Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Shooting Stars and Glitter

This past Friday I was working on a big project and things were going okay for the most part. Actually, half of the project was going great and the other half...well, not so much. Friday night I posted this on our Facebook page:

"Welp...today's project turned out halfway a Pinstrosity and halfway a blast of a success. I'll give you a hint...it includes glitter, guns, stars, and glue. I've got pictures...but you'll have to wait until Tuesday to see! Why do you have to wait until then? The real test is to see if I can pull off the image in my head for the decorations at the actual dance. Stay tuned."

So Saturday was the big dance, and then Sunday and Monday we left town and spent 2 wonderful days with my family for my grandfather's funeral. While we wish the reason for getting together was different, it was so wonderful to see all my cousins and aunts and uncles (and there are a ton of us). It was fun to have some of them come up to me and ask what I was working on and wanting to know the scoop ahead of time. And...I'm slightly partial to my cousins, so I did give them the scoop. But now I get to share this with all of you. 

I work with the youth at our church and our group was assigned to be in charge of the dance for all the youth in the surrounding area. We talked to the kids and they wanted to have a nice dressy/formal dance and have the theme be "Under the Stars". So we set out to get that accomplished. I had the idea to cut out tons of stars, hang Christmas lights across the room, and then hang the stars from the lights. Luckily I have a friend with a Cricut and a Silhouette machine and we were able to pump out 250+ stars in only about 2-3 hours. 

Then came the Pinstrosity part. 

I decided that it would really dress things up if the stars were glittery and were able to reflect some of the light. This ended up taking multiple attempts. 

Attempt #1: 
I bought a can of diamond dust glitter spray paint and set to work spraying 5 stars at a time. But I wasn't liking the results too much. The glitter was working, but it just didn't stand out much. I didn't want to waste the can of glitter spray, so I decided to just keep going. I got 15 stars done and the can quit working. There was nothing coming out of that can...it just sat and mocked me. Having a nearly full can of glitter spray that I didn't want to waste, I sat thinking how I could make it work and dug deep into my roots and came up with a solution. I gathered up my stars, grabbed the can of glitter spray, pulled out our .22 rifle, and headed outside. 

Here's what I posted shortly after:

We live where what I did was perfectly legal and safe, don't worry. 
Disclaimer: I'm not saying this should be the new painting method. I'm not suggesting to go out and start shooting spray paint cans at every opportunity. If you do try this out, please use your head and stay safe. Painting anything isn't worth getting hurt or hurting someone else over. When in doubt, don't. 

And here's how it turned out:

I was feeling pretty good about my redneck ingenuity, and it worked for the most part, but the stars on the outer edge of my circle did not get much glitter on them. I decided to try something I'd seen a few different pins for...

Attempt #2:
I'd seen a number of pins about adding glitter to clear paint or to glue, and then painting it on your object. I hadn't pinned those pins because I just didn't ever see myself needing to paint on glitter...so of course when I went back to look for them I couldn't find the pins. So...I went off of memory. (I can almost feel everyone cringing at that phrase). I went in my craft supply and found my glitter and clear gel craft glue and figured that would work best. So I squeezed out a glop of glue onto the plate, added glitter and tried to mix. No bueno.
 It turned into this lump of unspreadable glittery snot. So I washed off the paintbrush and threw that plate away.

Attempt #3:
I then pulled out my Elmer's School Glue, but I couldn't get the cap open at all. That left me with mod podge. I have glossy mod podge and matte mod podge, and after a bit of thought I decided to use the glossy because I wasn't sure if the matte would lessen the glitter shine at all. I poured mod podge in a cup, slowly added glitter (so I didn't get too much all at once) and mixed it. But I think my mod podge was old or a little dry because it was really really thick. I added some water to thin it out, and that made it spreadable...but it definitely wasn't pretty:

It was drying in clumps and the stars were curling up from the moisture. It looked awful. So into the trash went the glittery cup of mod podge.

Attempt #4:
I finally just painted on thinned out mod podge and sprinkled glitter over the top. That worked...but I got 15 stars in and decided I was done. They didn't need glitter stars anyway...and the ones that were glittery would surely work out...right? That was the hope at least.

