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Have you seen all the beautiful, sparkly tumblers popping up on Pinterest and in Etsy stores? Or maybe even your workplace or gym? They are super popular, super pretty and super pricey! The reason they are so expensive is easy. They take time and materials. Not the kind of time where you have to devote your whole weekend to babysitting your creation. More like a “set it and forget it” like you do with crockpot cooking. Lol.
I’m want to share just how easy it is to make your own trendy tumbler. My friends say they are intimidated to try making one of these tumblers. The common reason of course is “What if I screw it up?” First, you won’t! I will show you all the secrets in this super easy tutorial and video. Second, IF you hated what you made it is SOOOO easy to strip the cup and start again (see note at the bottom just in case). Finally, for the price of ONE Etsy tumbler you can purchase all the materials below and make several! Not to mention give a big boost to your gift giving game! Be brave and dip into the world of glitter tumblers. They are way easier than they look and loads of fun to make because you have something amazing in your hand when you are done. And if you are like me you will use it EVERY day. Just imagine all the way to customize these tumblers for friends and family!
Let’s get started! This post contains some affiliate links from Amazon for your convenience (which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission but it won’t cost you a penny more)! Read my full disclosure here.
Materials you will need:
You start with a double walled stainless tumbler/cup. These are game changers for people who like their drinks to stay icy and cold for 24 hours in the hottest of climates or those who need to keep their hot drinks hot in arctic like areas. (Shout out to my friends in Wisconsin.)
A cup turner (I used the Spin it in the video and while it worked great my favorite is this one)
Glitter (choose whatever colors and textures you like to make it personal)
Electrical tape (or blue painter’s tape if you prefer)
Alcohol inks (this color pack is perfect)
Cheap paintbrush (this is a set of 12 for $6)
91% rubbing alcohol – buy this at WalMart, Walgreens or Target
Heat Embossing Tool (optional – you can skip this step as long as you work in a warm location)
An old rag or washcloth
- First remove any stickers or sticky residue on the tumbler/cup by washing with warm soapy water and a soft cloth.
- Dry thoroughly and tape off the top and bottom of the cup with electrical tape. I usually aim for a ¾ in. tape edge.
- Prime the cup. Follow the directions on the can, spray paint the cup with a light coat of flat white and allow to dry.
Time to Spin
- Place cup on the spinner following manufacturer’s directions and mix epoxy per directions in the box. Have your rag and rubbing alcohol ready in case of spills or drips. You should mix about 25-30ml (approx. 2 Tbs) of each part A and part B to give you enough to epoxy to easily coat a large tumbler.
- Put your gloves on, place cardboard or silicon mat under the spinning cup and get your glitter color choices ready to apply.
- Gradually pour a small amount of epoxy on the spinning tumbler and using your gloved fingers spread the epoxy all over the tumbler. Keep doing this till you have a nice “float coat” on the tumbler. Be careful not to push any of the epoxy over the lip of the tumbler and into your cup or onto the flat bottom of the tumbler. If you do wipe it away immediately using alcohol on your rag.
- Once epoxy is evenly spread on the cup, apply a bit of heat from the heat gun (this step isn’t absolutely necessary, epoxy just doesn’t like to be cold) and start sprinkling your glitter colors onto your cup. Watch the video for help.
- Let the cup spin for 30-40 min. Then glove up and stop the machine. CAREFULLY remove the electrical tape from the top and bottom edge. Wipe any epoxy smears off the edges with your alcohol soaked rag. Turn the spinner back on and allow to run overnight or 8 hours. This allows the epoxy to cure and harden into a glass-like coating
Wet Sanding is Important
- Turn machine off and remove cup. Reapply electrical tape to top and bottom edges to protect them from the next several steps.
- Wet sand any large rough or bumpy patches of glitter you see or feel. Rinse and dry thoroughly before proceeding to the next coat of epoxy.
- Place the cup back on the spinner/turner. Put on new gloves and mix another batch of epoxy just like you did before. Make sure the silicon mat is in place and apply another coat of epoxy on top of the glitter coat to seal the glitter and smooth your tumbler. Remember to set your timer and remove the electrical tape in 30-40 min.
- After you remove the tape with gloved hands allow the cup to spin overnight or for 8 hrs.
- Remove the glittery cup and decide if you want to be done or continue with the wood grain peek-a-boo part. You can be done right now with a beautiful sparkly cup! If you choose to add some vinyl personalization you will need to top the vinyl with one more layer of epoxy to finish it.
- On to wood-graining: Tape the edges (yes again – lol) and recoat the tumbler with the white spray paint. Use light even strokes with the can so you don’t get runs or drips. You also may need to do this a couple of times so you don’t see the glitter through the paint. Allow to dry completely before moving to the next step.
- I suggest you re-watch the video for help with the technique and begin using the lighter color of gold/brown alcohol ink to apply the wood grain to your tumbler. It dries almost immediately. If you make a mistake you usually can fix it by just going over it again with the same color or rubbing with a bit of rubbing alcohol.
- Repeat the process with the darker color brown alcohol ink. Dry for a few minutes then coat with clear spray sealer. Use two light coats to avoid runs or drips. Allow this to dry for about 20-30 min.
- Now you will remove part of your wood graining (and paint layer) using an alcohol dampened rag and firm pressure. Watch the magic as your glitter layer is revealed! The goal is to make it look like a gem filled, cracked geode resides inside the “trunk” of this tumbler “tree”. You want some irregular and imperfect paths so don’t try to make it perfect. Do not over wet your rag with alcohol or it will run onto the tumbler and make streaks. When you are satisfied with your glitter reveal you need to decide if you are applying any vinyl to further personalize this project. If you are then that is your next step. If you are not then you are ready for your final coat of epoxy.
- Your edges should still be taped so repeat all the steps required in mixing up another batch of epoxy. Place your cup back on the spinner and apply the final coat of epoxy using gloved hands. Allow to spin for 30-40 min. Remove tape, wipe away any epoxy smears with rubbing alcohol and let spin overnight or for 8 hours. Your tumbler will be gorgeous and glass-like and ready to enjoy or give as a gift!
(*IF YOU MESS UP- Wrap the epoxy coated tumbler (after it has finished curing) in pure acetone soaked paper toweling. Then wrap the entire thing tightly in aluminium foil and seal in a Ziploc bag for 24 hours. The entire mess will literally peel right off and you can start again. Don’t give up! Remember, practice makes perfect!)