Thursday, July 16, 2009

Product Focus - Stardust Gel Pen and Spica Glitter Pen

Do you remember the first time you used glitter? Most likely it was when you were a child and you marveled at how sparkly everything looked!!
Your mom probably hated the mess – glue and glitter all over the place!! She’d find glitter for weeks afterwards on the floor, furniture, the cat……

Today, you can still find the bottles of glitter available (look at all the Martha Stewart glitter products!) but there are many other options for papercrafters if they want to add a little sparkle to their projects.

Today’s product focus is on the Stardust Gel Pen and the Spica Glitter pen.

Truth be told, I was never much of a glitter-girl. It was always too much of a hassle for me and I never liked the over-the-top look.

That is until I tried the gel/glitter pens. Once I started using them I could not stop and for awhile everything I made had to have some sparkle to it!

Why the change? Two main reasons – they were easy to use – no mess, and they provided a nice, subtle delicate sparkle instead of the heavy metal look!

I wanted to compare the Stardust Gel Pen with the Spica Gel pen and see what the difference was.

The Stardust Gel Pen is made by Sakura and according to them the pen is a patented gel pen, non toxic clear gel ink with “star twinkle” that does not smear, feather or bleed through on most papers. It is not intended for archival use. Sold in package of two pens for $3.50.

The Spica Pen is made by Copic and contains pigment based, non-toxic, acid-free ink. It is archival and has a no-clog tip. Copic says the pen will write for over 360 yards- twice the length of other writing pens. Sold in individual pens for $2.49.

I used the pens two different ways: 1) I stamped a sentiment and then wrote over the image with each pen. I use this technique a lot when I want the sentiment to have a little shine without having to emboss it; and 2) Used both pens over an image that was stamped and colored

Here are my results:
1) When I wrote over a stamped sentiment, both pens did well. Each gave a nice shimmery look to the words, with the stardust just a tad more noticeable. The pens were easy to use, just like a regular pen. While it is difficult see the true results from the photo, both pens provided a nice shimmer.

2) The second test was using the pens over a stamped and colored image and once again both pens did well. On the strawberry image, the Spica Pen again was more subtle and in this case looked better, in my opinion. The subtlety of the Spica was a better choice for this particular image and did not overpower it.

The final result? Both pens are easy to use, inexpensive and will add a sparkle to your stamped image. Because of their low cost a crafter may want to have both in their art box. The Stardust pen provides more sparkle, but the Spica pen give a nice subtle look.

Thanks for stopping by!


riya manna said...
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Ann said...

Thanks for this Nancy - I've just bought a Stardust pen and think I will invest in a Spica aswell now. Very useful post.

StampinCathy said...

This is wonderful. I've used the Stardust pen and love it. I'm going to have to try this Spica pen.

Maureen said...

Hi Nancy! I have both pens and love both. I have a tip for you regarding the overpowering of the image by the Stardust pen: run a waterbrush over the Stardust right after drawing with it. The water will spread out the glitter and it's a much more subtle effect. I do it all the time and love the sparkle it gives!

Magnolia and Ivy said...

I have both pens and prefer the Stardust pen hands down. I have lots of trouble with the Spica clear pen not leaving a sparkle at all (2nd pen with same results). They simply don't work for me. The shine with the Stardust leaves more of a shine. I first go along the edge of my design and the use a finger to gently spread the ink over my project instead of leaving it in one place. Works great.

Robbie said...

Great product focus, Nancy. I've always wondered what the differences were or whether it was just a preference.

Cynthia said...

Thanks for comparing these pens for us all....very helpful indeed.

"Kirby" (KrB) said...

Thanks, Nancy, for the comparison. That was very helpful.

Anonymous said...

To help with the problem of the Spica pen not working, one must for the Spica pens is that they must be stored lying down, never standing. If you store them standing, they do not work because all the glitter sinks to the bottom of the pen. Try this, you will see it works.