Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Come and make UV resin glitter pens with me! They are refillable too! (and learn about water slide paper)

 Come and make UV resin glitter pens with me!

A year or so ago, I decided I was going to make resin cups.  I bought a turner and all the supplies then went to work.  It took forever.  Like a week to create a cup and because I had to make everything outside I dealt with resin not curing in cold weather, dust, newspaper sticking to my cup due to wind and you name it!  

Per my last blog you saw that I've been playing with UV resin.  It cures in minutes and not days, UV rays from the sun will cure it so you don't want to do the entire process outside which helps so much.

Long story short, I love making glitter pens and have even gotten the water slides out.  In this blog I will show you how to make glitter pens the right way AND how to use water slides.

Lets get started.

Products you need:

  • Ink Joy gel pens-These are refillable and one barrel so you can glitter the entire pen.  They are avail on Amazon, Target, Walmart and prob a few other places.
  • Glitter-Any will do, fine glitter works best but chunky does work.
  • UV resin-You can get this at any craft store but Amazon has some really good prices.
  • UV light-The lower the wattage, the longer it takes to cure.  I've heard you don't want to go over 24 watts as it will cute too fast.  Or the good 'ol sun will work as well!  I actually use an old nail lamp for gel nails.
  • Sand paper
  • Acrylic paint-I prefer this method over spray paint.  I have a lot of colors so it makes more sense to me, plus your first coat can be cheap acrylic paint vs. expensive UV resin.
  • Pliers to remove the clip off the pen (you can use your hand to twist off)
  • Gloves to protect your hands
  • A dowel or cabob stick to hold the pen for you.  
  • Disposable straw
  • pool noodle or craft floral foam to stick the stick into holding your pen so that you are not laying it on its side.
  • Box cutter or blade
  • Water slide paper or cut vinyl-This part is not necessary, its just if you want to add a name or some kind of image to your pen. You can get this at your craft store or on Amazon.  If you have an ink jet printer, make sure its an ink jet paper.
    • you will need clear spray paint for water slides.

Your first steps are going to prep your pen.

Disassemble the pen:

Remove the clip off the outside of the pen.  Simply twist/break it off.  I use a set of pliers but you can twist it off with your hands.

Next disassemble the pen.  Make sure you have a container for the pieces, they can get lost and then your pen will not work.  Trust me, I am still looking for a pc to one of the pens I've made, I just know I will find it eventually.  Unscrew the pen tip.

You have unscrewed the bottom tip and placed it into a container, then pull out the pen with spring, and the top of the pen that clicks to use the pen.

All the innards of the pen should be put into a container or baggie so you do not lose them.  Just keep the barrels out.

Next take a box cutter and shave that nub off left from twisting off the clip.  Don't forget to face the blade away from you!

Get your barrels and sand them.  A quick sanding will just allow the paint or resin to stick since the pen has a rubber barrel.  

Next wash them off with water or alcohol and a paper towel to get the dust off.

Now is the fun part, choose a color of acrylic paint that matches the glitter you want to use.  This provides a base coat and colors the black pen so that you do not have black pen showing through your glitter. Paint a layer of paint onto the pen barrel, then pour glitter over it while its wet.  The glitter sticks to the barrel.  Let it dry.  I usually will do a bunch of pens at the same time so that it has time to dry.  I usually let it dry for at least an hour while I am painting/glittering more pens.

The next step is the first coat of UV resin. 

Slip a plastic straw into the barrel of the pen, find one that is snug, I save the ones from when we get fast food.  You will hold the kabob stick so that you have a clean place to hold it.  Get your noodle or your flower foam out because once you resin the pen and use your UV light you will want to stick the other end of the kabob stick into the foam to hold it up.

This is what my contraption looks like when I'm doing glitter pens.  Flower foam, sticks with straws and pens. 

Put your gloves on anytime you are working with resin, pour a small line of resin on to the barrel of the pen and rub it all over the pen.  Try not to get any inside the pen.  I usually go from one end of the pen to the other side smoothing it out.  A little goes a long way.  I often use about 3 strips of UV resin on 1 pen for the first coat.  I just put it on till its smooth.  Remember the more you use, the thicker your pen will be.