The Outcome:

Saturday comes around and I pack all the supplies into town for the dance and we get decorating. I was a little nervous that it wouldn't  pull together but it all worked out in the end. I did learn though that you can't string too many strands of lights together in one long chain because then it blows a fuse. But luckily we got that taken care of and all went well.

The glitter on the stars didn't end up showing up at all (not one bit), so that part remained a bit of a Pinstrosity, but it didn't end up mattering. I still am quite pleased with how the decorations turned out.


  1. Well they still looked pretty. Loved your solution though. What a hoot!

  2. It's lovely! I want to do this same thing in my backyard for a wedding reception this spring.

  3. They turned out awesome! Too bad about the glitter though. What if you had used glitter paper? That's more expensive though and may not have been in the budget. Looks like it was a fun dance! :)

  4. That is a beautiful set up...even though you couldn't see the glitter! I LOVE the fact that you shot the can with a gun lol!

  5. That looks BEAUTIFUL! Total Pinstrosity avoided.

  6. I had to make glittery letters for our senior prom. The theme was Caesar's Palace so we wanted big red/maroon letters. They turned out great. Here's what I did: cut out the letters from poster board, spray painted them maroon, then letter by letter sprayed with adhesive spray and coated with red/maroon loose glitter. As a tip, wrap these up in a grabage bag before you move them anywhere you dont want glitter. It's important that the base is the color you want the shape to look since the glitter will leave gaps. Also, buy more glitter than you think you need. This project uses a LOT of glitter. Hope that helps! I could probably dig up a picture of the final result if you are interested.

    1. That was actually my first plan, as I've used the adhesive spray before, but I was hoping to avoid having to clean up all the fall-out glitter after the dance. It might have just been easier and the better way to go after all though.

  7. I was reading your post in my Google reader and when I got to the Facebook update I laughed so loud I had to read it to my husband. He kept a serious look on his face and said "Well, that is the most logical solution to the problem." The fact that he totally approved and it didn't even phase him made me laugh even more.
    Whether the glitter showed or not, the result was beautiful! I bet the kids were thrilled!
    Thank you for this blog, it's one of my favs!

  8. My fiance also thought it was the most logical solution.
    Just a note, you accidentally left your last name uncensored where one of your friends tagged you in their comment.

  9. I got on here to comment and saw that Allison H posted something similiar. Maybe lining them up and spraying with an acrylic adhesive like the canned mod podge, and have a jumbo bottle of chunky glitter to pour over while theyre wet, then they could even be re-sealed afterwards with the same product and the chunky glitter might show up better. I know the dance is over, but just a thought in case something similar ever comes up in the future lol.

  10. Shooting the glitter can was just pure genius!!

  11. I love your solution and will have to keep that in mind should that type of problem arise when I am working on a glittery project. My hubby would love to help!! The result was beautiful though, glittery or not.


  12. I love the extent we will go to for those youth dances! I've done a few crazy things trying to put those together, but never have I resorted to a gun lol!

  13. I have to say this is one of my favorite posts. Shooting the can haha

  14. That looks like a youth dance/ etiquette dinner I was in charge of, except when someone suggested the idea of using Christmas lights, I expertly delegated that aspect of the decorations to her. And she didn't do the beautiful glitter stars. It's amazing how we try to transform an ugly old gym!!

    I'm still having a hard time visualizing the gun/glitter spray idea. So is it just the can exploded when it was punctured? Did you take pictures??

  15. It turned out beautiful! The stars look great, even though you can't see the glitter. I especially love the star which has the Christmas lights wrapped around it. I dunno, just something about it just draws me in.

    I hope the kids had a great time and were just as in awe of the decorations. :)

  16. next time you could try embossing the glitter on there, there are many clear embossing inks and fine embossing glitters

  17. ok ok i realize this is an old post, but oh my word this is hilarious. i died laughing. i had a bottle of glitter spray that stopped working too. i was trying to figure out what was wrong and took the little spray nozzle off, kept inspecting it, then decided it must be clogged... so i did the only logical thing- stuck a hairpin down the hole. while i was looking down at it. with no protective facewear. wow. glitterbeard. at least i provided comic relief for my sisters. and had glitter all over me for the next few days. oh and the bottle still won't spray. =(
    ps. looove the dance, so pretty.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.