Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

A Glitter Odyssey: Pt. V, The Home Stretch

Whew! this post has been a loooooooooooong time coming.

Well, as many of you know, I've been working on making custom punched glitter, ever since I first saw that WaMu lamp and bought it on ebay...the one with the house-shaped glitter flakes. That lamp infected me with an idea!

It's taken me a lot of time, effort, and money, but I'm finally close to being able to take custom cut glitter orders...but with a disclaimer.

So ok, first things first...

After trying all kinds of mylar for substitute glitter, in all kinds of thicknesses with no luck, I was about to give up. However, the unusual shape of the default glitter in these lamps clued me into something...

I did a lot of searching, THEN I found out what the glitter is made out of. Then I found a place to try out that material from, and got them to send me a sample.

That sample pack finally arrived... And...

I was disappointed. :(

First off, they were supposed to send me red, green, blue, and gold films. They sent pink, mint green matte, silver matte, and white iridescent. :-/ When I asked for metalized film, I didn't realize that there was a matte version of that. Sigh...

Not only that, but the material totally pulls and stretches in the punch, rather than cutting cleanly like I had hoped it would. I had had similar experiences with mylar, so I resorted to some of my old tricks...wrapping the film in paper on both sides before punching. That worked with some patterns, but not others.

So I tried using post-it notes, which have adhesive, but nothing too strong. That was a success...mostly! There still were some patterns that did not want to punch without tearing, pulling, and jamming up the punches. :( Not only that, but even when it DID work, I suddenly had glitter that had paper stuck to both sides of it. It is VERY hard to get that paper off of every piece of glitter, but it's possible if you're patient.

THEN, in order to get the glitter to flow, you have to hand wash each and every individual piece of glitter to get the leftover adhesive off, then wash in a bottle of warm soapy water and rinse. Once the glitter comes out of that soapy solution, YOU CANNOT TOUCH THE GLITTER with your hands...at all. If you do, it won't flow. It'll just float on the surface. You have to wear rubber gloves, or use tweezers to move the glitter around piece by piece.

If I start doing these custom glitters, there are some things that I would like to announce...

1) These lamps will likely be over the $50 price I originally quoted...how much over, I haven't determined yet, but that lamp took me many, many hours of toil, and the film is not as cheap as it should be.

2) People will have to allow me ample time to make these lamps for them. I will go as fast as I can, but this process is slow and laborious, to say the least.

3) I cannot guarantee that I can produce all of the punch shapes that you want, and I don't have to time or material to test out all 200+ punch patterns that I currently have. I will have to test them as people require them, and let them know how that goes. I am so sorry for this inconvenience... :(

4) I STILL don't have the colors I need, and some of the ones I was sent were not colorfast, like the pink. After one day in the glitter solution, the pink film went totally silver. This will not do!

So in other words...I guess I'm not really ready to take custom glitter orders yet. :(

But how do people feel about those limitations? Is $60-$75 just WAY too much to have to pay? I'm currently trying desperately to refine the process to make it quicker, cheaper, and easier...but it's very hard.

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Comment by Loren on October 12, 2013 at 12:17pm

I am now waiting on the delivery of a cricut expression machine...a craft cutter. It's similar to a printer, but instead of printing, it cuts...from 1/4" up to almost 12"x24". What this means is...hopefully...I will soon be able to cut glitter in virtually ANY SHAPE. Some designs will not work when cut really small, but that is pretty much the only limitation. I still don't know if it will work, but I've seen a cricut cut very thin foils, and this stuff is pretty thin.

FINGERS OFFICIALLY CROSSED.

Comment by Metallica Man Trevor on June 25, 2013 at 4:30am
Lol at work I call the paper cutter. "The circumciser"! Lol
Comment by Loren on June 24, 2013 at 8:33pm

What the hell is wrong with me lately? LOL! Thanks Autumn, for being my brain when mine wasn't working. :p

Comment by Autumn on June 23, 2013 at 11:31pm

Paper cutter.

Comment by Loren on June 23, 2013 at 11:30pm

Hmm...I could likely accomplish that with a straightedge and an exacto knife. And I think those look pretty cool. I'm not sure how well it would reflect, but only one way to find out!

I am already going to try my hand at large, square glitter to replace a vintage gemlite's contents...should be challenging...but maybe I could use the exacto method on it? I just have to make sure that all glitter flakes are exactly the same size and shape without using a punch.

Comment by Autumn on June 23, 2013 at 10:35pm

How about doing glitter strands like this until you figure out an easier way to make your shapes?

These look way easier to produce and you also have the added benefit of being the only source of strand glitter lamps.

Comment by Loren on June 23, 2013 at 9:35pm

Sorry you guys, I don't get email alerts when people post in my blog, or in my order thread for some reason. :( Anyway i should have kept a closer watch on it!

@keith - Thank you so much! i love this place, and feel honored and lucky to be a part of it. :)

@SG - Yep. we might have to work out some kind of a deal... ;-)

@Critter - No, you're a big CRITTER guy. :p Seriously though, thank you for your input. I am torn between wanting to make sure that I get properly paid for my work, but want to remain affordable at the same time. It's a tough balance!

@Trev - I can, and I have over 400 patterns at this point, but I haven't tested all patterns to see if I can get them to work. I was going to try and do that on a case-to-case basis, where people ask me to test patterns for them, and I report my findings back.

@Deb - I am using the default glitter liquid that comes in these lamps that I'm modding for people. It works well usually with colored glitter AND custom cut glitter. :) And thank you! That makes me feel very proud, because I am NOT a patient person!

Comment by Deb on June 5, 2013 at 11:34am

I know we talked about this but couldn't remember what you are using for the liquid?. Are you recycling  from other lamps?

Love what you are doing here. Hope you find a faster way. You must be a very patient man. :)

Comment by Metallica Man Trevor on June 5, 2013 at 4:15am

can u custom order certain cut outs?

Comment by Soylent Green on June 4, 2013 at 3:22pm

I have one of those WaMu Home Loan glitter lamps with the little iridescent houses in it!

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