This pen has 1 coat of glitter and one coat of resin.  It's smooth enough to add vinyl or waterslide now.

Once you are done, hold the kabob stick and use your UV lamp for 3 or 4 minutes.  It should set, it may be slightly tacky  If it is tacky, you can put it outside for like 5 min and it will be dry.

Next, another layer of resin if you pen is not smooth.  If you feel glitter, you know you should use another layer of UV resin.  Then under the lamp for about 7 min until dry, or take it outside.

The pen should be pretty smooth and you shouldn't really be able to feel the glitter.  If you used chunky glitter, you may feel it.  You can sand it then clean it with alcohol or you can just keep adding layers or resin and repeating the drying process till it is smooth.  I have a few pens that I let be rough and they are fine.

Now, if you want, this is the time to add your water slides or even vinyl to the pen if you want to do so.  If you do not want to add waterslides or vinyl to your pen, you can skip this step.  Your pen has to be fully cured and not sticky to do the next step.

Water slide application:

Print an image on your water slide paper.  I have ink jet water slide paper

Next, you will want to clear coat the paper 3 times outdoors, letting it dry in between sprays.  This seals the water slide paper so that when it gets introduced to water, the ink doesn't just come off the paper.

Once you have done this, cut out the image you want to put onto your pen and throw it into some water for about 30 seconds (or look at the instructions on your specific waterslide paper).

Take the water slide out of the water, put the water slide image down on your pen and carefully slide it down so that the image sticks to your pen. If you wait till your water slide is even more wet, you can slide it off onto your finger and place it on to your pen.  

This process took me 6 sheets of paper to get right but I had never worked with this before.  You can add a tiny bit of water to your resin pen to help slide the water slide around and it will help you place it where you want it.

You will need to wait for your pens to dry.  You can also a paper towel and carefully dry off your pen.  I do a few pens at a time so by the time I am done with other water slides, my pen is dry.

The little paws are done with clear water slide.

If you have a Cameo or Cricut machine you can cut your vinyl and simply stick it to the barrel of the pen and move to the next step.  I really love the way it turns out.

This was done with vinyl.  You can use 651 (permanent vinyl) or 631 (non-permanent vinyl)  You are sealing your pen barrel with another coat of resin so it will stay.

Last coat of UV resin.  This is to cover the beautiful waterslide work or the vinyl you added so that it stays on your pen forever.  

Coat it, UV lamp it, sometimes its still sticky so I set it in the sun till its not tacky.  If you can still feel your water slide or your vinyl, do another coat of UV resin.  Sometimes I have to coat it multiple times.

You are done and have a gorgeous glitter pen!

Now for those of you that love making glitter pens there is a cool tool out there that I got on Amazon, they are called Non-Stick silicone sleeves and plugs for resin pens.  I bought a pack with dowels, sleeves, and plugs so that I could use those instead of sticks/straws.  They seem to work nicely and the silicone can be put under a lamp so any of the resin that gets on it will come right off once cured.  They are reusable and you simply put the sleeve inside the pen, over the dowel and the plug on top of the pen. I stick the dowel into the flower foam and I can remove it and place it back in anytime I want.  This also helps if you are doing multiple pens at a time.  The plug/sleeve prevents resin from going inside the pen.  They are made of silicone so the resin does not stick to them. Once you get the hang of it, you will want to make several at a time.  

Dowels, sleeve (green), plug (blue)

As you can see, the plug is at the top and the green sleeve is at the bottom of some of these pens.

I love making these for gifts and for myself!  I even made a couple for my husband as he is a teacher.  

As you make them, you can try different styles like 2 toned or even glitter designs.  I am new, so I'll stick to one color at a time!

Another fun idea is making boxes for them if you have a Cricut or Silhouette machine.  I made these cute little giftable boxes!


This is definitely one of my new favorite gifts. Also, people sell these things for 10.00.  So, if you would rather buy one, let me know what you would like and I can make one for you.

Thanks for reading and I hope you learned something today!


