Mica powder is an incredible art supply item used to add shimmer and dazzling colors to a wide range of projects. From resin crafts, to nail art and cosmetics, mica powder can transform and add dimension to any craft (and it’s something that should be on every DIYers radar).
However, mica powder isn’t a common crafting colorant, and many people aren’t sure what mica is and how to use it.
We created this guide to help you get started using mica powder, and to provide ideas for using mica powder in epoxy resin, cosmetics, nail art and much more.
Here’s what you can expect to learn:
- Quick tips for using mica powder
- 61 awesome uses for mica powder
- Short how-tos and mica powder recipes
Take a look and find some inspiration for your next mica project!
QUICK TIPS: HOW TO USE MICA POWDER
Mica powder is a colored powder created from a naturally occurring stone mineral, called muscovite. (Although, there are synthetic options available as well). The muscovite mineral is ground into a powder, which, when added to art projects, provides a glittery, pearlescent effect.
Mica powder is super user-friendly, and anyone can use it to add dimension, shimmer and texture to an endless variety of arts and crafts projects. However, there are some tips you should follow to get the most out of any mica powder project:
61 IDEAS FOR USING MICA POWDER IN YOUR NEXT PROJECT
Mica powder has numerous applications in arts and crafts projects. It can be used as a color additive to change the hues of soaps, candles and epoxy resin, for example. Alternatively, mica powder can be painted on, adding sparkling colors to paper crafts or shimmer to paintings.
Here are 61 of the most fun and common uses for mica powder by category:
- Epoxy Resin
- Paper Crafts
- Nail Art
- Polymer Clay
- Pottery & Ceramics
- Bonus Ideas
EPOXY RESIN AND MICA POWDER
Using mica powder in epoxy resin creates a pearlescent, metallic shimmer effect. Because resin and epoxy are clear, mica powder is the perfect resin colorant, and can be used in a variety of epoxy resin projects.
Here are some ways to use mica powder in epoxy resin:
1. Resin Turning Projects
To start a resin turning project, first make a casting resin blank. Resin blanks are small blocks of mica-colored epoxy that you can turn on a lathe. Make blanks for epoxy resin ink pens, bowls, orbs and more.
2. River Tables (and Boards)
River tables - or smaller river serving boards - are pieces of raw wood with a “river” of epoxy down the center. With mica, you can get some really awesome river colors, from a deep cobalt blue, to an aqua sea green.
→ See our guide “How to Make an Epoxy River Table” for step-by-step instructions.
3. Charcuterie Boards
Mica and epoxy add a splash of color to a wooden cheese board. Just add epoxy and mica colors to the board, use a heat gun to remove bubbles, and after the epoxy has cured, seal the board with food-grade mineral oil.
4. Epoxy Lamps
There are a lot of ways to create epoxy resin lamps. But no matter the design, the idea is the same: You cast an epoxy-resin “bulb” (glow in the dark pigments are great for this), and then fit the bulb with a light kit. Here’s a quick YouTube tutorial:
5. Geode Art
Epoxy plus metallic mica colors and blues, blacks and purples can be used to create glassy, geode-like coasters, geode paintings, or tabletops.
6. Resin Jewelry
Resin and mica are perfect for making glass-like pendants or filling pendant tray blanks. For both projects, simply color your epoxy with mica, and then fill a pendant tray or silicone mold.
7. 3D Photos
Epoxy resin is great for creating three-dimensional versions of photos. To do it, print two copies of a photo. You would add a layer of epoxy over the first image. With the second, cut out the main subject of the image, and add it on top of the first layer of epoxy. The subject jumps off of the background for a cool, 3D look.
→ Mica Tip: Use mica to add shimmer and sparkle to the background. Just add a small amount of mica to the first layer before you pour it.
