Tips & How To’s

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Use Epoxy for Tumblers

Tim Parry


how to use epoxy for tumblers

You've probably happened on glitter tumblers of all sorts and colors at the store, but have you ever thought of making one yourself? Making a sparkly DIY glitter tumbler is pretty easy and lots of fun too! This guide will walk you through the tools and steps you need to learn how to use epoxy for tumblers.

What You'll Need

Whether you're experienced in DIY crafts and projects or are new to this, making epoxy tumblers isn't hard at all, especially if you have the right equipment. The essential supplies you need include:

  • Plastic or stainless steel tumbler
  • A lot of glitter
  • Spray paint
  • Epoxy resin

Optional Supplies

  • Mod podge
  • Vinyl (or any holographic)
  • Cricut cutting machine (for vinyl)
  • Sandpaper
  • Turner
  • Nerf football
  • Tape, depending on your design

Supplies to Mix and Apply Epoxy

  • Nitrile gloves to protect your hands
  • Disposable plastic cups
  • Popsicle stick
  • Parchment paper, newspaper or cardboard to protect your work surface

How to Make an Epoxy Tumbler

Step 1: Tape the Tumbler

This is an optional step depending on the design you're going for. Tape the sections of the tumbler that you want to retain the original design. For example, you can tape around the top if you prefer not to have epoxy next to your mouth.

Pro-Tip: Cured epoxy is usually food-safe, so how and where you tape is entirely up to personal preference.

Step 2: Spray Paint Tumbler

Glitter looks best when applied on a coat of color. Start by spray painting the tumbler to make the glitter pop. You can opt for matte paint since epoxy will eventually add plenty of sheen.

If you're painting a plastic tumbler, consider this.

Remember, some types of spray paint might need you to sand your tumbler down before application.

Step 3: Prepare the Turner

A cup turner helps to dry the tumbler to avoid having epoxy and glitter streaks on the tumbler.

Alternatively, you can also consider turning the tumbler by hand if you don't have a cup turner. For the best results, turn the tumbler every 3 minutes while allowing for about 30 minutes of drying altogether.

What if you don't have a cup turner? No worries. You can also improvise a DIY turner at home that can work just as well as an industrial one. 

Step 4: Mix & Apply Epoxy Resin

At this point, we're trying to get the glitter to stick to the tumbler. You can use epoxy, mod podge or a spray adhesive for this step. It would be best to use the same expoxy you used to coat the tumbler. Ensure the epoxy is FDA-approved as food safe.

Epoxy usually comes with instructions for use. Typically, you'll mix equal parts of each liquid and stir it gently for around 3 minutes. Stir the epoxy slowly when you see bubbles coming up, or pop them with a popsicle stick.

Put on your nitrile gloves and apply the epoxy you've prepared. Spread it evenly over the entire painted surface. Once the coat is even, you can proceed to the next step.

Step 5: Apply Glitter

Sharon McCutcheon | Acrylic Glitter Paint

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You need to apply glitter as soon as you have applied the adhesive. You can choose to use a brush for this step. Get the tumbler turning on the turner to ensure that the glitter goes on evenly.

There are two ways to apply glitter. You can apply it to part of the tumbler then add more adhesive or epoxy to another part and apply glitter there. Alternatively, you can do the entire thing at once.

Remember, glitter can get everywhere if you are not careful. First, choose a work surface that would be easier to clean, say a tiled floor, and cover it using parchment paper, cloth or newspaper. Ensure the tumbler is sealed properly so as not to shed glitter. Lastly, use a lint roller for picking up fallen bits.

Step 6: Add More Glitter or Vinyl Decal (Optional)

Vinyl decal sticks to smooth materials best. If you opt for it, you need to apply an extra layer of epoxy on top of the glitter to make the surface nice and smooth. You can then add a vinyl decal after the epoxy dries.

Remember to stop the epoxy resin tumbler from turning before adding the vinyl decal.

Step 7: Add Last Epoxy Coat

Turn the tumbler to help you apply resin smoothly with your finger, preferably from top to base, to avoid getting streaks. If you opted for a decal, you need to be extra careful to ensure you don't pull it off.

Step 8: Clean Tumbler and Take Tape Off

If you used tape, you should take it off at least 45 minutes after applying the last epoxy coat. Peel it slowly and evenly.

If you didn't use tape, you can now use acetone to remove any glitter or adhesive that may have spilled inside the tumbler. Nail polish remover should get the job done.

And there you have it! You're now a proud owner of an exquisite DIY epoxy glitter tumbler.

Final Word

Hopefully, now you know how to make your own personalized tumbler. Whether you're new to such crafting projects or have some DIY experience, this shouldn't be too difficult to pull off. So, go ahead and have fun!

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Tim Parry

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