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Behind the Scenes : Glitter Painting

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If you are finding yourself dazzled and awestruck by the image above  - it's probably because it was painted in glitter! For the November issue of Living, we developed a new technique called glitter painting, based on the idea of paint-by-numbers, but using various colors of superfine glitter instead of paint. It was a new craft froniter, in a way, and involved weeks of experimentation and a general sparkliness on all surfaces on our craft room, including ourselves. The really new thing about this craft is that we worked with our web team to develop an application for converting your photographs to images that have simplified areas of color (like paint-by-numbers) so you can easily work with them to create paintings like the portrait of Martha's cat Vivaldi above. It's really simple to upload a jpeg and convert it, print out your image, and paint it with a glitter-and-glue technique that isn't that different from what you learned in elementary school. Below you can see how we mixed glitter colors just like paint. The full instructions are here, as well as a video shows you how simple it really is. We hope you try it out and email us images of your results!


Comments (15)

  • I love this project, thank you! I've uploaded one photo but I haven't been able to purchase the glitter and glue yet (it is sold out online). I can't wait to print the images and glitter all my dogs and cats :)

  • What a cool idea.

  • AuntChristine, the glitter and glue is also available at Michaels. Good luck!

  • Yeah! This is brilliant. You crafty people make me feel like I could actually do this!!

  • There is a glittered painting (by artist Burton Morris) of the ruby slippers from the Wizard of Oz that has been hanging in The Galleria Mall here in Pittsburgh for years. It's a great technique, but it's not new...though I suppose this is more like the sand painting kits from the 60's as Morris's painting only has the slippers themselves glittered and this is all over.

  • What a great project! Thank you

  • Oooooowwww, what fun way to use glitter. I love glitter!

  • Hi,

    I love this!
    I came here often to find some new ideas, thank you!


  • You could do this on a floorcloth too. What a blast! Get a prepared blank heavyweight (to support all that glue and glitter) floorcloth from Canvasworks, lay out your design, apply glue and sprinkle away. When everything is well dried, shake off the excess glitter and coat everything with 3 coats of water based polyurethane. Now you can walk all over your sparkling creation!

  • I was wondering if anyone has any ideas on how to "seal" these so that glitter doesn't fall off in time? Or so that they are a little sturdier for mailing?

  • Not sure it will work on this but when I do glitter projects I finish it off with hairspray. It sets the glitter.

  • I'm looking for "Jasper" glitter color for Christmas balls. I can't find this color. Is it still made?. Where can it be purchased?
    Thanks Sharyn

  • I finally saw the episode last night (I tivo'd it). I LOVE the poinsettia!! Beautifully done.

  • I love this project! Does anyone know how to resize the uploaded photo? I would like to print out the photo from the site in 8x10 size instead of the smaller size that prints.

  • I am doing a glitter photo of my 95 year old Aunt. What color(s)glitter do I use, (mix) for the skin color of her face and hands? Thank you, love this project!

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