New Glitter Ornament Tutorial

 This is my latest tutorial video that explains in detail my techniques for making sequined and glitter ornaments. 

Old Glitter Ornament Tutorial

 This is my old video about making glitter and sequin ornaments. The video quality is poor but the information is still good. 

About Glitter

I get so many questions regarding the glitter I use on my ornaments. Here is everything I know about glitter glue/paint.

Sometimes I use regular store bought glitter glue. Usually the clear iridescent kind when I want a white glittery background. Most of the time I make my own glitter glue that I like to call “glitter paint” using a mix of store bought glitter glue or regular clear glue and loose glitter.

My glitter paint is simple. I use fine grained loose glitter and mixed it with clear synthetic glue. Fine grained glitter works best. I purchased the clear synthetic glue in the school supply section at my local 100 yen shop in Japan. When I originally purchased the glue I didn’t know if it was going to work the way I wanted it to. I just saw that it was perfectly clear in the bottle and decided to try it. I mixed the glitter and glue together until I got a consistency I was happy with. If it has too much glue it will run down the sides of the ornament when drying and won’t give good coverage. If it has to much glitter, it will be of a chunky consistency and won’t lay smoothly on the foam. My best advice is to experiment until you get it right. You will need to use several layers for an opaque look.

When applying the glitter glue, put on a very thick layer (a few millimeters thick). It might look lumpy and uneven when wet but once it dried it becomes flat against the surface. Again, you’ll have to put on several layers if you don't want to see the underlying foam. It's also a good opportunity when layering to fill in those annoying gaps in the paint. I always use several coats.

I use two different types of glue for making my glitter paint. I mix fine grained loose glitter with either to make my glitter paint.
1. Clear synthetic glue, purchased in Japan.
2. Glitter Glue by Sulyn Industries that I purchased at Hobby Lobby many years ago. On the glitter glue label is says “sticks to craft foam, paper and wood”.

Glitter glue/paint takes a long time to dry. Do not use a hair dryer to dry the glue. Just be patient and let the glue dry naturally. In my experience if you use a hair dryer the glitter will loose it’s sparkle.

Here is an Email I received from one of my readers. She wasn’t having any success with my technique so she tried something different.

Hi Alyx, 
I wrote to you before because I was having trouble painting on my glitter with the glitter glue.  I tried all kinds of glue. Nothing worked for me.  So I got out my Liquitex gloss medium and varnish that I use with my acrylic paints.
I did it two ways and both ways worked wonderfully.  The first way was I mixed about a tsp of gloss medium and added the fine glitter.  I mixed it up and it was cloudy and then poured a little more and stirred.  Then I brushed, dabbed on the glitter and then used my hair dryer and set it.  The second way I brushed on the medium and sprinkled on the glitter.  Dusted it off and then dabbed on a loaded brush and pressed lightly onto the glitter.  Then I sprinkled on more glitter and dusted off the extra.  I then used my hair dryer again.  The glitter does not lose its shine.  Let dry 24 hours to cure completely.  You can buy liquitex gloss medium and varnish anywhere where they sell paint and artist supplies. 
Sincerely, Arilla


Sequins and Seed Beads

I prefer to use 5 mm slightly cupped metallic sequins on my ornaments. However, this is just a personal preference and there is no reason why you can't use a larger size, flat or a different finish, such as satin or matte. Part of the joy of making these ornaments is the experimentation and finding what works for you. 

It’s important to use a seed bead when you are pinning sequins to your ornament if the head of your pins are smaller than the hole in the sequin. The bead prevents the sequin from falling off the end of the pin and also it gives texture to your ornament. If the head of your pins are larger than the hole in your sequins then you don’t have to use a bead.

It is also important to use glue on the end of the pins before pushing them into the foam. The glue helps prevent the pins from coming loose and falling out.

See the FAQ page for more tips.