I am making a series of models that have sharp edges, and I want to create a thin line of glitter along them so that the edge will sparkle a specific color when turned under a light.

I have tried most of the obvious options, including painting pre-mixed modge podge with glitter on to them with a brush, but I am not happy with how any of them came out as it was difficult to control the concentration\density of the glitter, or to maintain a thin enough line due to the thickness of the glue.

I have also considered using glitter pens, but I am unable to find any that have a transparent medium carrying the glitter. They all create colored lines.

I have a series of refillable artist's pens designed to use with acrylic paint that have an aperture that's wide enough to carry the glitter that I would like to try to use, but I am uncertain about what medium to use to carry it. Neat PVA is too thick, a mix of PVA and water is too thin and won't give me the control that I need, and most of the thinner glues that I'm aware of dry too quickly and would probably destroy the pens.

Does anybody have any suggestions on what I should use.

It needs to dry transparent, to adhere to a surface painted with acrylic paint, and be thin enough to apply as if you were drawing a line with a biro while carrying the glitter with it. And it needs to dry slowly enough that it won't just clog the pen aperture.

Is there a specific product, or a way of modifying a specific product that might achieve this?

For example, is there an artists' product that could be used to thin PVA, other than water?

  • Just a thought, because I haven't tried it myself - acrylic varnish (it certainly dries clear and sticks to acrylic paint). But if diluting PVA because it's too thick leaves it too thin, you're diluting it too much. It must be possible to hit the consistency you want because you can add anything from a few drops per litre up to more water than glue, and it will still stick
    – Chris H
    Feb 4, 2023 at 17:16
  • The silly thing is there's a lot of kids' glitter glue in a clear base, but it's not very permanent, probably especially on acrylics. That might be a PVA base
    – Chris H
    Feb 4, 2023 at 17:18
  • @Chris H, I've not been able to find a happy medium with PVA, it's either too thick to get neat thin lines, or too thin to hold the glitter. It's probably just the wrong medium for what I want. Feb 4, 2023 at 17:20
  • 2
    @AaarghZombies Have you thought about using glitter nail polish? Example metallics & glitters - sparkle nail polish - essie Feb 5, 2023 at 9:56
  • 1
    Not an answer to the actual question, but to the implied (off-topic shopping) one: Sakura Gelly Roll Stardust and Zig Wink of Stella are both glitter pen lines that include a clear option. (Possibly also Copic Spica, since I swear that's the one I have, but I can't find either a listing or the physical pen right now.)
    – Allison C
    Feb 9, 2023 at 15:48

1 Answer 1


If the pens are designed to work with acrylic paints, you could use clear acrylig gel as the carrier and dilute it with acrylic retarder to prolong the drying time.

I guess the clear acrylic gel is self-explanatory. It's your glue, it dries transparent and it sticks to other acrylic paints.

The retarder is a clear, watery liquid that slows down the drying of acrylic paints. A little retarder can result in a 10 minute drying time (of a thin layer that would usually dry in a minute), the longest I ever witnessed with a lot of retarder was roughly 45 minutes. Use it to water the acrylic gel down to a consistency that works with the pens. It should be available in any craft or art shop that sells a selection of various acrylic paints.

  • 1
    Acrylic flow medium might also be a useful component of this "potion" ;-)
    – Matt
    Feb 6, 2023 at 17:07

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