Secrets of Glitter

Not long ago, I sent my Mom a card with a stamped and flocked flower on it, and she called me minutes after receiving it to ask how I added the flocking.  Unfortunately, I didn’t tale pictures to show you all, but it did get me thinking – what is the best way to add flocking or glitter to a card or embellishment?  Is there a low-cost, low fuss way to do it?  How important is technique?

So I did a series of tests using solid stamp with a little bit of detail.  In the end I made two Happy Birthday Cards to show off the results.  Each card is made using the same stamps, and some coloured glitter I bought at Michael’s.

Images copyright Stampin' Up!

Images copyright Stampin' Up!

The idea is, to stamp the image with a “sticky” ink, then add the flocking or glitter afterwards.  For my tests, I tried:

  1. Using a two-way glue pen to “ink” the image;
  2. My Martha Stewart Glue Pad; and
  3. Heat and Stick Powder from Stampin’ Up.

Here’s what I found:

  1. Using a two-way glue pen to “ink” a stamp doesn’t really work.  The glue dries too fast to transfer to paper when you stamp the image.  As a result, glitter doesn’t stick to the page very well.  This is too bad, because the two-way glue pen would have been the ultimate in cheap and easy if it had worked.  I’ll stick to using my glue pen for adding glitter details after the image had been stamped.
  2. My Martha Stewart Glue Pad works pretty well.  I “inked” the stamp in the glue pad, stamped the image, then added glitter.  After adding glitter, you have to wait for the glue to dry before touching the image, or the glitter will flake off, but other than that, it adheres pretty well.  There are a couple of drawbacks though, the glue pad dries out pretty quickly – you have to add more glue to the glue pad every time you use it.  And, it is hard to clean the glue off of your stamp once you are done.  I find I really had to scrub to get my stamp clean.
  3. The Heat and Stick powder was the most fuss, but also gave the best results.  To use Heat-and-Stick, you need to stamp your image with a Versamark pad, then apply Heat-and-Stick powder, then melt it with your heat gun, then apply glitter, then set the glitter by using the heat gun again.  Lots of work, but worth it if you have the patience.  This gave me the cleanest image, and the best glitter adhesion.

Here is a close up of the heat and stick card using yellow glitter, and heat-and-stick powder using blue glitter.  Check the tip below to read how I combined the heat-and-stick with a dye-based ink (i.e. Classic Ink for you SU! aficionados) to give some extra pop to the colours.

Images Copyright Stampin' Up!

Images copyright Stampin' Up!

And, because I know someone will ask, I used a wheel stamp to create the background image.  I just inked it up on an ink pad that matched my cardstock!  I love creating “designer” paper to match my projects.

Tip – Using Heat-and-Stick powder has one additional advantage.  After “inking” my stamp with my VersaMark pad, and before stamping it on my paper, I inked it again using a blue ink pad that matched my glitter.  This added a bit more depth to the colour of the glitter on the finished product.  I wouldn’t want to do this with the glue pad though, as it would be really messy to get sticky glue all over my good ink pads.

Tell me what you think in the comment section – how to you apply glitter and flocking to your projects?

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