8. Pressed Flower Art
Pressed flowers look beautiful in a cast of epoxy resin. Add a touch of mica (rose gold mica dazzles) to give your cast an amber hue. Here’s a quick video tutorial:
9. Acrylic Trays
Pick up a blank acrylic tray and transform it with epoxy and mica. Simply pour a layer of epoxy in the bottom, after you’ve thoroughly mixed in your favorite mica colors.
→ Note: Our craft epoxy resin is self-leveling, so it will naturally evenly layer the bottom.
10. Resin Keychains
You’ll find a variety of silicone keychain molds for epoxy resin. And this is a simple DIY project. Just fill the molds with colored epoxy. Keychains are the perfect medium for marbling colors.
11. Epoxy Art Pour Paintings
Create a beautiful abstract piece of art with epoxy and your favorite mica colors. Simply add mica-colored epoxy to a blank canvas. (A dark base color and 2-3 lighter accents looks great!). Then, use a heat gun to blend the colors and remove bubbles, before tilting the canvas to evenly spread the epoxy. Here’s a simple how-to video:
12. Epoxy Coasters
Coasters are a great medium for epoxy resin art. To make coasters, pick up some silicone molds. You’ll find simple circle molds, as well as asymmetrical molds made to look like split stone. Then, fill the molds with your favorite colors and voila!
13. Custom Countertops
You can transform an old countertop with resin and mica. One idea: Create a granite look by marbling whites, golds and shimmery silvers over a black mica base.
14. Finishing Tumblers
Paint the surface of a tumbler with mica and epoxy. Here’s a cool tutorial for a black “northern lights” tumbler:
Make Your Own. All of our iridescent mica colors pop on black backgrounds. You can re-create this project with our iridescent pigments.
Learn More. Read our Guide: How To Use Mica Powder in Epoxy Resin.
ACRYLIC POURS & PAINTING PROJECTS WITH MICA POWDER
In pour art projects and paintings, mica powder has a number of applications. From providing shimmery accents, to allowing you to create a custom color palette, mica is a must-have painting supply item.
Here are some of the best ways to use mica in paintings and fluid art:
15. DIY Watercolors
Can’t find the perfect watercolor hue? Create your own. All you need to do is create a watercolor binder (or choose a premade binder) and blend in mica. See our guide “How to Make Watercolors with Mica Powder” for step-by-step instructions.
16. Alcohol Inks
Mica powder is a wonderful dye source for homemade alcohol inks. Simply add mica to 99% isopropyl alcohol for a rich, colorful ink. One Tip: Slowly add mica to the alcohol, until the consistency is just right.
→ Learn more about this technique, see our guide: “How to Make Alcohol Ink with Mica Powder.”
17. DIY Oil Paints
Mix mica powder with linseed oil to create beautiful, natural oil paints. The process is simple: Make a mount of mica powder on a glass grinding plate. Add linseed oil, mix with a palette knife, and then mull with a glass muller. Mix in additional linseed oil until you’ve reached your desired consistency.
18. Acrylic Pour Art
Similar to the epoxy method above, you can do beautiful fluid art pours with acrylic paint and mica. Here’s a helpful tutorial:
19. Finished Painting Accents
Use mica powder to finish your painting. Before the oil or acrylic paint dries, apply mica powder directly to the paint. Then, gently brush away any excess powder, to add shimmer to your project. (Any of our metallic mica powders work great for adding shimmer.
20. Glitter Galaxy Backgrounds
Create a beautiful background for any painting with mica powder. Lighter colors like our sparkle white mica work great on dark backgrounds. Simply coat the surface in paint and before it dries, add mica. Then, allow the background to fully dry before painting foreground images.
21. Face Paint
You can apply eye- and skin-safe mica powders directly to your face, to create beautiful backgrounds for facepaint designs. Use a blender to apply the mica. Mica powder is great for dramatic Mardi Gras face paint designs, glow in the dark and neon face paint designs, for stage makeup, or DIY Halloween face paints.
