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All That Glitters: The History of Shiny Things

Dec 20, 2011

by Jeremiah Glazer

MP4 | VimeoYouTube | | Subscribe in iTunes

(Music by Caroline, courtesy of Temporary Residence Limited)

Who isn’t dazzled and enchanted by that wondrous stuff called glitter? The sparkle dust has long fascinated humans and iterations of it go back to the Pleistocene. As you shimmer and shine through the holidays, revel in its brilliant backstory.

Items featured in the video by Creations620, RagBagArtistry, monjardindepapier, FuelToTheFire, purekatherine, and gxnelson. Video directed by the accomplished director (and my wonderful friend) Gilly Barnes.


  • happygohandmade

    happygohandmade said 9 years ago

    Glitter- Its a magical thing! Very neat video, I love "how its made"

  • TwinkleStarCrafts

    TwinkleStarCrafts said 9 years ago

    Interesting fact about WWII. I did not realize that.

  • pedazos

    pedazos said 9 years ago

    Me love shiny and glittery!!!!

  • FreeThoughtExpress

    FreeThoughtExpress said 9 years ago

    I'm addicted to glitter!

  • VintageEye

    VintageEye said 9 years ago

    I am in glitter wonderland! Fabulous post!

  • bstudio

    bstudio said 9 years ago

    It does make me happy just to look at it, it seems like such a celebratory item!

  • joolrylane

    joolrylane said 9 years ago

    Gotta love glitter

  • beadstylin

    beadstylin said 9 years ago

    Every time I think of glitter, I am reminded of my assigned wedding coordinator who HATED glitter and banned it from my wedding. I can still hear her screaming, "NO glitter!" Poor woman...she was so unhappy! :-)

  • uniquefabricgifts

    uniquefabricgifts said 9 years ago

    Glitter = Happy! I think must of us love shinny things ;-)

  • Armalique

    Armalique said 9 years ago

    I never even thought about this! Cool video : )

  • HoneyThistle

    HoneyThistle said 9 years ago

    This series is so cool.

  • ArtByKristin

    ArtByKristin said 9 years ago

    I am never going to think of neanderthals the same! Cool video! Thank you for including my vase here! <3

  • crankbunny

    crankbunny said 9 years ago

    i love glitter - this is one of my favorite etsy videos so far.

  • Mclovebuddy

    Mclovebuddy said 9 years ago

    pretty stuff.

  • WhisperingOak

    WhisperingOak said 9 years ago

    Shine and sparkle add beauty to crafts

  • MegansMenagerie

    MegansMenagerie said 9 years ago

    <-------- LOVES Glitter!!!!

  • lovesexton

    lovesexton said 9 years ago

    what would the world be without GLITTER?!? LOVE it!!!!

  • HibouCards

    HibouCards said 9 years ago

    A little glitter is all it takes to make you smile sometimes :) ... it's as if it was a bit magical! thanks for sharing this with us. Cheers Hibou

  • OuterKnits

    OuterKnits said 9 years ago

    I'm a glitter girl! Love the video.

  • driftforever

    driftforever said 9 years ago

    Love the video! :)

  • rosebudshome

    rosebudshome said 9 years ago

    Glitter makes me happy too!

  • KettleConfections

    KettleConfections said 9 years ago

    glitter makes me feel like a kid in art class all over again, we glittered a pair of flats, one of those things you always remember

  • isewcute

    isewcute said 9 years ago

    I cannot go to a craft store without bringing home more glitter! Loving this!

  • KnitWittery

    KnitWittery said 9 years ago

    Gotta love how glitter gets everywhere when you use it, then you find a few bits of it in the weirdest places even when you think you've cleaned it all up. It's just awesome like that :)

  • tbglitterballs

    tbglitterballs said 9 years ago

    and might i add- GLITTER ISN'T just for the holidays! Watch for my non-holiday glitter ball mirrors & frames to debut this Spring!!

  • jojosvintagecupboard

    jojosvintagecupboard said 9 years ago

    Who doesn't love glitter? Great article!

  • FavoursBoutique

    FavoursBoutique said 9 years ago

    Glitter, glitter, glitter, glitter, glitter,glitter,glitter,glitter,............ love it.

