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A GUIDE: Glitter and Sequin

a sparkly guide for the beginner

by Bella Sin

What is Sequin?

Sequins are disk-shaped beads used for decorative purposes. They are available in a wide variety of colors and geometric shapes. They are a cheap way to make a costume shine on stage and can be sewn or glued on. You can buy them pre-strung on string or on elastic bands, It's the easiest way to make a costume stand out with not that much money. Your local fabric store can carry them as well as these websites:





Application commonly used: E-6000, hot glue, or sewing


What is Glitter?

Glitter describes an assortment of very small (roughly 1 mm²) pieces of copolymer plastics, aluminum foil, titanium dioxide, iron oxides, bismuth oxy-chloride or other materials painted in metallic, neon and iridescent colors to reflect light in a sparkling spectrum. Glitter is usually sold and stored in canisters somewhat similar to salt shakers, which have openings that control the flow. These canisters may contain one or many colors. It can be permanently applied with strong glue, or temporarily applied with other sticky materials, such as makeup. It is not to be confused with confetti, which is much larger, and should also not be confused with sequins, which are larger yet.


Opaque: Solid and bold in color.

Translucent: Thin and semi-clear, great for applying over a surface so the bottom color will show through.

Low-grade chunky: This is the stuff kindergarten classes are made of. It's cheap and plentiful and is cut into large flakes for general-purpose use.

Fine and micro-fine: Think fairy dust. Comes in small bottles with skinny nozzles or mini-jars and works well for paper projects, canvas art and fabric collages.

Spray-on: Comes fabric-friendly in water-based formulas (great for adding sparkle to denim or holiday tablecloths) or in aerosol cans for general craft projects (floral centerpieces, wreaths). For the latter, use in a well-ventilated area, preferably outside.

Liquid squeeze-on: These icing-like paints are squeezed out of small bottles and work well with wood, assemblage and collage projects. Not very good for paper, because they will stick. They also come in fabric-friendly versions for embellishing clothing. Always apply squeeze glitter last because it takes longest to dry.

Glitter glue sticks: For use in hot-glue guns. (as seen to the left)

Brush-on: Water-based and comes in hues of translucent blue, red, pink, gold and green. Adds a "snowy" look to any surface to which it is applied, including wood, plastic, metal, etc.

Vintage glass: This is the stuff Martha Stewart used to decorate her famous glittered pumpkins during October. It is made by Art Institute Glitter and comes in fine powder or in small shards. It's pricey but is worth it for adding an old-fashioned touch.                                                                                                


You can find glitter at your local craft store, is pretty easy to use but know it gets EVERYWHERE and on EVERYTHING. For some of us with disco ball lungs, it is not a big deal but for others based on it's content could be dangerous for their health. Also know that some venues do not allow you to use glitter on stage because it is difficult to clean it up.

Also if applied on the face or eyes beware that some of it may get in to your eye and cut your eye ball.

Make sure you are using the right kind of glitter on your face.


A good site to get acquainted with for online glitter purchases:



You are ready to be-dazzle away! Remember to be careful with some of these products for they have to be used with care and caution when using hot glue guns, hot fix guns, E-6000 and Spray adhesive. Some of these things will burn you or irritate your skin. Be in a clear area with windows open with heat resistant mats when using glues.

Contributed to the BB by Bella Sin

This Article was published in the Burlesque Bitch Ezine on Sep 08, 2012.
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