Hello, have I got a blog post for you today! I’ve discovered the perfect way to create my own metallic cardstock in absolutely any colour I want. Sure, we can buy cardstock with a beautiful metallic shine but it tends to be just gold, silver and a few pastel colours. And, most of those bought papers tend to be a bit on the thin side so it can need to be glued to a second piece of cardstock for strength. Then, there’s the issue of potentially seeing the bumps and lumps of glues through the paper; the sheen always exacerbates that!
For years, I’ve been experimenting with various ways to “pearlize” my cardstock. I think I’ve got every different product available. I’ve tried buying sprays, mousses, gels, pens, paints, powders, the lot! But, for one reason or another, I’ve never really embraced one particular product or technique that I found quick, easy and, most importantly, economical.
Finally, I’ve found the answer! I’ve found a way to add that metallic shine to any cardstock of any colour using a cheap product that’s easy to buy, using a disposable applicator that won’t break the budget to replace. And, if you have Distress Inks, dye inks, or even Oxides, you can create your own customised metallic cardstock that will match in with your projects perfectly.
So, what’s my trick? Pearlizing Medium and half a strong fibre baby wipe! Seriously, that’s it!
The supplies required…
I’ve had this bottle of this medium in my stash for years and I admit, I have more than one brand. I noticed that each brand gives a slightly different finished surface and shine. I chose to use the one that most closely replicates the surface of store bought metallic cardstock. Turned out that this choice was also the cheapest!
I chose the baby wipes with intent as well. Being made of bamboo, my wipes are both biodegradable and strong. A flimsy baby wipe will not stand up to the potentially extended rubbing against the surface of the cardstock and could pill, causing damage and a bit of a mess to boot. The wipes I used are also alcohol free because I want to take advantage of the moisture in those wipes and I don’t want them drying out too quickly. My brand of wipes may not be available everywhere but, if you use something with this criteria, you should be able to get a similar result.
If you already have some iridescent mediums and baby wipes in your stash, give them a try rather than buying something new. If you’re not happy with what you have, you should be able to buy what I used for well under $10. For a craft technique, that’s a fantastic price and that supply will last for ages!
How I use these products…
This medium can be mixed with acrylic paints to create a metallic paint but it can be used on it’s own. It dries as quickly as regular acrylic paint and it seals the card surface in exactly the same way. It can even be used over gesso or any other surface you’d usually be able to apply acrylic paint to like wood, chipboard or any other porous surface. It won’t adhere to non porous surfaces because it will scratch off easily, just like regular acrylic paint does.
Like acrylic paint, this Pearlizing Medium can be used with a brush or foam roller but I’ve always found those tools leave marks and give an uneven or even textured finish like gesso can give. That’s fine, if that’s what you’re after, but it’s not exactly the same as store bought metallic cardstock. Like gesso, the Pearlizing Medium can be applied smoothly and thinly with a baby wipe, giving a super-smooth, even finish over a large area. Once dry, you can use it like any other metallic cardstock. It can be die cut easily without the medium leavings residue on your dies or other tools.
Rather than trying to explain my technique, I’ve created a quick technique video for you. Please click the image to see how I apply the medium but don’t forget to read my next tip as well.
A further use for Pearlizing Medium.
While this is a great way to cover large areas, you may want to apply the medium more precisely in specific areas of your design. This is where a regular paint brush can be used, but the medium will need water added to thin it out.
Instead, you can add just four drops, or more if you like extra thick shine, to the barrel of a water brush and fill the rest with water to create your own “Wink of Stella” brush pen. I found 4 drops were plenty. Or, better still, if you have an old “Wink of Stella” style brush pen that’s empty, add those drops to the barrel and add some water. I had an empty Spectrum Noir Clear Sparkle pen on hand and I found that pen was really easy to refill. If you only have a “Wink of Stella” pen or a regular water brush pen, you’ll need to pull out the black stopper to be able to get the medium and water in easily. You may also want to add a small bead to the barrel to help with mixing when you shake well before each use. In my case, the Spectrum Noir pen doesn’t have that stopper and it already has the mixing ball included. I just needed to fill and go!
You can also add a few drops of dye ink, or even pigment powder, to your pen barrel if you want to make a coloured brush pen. I didn’t bother doing that because, as a clear sparkle pen, I know I can overlay it over any previously coloured surface and the binders in the Pearlizing Medium will seal the glitter perfectly without it needing a sealant over the top.
I hope this helps you create some amazingly shiny projects and saves you lots of crafting cash. I’ll be back in the next few days with a project I’ve made with both the baby wipe application and the brush filled with the medium. Thanks so much for spending time with me today, I look forward to next time! 😊
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