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How to Make Glitter Stick to Fabric

Updated April 17, 2017

You can achieve a slight sparkle on cloth items with glitter fabric paint, but adding loose glitter makes a much bolder statement as it goes on thicker and shines brighter. Add a sweet heart with red or pink glitter to a plain white T-shirt for a festive Valentine's day top. Sprinkle a dusting of loose glitter over the entire surface of pair of jeans for a comfortable pair of trousers fit for a night out. Design a pattern on your favourite canvas tote with several colours of glitter to give it a little pizazz. You can even use glitter to dress up fabric home decore items such as pillows and curtains.

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Use a disappearing ink fabric marker to draw the shape you want to make with glitter on the right side of the fabric. If you want to cover the entire surface of the piece in glitter, then you don't need to mark anything on the fabric.

Cover the designated area with a découpage medium designed specifically for use with fabric, otherwise the fabric may stiffen once the medium dries. Use a paintbrush to spread the medium over the fabric in a generous layer.

Sprinkle the glitter over the découpage medium-covered area. Use as much or as little glitter as desired. Shake the excess glitter from the fabric over a dustbin. Let the piece dry for two hours.

Paint a second layer of découpage medium over the top of the glitter-covered area; make this a thin coat. Spread the medium a 1/4 inch past the perimeter of the area to ensure all the glitter seals to the fabric. Let the piece dry for 24 hours before use.

Tip

Finer glitter yields better results. Check the paper crafting section of the craft store for glitter much finer than that found in the children's craft section. You can buy glitter fabric paint to add sparkle to fabric items, but it won't give you as much impact as you'll get gluing on loose glitter. Wash glittery fabric items in a garment bag, or turn the item inside out to prevent unnecessary friction that may cause glitter to shed over time. Consult your découpage medium's container for specific care instructions. A découpage medium designed for use on fabric is usually okay to go in the dryer, but hang drying the item can make it last longer.

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Things You'll Need

  • Disappearing ink fabric marker
  • Découpage medium specifically for fabric
  • Paintbrush
  • Glitter

About the Author

Based in Ypsilanti, Mich., Ainsley Patterson has been a freelance writer since 2007. Her articles appear on various websites. She especially enjoys utilizing her more than 10 years of craft and sewing experience to write tutorials. Patterson is working on her bachelor's degree in liberal arts at the University of Michigan.

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