Please leave a comment and visit my Instagram! Follow me!  I try to post once a month unless I find a new craft that I'm super excited about.

Friday, February 4, 2022

Come and make UV resin stuff with me!

Make UV resin stuff with me & my friend Sam! 

Of course once everyone saw what we were doing others wanted to make stuff too!

I've had all this resin stuff for over a year.  When I decided to make glitter tumblers, I bought a lot of other resin molds and things so that I could make resin items.  Well, shockingly I never did.  That was a year ago.  My friend Sam and I decided to get kits from Amazon and give it a shot.  Everything turned out really nice!

This is Sam and I
She makes a lot of candles and soaps that smell amazing!  Maybe one day I'll blog the process for you.  She always makes it look so easy.

The kits were super inexpensive and came with all kinds of stuff including the light, a small bottle of resin, molds, glitter, and well here it is.

Link to UV resin kit

 I paid 16.99 plus tax, however, Amazon does change prices from time to time, so check out other listings.  Just make sure its a UV Resin Kit that includes the light and resin if you need it.  There are so many kits avail that you will want all of them.

For UV resin you need a UV light to cure the resin.  This set came with one and I pulled out a gel UV light for my nails and that will work too.

This is a pic of the table.  You can see all the stuff I drug out to use for the project.  You can use shaker bits, glitters, alcohol inks, little trinkets, all kinds of stuff from other crafts you may already do.  My friend Sam bought a kit too so we just had a mess of UV resin stuff to play with.

Really the things your absolutely need are below:

  • UV light 4 to 24 watts.
    • The smaller the watt the longer it will take to cure
  • UV Resin
    • You can find this at big box stores but you will pay a premium
    • The one that came with the kit worked just fine and it was included in the kit
    • The bottles are noted in grams so I would go with as much as you can get.  Trust me you will want to have more!
  • Glitter, shaker bits, metal trinkets, really anything you want to put in the resin.
    • If you use paper or stickers, you must seal them with either a few coats of Mod Podge or spray paint.
    • You can use vinyl without any sealer, you will want to just put more UV resin on top of the vinyl and seal with the light.
  • Heat Gun or even a BBQ lighter
    • This will pop bubbles but use sparingly.  You can also just use a tooth pick to pop them before you cure.
  • The UV light pictured below was a Gel nail UV light not the one with the kit.  I liked this one better because it cures faster 25 watt and its larger so it will accommodate larger pcs.
    • Super large pcs may just need to be used with regular resin plus UV resin is expensive  even the bracelet was kinda too large.  It took half the bottle that came with this kit.
    • Larger pcs may not cure, so make sure you are using UV for mostly smaller items.
  • You will want baby wipes, use these to wipe off any item that is not silicone so that the resin doesn't permanently stick to it.
  • Gloves, you really shouldn't be using this stuff without gloves to protect your skin.  Also, do this in a well ventilated area.  This is why we were outside.

Its really easy.  First I wanted to make a bracelet for my daughter for Valentines day.

You take the resin, do not shake ( we do not need more bubbles )

Pour the UV resin carefully into the resin mold.  Next time I think I'll use a syringe and it was hard to tell when this mold was full.  I also kept spilling the resin over the top of the mold.  

Then just press in some kind of item.  For this I used little hearts that I usually use for shaker cards. If you decide to use glitter, I suggest getting a silicone cup.  This way you can mix the glitter in with your resin then pour it into the bracelet.
Also, once you are done with your silicone cup, put it under the light.  It will harden the resin and make an easy clean up.
Keep the resin, you can then use it as a filler and make a cute tye-dye filled resin something or other.

Put it under your light for about 3 min, it doesn't hurt to flip it over and do another couple min on the other side, or in the sun for a while and the UV rays will harden it.

If its sticky, put it back under the light to cure longer.  Let the mold cool down before you take the item out.  If you take it out too early it may be warped.  If it is warped you can always sand it down, wipe the dust, put more resin on top and re cure it.  This process will fix whatever issues you may have had.

Our resin kept hardening as we were doing this outside in the shade.  I think I'm going to try and do it inside of the garage to prevent it from hardening so early.

