The Glitter Guide
Overwhelmed by our massive selection of glitter? This guide will help you choose the right glitter for your project and apply it correctly.
Ultra-Fine (in your face)
Ultra-fine glitter is like fairy dust. Throw it up into the air and it becomes a sparkling haze that floats slowly down to the ground, dancing and shimmering while you find yourself frozen in pure admiration of the spectacle. It is the most beautiful and exquisite of all the glitters. Ultra-fine glitter is available in varieties nearly invisible until it hits the light (opalescent glitter), or it can have a solid opaque color and reflect back an entirely different color when it sparkles (crystalina glitter). You’ll find ultra-fine glitter in makeup, jewelry, paint, nail polish, and fashion accessories. Speaking of makeup, you can browse our list of skin safe cosmetic glitter.
Be very careful when applying ultra-fine glitter because if this stuff goes flying, you’ll have a real task chasing down every last fleck of it. Ultra-fine is excellent for up close and personal applications, where it can be admired in all it’s dazzling detail. The tiny sparkle of ultra-fine is so delicate, that from across the room, you may not notice it at all. A little goes a long way in terms of coverage, so even though it carries a higher price than its less refined counterparts, it’s worth it.
|Ultra-Fine Glitter Specs|
Extra-Fine (at arms length)
Extra-fine glitter is available in a wide variety of colors and has excellent sparkle and coverage. It can be difficult to distinguish from ultra-fine at times. One way to tell them apart is to look at the price; extra-fine is the more economical option. It has less ‘magic’ than ultra-fine, but still carries a beautiful delicate sparkle to any surface.
The ideal application for extra-fine is one that demands a faceted shimmer without overwhelming the eye. You will find this glitter all over popular fashion accessories like belts, shoes, handbags, headbands, bracelets, hair clips, etc.
|Extra-Fine Glitter Specs|
Fine (from across the table)
Fine glitter is available in a wide variety of colors, has good sparkle, is easy to work with, gives good coverage, is economical and is the most popular size.
Fine glitter is the classic, most popular cut of glitter. It’s great coverage, wide color selection, ease of use and cleanup make it the ideal glitter for promotional items, party decorations, arts & crafts, posters, school projects and more. This glitter is easier to clean up than extra-fine and ultra-fine, but lacks the beauty and detail of their sparkles. A favorite choice for moms, teachers, and students.
|Fine Glitter Specs|
|Flake Shapes||Hexagon, Circle, Random-Cut|
Medium (from across the room)
Medium glitter is a popular choice for theatre props, costumes, performances and other applications where the glitter will be seen up to about 10 feet away. An excellent glitter to use in tandem with extra-large glitter to fill in gaps. Medium glitter only comes in a limited set of colors, but the price is low and cleanup is a snap.
|Medium Glitter Specs|
|Flake Shapes||Hexagon, Square|
Large (from across the street)
Large glitter is really quite beautiful when viewed from more than 10 feet away. It has the sparkle of reflected light on water. This glitter is an excellent choice for large venue performances, large scale coverage, parades, floats, business advertising, street signs, etc. It only comes in a limited color variety but our favorite is the hex-flake ice blue, which only seems to enhance it’s water-like feel. The glitter has great visibility and will catch anyone’s eye from a distance.
|Large Glitter Specs|
|Flake Shapes||Hexagon, Square, Heart, Circle, Donut, Moon|
Extra-Large (to infinity and beyond)
Extra large glitter is 1/4" squares that look like paper-thin mirrors. When carefully applied one-by-one, the effects one can achieve are marvelous. When scattered randomly over a flat surface, the effect is equally dazzling at distances greater than 20 feet. A favorite of event planners for use as confetti. Suitable for indoor or outdoor applications. Cleanup is the easiest of all the glitters since the flakes are easily swept up or vacuumed. Pair it with some medium or fine flake glitter of the same color to fill in the gaps between flakes for superb coverage.
|Extra-Large Glitter Specs|
Squeeze the glue onto the desired area, then dump the glitter onto the wet glue. You probably did this as a kid, its just that easy. We like to use Aileen’s Tacky Glue because its easy to squeeze and doesn’t drip like the Elmer’s variety does. However, you aren’t limited to using just white glue. Try using leather glue, hot glue, a glue stick, or even rubber cement.
It’s a simple concept: mix the glitter into the sealer, and brush it on. The higher the glitter-to-sealer ratio, the better the coverage and shimmer will be. This method will mute the sparkle a bit, but you will never have to worry about your glitter falling off or leaving a trail of sparkle behind. Excellent choice for items that will be handled a lot (like fashion accessories) and areas that will be outside. We like Mod Podge Gloss and Envirotex Litefor this method. Don’t freak out when Mod Podge looks milky as you stir in the glitter… it dries clear!
Spray glues like 3M Super 77 work well for almost any surface. Lay down some paper under the object to catch the overspray. Build up an even, thin layer of glue. Throw out the paper. Using a new piece of paper underneath, dump glitter onto the glued areas. Simply funnel the excess glitter back into the jar and re-apply until the desired coverage has been obtained. Try using the flat side of a plastic bottle cap to burnish down the flakes that aren’t laying flat.
To Seal or not to Seal?
You may want to cover you newly glittered area with a sealer to keep the glitter from rubbing off. no matter what you use, sealing your glitter will detract from the sparkle to some degree. Choose a good sealer and minimize the damage to something barely noticable. If you are going to seal the glitter, use a very clear and glossy spray like Krylon Triple Thick Glaze, or a crystal clear liquid like Envirotex Lite. Both of these sealers will protect your glitter indoors and outdoors. Envirotex tends to yellow in time when exposed to sunlight. Apply it generously, but just enough to make the glitter look wet.