Learning how to make glitter tumblers can be a fun way to create memorable gifts for friends and loved ones. The process can be a little involved, but with some persistence and patience, you can learn this fun craft in no time.
Don’t expect to finish this craft in an afternoon. At minimum, this process will take a few days, but there’s plenty of hands-off time!
If you’ve always wondered how glitter tumblers are made, and you’re ready to give it a try yourself, let’s talk a little about what you’ll need to get started.
Materials for Making a DIY Glitter Tumbler
- A stainless steel tumbler (easily found at most stores)
- Spray paint (same color as glitter)
- Mod Podge – adhesive for glitter if you don’t want to do as much epoxying
- Silicone brushes – for painting the Mod Podge
- Painter’s tape
- Sandpaper – 180 to 220 grit
- Optional Materials include:
- Cricut or other cutting machine
- Vinyl or decals
- Tumbler spinner
Most of the supplies on this list are common and very reusable in any crafter’s supply cabinet, so don’t worry if it seems like a lot right away!
Once you make your first tumbler, you’ll be ready to make so many more for all the people who give you compliments on your amazing, custom design. At the end of the post, I’ll give plenty of suggestions for how to gift these useful, beautiful crafts.
Prepping for your DIY Glitter Tumbler
Sanding your tumbler is the very first step in making a glitter tumbler. You want the surface to be rough enough so the spray paint will latch onto the surface.
Tape off the top of the container. To tape the top, place a layer of painter’s tape around the inside lip of the tumbler with about half sticking out, smoothing it so that it sticks to the rim.
Please note that, if you don’t own a spinner and don’t plan on buying one, you must tape off the entire bottom of the tumbler. This will be absolutely critical for your epoxy drying process!
Some makers prefer not to let their lips touch a rim that has been glittered and resined. If you are worried about this, go ahead and give yourself a little painter’s tape barrier that you’ll keep on throughout the entire project. If you do this, make the bottom match with a strip of painter’s tape around the rim of the base.
Many prefer to wear a mask during this process. Always try to find a well-ventilated or outdoor location to spray paint.
Spray the paint from an arm’s length away onto the tumbler, using quick bursts in a back and forth motion to achieve an even coat. Wear gloves while you do this, and don’t forget to get the bottom if you’ll be using a spinner!
Use a spray paint in a color that’s similar to the glitter you plan to use. The paint creates a foundation for the glitter, so to make it look as nice as possible, you want the primary color to be the same. Also, if you end up with a glitter “bald spot” at the end of your craft, it won’t be as noticeable with a good coating of matching paint.
Now that your DIY glitter tumbler is sanded, taped, and painted, it’s time to get glittering!
How To Make Glitter Tumblers With Epoxy – The Process
In this section, I’ll walk you through all of the steps, one by one, and show you just how to go about making your very own glitter tumbler.
Wait to begin this process until your spray paint has dried completely.
Step 1: Adding Glue to your Tumbler
You really want to start this process only after the spray paint is dry. You can use Mod Podge or your epoxy for this step. Either substance will cause the glitter to stick.
Paint the Mod Podge on the container with a silicone brush. Try to maintain a thick even layer.
For epoxy, wear gloves and gently smear a thin layer onto the tumbler using up and down strokes. You will not need as much epoxy when using it as an adhesive. When it comes to your final coat, you will mix and use more epoxy.
Mix the epoxy according to the instructions on the container, always wearing gloves and being very careful.
You can either use a spinner machine or do it by hand. A spinner machine will help you apply your adhesives and your glitter more easily, but if you aren’t ready to invest, you can absolutely do this process by hand.
Step 2: Adding Glitter to Your Tumbler
Placing printer paper, newspaper, or a dustpan below the tumbler is a great way to collect the extra glitter that falls off. This way, you don’t waste any of your precious, sparkly stuff.
Take your glitter and begin to shake it onto your tumbler. If you are using a spinner, follow the rotations and sprinkle horizontally. If you chose to do this by hand, keep one gloved hand inside the tumbler while you sprinkle your glitter with the other.