22. Furniture Refinishing
DIY gilding waxes are one of the best ways to use mica powder in furniture refinishing. Gilding waxes to accent ornate moldings and carvings, and provide a metallic or iridescent finish. To make your own gilding wax, simply add mica to natural beeswax. Then, rub the wax over moldings to reveal detail.
USING MICA IN SOAPS AND BATH PRODUCTS
Mica powder is the perfect colorant for soapmaking, in bath bombs, and body butters. Mica adds a brilliant shimmer, as well as vibrant color. Mica can be used for melt-and-pour soaps, in cold process soap making, as well as bath bombs and bath salts.
These are the best ways to use mica powder in soapmaking:
23. Heat and Pour Soaps
Simply add mica powder to the melted soap and mix well. Typically, a half teaspoon will suffice per pound of soap. You can also create a dispersion of mica and isopropyl alcohol, and add the dispersion to the melted soap until you achieve the desired color.
24. Cold Process Soaps
Create a dispersion by mixing the mica with a lightweight oil like almond oil. Generally, you want to use 1 teaspoon of mica powder per 1 tablespoon of oil. Then, gradually add the dispersion to the soap, until you achieve the desired color.
25. Bath Bombs
Mix mica powder in with the bath bomb ingredients to create a vibrant, glittery look. As a general rule, use 1-2 teaspoons of mica powder per pound of bath bomb.
26. Paint-On Finishes
Paint directly on the bath bomb with mica powder. Use a fine-tip brush to add details. If you’ll be painting on the bath bomb, mix the mica powder with isopropyl alcohol first in a 1:3 ratio. This will allow the colors to adhere best.
27. Bath Salts
If you’d like to color a neutral bath salt, mica powder is the perfect supply item, and the process is quick and easy. Simply mist the bath salts with isopropyl alcohol, then fold in mica powder by hand.
28. Whipped Body Butters
A pigment like shimmer bronze is great for adding sparkle to a DIY body butter. Start with a small amount, generally one-quarter teaspoon. Add additional mica until you’ve reached the desired shimmer/color. Here’s a helpful tutorial:
29. Colored Lotions
Red and pink micas are great for coloring handmade lotions. In general, start with a small amount of mica - about one-quarter teaspoon per half cup of lotion. For a paler pastel, use less mica, or continue to mix in additional mica for a richer, darker color.
Looking for more help? See our guide: How to Use Mica Powder for Soap Making.
EYESHADOWS & MAKEUPS WITH MICA
Cosmetic-grade mica powder is used for adding shimmer to a range of cosmetics. To be approved for cosmetic use, mica must have a particle size below 150 microns. Larger particle sizes can cause irritation, especially around the eyes and lips. In addition, it should be colored with lip- and/or skin-safe colorants.
You can use cosmetic-grade mica powder for:
You can make a quick mica eyeshadow with a few simple ingredients: Bentonite clay (½ teaspoon), arrowroot powder (¼ teaspoon), mica (¼ teaspoon) and jojoba oil (3 drops). Mix the bentonite clay and arrowroot powder, then slowly add in mica until the color is just right. Finally, add oil and mix in until all of the powder has been absorbed.
31. Skin Luminizer
Here’s a simple recipe: Mix 1 tablespoon of natural beeswax, 2 teaspoons of almond oil and 1 teaspoon of jojoba oil. Then, melt the mixture using a double-boiler. Once melted, blend in your favorite mica color (like shimmer gold)!
Make a natural foundation with simple ingredients like shea butter, argan oil, emulsifying wax and kaolin clay. Finally, you can tint the color of the foundation using our face/body cosmetic-grade mica collection.
Pinks - like our rose gold mica - and reds are perfect colors for homemade blush. Typically, you’ll start with a base of arrowroot powder or madder powder, and add mica to tint the mixture.
34. Lip Gloss
Lip-safe mica powders add shimmer and sparkle to any lip gloss or lip balm. Most homemade lip glosses and lip balms include a mix of oils (like jojoba, coconut and olive oil), beeswax pastilles, and essential oils for natural flavoring.
