December 11, 2010

Tutorial: Glitter Houses Part 2

Here's a few more tips on making glitter houses.

I must apologize for the bad pictures.  It's late a night and my lighting is not the best.
Hope you understand.

Painting and Glittering Tips


The type of paint you use really does matter.  You'll need a paint that covers well and is not too wet otherwise your cardboard may ripple as it drys - which is VERY frustration. 

My paint brand of choice is Folk Art.  It's nice and thick, giving good coverage.  Plus I've never had a problem with it rippling or warping the cardboard.

If your painting with a light colored paint, like white for example.  Take your time and possibly give it two coats.  You want to completely cover the cardboard without any streaks or darker spots showing through.  White glitter will not cover these darker spots very well and in the end you'll have a blotchy looking house.   Same goes for any exposed dry glue.  Make sure it paint well to avoid showthrew.

The color of the paint also matters.  It's always a good idea to match the paint color with the glitter color.  This may seem like a unnecessary step - believe me I've try skipping over this part.  No mater how hard you try to avoid it, some of the base color is going to show.  Using the same colors gives you a little wiggle room and produces a better looking house.

So if your going with a red glitter, use a red base coat.  You'll be glad you did. 

Sometimes matching the paint and glitter can't be done.  For example, I've used silver glitter for my roof but used a base coat of white since I don't have any grey or silver paint.  It worked out ok, yet it could look much better.


This is the best part of the whole house building process.  It's were the magic happens - - it's also creates the biggest mess!

I strongly advise wearing some grubby clothes (I wear my painting clothes).  If you use super fine glitter you will be covered in it. 
Poor hubby has had glitter in his hair this whole week just by walking through my work space (aka the breakfast area)  Serves him right for sticking his fingers in my freshly glittered houses.  Seriously, the mans is worse than the kids. 
Every single one has a least one spot where he has touched it to see if it dry!

Anywhoo . . .

It's a very good idea to start glittering with your darkest color.  I like to do this because typically the roof and window are a darker color than my house walls.  Glittering with the dark color first keeps the fallout from getting stuck in the lighter color.

Also, I recommend letting the glue dry for an hour or two before moving on to the second glitter color.  If you rush this step, the potential of the glitter sticking where you don't want it is very high.
You could use a hair dryer to speed up the process a little if you would like.

Ok, I think that it . . . Now to show you how I actually glitter the house.

The supplies I used are:

a small paintbrush
Elmer's school glue
paper plate
small bowl to hold glitter
folded scrap paper

I know I told you to use the darkest color first, but since a trip to the store was necessary for the silver glitter I started with the white. Plus I thought it would be easier to see the silver glitter for the tutorial.

You can see I have the white glitter already done.

Ok, here we go . . .

Fill a small bowl with glitter.
Start with a little,
 you will get some fall out from other colors you may have applied.  Sometimes it may be necessary to discard it if it becomes too much.

Pour a puddle of glue onto a paper plate.

Fold a piece of paper lengthwise, then lay it flat.  This is going to be for any extra glitter that falls off.
The fold will come in handy for pouring the unused glitter back into the bowl.

Dip your paintbrush into the puddle of glue.

Paint it onto the house.

It's a good idea to work in section. 
Working somewhat quickly, cover one whole section with glue.

Once you think you have it complete covered in glue, tilt it up to the light to see if you can find any dry spots.  Add more glue as necessary.  You don't want the glue to be dripping off, yet you do want to brush it on fairly heavy.

Holding the house in one hand, tilt it so that the section your applying glitter too is as flat as you can get it.  (believe me sometimes you may think your playing a game of twister. LOL)

Take your bowl of glitter and sprinkle it on.
I've found that using the bowl make applying the glitter much easier than sprinkling it on using the glitter bottle.

This way you have more control of where the glitter will be going.  Plus you can sort of tap the side of the bowl to gently add a little glitter at a time.

Completely cover the entire area that you have painted with glue.

Once it's all covered, tilt the house from side to side and up and down slightly.  This will move the glitter into the joints and cover any area that you might have not covered very well.

It should look something like this.

Now you will carefully tip the house so that the loose glitter will fall onto the folded paper.
Give the base of the house a couple soft taps to shake any extra glitter off.
Did you notice the few spots above where the glitter didn't stick?
You'll be tempted to add a little glue and re-glitter that section right away - Don't Do It!
Give it a while for the glue to dry and then fill in any missed spots.
If you try to do it right away, you'll smear the glitter that is glued down and it just makes a mess.  Better to move on for now and come back later.

Sometimes your glitter will fall onto a section of the house that has already been glittered.  If you have allowed the first color to dry completely before starting on the second color it should come off fairly easy with a little extra tapping at the base of the house. 

If that doesn't do the trick, blow on the glitter with a couple quick bursts and most of the glitter should come off. 

Now your folded paper will have a lot of glitter on it which can be reused.

I normally wait to do anything with this until all the glitter in my bowl has been used up.

Since the paper was folded it's very easy to pick it up with one hand and. . .

pour the glitter back into the bowl.

That's it. 
Continue with the same steps until the house is completely glittered.

Here what my house looks like all glittered up.

And here she is with two snowy trees and a wreath.

Hope this was helpful.


 p.s. just in case your wondering.  The silver glitter is a Martha Stewart glitter in White Gold.  The white colored glitter is Jo-Ann Craft Essentials in White.


  1. Wow, Robin, your little house is soooooo pretty! I'm sure, I pick up this idea. Thank you very much for this inspiration!



  2. What a great tutorial. I love your simple tip of folding the paper.

  3. This is just GREAT! Can't wait to start making some of these homes for my entry! IDEAS...IDEAS...THANKS for the inspiration!

  4. Scratch my last comment, Robin! I just found this post and you answered my question about the glitter. Thanks for all the tips on how best to glitter--I've never glittered anything before and it'll be nice to be able to avoid the pitfalls. I never would have thought about glittering the dark colors before the lights, etc.!

  5. Thanks so much for all the info. I didn't have a clue where to start. So now I need to get some supplies and hop to it.

  6. Thanks. I used to do alot of white on white now i,ve started using color. I like it. It looks good with all that white. Agine thanks tina

  7. This is great Robin I have never made 1 before I just been to get some patterns now and Im on my way
    Here comes the questions! lol
    What card do you use to make them and do you paint them before glittering
    What is the type of glitter I think I saw some in Spotlight the other day very very fine I hope that will be OK!
    I do also have 2 small houses my daughter sent me from the States and I will start to glitter those first to get a bit of practise in!
    thank you so much!

    1. OOPS may be a great idea if I read all the tutorial first! lol
      OK I paint it first!
      you explain it so simply!!! silly me!

  8. thanks Robin for the great tutorial..I am sooo glad you dont use spray adhesive to glitter the houses!I have been searching on how to finish my little houses with glitter and sooo many folks say they make theirs that way and I'd rather not be around that stuff..non toxic elmers school glue yippee!!Soo happy I found this and your houses are stunning!!Hope mine look like yours!And I also like the tip about stating with the dark glitter first I wouldn't have thought to do that or match the base paint too!Thanks so much for taking the time to share this and I will definitely be bookmarking it so I can follow these steps to finish my little treasures!!LOL!!


I love hearing from you. Thanks for stopping by!