Don’t be stingy with your glitter! You want it to look amazing, and that means applying a lot of glitter to your tumbler.
On your first try, it might look chunky with glitter lumped here and there, especially if you used Mod Podge. Do multiple coats of your glitter to ensure an even application.
Allow the adhesive and glitter to dry. This will take around 3 to 4 hours, but it’s a good idea to leave it drying overnight.
Let the tumbler dry on your spinner. If you didn’t use a spinner, you can use the PVC pool noodle method to ensure your tumbler doesn’t stick to anything.
Step 3: Applying Epoxy Top Coat to the Glitter Tumbler
Applying the epoxy is probably the most intimidating part of making glitter tumblers. Not only is it a more technical process, but you’re literally working with chemicals! Follow the instructions on the packaging carefully during this process. Always wear gloves, and put plenty of paper around to catch drips.
Remove the tape for this step that was protecting the mouth of the tumbler unless you are choosing to leave it as a barrier or are not planning to use a spinner.
Mix the right proportions of epoxy – resin and hardener. Let the thinner part pour onto the thicker part slowly with a popsicle stick.
Pour the epoxy on the tumbler and turn it slowly. Smooth it across the cup with your gloved fingers as it rotates. If you used epoxy as your adhesive, the process will feel very much the same only this time, you will use more epoxy. Make sure you get a smooth, even coat.
Spinning the Tumbler
Once all the epoxy is on the cup, keep it spinning for a few minutes. Let the turner spin the tumbler slowly for 6-8 hours or overnight.
Please note, you absolutely don’t need to invest in a spinner to make a beautiful glitter tumbler! Turning the cup by hand is possible, but it requires close watching.
Place your can of spray paint into the tumbler and place a silicone mat beneath the tumbler. Watch your tumbler closely, and after the first few minutes of drying, flip the tumbler over and let it continue drying. As you continue flipping, the tumbler will need more and more time between flips.
Step 4: Sanding and Applying Vinyl To Your Glitter Tumbler
Take 180-220 grit sandpaper and gently sand down your tumbler, removing any air bubbles or chunks of glitter.
Rub the tumbler with alcohol on a cotton ball to clean off any debris from your sanding.
If you were planning on adding any decals to your tumbler, now is the time. You can choose to use your cutting machine to make all kinds of designs. Holographic adhesive vinyl decals are particularly attractive.
In order to seal the decal, apply another coat of epoxy using the same method we used earlier for the glitter.
If you don’t choose to use a decal, continue to apply the second layer of epoxy. A second coat creates a better finish for your final product. Allow it to fully dry for about 24-48 hours before you use your glitter tumbler.
Enjoying your DIY Glitter Tumbler
Take a moment to congratulate yourself! Glitter tumblers are a wonderful, attractive craft, but as you now know, they are fairly time-consuming. This craft will blow the minds of all of your friends and co-workers, who will be begging you to make one for them!
A well-made glitter tumbler will last a very long time. They’re wonderful for reducing waste, and they’ll keep your drinks much hotter for much longer than a paper or styrofoam cup would. I even use a custom tumbler instead of a regular mug at home for the same reason.
Note that these tumblers must be hand washed. Do not put your glitter tumbler in the dishwasher.
Glitter Tumbler Gift Ideas
Now that you know how to make a DIY glitter tumbler, you can have fun making mugs for different occasions! Glitter tumblers make great teacher gifts, personalized gifts for your bachelorettes, a thoughtful way to give a personalized, practical birthday gift, and so much more.
You can experiment with different colors of glitter on the same glitter tumbler. Ombre glitter is particularly stunning. I’ve also seen some beautiful beach-themed tumblers on maker’s videos, with beige glitter for sand and blue and green for gorgeous ocean waves.
Everyone needs a way to have their favorite drinks on the go, so the sky’s the limit! They’ll be sure to thank you for making them something they’ll actually use.
Let us know in the comments how you have put your own personal spin on the glitter tumbler trend!