To create a simple all-natural bronzer, simply mix cornstarch and cocoa powder. Add a small amount of flashing bronze mica powder for natural summer shimmer.
36. Body Glitter
Using a smoothie blender, you can apply cosmetic-grade mica directly to your skin. Silvers, bronze and whites are great for simple, high-shimmer body glitter.
Shop Collections. Check out our cosmetic-grade mica collections, skin- and lip-safe mica kits for DIY cosmetics.
MICA FOR CARDMAKING AND PAPER CRAFTS
Mica powder is perfect for paper crafting projects, from card making, to rubber stamping. A dash of mica powder can make greeting cards sparkle, or it can add a glitz to any Mod Podge project.
Here are a few mica paper craft ideas:
37. Rubber Stamps
Finish off your stamping projects with mica powder. Simply press the rubber stamp into the ink pad, and then push firmly on cardstock or paper. Before the ink dries, cover the ink in mica, for a sparkling, shimmery look. Then, shake off any excess mica and voila!
Add mica to a glaze like Mod Podge to seal decoupage projects. One hint: Start with a small amount of mica, like one-quarter teaspoon, so you don’t over-tint your glaze. See our Decoupage with Mica Powder guide.
39. Stationary Glue
Similar to the rubber stamping technique, add stationary glue to your project, and then cover with mica powder before it dries. Shake off any excess mica and you’re done.
40. Shimmer Sprays
Create a shimmer mist that you can add to any paper craft. DIY mists usually include a mixture of isopropyl alcohol, a glaze like Mod Podge and mica powder. Fill a small mister bottle three-quarters full with alcohol, add ½ teaspoon of mica and 1 teaspoon of glaze. Mix and you’re ready to go.
41. Silk Screening
Mica is great for adding color, texture and shimmer to silk screening mediums. Mica is great for silk screening on paper crafts. Simply add mica to your silk screen medium, or use a thickening paste as your medium, mix the mica and then screen the mixture.
42. Embossing Inks and Mica
You can create beautiful cards and embossed images (gold mica on a black cardstock) looks great. Essentially, stamp embossing ink on your card stock and lightly brush on the mica. Then, use a larger, soft brush to wipe away any excess pigment.
Note: Mica also works great with embossing paste. Simply add the paste to the card, and then brush on mica.
43. Custom Picture Frames
Although not necessarily a paper craft, you might want to display your art in a mica-adorned frame. One of the best ways is to paint the frame, and then add a dash of gold mica powder, to give the frame a shimmery look.
NAIL ART AND MICA POWDER IDEAS
When it comes to nail art, mica powder is a great colorant for nail polishes or to finish a nail design. You can use it with gels, in nail polish, and with acrylic nails.
Here’s how to use mica in your next nail design:
44. Nail Polish
Add mica to a nail polish suspension base. Mix the mica in, and it will leave your polish with a beautiful shimmery, metallic look.
→ One tip: Make sure you mix evenly. Mica is great because it won’t clump in the suspension base, but if it’s not mixed thoroughly, the color may not be even throughout.
45. Nail Accents
After you’ve applied polish to the nail, you can also add mica to create a glittery look. Gently dab mica onto the nail with a brush. For an ombre fade, for example, you would dab mica powder at the base of the nail, and then slowly brush the mica powder out toward the tip.
46. Mica and Gels
Decorate gel nails with mica powder. Here are a few easy steps:
- Add a gel base coat and cure it.
- Then, brush a small amount of mica onto the nail. In general, apply slowly to avoid clumping the powder.
- Finally, add a top coat.
47. Acrylic Nails
With acrylic nails, you can mix a small amount of mica or neon pigment powder in with the acrylic powder. Typically, you’ll use a 1:3 ratio (1 parts mica to 3 parts acrylic powder). Add in more color if needed. Then, the mixture is ready for application.
