ring and re-screw the pieces back together.
  • Shake the pen well.
  • Gently push on the base of the pen.
  • Watch the ink coming toward the brush nib.
  • Shake the pen every time you go to use it.

The Wink of Stella Glitter Markers add a lot of shine. Although technically not true glitter pens, they do add some shimmer to your products.

Nuovo Glitter markers are true glitter. They come in 9 colors. These markers will react so you can use water with them to create a watercolor glitter effect.

Glitter Marker Tips

  • Follow the manufacturer's directions for priming your pens when you get them
  • Any pen that has glitter should be shaken every time that you use them

Keep Your Glitter Contained

Glitter will fly everywhere if given the chance. So when you are using it, it is wise to turn off the overhead fan! You will also want to be working your projects on something like the top of a cardboard box or a tray. That way you can salvage any glitter that may have strayed.

Coffee Filter Trick

When you are glittering a project, use a coffee filter under your project. You can collect the glitter once you are done. You can then use the coffee filter to get the glitter back into your container.

Make Your Own Glitter Paper

Use an adhesive spray on a strong piece of card stock. Spray the entire piece of card stock. Then cover it with glitter. Let it set overnight. You now have a piece of glitter paper that you can die cut or use any paper craft project!

Homemade glitter paper
Homemade glitter paper

Glitter Paper

Glitter paper is fun to work with. The glitter will not flake off, which is important if you want to do fine die cuts. Some of this paper has adhesive backing which makes it easy to work with. While it may be a little more expensive, it is easier and less messy to work with.

Tips for Using Glitter Paper

  • If you are using an electronic cutting machine. put the smooth side of the paper up. That way your blade will not get dull and your cut will be smoother
  • If you can, have one blade just for cutting glitter paper.
  • Glitter paper is heavier than standard card stock, so make sure to use a strong adhesive

Another Make Your Own Glitter Paper Idea

Glitter Paste

Glitter paste is literally what the name implies. It is a base of glue mixed with the right amount of glitter to create a thick paste. It can be applied to a stencil or used any way you wish.

Different companies call their products by different names, but they are all basically the same. The paste can be applied to paper and other surfaces. Check the manufacturer's directions for what surfaces can be used.

It can, for the most part, be applied to almost any dust-free surface. Two coats may be required for any non-absorbant surface or to get better overall coverage.

The most popular use of glitter paste is with stencils. The glitter paste is applied to a stencil that has been taped down to the surface that is being decorated with a palette knife. The stencil is them lifted straight off the surface. It is important to have a tub of water nearby so that the stencil can be placed into it. The stencil should be washed as soon as possible so that the water does not stick or dry on it.

At the end of your project day sweep the paste off of the sides or edge of the tub. Using a misting spray, spray the tub twice with water or add up to 5–8 drops of water, then mix the paste thoroughly, close the lid tightly and then tap the base of the tub gently on a hard surface to collect the paste in the bottom of the tub.

If you are putting the paste away for six months or so, perform the routine maintenance and add a teaspoon of water to the top of the tub, don’t mix this time, just close the lid tightly, and place the tub in a cool place. It will be fresh as a daisy when you return.


Questions & Answers

© 2018 Linda F Correa

We Would Love to Hear Your Ideas, Comments and Tips on Any Kind of Glitter

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    • linfcor profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda F Correa 

      4 months ago from Spring Hill Florida

      Thank you. We appreciate your visit

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