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Last year I gemmed a Mickey Mouse lunchbox and he is now my new best friend. I take him everywhere, I love hime so much and he brings joy to me but also to people that I meet with him.

So, if I can gem a Mickey lunchbox, anyone can. All you need is a bit of money and a LOT of time. It’s not a new idea, so many people have done this, but I figure the more sparkly things the better so I wrote down everything I think you could possible need to know so that approaching it yourself is less daunting.

There are affiliate links in this guide for eBay and Amazon. It doesn’t cost you anything in any way but it does give me a few pence back (to gem more stuff) if you shop through the links. If you prefer to have non-affiliated links I’m happy to send them to you.


Whatever you gem, it’s going to take hours. Like a serious number of them. Pick a tv show or something to binge watch and just get to it. The less you care about perfection and having the exact right size gem in the right gap the faster it will be so it’s just about finding your balance. With everything, it does get easier the more you do it and can be quite mindful and therapeutic. Mickey took me upwards of 30 hours over a month.


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So, this is a personal thing. It’s completely up to you how much you want to throw at this. You can spend a fortune on real gems and the bestest Mickey lunch box or you can get cheap resin gems (my personal preference) and an old Disneyland Paris lunchbox for £10 on eBay and complete something for under £30. I even gemmed an ordinary square plastic lunchbox for Marvel Campus that cost £5 on Amazon.

Personally, i go for the cheap gems because they’re cheap, they are a lot lighter, it doesn’t matter if I’m not careful and some fall off plus I don’t think they are any less sparkly. I will list what I use in the materials below but as I said, it’s completely up to you what you want to invest into this. I go through my costings below but for my actual Mickey lunchbox and materials it was less than £100 (this seems like a lot and it is but to buy one on Etsy you’re talking at least double that). You can bring the price down by gemming a cheaper popcorn bucket.


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Something to gem – It can be pretty much anything you like. For Mickey lunchboxes I use eBay but I’ve also found many popcorn buckets cheap on Vinted. Scratched or scuffed ones will be cheaper and you are going to cover the marks with gems anyway. I did my first practice attempts with the plastic Mickey lunchboxes that they used to sell at Disneyland Paris as you can find them for around £10. My actual Mickey head lunchbox was £60.

These are my eBay search terms:

You can set up eBay search alerts that will let you know when new items get listed.

Gems – I love the resin gems sold by Bling Gift Shop on eBay. They are cheap but so sparkly and i love the range of colours that they have. They are also light weight which is important for me. I’ve carried a Mickey Head gemmed with real crystals and he was so so heavy. Yes, he sparkled a little more than mine but not enough for me to make the weight and cost switch to the real thing. There are a few reject gems in some batches of Bling Gift Shop gems but it’s minor. I mostly use sizes 3mm, 4mm and 5mm and prices start at £5 for 5,000. You can also save more money bulk buying in 10,000 and they always have multi buy deals. The gems for my Mickey in total were probably less than £25 (but i still have a lot left for future projects, especially).

Glue – I started using GemTack and this was a mistake. The gems fall off really easily and the glue shows white in the rain. I now use B700 off Amazon. I don’t know if it’s the right glue but it’s what I have found works best for me and the gems don’t fall of as much since i started using it. You do need to open a window when using it. I still use GemTack for non-plastic things like ear hats so I’ve left it in my list.

Other tools – I also use diamond art painting trays for the gems. They help get them all the right way which can be the part that takes the longest time. I also have Rhinestone picker pencil things which are on my Amazon storefront along with the glue and trays buy that do leave black transfer on your fingers when it’s hot. If I find better ones when they run out i will update this list but i don’t want to recommend something I haven’t used.

You can find the glue and tools on my Amazon storefront here. This is an affiliated link but they are what i actually use.

Gemming (like actually how)

I learnt everything I know from watching old videos on Instagram account called Crated By Carla (@crafted_by_carla). Her videos are so so so good in letting you see her technique plus she is like seriously a gemming god. She’s so inspirational and incredible friendly too. If she ends up helping you too then please do give her credit where possible and give her lots of love back.

The design options are endless. I’ve seen so man different amazing ones by some very talented artists. If you not an artist, like me, you can use my cheat. If I want a certain design I cut it out and add it using adhesive viny first and then gem over it. If, like me, you would like to give your Mickey a hat, bow or even a ghost costume I’m happy to share how i did mine.

Final Tips

Make sure you do before videos and photos of whatever you’re gemming so you have a record of the whole journey. Even if you don’t want to share it on social media, you might want to look back on it some day. I always forget and so I’m constantly trying to edit the first gems out on CapCut.

Have fun, enjoy the process and the bestest of luck and love. There is no right or wrong in a creative process. Also please feel free to share with me what you crate, i love to see them all. Let’s get the whole world sparkling.

If you would like any further help please feel free to reach out to me on Instagram