48. Mica for Nail Stamping
Use mica to stamp unique designs on gel nails:
MICA AND POLYMER CLAY
Mica powder has numerous applications in polymer clay projects. Polymer clay is somewhat sticky, and therefore, mica readily adheres to the surface, adding brilliant colors to any project.
Some of the most common mica techniques for polymer clay include:
49. Patterned Textures
Mica can be used to reveal patterns and textures on polymer clay. Simply brush mica powder lightly over a textured surface, which will highlight the texture and create depth.
50. Fill Inlays with Mica Powder
Here’s a helpful tutorial for creating vibrant clay inlays with mica powder:
51. Brush-On Shimmer
Brushing mica onto the surface for a shimmering appearance. One Tip: Apply the mica to the clay before curing.
52. Texture Sheets or Stamps
Apply mica to a texture sheet or stamp and then press it onto the clay. Using this technique allows you to add unique stamped textures to polymer clay. It’s great for polymer clay jewelry.
53. Mix-In With Clays
Mix mica powder directly into the clay for a galaxy or geode effect. In particular, lighter shimmer colors - like Silvery White - mix well in dark clay colors.
54. Dusting Silicone Molds
Dust a silicone mold with mica powder to reveal textures and add depth to the clay.
POTTERY, GLASS ART AND SCULPTURES
Mica powder has numerous applications in polymer clay projects. Polymer clay is somewhat sticky, and therefore, mica readily adheres to the surface, adding brilliant colors to any project. Some of the most common techniques for polymer clay include:
55. Pottery Glazes
Mica powder is typically used in low-fire applications. One technique:
- Mix mica with terra sigillata (about 5 grams per cup of terra sigillata).
- Add additional color, if needed.
- Then, add two coats of plain terra sigillata to the piece.
- Next, add a coat of mica paint. You can brush it on, or use a sponge for a textured look.
- Then, you can use the piece in a low-fire application. Typically, the temperature must be below about 1450 degrees.
→ Learn More. Check out some tips for using mica in pottery glazes from the Ceramics Network.
56. Fusing Mica with Glass
Use a stamping pad to apply a stamp to glass, and then evenly coat with mica powder. During the fire process, the mica fuses with the glass, creating a beautiful, durable look. Here’s a quick tutorial video:
57. Holiday Ornaments
You can make dazzling Christmas ornaments with mica powder. One option is to find clear ornaments - the classic Christmas light shape is great. Then, coat the inside of the ornament with acrylic liquid medium. Using a stick, adhere mica powder to the interior of the ornament and then shake it.
58. Ceramic / Tile Coasters
You can coat ceramic types with a mixture of epoxy and mica powder. Typically, plain white or black coasters work best. Here’s a helpful tutorial:
MORE MICA POWDER PROJECT IDEAS
Looking for a few more project ideas? Here are three more things you can do with pigment powders:
59. Homemade Slime
Use glow pigments to give your homemade slime a neon hue. You can mix mica directly into the slime mixture. You can buy clear slime in bulk, and do your own colors. Or you can make your own with a few simple household ingredients.
60. Mica Powder in Candles
There are many ways to use mica powder to color candles. However, the easiest and most effective is to paint the surface of the candle before it has fully dried. This will add sparkle and shimmer.
Mica can be added to melted wax, as well. Yet, there is some concern that mica may cause wicks to clog. This happens because mica doesn’t actually dissolve in wax; rather, the mineral particles are suspended. Therefore, start with small amounts, or use wood wicks, which may help prevent clogging.
61. Glow Adornments
Our glow in the dark pigment powders are perfect for a wide range of projects. You can add them to paint for vibrant neon designs that glow. Other options include neon epoxy resin, glow nails and glow-in-the-dark body glitter.
Create in Color and Have Fun
Mica is versatile and fun to work with. A collection of vibrant micas should be in every artist’s studio. Looking for some color inspiration? Shop our mica collections:
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