  • junquegypsy

    junquegypsy said 9 years ago

    After embellishing a couple dozen vintage ice skates for more glitz, my kitchen looks like a glitter bomb exploded in it.

  • Parachute425

    Parachute425 said 9 years ago

    I had to use a ton of glitter on a project for a client in October and I'm still trying to get it all out of my house! It's everywhere. And now the Christmas cards with the glitter - yikes. It makes me smile and curse at the same time.

  • Natalie52688

    Natalie52688 said 9 years ago

    I LOVE this. Really fascinating to watch. Learned some cool new things too! I love how there is evidence that Pyrite and Hematite was potential used to add sparkle! Thanks for sharing! :)

  • VaVaVoomByNikkiDanby

    VaVaVoomByNikkiDanby said 9 years ago

    All that glitters is not gold...but it sure is fun!

  • accentonvintage

    accentonvintage said 9 years ago

    Glitter is a great way to make the ordinary special!

  • kiamichi7

    kiamichi7 said 9 years ago


  • BookCraft

    BookCraft said 9 years ago

    When I saw this title I instantly assumed it had to do with AllThatGlitters21 on YouTube. Not sure why..

  • BlueRoseRetro

    BlueRoseRetro said 9 years ago

    From litter to glitter.. who knew? I have always loved glitter. I believe it is quite magical.

  • JewelsbyJasmin

    JewelsbyJasmin said 9 years ago

    Loved it!

  • RetroRevivalBoutique

    RetroRevivalBoutique said 9 years ago

    <<<<Glitter runs in mah veins! :D Awesome article!

  • theori

    theori said 9 years ago

    Ooooh shiny!

  • CopperheadCreations

    CopperheadCreations said 9 years ago

    Ahh! I need that hot pink elephant in my life. And I want all the necklaces at thestudio8!

  • cooksie

    cooksie said 9 years ago

    love pink elephants!

  • bagsbystacey

    bagsbystacey said 9 years ago

    wow.....great clip! I love glitter so. It's one of the 3 things I tend to hoard! ;)

  • RivalryTime

    RivalryTime said 9 years ago

    Shiny objects?

  • Powerofflower

    Powerofflower said 9 years ago

    Love glitter! Sparkle is always fun!

  • leslieholz

    leslieholz said 9 years ago

    I know ALL about glitter............I have teenage daughters. They would love all these goodies!!

  • BrownBooks

    BrownBooks said 9 years ago

    Ohhh... pretty shiny things! The comedian Demetri Martin says that glitter is the herpes of craft supplies. Because once you get it on you, you can never get rid of it.

  • wizardofcharms

    wizardofcharms said 9 years ago

    Just watching your video gave me some great ideas for glitter.

  • QueenBeeVintiques

    QueenBeeVintiques said 9 years ago

    I heart glitter!

  • kassandragrossman

    kassandragrossman said 9 years ago

    WOW! Fantastic! "The movements of the spirit." Glitter is my favorite. Thanks for this piece.

  • theroyal

    theroyal said 9 years ago

    :) glitter

  • mfgarnett

    mfgarnett said 9 years ago

    i wuv glitter <3

  • theroyal

    theroyal said 9 years ago

    wouldn't that be rad if someone made glitter now with that recipe of hematite and pyrite from the Paleolithic era

  • kiranofindaly

    kiranofindaly said 9 years ago

    Glitter rules!!

  • CreativeCardsForYou

    CreativeCardsForYou said 9 years ago

    Wow... Glitter is amazing. :)

  • HandmadeIsAllAround

    HandmadeIsAllAround said 9 years ago

    Love it! Soooo glittering!

  • FullCircleRetro

    FullCircleRetro said 9 years ago

    Sparkling story...! Enjoyed it =)

  • peshka

    peshka said 9 years ago

    So much fun!

  • marsia

    marsia said 9 years ago

    Glitter forever!

  • RoseofBlood

    RoseofBlood said 9 years ago

    Wonderful! Everything is better with GLITTER!!

  • DivineSparkle

    DivineSparkle said 9 years ago

    When I see glitter, it just brings out the magic in me :)

  • filamentostore

    filamentostore said 9 years ago

    Definetly looove glitter !

  • DeniVibes

    DeniVibes said 9 years ago

    great video! "Glitter make people happy"!!!!