Curing under the light

Taking the bracelet out of the mold

Look how pretty!

I did have bubbles, but the bracelet turned out great, I did overfill and you can see it on the other side.  I can simply sand that down.

My friend Sam made these cute earrings. You can always resin the earring backs on or use the hole this particular mold creates for a jump ring and attach a back with that.

Sam poured the resin in the mold then carefully placed the bits on top and pushed them in with a pick.  Another way is to mix some bits or glitter with your resin then pour it in.  UV has a nice tip on it though so its easier to pour it in first.

To use  bezels you just put a piece of packing tape down, sticky side up.  Then lay your filler item down (yellow beetle), then take the heart, center the beetle inside and make sure its stuck really good.  Fill your item with glitter, or whatever, then put in your resin, cure as normal (both sides) and its done!  I noticed the brad created an air pocket underneath.  Just put some resin down on the tape before you lay your beetle on, or add more later on the back over the brad where it isn't fully filled with resin.  Its really easy to do these.

If you get too much resin and you don't like it, sand it down, dust it off, and just put more resin on and re cure.  I made  this out of a brad I had in my scrapbook stash.  We clipped off the back with wire snippers.  You can use scissors but you might nick up your scissors.

These are all the items we made with the resin provided.  It only came with 60g or 2 ounces of resin but I cannot wait to play with it again.  I found several more UV resin suppliers on Amazon that sell resin cheaper than the big box stores, so go take a look.  I'll be posting more blogs on UV resin and I'll provide links of the supplies I purchased.

This was a super fun kit, sure I added stuff from home, but that is the fun part.  My friend Sam and I will be making more soon. When we do, I'll be posting more blogs!

I hope you enjoyed the blog on UV resin.  I think next I'll tackle UV resin pens!  I'll also be writing a blog on regular resin soon.  I am sure there is a lot more to learn, if you have played with any of this, please leave me comments with tips.

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Monday, January 31, 2022

Come and sublimate tumblers with me in a convection oven!

 Hello and welcome to 2022!  My blog is officially 1 year old!  I am so excited to still be interested in blogging my craft ideas and my new craft adventures.

Today we are talking about sublimating tumblers.  I have sublimated many things at this point including coffee mugs, keychains, washcloths, pillowcases, car coasters, coozies, mousepads, puzzles among other things.

I heard you could use a convection oven to sublimate tumblers and I really got excited and got to work!

Supplies you need:

  • Sublimation printer
    • I use the Epson Eco-Tank ET-2720 loaded with special sublimation ink (previous blog)
    • Found mine at Best Buy for around 200
  • Sublimation paper
    • I use Asub sublimation paper a 20 ounce tumbler would require at minimum 8.5x11
    • Amazon
  • A computer system that allows you to modify images.
    • I have Silhouette Studio I use with my Cameo (the software is free)
    • Cricut design space will not allow you to print the size of image you need
    • Canva is a good one too
  • Heat tape
    • Clear high temp heat tape
    • Amazon
  • Shrink wrap film (5x10) 
    • This is a shrink wrap made for tumblers
    • Amazon
  • Low temp heat gun
    • I have a drillmaster heat gun I stole from my husbands garage.  
    • I initially tried my tried and true embossing heat gun and it works but I did melt a few of these, so I'd get a low temp heat gun if you can.
    • Check your husband's garage!
  • 20 ounce sublimation coated skinny tumbler
    • These must be coated to use for sublimation and you could do this with really any cup that can be covered with a shrink wrap.
    • I wouldn't use anything with plastic on it
    • amazon
  • A convection oven large enough to fit a tumbler
    • I have an Oster 6260-000 6 slice convection toaster oven
    • Larger is better due to the flow of air and hot spots that can be in the oven
    • Do not use this oven for food after you have sublimated in it
    • Found at Goodwill for 12.49
  • Temperature gauge
    • The temp that your oven knob states is not always accurate.  In fact, my oven gauge that was set at 300 was measuring 375 with my laser temp gauge.  
    • Any in-oven temp gauge or laser gauge will do, I actually use a laser temp gauge that is used to check the temp of a lizard habitat.  
    • I have to open the door to my convection oven to check the temperature because it is a laser and not an in-oven gauge.
  • A silicone mat to cover your wire rack in the oven
    • There are other things you can buy and some people used paper, I just am afraid of burning the paper.
  • Heat resistant gloves to touch your tumblers, they will be hot!
Now that you have your supplies, lets take you through the process of sublimating at 20 ounce straight tumbler.

