~Your Plan of Attack~
The trick is in all the friends you bring along. The tools of the glitter tamers trade: fine tipped glue bottle, a medium paint brush, wax paper, Mod Podge, clear spray sealer.
First determine if you want to add fine designs, like outlines or words, or more chunky designs like filled in shapes. For fine work you should use glue with a fine tip applicator. I used the glue that came with the 3 pack of Martha Stewart Valentines themed glitter I picked up at Michael's last week. Its a pretty small amount of glue but I have seen larger bottles. I would stay away from something like Tacky craft glue, its too thick. Think more of an Elmer's consistency. Set up your work space and cover that area with wax paper. Glitter isn't super cheap and glitter doesn't stick to wax paper so you can pour it back into the container.
Next use your glue to draw your design. Cover the glue with glitter, don't be conservative here really cover the area with glitter. Remember you can pour most of the excess back into the container.
For filled in shapes, like circles the best technique I have discovered is to make a stencil. For a small circle trace the bottom of a shot glass on stiff paper, like a note card. Cut out the shape and lay your new stencil on the object to be glittered. Here instead of glue Mod Podge works perfectly. Hold the stencil down, or even tape it if the surface allows, and paint on the Mod Podge. Then pour on the glitter. Blow off any excess and carefully peel the stencil away.
From here on the directions are the same no matter the type of glitter design you are working on. Wait for the glue to dry, no touching!! Once you are sure it's dry, one clue- the glue turns clear, start brushing away the remaining glitter with the paint brush. If you are glittering on a surface that is slightly sticky, say it is coated with Mod Podge, make sure you don't leave the step for too long. The longer the glitter sits on the sticky surface the harder it is to get off, I had to use my finger nails on a piece I left for about 2 days. Just make sure your glue is dry!! Next carefully cover the glitter design with a layer of Mod Podge.
Wait for this to dry. Here you can add another layer Mod Podge or go straight to sealing. If your piece is finished hit it with a few coats of a clear sealer. This seals in the glitter and makes your piece water resistant, but NOT water proof. After the sealer drys you can touch the glitter area and it won't even rub off on you.
A tip for recovering your excess glitter- Fold the wax paper down the middle, that will make tapping it back into the tiny mouth of the jar a lot easier. When you can't seem to get anymore, take the cap and scrap it along the fold to save the last little bit of sparkle.
Well I hope this helps everyone who suffer from glitter-phobia. Glitter is a fun and fabulous tool to have in your craft arsenal!!
Note: This technique works well for surfaces that you have already used Mod Podge on and items that need to be sealed anyway.
Side note: I just watched an especially gripping episode of I Shouldn't Be Alive, a show that Animal Planet must have picked up since if used to be on Discovery. If anyone is interested in reading about an amazing woman and her dog that shouldn't be alive, an article about her tale can be found here, check it out!