  • angelsora

    angelsora said 9 years ago

    Glitter is an awesome spectrum of light vs delight.

  • LostAtticTreasures

    LostAtticTreasures said 9 years ago

    Shiny Happy Glitter!!!! Awesome video

  • dawnatthemarket

    dawnatthemarket said 9 years ago

    so freaking love this video. just featured it on my blog. thank you and happy holidays!

  • gkdecorate

    gkdecorate said 9 years ago

    I love glitter! I couldn't help but making sure all my artificial floral arrangements had glitter this Christmas!

  • velanch

    velanch said 9 years ago

    Wonderful! Thank you! I love glitter and use shiny materials to make my earrings and other creations!)

  • bittersweetdesign

    bittersweetdesign said 9 years ago

    My daughter and I have already discussed - that when an autopsy has been done on either of us - we will probably have a pound of glitter in the bottom of our lungs...

  • SugarRaindrop

    SugarRaindrop said 9 years ago

    I love glitter :D

  • giorgiejewelry

    giorgiejewelry said 9 years ago

    Love glitter and pink elephants!

  • ArtDecoDame

    ArtDecoDame said 9 years ago

    cowbell and glitter,things that you always need MORE of

  • myvintagecrush

    myvintagecrush said 9 years ago

    Hahaha, agreed ArtDecoDame!

  • SoliDeoGloriaSDG

    SoliDeoGloriaSDG said 9 years ago

    This is by far my most favorite video on Etsy!! I LOVE glitter. I throw glitter in my bath water, and will do just about anything to be covered in glitter. It is so cheerful, happy and a delight to behold! I call glitter "fairy kisses" ... each glittery sparkle is a kiss from a fairy. ;)

  • jewelkingthai

    jewelkingthai said 9 years ago

    Glittering Video Blog

  • bluemoose

    bluemoose said 9 years ago

    bluemoose loves BLUE glitter..

  • minouette

    minouette said 9 years ago

    What a neat little micro-documentary! Well done; it's fun, interesting, informative and short enough for anyone to watch no matter how busy. Very impressed.

  • HoundstoothDesign

    HoundstoothDesign said 9 years ago

    LOVE glitter!

  • mazedasastoat

    mazedasastoat said 9 years ago

    I'm always in two minds about glitter. I do love anything sparkly, but hubby & I run a taxi company & anyone who's ever tried to vacuum glitter out of car seats & carpets will understand why every year after the New Years Eve parties I want the wearing of glitter to be made a criminal offence! LOL I usually have it all cleaned up by about Easter though...

  • soberwear

    soberwear said 9 years ago

    I love all the sparkle and shine...thanks for the info

  • VintageChinchilla

    VintageChinchilla said 9 years ago

    Ooooooh sparkles!!!!!!!!!!!

  • tinygalaxies

    tinygalaxies said 9 years ago


  • LeavingTheClouds

    LeavingTheClouds said 9 years ago

    all that shines may not be gold...but its probably glitter!

  • tresfancy

    tresfancy said 9 years ago

    Sparkle & Shine makes everything a little more special!!!

  • QuirkMuseum

    QuirkMuseum said 9 years ago

    I like the idea that glitter was used thousands of years ago. They're still trying to clean it all up.

  • TrashThings

    TrashThings said 9 years ago

    Love this been customising old ornaments with glitter for the last few months now, and they will be in my shop in the new year. So LOVE this feature.

  • TrashThings

    TrashThings said 9 years ago

    LOVE THIS! I have been customising ornaments with glitter for the last 6 months or so and love the way they totally transform them. Hope to have these up in my shop trashthings in the new year. You can never have to much glitter!

  • kp257201

    kp257201 said 9 years ago

    What an interesting video!

  • BroccoliHouse

    BroccoliHouse said 9 years ago

    love glitters!

  • SweetSincerity

    SweetSincerity said 9 years ago

    love it! great video. Glitter does make people happy! I am exhibit A! :) :) :) :) :) :)

  • myhideaway

    myhideaway said 9 years ago

    This is fantastic! Everyone, deep down inside, has a childlike love of glitter and all things sparkly, whether they admit it or not. :)

  • BowlsForColorLovers

    BowlsForColorLovers said 9 years ago

    When I was about 10 y.o. and visiting NYC for the first time with my family, I became enchanted with the sequined purses I saw in store windows. I just loved the shine and fun of 'glitter'. Beg though I might, neither parent would spring for it (not surprisingly, given my age), but this love has followed me through the years and I use a LOT of it in my art (hey, like it or lump it) :-)

  • BlueRoomGems

    BlueRoomGems said 9 years ago

    Fabulous! Loving the glitter elephants!

