How to Make Your Own Custom Shimmer Paints

3 colors of homemade custom shimmer paint

Sometimes you need to add a dose of shimmer to a project. Regular acrylic craft paint is too flat. Glitter paint is too hard. Let me show you how to make your own custom shimmer paints for a soft, shimmery glow. You’ll want them in every color of the glimmery rainbow!

Quick, easy and inexpensive – the winning trio

This is probably one of the easiest craft elements to make, but one that makes such a huge difference in many ways. I add shimmer to so many projects that I need virtually every color of the shimmer rainbow. And the “ingredients” couldn’t be easier to find! You can get these at most craft stores or Amazon, except for the Stampin’Up! ink refills. Let me break them down for you…

You’ll need small plastic cups with tight-fitting lids. These from Amazon have lids that form a super tight seal. This is important because you don’t want your paints drying out on you.

I used to buy shimmer paints from an online company, and I bought every color they had. Cha-ching! Before some of them even made it to my house, they had already started drying out due to their loose, screw-on lids. Perhaps that’s why they (sadly) went out of business.

These lids are t.i.g.h.t.

Small plastic cups in which to mix the shimmer paints
These have super tight lids
White metallic acrylic paint as the base for the shimmer paint
The shimmer is just right with this brand

Next you’ll need a white pearlescent acrylic (which means water-based) craft paint to act as the base. Notice this paint is “pearlescent,” not glittery. We’re looking to make “shimmer” paint, not in-your-face, smack-your-mama glitter paints. You’ll see why in a bit.

Water soluble refill inks for adding color
Any brand should do

Next you need water-soluble ink refills. These are the colors with which you refill stamp pads. The two I’m using today are from Stampin’Up! and Tim Holtz Distress Ink. If you have a lot of colors, you can make a lot of shimmer paints.

Craft sticks for mixing the paints
You’ll have plenty left over for other uses. Like popsicles.

Finally, you need something to stir the ink into the paint. These wooden craft sticks are the perfect tool. They come in two sizes – you’ll want the narrow ones. You know, like popsicle sticks.

OK, now you have your “ingredients…”

Time to have some fun

I might have filled the cup a little full

Fill one of the little cups about half full with the white pearlescent paint. Don’t worry if you go a little overboard. It won’t spill. Maybe.

Choose your color. Aren’t we glad these inks come in bottles with ink droppers? Not only because it keeps things mess-free, but because it’s darned fun to photograph.

Dropping ink into the white paint
Almost got it!

The amount you add will depend on whether you want soft light colors or deeper, richer colors. Lucky for me I like deeper, richer colors because I was having so much fun dropping the ink trying to catch the drops on digital “film” in mid-air. Or catching a mini-splash.

One has to take fun where one can…

The final product - a beautiful deep lavender shimmer paint
Beautiful, if I do say so myself

It never fails to amaze me how pretty these paints turn out when they’re all mixed up.

Let’s do it again…

This one’s better

I used two different brands today and couldn’t tell the difference, which is a relief. It opens the door to a heavenly host of custom colors in my arsenal of shimmer paints. (Translation: I have a zillion ink refills in different brands.)

Paints and the paper flowers to be painted
These flowers need help

One of the main uses for shimmer paints in my crafting is to paint flowers. These are from Really Reasonable Ribbon (see Source below). And while they look meh, ok in their somewhat naked state… they look SO much better wearing a pretty coat of custom shimmer paints. In fact, I can safely say that I almost ALWAYS dress flowers up in custom colors, like I did in this cute birthday card and on this textured easel card.

3 colors of homemade custom shimmer paint
Everything looks better with a little shimmer

And there you have it – dressier, fancier, shimmerier flowers with custom shimmer paints. For some real razzle dazzle, I’ve been known to put glitter in the centers of the flowers.

You know what’s coming next…

Now it’s your turn

Go ahead, make some shimmer paints and share them on my Facebook page. Paint something. Paint some flowers, or cardstock, whether white or colored. Shimmer paints are a GREAT way to tone down too-bright cardstock. Show us your glimmery best.

We’re waiting for you.


Wild Orchid Cherry Blossoms from Really Reasonable Ribbon
Wild Orchid Miniature Sweetheart Blossoms from Really Reasonable Ribbons

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How to Make Your Own Custom Designer Cardstock
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An Elegant Thank You Card

2 thoughts on “How to Make Your Own Custom Shimmer Paints”

    1. Shea McNaughton

      You’re welcome! I’d love for you to post an image (or more) on the G&B FB page. Or share on Instagram. Or both!

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