How to Get Glitter to Suspend in Your Resin Pieces
Tired of your glitter sinking straight to the bottom of your resin molds? We feel that. Glitter is a gorgeous addition to resin jewelry and figurines, but it doesn’t stay put easily. Rather than giving up on the glam, here are a few different methods for making glitter behave itself.
Monitor the Temperature
Leaving your resin molds to set in a space with optimal temperatures is a smart tip to follow regardless of whether or not you are using glitter to make your creations. Resin is finicky and temperature-sensitive which makes it extra tricky. The material is happiest when it’s allowed to set in a warm area of at least 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Even if you leave it in a place with a cooler climate, you can still pamper your resin and give it what it needs as it sets. Just allow your molds to set and dry in the warmest room in your home!
Cool or cold resin takes forever to set, and that time between pouring and setting gives the glitter more time to sink to the bottom. The point is that you should never try to add glitter when you can’t guarantee a constant 70-degree temperature!
Wait a Minute
The mistake most resin crafters make is that they add their glitter right away to the resin mixture. In theory, it makes sense: it’s easier to add glitter and stir it to distribute when the resin is still entirely liquid and easily malleable. Unfortunately, that’s partially why it sinks to the bottom.
There’s nothing for the glitter to hold onto, so to speak. As lightweight as glitter seems, it’s heavier than the resin. Without some kind of anchor or impediment keeping it suspended, it all sinks straight down to the bottom of the mold. If you want your glitter to be evenly mixed throughout the resin, you need to not use a “heavy” glitter. Instead opt for a fine, micro-glitter like Stampendous micro-glitter or something similar.
Many experienced crafters also recommend that you wait before adding glitter to the resin. Instead of adding your glitter right away, try waiting until your resin starts to gel! This is when the resin is not liquid, but it’s not quite solid either. To attempt this method, cast your resin and then wait until the resin is semi-solid — sticky and tacky but not dry. For some resins this can take anywhere from 30-45 minutes, for others it can take 4-6 hours — it all depends on the resin you use!
When your resin hits its gel-like stage, that’s the sweet spot for adding your glitter! Some crafters leave the glitter alone, trusting that it will sink at a more gradual pace that allows it to spread out. Others choose to mix the glitter into the semi-set resin. Be careful with this method, and use a small utensil and gentle stirring motions. In order to avoid air bubbles remember to smooth out the resin in the mold once you finish.
Experiment with the Sandwich Method
The “Sandwich Method” can also help you to successfully suspend glitter in resin. Much like building a sandwich, this method involves layering semi-set resin with glitter in 4-6 hour intervals.
With this method, you only fill your mold a quarter to halfway full upon your first pour. Wait until the resin gels and then return to the mold and add glitter to the semi-set resin. Again, you can either leave the glitter alone to sink at its own rate, or you can stir the resin a bit. At this point, you wait another couple of hours as this new layer sets and then return to add more glitter. Continue until your mold is full!
Try a Mix of Glitter
Using a mix of different glitters from varying brands may help you, as well. For example, we love Stampendous’ Micro Glitter and have personally found it to be one of the only glitters we can count on not to sink.
No matter which glitter you choose, experiment with different brands, textures, and sizes to find what works best for your project! Make sure to play around with each different type of glitter using your preferred pouring method to make sure the glitter plays nice with your resin craft.
Consider Pigmented Makeup
Still not having any luck with glitter? Why not get rid of it altogether? Besides, that stuff is the herpes of the crafting world. It gets everywhere and it’s hard to get rid of!
Innovative crafters have discovered that heavily pigmented makeup can do the same thing with a fraction of the mess. You also have a variety of color options to choose from which isn’t always the case with real glitter.
Hesitant to use your best makeup on your craft? Super pigmented resin powders like Pearl Ex Powdered Pigments also work as a fantastic substitute. Resin pigment powders are super-fine and lightweight, which means they’re unlikely to sink but that may vary depending on the brand. Just like choosing the perfect brand of glitter, experiment with different pigment types and pouring/setting techniques. In some cases, you may be able to add pigment to the resin right after you pour it into the mold. Play around with an assortment of brands and colors to see what works best for your craft!
How do you get your glitter to remain suspended in resin? We’re dying to know your tips!
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How can I re create this look
That is quite a lovely effect! Using a photograph or digital print, make sure the image is waterproof. If necessary, apply a sealing coat using a solvent-based spray (any clear coat in a spray can you get from Home Depot or Walmart) so the image is waterproof. Once dry, you can pour a mixture of glitter and acrylic pouring medium over the photo or print. Spread it out with a plastering spatula or other spreading tool like a credit card you don’t use anymore. Let dry. That’s it!
oh..not acrylic paint but acrylic pouring medium..can I use acrylic paint?
Can I put glitter or confetti into resin that has been colored with acrylic paint?
You can definitely add things like glitter and confetti into resin that is water-based like the acrylic paint you are adding to it. But there is something I want to warn you about. Resin takes awhile to dry. While it is drying, color that is in the glitter, confetti or any other item you are embedding into it, may bleed it’s color into the resin. The result is that an area around the item will have the color, like a puddle embedded in the resin, and the item itself will turn white and lose its color. To counter this issue, you may want to seal the object.
For instance if you are embedding a rose petal, you can brush apply an acrylic gloss medium over it, letting it dry for at least a couple of days. Then when you embed it the rose petal will keep its color and not bleed out into the resin. It may not be possible to seal the confetti. I suggest trying an experiment with something you don’t care about to see how the resin dries with the items you wish to embed into it. Once it’s dry, then no more bleeding or issues should occur.
I saw your picture and it caught my eye because of the sparkle you managed to capture in the picture. Can you share how you took this picture and was able to display it’s sparkle? A large majority of my projects contain glitter and I am having a hard time shooting pictures to include in a catalog that shows off the glitter. Any tips would be greatly appreciated.
I’m glad you liked the article on my blog about using glitter. I did not write that article, but shared it. It is written by the company that makes the resin called Resin Obsession. I agree it is difficult to photograph sparkle. I use gold leaf frequently in my paintings, and it is also hard to photograph. I found that lighting your work from only one side will allow the glitter to sparkle (the tiny glitter particles get a highlight from the light, which also throws a shadow on the other side to make it look dimensional. Play around with lighting to get the look you want.
Hope this helps and good luck with your project!
These were very helpful tips for using gold in resin.
Can I put edible glitters in resin??
Hi Raheemah, I am sorry I do not know as I’ve never tried it. It sounds like a fun experiment. Give it a try and please add your findings to your comment once you find out. Thank you!
This was very helpful thanks!