  • DesertSolDesigns

    DesertSolDesigns said 9 years ago

    I can get so sidetracked by glitter...LOL!

  • rkitzmiller

    rkitzmiller said 9 years ago

    I love glitter so much I opened my shop rsparkles on etsy just to showcase it!!! Everything I do has some glitter. Because, hey, everyday could use a little glitter. Right?

  • valeleonor

    valeleonor said 9 years ago


  • FengShuiArt

    FengShuiArt said 9 years ago

    love sparkleyness!

  • pinksnakejewelry

    pinksnakejewelry said 9 years ago

    LOVE IT!!!! Glitter,Feathers,Rhinestones all of it!!!!

  • ZenBrush

    ZenBrush said 9 years ago

    All that glitters IS gold!

  • TheLightStore

    TheLightStore said 9 years ago


  • shinesobeautifully

    shinesobeautifully said 9 years ago

    Glitter is a MAJOR part of my life!

  • viliware

    viliware said 9 years ago

    I love glitter so much that my boyfriend calls me sparkles! I wear it on my eyes and in my hair! Some of my friends even say that glitter comes out of my pores! Love this :)

  • uglyyellow

    uglyyellow said 9 years ago

    Oh I love this! ♥

  • monjardindepapier

    monjardindepapier said 9 years ago

    Glitter is my drug of takes me to my "happy place"!

  • colorblockshop

    colorblockshop said 9 years ago

    Many decades ago my glamorous Mom jazzed up her fancy party up-do with glitter- that is until the other girls started emulating her...


    aRToFaBSTRACTION said 9 years ago

    Usually the ones who need a little glitter in their lives the most have no clue how much they could use some.

  • sarahndipities

    sarahndipities said 9 years ago

    Very fun! Thanks for the peek into glitter's interesting history! Sparkle on!

  • lizhutnick

    lizhutnick said 9 years ago

    I love shiny stuff. :)

  • snowfoxed

    snowfoxed said 9 years ago

    but it doesn't exist on the internet. vital--tragic--stage in it's history.

  • thenakedbird

    thenakedbird said 9 years ago

    ah! my day job is as a performer for one of the most wonderful sparkly companies in los angeles and the bay area, and as faeries and princesses and other magical beings, glitter runs through our veins. It's a necessity! This is so awesome to see a little history on it, i'm off to share with my faerie friends! **miss fern (faerie persona)

  • MagpieQuilts

    MagpieQuilts said 9 years ago

    Mmmmm, shiny things!

  • CannibalCrafts

    CannibalCrafts said 9 years ago

    I LOVE glitter and all things sparkly. Since 10th grade I have been perfecting a recipe for glitter gel that sticks, stays, and doesn't get all over your boo. It's been tough trying to get it just right - but I had a duty to the people. MORE GLITTER, LESS WAR!!!! And unicorns. . . lots of those.

  • cartelle

    cartelle said 9 years ago

    Wow, this was awesome!!!

  • TwoBackFlats

    TwoBackFlats said 9 years ago


  • dekoprojects

    dekoprojects said 9 years ago

    Very interesting video. But do we all love glitter?

  • opendoorstudio

    opendoorstudio said 9 years ago

    tis the season of Glitter! seems everytime around this season, in the retail setting... we decorate for the holidays, and it is as if the glitter fairy has doused us with a dose every day! ... not until about mid June that it is finally all swept and vacuumed up! gotta love it. I am sure I have some on my face and nose right now!

  • GourmetHandbags

    GourmetHandbags said 9 years ago

    Love glitter and those pink elephants are too cute!

  • LittleWrenPottery

    LittleWrenPottery said 9 years ago

    I agree glitter does just make you feel happy, its so shiny! I love the sparkles : )

  • jeweltrinkets

    jeweltrinkets said 9 years ago

    If it don't glitter, it don't shine! Bling!

