Friday, December 17, 2010

Glitter Art Christmas Tree using Brass Stencils - Tutorial

I seem to pull out and play with my glitter more during the Christmas Holidays than any time of the year and one of my favorite glitter art projects combines sticky paper cardstock with brass stencils.

Christmas Card using Glittered Tree - by EKDuncan

This is a fun but messy process, since glitter has a mind of it's own and seems to hang around your work area for some time to come; so be prepared to sparkle when you are through.

Glitter in various colors - I'm using Art Institute Glitter
Xyron machine with Permanent Adhesive
Heavy Duty White Cardstock
Brass Stencil
Distribution tools - like old paint brushes and a small scoop type spoon
scrap paper - to help keep down the mess
post-it notes - to cover up parts of the stencil as I work on each color
(there is always some cross contamination of colors in this process but the post-its will help)

I did this project using my Xyron machine; however I have also done this project several times using sticker paper and that works well too.  I just find it is easier to do with the thicker cardstock and my Xyron.

Here are some of the supplies I will be using to create the glittered tree.

 Step 1
Run the Cardstock through the Xyron
 I start by running a piece of Heavy White Cardstock through my Xyron machine 
that has Permanent Adhesive in it.  

(I run a brayer over both sides before pulling the cardstock out so that I know 
I have a good bonding between the paper and the adhesive.)

 Step 2
Place the stencil over the Sticky cardstock - Pressing down well
Christmas Tree Stencil is by Lasting Impressions
My cardstock is cut slightly larger than my stencil so I will have a
nice glittered edge all around the finished project.
(this edge will also help me remove my stencil from the cardstock)

Step 3
Add gold glitter to the border edges
 I use a few post it notes to mask off the stencil pattern so I can glitter the edges first.
I tap and brush off all the excess gold glitter before removing the post it notes.

I do the edges first so that the colors I will use later on 
won't accidentally contaminate my border.

Step 4
Add the first color of glitter to the balls on the tree
Next I work on adding a cranberry colored glitter 
from my Monochromatic Pink glitter set to all the balls on the tree.
I use post-it-notes to mask off all the other openings as I work on each ball and
I find a small brush dipped into the glitter works great to get it into each small hole.

(the post-it-notes are needed to keep the cranberry glitter from getting onto the branch areas. If I had used gold for the balls I probably would not have used the post-it-notes since a bit of gold mixing in on the green branch areas would not have been a big problem.)

Depending on how intricate your pattern is and how many colors of glitter you are using 
will determine how labor intensive this process is.
 Step 5
Add the second color of glitter to the tree base
I added 2 different brown glitters from my Monochromatic Brown set to the tree base.
I tap out a small amount of each and then use a brush to push the darker glitter across the lower portion, then I used my fingers to swirl in the lighter golden brown in all the other areas. I press down a bit to make sure I have a good bond.  I then tap and brush off all the extra glitter before removing the post it notes.

Step 6
Add the darkest green shade to the bottom of all the branches
Adding 3 shades of Green Glitter to the Tree - Darkest First.
Here again if find dipping a small brush into the glitter works great to place it 
were I want it, on the bottom portion of all the branches.
Whew, No post-it-notes are needed from this point forward.

Step 6 - continued
Add the medium and light green glitter to the branches
I added the medium green glitter to the mid portion of each branch and finished 
off by adding the lightest green to the top portion of each branch.  I use a slightly bigger 
brush to swirl the three shades of glitter in place.

Step 7
Rub in the Glitter
I use my finger to press in the glitter really well over the whole project, so there 
is good contact between the adhesive backed paper and the glitter.

Step 8
Remove off all the excess glitter
First I tap off all the extra glitter and then I use a brush 
to lightly scrub away and strays.

Step 9
Remove the stencil from the sticky cardstock
 I carefully peel back the paper from the stencil.
The white areas are still sticky so avoid touching that part of the cardstock.
(do this as slowly as you can to keep down the amount of glitter 
that will pop over onto the background area)

Step 10
Add crystal glitter to the background
I poured on some crystal glitter across the top of the project
to fill in my background.

Step 11
Rub in the background glitter
I use my finger to work in the glitter from the top to the bottom of the project.  
I press it in so there is good contact between the glitter and the 
sticky portion of the background.

Step 12 - Mat and Mount
I added a black mat to my finished piece of glitter art.

The Finished Project
A bit of fun paper and a gold background finish off my Christmas Card.

This project took me about 30 minutes because of all the colors I used and the little red balls took the longest part since I had to block off all the surrounding areas as I did that part.  This project could be done in less than 5 minutes if I only used the 2 glitter colors -  one for the border and tree and then one for the background.  See below.

Quick Glitter Tree
Stencil  is by Dreamweaver Stencils
Using 2 colors of glitter I was able to make this one up in 5 minutes

Once the stencil is on the sticky cardstock and I pour gold glitter on, swirl it into all the nooks and crannies and on the border edges. I add more glitter as I need it, press it in really well and then tap off all the excess before removing the stencil from the cardstock.

After I remove the stencil I pour on silver glitter and use my finger to swirl and press 
it into the background. I tap off all the extra glitter, mat and make my card.

Finished Gold and Silver Tree
I love the glitz of glitter

The First Glitter Stencil project I made a few years ago and 
what I learned from the process
Stencil is by Dreamweaver Stencils
I made this card a few years ago and it was my first try at this process, so it has several issues I wanted to share. The stencil for this project was very large and hard to remove so glitter popped over into the background area and edges during the removal process.  I should have used gold or sliver glitter for the background instead of crystal; since a denser color would have done a better job of hiding the over spray of color you see peppered thought the background.  I also did not cut my cardstock to have a border, so as I removed the stencil the sticky edges were picking up stray glitter.  This is why I now add a border and glitter it first.  
What I do like about this first try is the bright pop of red in the center and I used the three shades of green and loved the way it worked out so much that I continue to use this blending of glitter colors in my projects whenever I can.  It's all a learning experience when you try something new and even with its faults it's still a very cheery card in person.

I hope you guys give this one a try.

Grins and Glittery Giggles,


  1. Just found your blog in a search for using glitter with brass stencils. Thanks for a great tutorial. I've only done one project using glitter with sticky paper. It turned out great. I hope to do more in the future and I will definitely keep your tips in mind.

  2. I'm so glad you dropped by and enjoyed the post. I plan on posting another tutorial using brass stencils, stencil paste and glitter in the near future so please drop back by again.

    Grins and Giggles,