Thursday, September 25, 2014

All That Glimmers

One of my mother's favorite idioms to throw at us was "All that glimmers is not gold."

(I'll show you how to do those leaves in just a minute.)

Mom was right. It's also aqua, rust, maroon, green, silver. Okay. Now I can feel her giving me The Look for being sarcastic. Amazing how she can do that from 2800 miles away.

So, let's just talk about Glimmer Spray, shall we? Or you can call it shimmer spray, or twinkle spray, or Extra Special Sparkly Magic Juice if you prefer. Yeah. Let's call it that! You probably know the stuff I'm talking about though. You spritz a little on your paper craft project and Shazam! Suddenly your project shimmers like it fell into a vat of fairy dust.

Companies like to sell their name brands of Extra Special Sparkly Magic Juice it for big dollars. The well-kept secret is that it's very inexpensive to make your own. Not only that, but by making your own, you can get exactly the color you want. You can even tailor it to match your ink pads (presuming you have bottles of re-inker to match them, and why wouldn't you?).

Here's what it takes to make your own Extra Special Sparkly Magic Juice:
  • Gum Arabic - available at any art supply store. I bought mine a couple of years ago for under $5 and I still have at least 2/3 of the little jar left.
  • Re-inker -  any brand will do. In fact, I bought out a re-inker supply from a company that was going out of business. I knew I was going to use the ink just to play with and not to re-ink pads that I have, so it was a worthwhile and relatively inexpensive investment. I use re-inkers in all kinds of ways for all kinds of projects.
  • Pigment Powder - I have several different kinds that I've had for several years. Pearl Ex, Perfect Pearls, etc. Go with whatever you've got. If you don't have any, for making Glimmer Spray, I recommend getting plain pearly white. It will blend fine with any color of ink and you don't necessarily have to match the powder color to the ink. 
  • Small empty spray bottles - again, go cheap. Sure, you can get them from art suppliers and big brand names, but scout out the dollar store or dollar bin at your local pharmacy first.
  • Water - straight from the tap will do.
The recipe is -

In a small spray bottle add:
  • 1 part Gum Arabic
  • 4 parts Pigment Powder
  • Fill bottle about 2/3 of the way with water
  • Add ink drops until you achieve the color you want.
  • Shake well.
  • Find all kinds of funtastic uses for it.
Note: Your homemade Extra Special Sparkly Magic Juice will keep forever, but you will need to shake it well before each use. Occasionally, the pigment powder can clog the nozzle. Simply run it under hot water to unclog it.

Really, that's all there is to it and the possibilities are endless. Oh, I should warn you that mixing up those Extra Special Sparkly Magic Juice potions can be a little addictive, not to mention using them. But look all the different things you can do with it!

You can simply spritz it on paper for a unique background. You can dip paintbrushes into it and use it like a watercolor. You can spritz it on your non-stick work surface or on a piece of plastic wrap, dip your stamps in it and then stamp on watercolor paper for a beautiful, shimmering image. Here's how I did the leaves pictured above...

Stamps used are from RubberMoon Art Stamps, from left to right: Carved Leaf, Oak Leaf, and Elm Leaf.

Oh, and once you're done dipping those stamps in and you have tiny blobs/smears of it left on your work surface? Don't just wipe it up - use it! I get some of the coolest backgrounds by dropping a piece of cardstock onto my "leftovers" and smooshing it around.

I told you, there's just no end to what kind of creativity you'll spark when you start playing. So, now that you know how to make your own Extra Special Sparkly Magic Juice, what will you do with it?

To see another example (pictured below) of how I used it in a project, please check out my post over on the RubberMoon Arts blog. It's scheduled to go "live" tomorrow, Friday, September 26th.


  1. Ooh Great tutorial! Thank you SO much! Extra Sparkly Magic MOON Juice gonna be made soon!!!

    1. *forehead smack* Why didn't I think of adding MOON?!