  • cooljewelrydesign

    cooljewelrydesign said 9 years ago

    life would be so boring w/o essential, just like H2O :-)

  • kr1green

    kr1green said 9 years ago

    I found PrettyandPolished on Etsy. Her handmade nail polishes with glitter have brought a smile to my holidays. Glitter does make you happy!

  • ZaraBySarah

    ZaraBySarah said 9 years ago

    From a person always drawn to shiny, sparkly things - with a wonderful mom who was known to put glitter on anything (spools, plastic fruit, old toys) and proudly hang them on our Christmas tree - BRAVO!

  • LittleMissDressUp

    LittleMissDressUp said 9 years ago

    I have a HUGE weakness for the sparkle. I will plunk down cash for anything that has a shimmer and shine. When I was 11, I caught a glimpse of a sparkle in a parking lot- turned out to be a diamond tie tack. My very first diamond! I was thrilled! So being drawn to the shiny side of life can be very good!

  • Kimoutre

    Kimoutre said 9 years ago

    Interesting, but I'm surprised you didn't mention German glass glitter. I'm sure it's older than the aluminum and polymer kinds, but I can't seem to find a date of its invention online. It is still available as a craft material today, although of course it must be used with care since it is actually fragments of glass, but the sparkle is gorgeous!

  • lindasilverthorne

    lindasilverthorne said 9 years ago

    Glitter in my workroom, glitter all over my house, glitter in my car. Frequently when I go out in public, someone comments "Oh, you have some glitter on your face." What's life without a bit of glitter?

  • BigBadBuddha

    BigBadBuddha said 9 years ago

    Wow that very cool

  • Miyuka

    Miyuka said 9 years ago

    Stopped watching as soon as she said that horrendous word "aluminum." I cringe every time. It's aluminium D: /crazy pet peeve

  • Marumadrid

    Marumadrid said 9 years ago

    I used to think sequins and glitter were VERY expensive when I was a child, so I was always shy about asking for a bottle of it. It was great to discover later that I could use them with no boundaries!! XD

  • CuteMonkeyFactory

    CuteMonkeyFactory said 9 years ago


  • Laughingdogstudio

    Laughingdogstudio said 9 years ago

    Really very nice!

  • thedoginahat

    thedoginahat said 9 years ago

    This is so neat. Glitter is one of those things that I never really thought about how it was made or where it originated until now. I also love the guy who owns the glitter factory (that's a job?!), "I'm not an artistic person..." Great video!

  • DelilahsAttic

    DelilahsAttic said 9 years ago

    It's interesting to see that the glitter trend goes back to the days way before Ke$ha, haha. Great video!

  • rozzymari

    rozzymari said 9 years ago

    Oh my God, I LOVE glitter! <3 And it makes me happy ;) Amazing video :)

  • Kri77

    Kri77 said 9 years ago

    i love glitter!

  • hingedjewelry

    hingedjewelry said 9 years ago

    This DELIGHTS my SOUL and heightens my senses...what a wonderful history lesson! THANK YOU!

  • samsstuff

    samsstuff said 9 years ago

    Gotta love shiny stuff :)

  • grayrockcottage

    grayrockcottage said 9 years ago

    If it shines, I want it!

  • HanHeld

    HanHeld said 9 years ago

    Glitter always excites can brighten everything...when I get glitter in my hand I find myself walking around looking for things to add's a bit scary

  • CoolBeans2

    CoolBeans2 said 9 years ago

    I do love sparkly blingy things. They make me smile. Glitter is happiness in a jar. or pen.


    BANJOandBONE said 9 years ago

    this is great!

  • Vangloria

    Vangloria said 9 years ago

    Wow, this was such an inspiration!!!

  • tableclothpad

    tableclothpad said 9 years ago

    I like this.

  • laurapaulinedesigns
  • 7DaisyDreams

    Jo Peters from DreamingUpDaisies said 7 years ago

    LOVE IT! A local young woman opened a cupcake shop in Wisconsin Rapids, WI called "iSparkle". She's ALL about flavor excellence, creativity, edible glitter and the joy it brings. She has built a very successful business here despite economic failings and the mall's slow traffic. She promotes herself well, gets tons of referrals, and...sells on Etsy! She has built a bright and brilliantly "sparkly" reputation. SHINE ON!!!

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