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.
To make the tiaras, you'll need Tulip dimensional fabric paint in silver glitter or gold glitter, wax tipped wands for placing gems, large focal gems, smaller gems to complement the design, and plastic page protectors with graph paper.
So since we're getting close to Valentine's Day, I'm going to do a design that's kind of a Queen of Hearts tiara.
I'm going to begin by making my basic tiara structure, putting down a bead of my dimensional fabric paint, and I'm using the glitter gold. So I've got my first curve, that's going to be on the forehead. The second thing I'm going to do is put some of the glitter fabric paint in the shape of a heart in the center. That's where I'm going to drop my focal gem. I'm going to drop my gem onto the heart and press down very carefully so that it's centered, and I'll add just a little bit more of the fabric glue around the edges.
The next thing I'm going to do is look at my grid and make sure I'm keeping everything very symmetrical. I find that it's a little harder to do the left side than the right side, so I'll do the left side first, and then match the right side. I'm going to put a curved line down on one side, and another matching one on the other side. I'm using my grid to try to make it as symmetrical as possible. I'm going to make a loop and another one that matches on the other side.
For this one, I only have three loops on each side. Then, I'll add one final loop on the bottom. Any place I'm planning to put a gem, I'm going to add just a little bit of extra fabric glue.
Now I'm going to put down my gems. These are a little larger than the gems that I like to normally use, but I think that they'll still look really nice. The smaller the gems, the more delicate of a look it'll have. Most of the time, it releases very easily (the gem), when it touches the glitter, but once in a while it won't. If it doesn't, I just take another wand, and tap it down. Now I've got three gems on each side.
I'm going to continue and add three on the other side as well. As I place each one, I'm looking to see if it matches its placement on the opposite side. I'm also going to put a gem right down the center because I think tht will give it a pretty look.
If you have other colors that you think will work well, you can incorporate them in the design. For this, I'm going to put a couple of yellow or golden toned gems.
It has a little bit of a milky look right now while it dries, but once dried, it will look really nice.
I hope you found that useful! Making gem clusters takes a little bit of time, and it does take practice. I can see a big improvement over where I started a year ago versues where I am today. If you practice a lot, you'll find that it becomes easier and easier to control the different materials you're using for making them and you'll get a better feel for which gems work well for focal gems, and which work better for support gems.
• 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.]]>