Mod Podge and Loose Glitter, DIY glitter candles

glittercandleDIY Glitter projects are all over Pinterest these days.  You can pretty much glitter anything.  When I was deciding on a color scheme for my upcoming wedding, I went with black, white, and glitter gold.  Classic, classy, easy to pull off.  No worrying about matching shades of blue, green, or any other color.  Imagine my surprise when the contract for our venue (as well as all the other venues I considered) specifically mentioned “no glitter.”  In a panic, I asked my venue coordinator if that meant only loose glitter, or any glitter decoration.  She told me that for the purposes of the contract, they mean loose glitter, used for confetti, table scatter, etc.  I could have glitter decoration, provided the glitter didn’t flake off and get all over everything.

I get it.  Glitter is the Herpes of craft supplies.  You can have one piece of it on your hand, and god forbid you touch anything with that hand, or it’s all over.  Next thing you know you see a piece in your hairline, in your car, on your carpet.  Somehow one flake multiplies.  You shower, you vacuum, months go by, and then…. you see a damn glitter flake in your bed!

So basically I needed to have glitter decorations that didn’t shed the stuff all over.  I came across this pin fairly early in my search, and decided to use it as inspiration.  You can get inexpensive glass candles, vases, etc. cheap at Michael’s and the Dollar Tree, and customize them to look fancier.  Our wedding is in the evening, so I knew I wanted lots of candles.  I will also be adding glitter to cylinder vases that will hold the loose flowers I am purchasing as center pieces.  We are getting married outside in front of an arbor (weather permitting!), and so I also purchased some clear glass ornaments that I will fill with rose petals and hang from the arbor for the ceremony.

Up until a couple of days ago I was a Mod Podge virgin.  But most of the DIY glitter project posters agreed that it is the best medium to work with.  It is both a glue and a sealer.  I chose the shiny lustre finish as recommended to not dull the glitter.  I was pleasantly surprised with how easy it was to adhere the loose glitter.  Of course, I prepared my work area to try and prevent the spread of glitter.  I layed down a large piece of cardboard on my table, and I had a large plastic tray to shake the glitter over.  Using a small foam brush, I painted on a thin line of MP, then shook my glitter out onto the candles and ornaments.  I didn’t use tape to mark off sections, I just used the width of the foam brush as my guide.  I’m not going for perfection, just pretty.  🙂

glittercandle2I got my first pack of 12 candles (I’ll be doing three total) and ornaments done in about an hour.  I took the plastic tray with the excess glitter outside and put it back in my glitter shaker using a funnel.  That way any stray glitter went in the grass, not all over the house.  I let the candles dry overnight.  The next morning, I picked up a candle, and glitter went all over the cardboard.  The candle still looked the same, there weren’t “bald” spots, but it was shedding glitter like crazy.  So I knew I had to seal it on, using another layer of MP.  Now here’s where Pinterest failed me:  most of the pins I looked at just said “seal with another layer of Mod Podge.”  Very casual, no big deal.  So I got my foam brush back out, and started spreading MP on one of my ornaments.  It looked like crap! (See picture at left.)  All my beautiful glitter was covered in a white mess.  Not only that, but a lot of the glitter came off onto my brush.  I panicked, and put the ornament back down while I consulted the internet.  Once I actually searched for “mod podge to seal loose glitter,” tips came out of the woodwork.  Some people said to dilute the MP with water to spread it on thinner.  Some people said they can’t us MP to seal the glitter at all, they use some sort of spray to seal it on.  I was like, “great,” I guess I’ll go buy some special spray.  I walked away and started doing other things around the house.  Imagine my surprise when a couple of hours later, my “ruined” ornament looked great! (picture at right)  If anything, it was MORE sparkly than it was before applying the second layer of MP.  Not only that, bglittercandle3ut the glitter was sealed on.  I touched it gently, then not so gently, and every speck stayed on!  I’m sure if you really lay into it some of it will come off, but for my purposes of sitting the things on a table, it will definitely stay on.  So then I went back and “ruined” (hehe) the rest of my ornaments and candles with a second layer of MP.  Here is my trial-and-error technique for applying non-diluted MP over loose glitter:

-I used a small foam brush, the same as the one I used to brush on the initial layer of MP under the glitter.

-I found it best to blot on a little bit thicker layer over most of the glittered surface, and then you can spread the layer over all the glitter.  If you go right into brushing, it makes more glitter come off.  Some glitter still comes off with the blot and spread method, but its a small amount, and you really are just re-spreading it over the surface anyway.  I didn’t have any bald spots after doing it this way.

-Using the same brush, I wiped of excess MP into the bottle, then blotted some more.  It will still look scary and white, but it dries shiny and clear.

-Try not to get excess MP on the non glittered areas.  Otherwise you get little streaks (somewhat visible in picture on right).  It doesn’t look terrible, and no one will likely notice it, but if you’re a perfectionist like me, you may want to use a paper towel to clean up the edges before it dries.