One of the latest innovations in face painting, bling clusters have been popular for more than a year now. Because of their beauty, they are an excellent way to add value to designs and attract new customers. Gem clusters can take any form, so consider creating a few of these lovely bling tiaras for children who love bling in their princess or fairy designs.
• Flat-backed gems/rhinestones
• Liquid bandage (optional—available at pharmacies)
• Tulip glitter dimensional fabric paint or medical silicone
• Wax-tipped wand for lifting and placing gems
• Plastic sheet protectors
• Graph paper
Here are some tips as you create your own bling tiaras and clusters.
• Draw your basic design out on graph paper before beginning, because it is easier to trace the design with the dimensional fabric paint once you place your graph paper inside the page protectors.
• If you’re right-handed, work left to right so you don’t accidentally smear a finished design with the side of your hand. (Reverse this if you’re left-handed.)
• While I’ve found the most versatile and popular Tulip glitter dimensional paints are silver and gold, you can also find them in other colors, such as white, diamond, green, blue, and pink.
• Watch out as your dimensional paint gets low, because air bubbles tend to pop out suddenly with a swoosh of air that sprays the dimensional paint. Don’t panic if this happens, but just use a cotton swab or tip of a paper towel to wipe away the extra from places where you don’t want it and keep working.
• Allow your bling tiaras to dry for 36–48 hours. It could take less for clusters with smaller gems, but the fabric paint will dry more slowly under the larger gems.
• Lilly Walters Schermerhorn suggests that you coat small areas of your plastic page protector with liquid bandage and allow it to dry before you put down your dimensional fabric paint, just to create an extra layer which is particularly skin-safe. I do this sometimes, but I am more likely to use the liquid bandage with clusters than with tiaras. When you peal up the cluster, there is often a little residual liquid bandage around the outside of each one. While it’s easy to trim around the edge of clusters, it’s difficult to trim around the intricate parts of the tiaras.
• Don’t be discouraged if you find setting the gems difficult at first. It gets easier with practice, and you’ll find a system that works best for you if you keep trying. The waxed-tipped wands are especially useful for this.
• If you love the way clusters look, but you don’t want to make them yourself, check out the beautiful bling clusters you can order through Facepaint.com.
Beth MacKinney is the owner of and primary face painter for Face Paint Pizzazz. She services Elgin, Illinois, the NW Chicago suburbs, the north side of Chicago, and some portions of the Rockford area. Shop by Clownantics.com to enjoy more of Beth’s face painting tutorials and blog posts.]]>