First, I design an image in Silhouette Studio.  Now with that said you can use any program, its just a print job.  If you have a design in word and it can be the proper size, print it out on your Sub printer and use it.

For this, my image must be 9.3 inches wide x 8.2 inches high.  I turn the image so that I can print it out on my 8.5x11 sheet of sub paper.  You have to mirror your print job.  I have my printer set to mirror because its a sub printer so I won't be printing anything else on it and you always want to mirror the image.

Below is an image I created for a friend to give to her cheer coach.

It is important to get the image perfectly aligned with the top and bottom of your cup.  If you have too much paper on top and tape it down, you will get ghosting.  Ghosting is when your image does not properly die the substrate and you have a white blobby mark instead of your pretty design.

Below shows some ghosting at the lip of the cup.  Sometimes it just happens but the way I am showing you, you shouldn't get any ghosting on your cup.

Next, I need to trim the white sides off so that it fits my cup perfectly.  Then I tape the image to the cup.

Below are a few things to consider when taping the image to the cup;

  • Tape paper to paper, if you put tape on your cup, the sub won't sub in that spot and your will have a white spot
  • Squeeze the paper as tight as you can when you tape
  • I use 3 strips horizontal on the seam, and one or more strips to cover the seam vertically.
  • I don't tape the top or bottom, I have found that makes it ghost as it bends the paper and causes air pockets.
  • Take any stickers off of the cup as they will burn.  Most cups do have a silver sticker on the bottom, remove that before you shrink wrap them.
This is what a taped cup looks like:

Next you want to use your shrink wrap film to seal the tumbler.  This will provide the pressure your image needs to sub the cup.

  • Slip the sleeve around your cup leaving room at both ends.  
  • Under low heat in sweeping motions shrink that plastic and make sure there are no holes, bubbles, or wrinkles.  You can keep going over the area to get these out.  I have had small wrinkles in the plastic, and it was fine.
This is what your cup should look like when its shrink wrapped.  

If you have some holes in the plastic, it still works.  I've done it.

Above you see where I accidentally melted the plastic, it still subbed well, but I was a little worried.

Now your cups are ready for the oven.

This is how I have my convection oven set up.  I have cut a silicone mat the size of my .  I don't want my cup to hit any metal if I can help it.  If your cup hits metal and burns the shrink wrap you could have some ghosting but mine have been okay.  

I left the crumb tray inside and 1 rack in the middle of the oven.  Cut down and put the silicone mat on the rack.

Next turn your oven on bake at 350 and check the temp to ensure it stays around 350 to 375 degrees.  

Its important to check the temp throughout the process, it can burn.

Put your glove on and sit your cup inside your oven.  Some people have success turning their ovens on their side and standing up their cups.  I just have not tried that.

This is my cup placement; I have done 2 at a time.

I keep checking the temp and I rotate the cups and roll them around in there every 2 minutes for 5 minutes.  Some people online say every 3 min or some people say 6 min total.  I do this and it works so I'll continue to use this process until it doesn't work anymore.

Keep your gloves on and take the cup out.  You can let it sit until its cool to remove the plastic and sub paper or you don't have to.  It is easier to get the plastic off if you remove it when its hot.

Now you have a beautiful, personalized tumbler.

I have made a few so far, pictures are below (some images were bought off etsy, some I created.)

Tumblers are so fun and they turn out so great!  

Thanks for reading my blog, let me know what kind of tumblers you like.  If you make them, do you have any tips?


Come and make UV resin glitter pens with me! They are refillable too! (and learn about water slide paper)

 Come and make UV resin glitter pens with me! A year or so ago, I decided I was going to make resin cups.  I bought a turner and all the sup...