Saturday, May 30, 2009

Working with Pearl Ex Pigment Powders

If you are looking for a way to add some metallic sheen or pearlescent shimmer to you projects, I would recommend Jacquard Pearl Ex Pigment Powders that can be found in your local craft supply store and at Walmart and will cost anywhere from $25 to $30 a set of 12 jars. Yes this is a bit pricey but they last for a very long time because you use very little at a time. You can even split up the jars with a friend and save yourself some money.
Here are a couple of links where you can also find Pearl Ex Powders or something similar:
These links can also be accessed by looking at the side bar of this blog under My Favorite Links for Supplies and Ideas.
Series 1 includes 12 different colors in 3 gram bottles. Micro Pearl, Macro Pearl, Super Russet, Super Copper, Brilliant Gold, Sparkle Gold, Silver, Super Bronze, Sunset Gold, Interference Violet, Interference Gold and Duo Red Blue.

Series 2 includes 12 different colors in 3 gram bottles. Aztec Gold, Antique Copper, Antique Silver, Duo Green Yellow, Bright Yellow, Flamingo Pink, Spring Green, Turquoise, True Blue, Misty Lavender, Blue Russet, and Sparkling Copper.

Series 3 includes 12 different colors in 3 gram bottles. Carbon Black, Pumpkin Orange, Salmon Pink, Pink Gold, Reflex Violet, Grey Lavender, Mink, Sky Blue, Pearl White, Antique Bronze, Sunset Gold and Duo Blue Green.

The colors are striking and very shimmery and can be added to a number of craft mediums such as acrylic paints, clay, ink pads, and you can even add the powder to a spray bottle full of liquid hairspray and apply it to your projects by spritzing.

The powders are very fine so brushing it on adds that extra shimmer, especially to fairy wings!

I am going to show you a very simple technique to stamp an image and make it shine! The items you will need are a paint brush, stamp, cardstock, your choice of pigment powder, and a VersaMark Watermark Stamp Pad.

Ink up your stamp with the VersaMark Watermark Stamp Pad.

Stamp onto your cardstock or paper medium.

Turn the powder jar upside down and tap it on a hard surface so that you leave a layer of pigment powder on the inside of the lid.

The reason for doing this is because that is all the Pearl Ex Powder you are going to need for your stamped image.

Dip your paint brush in the powder. I would recommend using a wide, soft bristle paint brush for applying the powder.

Apply the powder over the watermarked image lightly with the paint brush.

The watermark ink with make the powder stick leaving you with a shimmery image of your stamp. Light colored Pearl Ex Pigment Powder on a dark-colored cardstock is recommended for the image to stand out as well as a dark-colored Pearl Ex Pigment Powder on a light colored cardstock.

You may not be able to see the shimmer that well in this picture but if you are in possession of this fairy LTC or any other fairy LTC's of mine, look closely at the wings. I have used the Pearl Ex Powders on all of my fairy wings! You can also just brush the pigment powders on the paper with a soft paint brush and it will stay without using any substance to make it stick. The powders are light enough to stay put!


  1. Hmm.... I happen to have a 40% off coupon good at Michaels. Wasn't sure that I actually needed anything (and really, I still don't!), but I might have to splurg anyhow now.... =)

    -- Ryan

  2. I love these powders- I typically use them as watercolors but will have to give this dry method a try. They really add a richness that nothing else can imitate!

  3. Well, here you go again CFL...spending my money. :-/

    I think I need these...thanks for the critique.

  4. I do love the colors of Pearl Ex but for most applications, they need to be mixed with another medium such as gum arabic or PearlEx Varnish or sprayed with something to set. I have items where I didn't set or mix (like the technique above) that months later, the powder still comes off the project if I touch it. The powders can be mixed with embossing powders before heating - but some of the Pearl Ex may still wipe off afterwards.

    An alternative to PearlEx that includes resin in the powder so it doesn't need to be mixed or set after use is Rangers Perfect Pearls. There are only 24 colors but are usually sold in sets of 4 with a Perfect Medium ("ink") pad and brush for application. Of course, the Perfect Pearls can also be mixed with watercolors, acrylic paints, and embossing powders to enhance the effect.

    I don't sell either product - just giving options. Like I said, I love the Pearl Ex but the projects I do, I need additives and such which is more steps and more $$$.

    Thanks Camp Fire Lady for a great blog and reminding me of techniques and products to dust off and play with!!

  5. Ooo! Another shiny thing to play with!

  6. Cool! Yep, we need to buy some! Love your blog, CFL! :o)

  7. Very cool!

    I have mixes my perfect pearls in Ranger mini misters with a bit of water and a few drops of alcohol inks, then sprayed them on LTC cardstock to make interesting backgrounds. They really add another dimension to the card!