Andrea Mulder-Slater: The Art of Childhood


A Love Letter to Glitter, the Herpes of Craft Supplies

Rediscover glitter. Over and over (and over) again.

Glitter - you know you want it.

Every once in a while, I lose my mind. And then I buy glitter.

I never know what will trigger the purchase. Sometimes it’s hearing an old Cyndi Lauper song at the grocery store while I’m picking up string cheese. Other times it’s the inconceivable absence of coffee cream in a friend’s refrigerator. Mostly, it’s amnesia, brought on by lack of sleep. And Pinterest.

RELATED: You Won't Believe The Gorgeous Centrepiece You Can Make With Glitter

The thing about glitter is this: it’s attractive. Really freaking attractive. It looks so tempting, sitting on the shelf, wedged between stacks of fun foam and fusible beads. It’s the darling of the dollar store. All the other craft supplies - even the googly eyes - want to be it, or be near it because, IT’S GLITTER. Whether it’s gold or silver or red or blue or green, glitter is what makes that little voice inside your head start singing the words, “I see your true colours shining through.”

Yes, it’s dark and it’s disturbing, but whenever you see glitter, you want to take it home and craft the hell out of it.  

Don’t deny it. I know you’ve been there. Because I’ve been there too.

“And that’s why I love you.”

So you buy glitter. All the glitter. Because let’s face it, three bottles only cost $1.00, and even though somewhere in the deep recesses of your memory you have a faint recollection of a horrifying glitter explosion, you don’t remember it being all that bad. Sure you found tiny bits of shiny metal in your salad dressing, your bra, and in between your toddler’s toes for months after the fact, but to be fair, you hadn’t prepared your workspace properly. This time, things will be different because this time you will plan ahead. You will put out a bowl of warm soapy water and you will keep the vacuum nearby. In fact, you will do whatever it takes to make this happen.

You arrive home with your purchase sitting next to you on the front seat. You know full well that the path you are on is sketchy and it’s wrong but dammit you’ve haven’t felt this alive since you blasted a hairdryer across all of your kid’s crayons in an effort to make a melted wax masterpiece that would have turned out perfectly if only you had an industrial heat gun at your disposal. And so, you run into your house - giddy with anticipation - as you reveal the details of your plan to your family members.

Glitter meme.

It’s not your fault.  It’s your cerebrum - where glitter memories go to die - the neuron-packed part of your brain which controls reasoning, and harbours improper thoughts like: Yes, you can pull off the boyfriend jeans look and of course you should definitely quit your day job and start a hemp cloth tote bag business on Etsy.

“So don’t be afraid, to let them show…”

When it comes time to craft, it’s possible you might forget what to do, what with being completely and totally dazzle-drunk. So to help you through, I’ve prepared a brief tutorial that will work regardless of which unsuspecting item you choose to make fabulous.

Step 1) Grab the glue as you regret making your child part of your glitter plan.

Step 2) Repeat the words, “not yet, not yet, not yet,” as your 6 year-old incessantly asks if she can open ALL the glitter jars RIGHT NOW.

Glitter jars.

Step 3) Begin to question your own sanity.  

Step 4) Hastily throw a paper plate down on your kitchen counter. Refer to step 3.

Step 5) Realize there is no turning back.

Step 6) Encourage your kid to cover something - anything - with glue. Natural things are good because nothing complements nature like a crapload of sparkle.

Cover a rock with glue.

Step 7) Open the glitter jars and take a deep breath. On second thought, don’t. Because, lungs.

Step 8) Watch as your child begins to sprinkle glitter all over the glue, and beyond. Repent. Repent. Repent.

Sprinkle glitter over the glue.

Step 9) Let go of your worries because you are having some seriously freaky fun.

Glitter-covered fingers

Step 10) When you begin to come out of your glitter-induced haze, look around for the non-existent warm soapy water and vacuum. Curse the air and your forgetful mind. Then, lure your entire family outside before you set the house on fire because this is the ONLY way to clean up glitter.

Trust me, I'm an artist. Plus, the fire will be beautiful.

“Like a rainbow.”


Glitter Heart Rocks

Paint a heart shape on a rock using glue and an old paintbrush. Sprinkle on the glitter, shake off the excess and let it dry.

Paint a heart on a rock using glue, sprinkle it with glitter, shake off the glitter and voila.

Nature Glitter

Paint glue on anything - rocks, leaves, seashells, etc. Shake on the glitter and enjoy the dazzle.

Use glitter to decorate rocks, shells and leaves.


And finally, here is the answer to the question, "Who coined the phrase 'glitter is the herpes of craft supplies'"?

"The thing about glitter is, if you get it on you, be prepared to have it on you forever, because glitter is the herpes of craft supplies."
Demetri Martin