From the red carpet to the runway, glamorous, rhinestones nails are a hot trend fashion item. Brightly painted fingernails with sparkling rhinestones are hard to miss. And now, crystal dust has taken nail art in a whole new direction. Made up of thousands of sparkling crystals, it’s easy to apply so you can get professional results at home. Depending on the manufacturer crystal dust goes by different names: Crystalpixie, Faerie or Dust.
Brand Names of Crystal Dust
Always on the cutting edge of innovation, Swarovski has 3 lines of Crystalpixie available in different colors and textures. First, Petite is well known for the smooth, round profiles of its very fine Swarovski crystals. Available in over 15 colors, there’s a color to match your mood. Next, Edge is comprised of tiny pointed chatons to create a glam-punk nail art look. Made of slightly coarser and more angular Swarovski crystals, Edge features the double–cone cut. Edge is available in 9 colors. Finally, the newest line of crystal dust by Swarovski is Bubble. Comprised of uncut crystal balls in three sizes, it creates a bubbly effect. It’s available in 6 colors.
Preciosa, another well-known rhinestone manufacturer, has a less extensive line called Faerie. A combination of both double-cone cut crystals and crystal balls gives their nail dust sparkle. Despite their tiny dimensions, each piece has been individually sized, shaped and polished to ensure maximum sparkle. Faerie is available in 4 sparkling colors to dazzle your nails. Finally, Valentino Beauty Pure makes V Sugar. Manufactured with double-cone cut crystals and crystal balls, V sugar is available in 5 sparkling colors.
How to Apply
You can achieve professional-looking results at home using any of the crystal dust products. Do one nail or all of them. Moreover, you can mix and match textures with the Swarovski line. You can even have some nails sparkle with rhinestones and others with crystal dust.
Crystal dust is easy to apply. While your nail polish or gel is wet, sprinkle the product over your nail. You can also use nail glue if you prefer. Be sure to have a tray underneath to catch any stray dust that doesn’t stick to your nail. This “extra” can go back into the bottle to use another day. Let the glue or nail polish to dry completely.
For rhinestone nails, browse the inventory at Rhinestones Etc. We have loose rhinestone colors and sizes available for your nail design. Plus, we ship fast and have great customer service. Moreover, we are an affiliate seller for our wholesaler Rhinestones Unlimited who carries the crystal dust products. If you have any questions, you can contact us here. Sparkly nails - because you deserve to look glamorous.
The ultimate dress-up day of the year is almost here. While most people think of Halloween as a kid’s holiday, adults can be very serious about their costumes too. But dress up isn’t only for once a year as the popularity of Cosplay has demonstrated. Adults go to great lengths to perfect their dress up. Certainly, rhinestone face art can be the final touch to authenticate the look.
Perhaps you’ve seen false eyelashes with rhinestones on them. These have been available for quite some time and the wearer applies them the same as regular false eyelashes. Each and every time the wearer blinks, the rhinestones send out sparkle. Imagine larger rhinestones or shaped rhinestones enhancing your face with a dazzling array of colors.
Moreover, crystalized body art opens up new possibilities. While the most common site for rhinestones is the face, you can apply crystal to any part of the body. Wearing a sleeveless dress? You can apply rhinestones design on your arms. Add rhinestones to accentuate your tattoo. Or apply a rhinestone tattoo. There are no fashion rules when using rhinestones.
Adhesives for Adhering Rhinestones to Your Body
Gluing rhinestones to your body presents a different scenario than gluing to clothing. First, you want to use an adhesive that isn’t permanent and is safe to use on your skin. Plus, you’ll want a glue that won’t irritate your skin, especially if yours is sensitive.
Some artists used medical glue, spirit gum, or eyelash glue. Another alternative is body glue. Professional dancers often use body glue to keep their costumes in place when performing. This same glue is great for crystallized body art. Relatively inexpensive and easy to find, many body glues will provide a strong hold for 8-10 hours.
Some body glues are water soluble and wash off easily. While others are water resistant and require baby oil or alcohol to remove. Be sure to check your manufacturer’s guidelines before use.
Rhinestone Face Art – Where to Buy Crystals
Prismatic crystal, glass, or acrylic rhinestones are all suitable choices for rhinestones face art. Quality and price are the considerations when choosing your embellishment. Brand names like Swarovski or Preciosa are the top of the line rhinestones and hence more expensive. Your budget and the event will help you to decide on the type of rhinestone you want.
Rhinestones Etc. has a variety of loose rhinestone colors and sizes available for purchase. With fast shipping and excellent customer service, our products are competitively priced. Additionally, we are an affiliate seller for our wholesaler Rhinestones Unlimited. Moreover, if you have any questions, about any of our products or buying from our affiliate, contact us here.
Women love to paint their nails to coordinate with their outfit. From acrylic nails to French manicures, nicely polished fingertips make a statement. Today, rhinestone nails are the latest fashion trend in nail art. Manufacturers produce an array of colors, shapes and designs to meet different tastes. Whether a single rhinestone or an abundance of light catching crystals, rhinestone nails are exceptionally chic.
A Brief History of Nail Art
Even in ancient times, people decorated their nails. As far back as 5000 B.C., women in India were dying their nails with henna. Much later on in America, Mary E. Cobb opened the first nail salon in 1878 in New York City. Although nail polishes weren’t in widespread use, a trimmed, buffed appearance was fashionable. Then in 1916, Northam Warren introduced a liquid nail polish. Although this nail polish was more of a tint and relatively transparent, it seized the attention of American women.
Admittedly, Revlon rocked the fashion world when they marketed the first nail enamel in 1932. Inspired by automobile paint, Revlon’s product coated nails with a hard enamel rather than staining it. Now women could sport new colors like delicate pinks or bold reds.
Today, adhesives provide a never-before-achieved level of intricacy to nail art and manicure designs. The use of rhinestones adds a touch of unprecedented elegance and sophistication. With products such Crystalpixie, Faerie for Nails, or V Sugar it’s easy to coat an entire nail in glittery crystals.
DIY Rhinestone Nails
If you want a nail art for that special occasion, you may want to use a professional manicurist. However, with a little practice, you can achieve brilliant sparkling nails yourself. Remember to always use high quality nail polish/gel to avoid chipping. After applying the topcoat, pour the pixie, faerie or sugar on the wet surface. Gently press the crystals to imbed into the topcoat. You may want to protect the design by applying a top coat to the edges only. Never apply a topcoat over the entire nail as this will compromise the brilliance of the crystals.
On the other hand, if you want to apply individual rhinestones to your nails, you’ll need nail glue. After applying polish and topcoat, use a toothpick to apply a small amount of nail glue to your nail. Using a wax tipped tool, pick up a rhinestone and gently press it into the nail glue. Use a small detailing brush to apply a top coat around the edges of the rhinestone. Do not apply the top coat over the top of the rhinestone, as this will dull its brilliance.
Where to Buy Supplies for Nail Art
Rhinestones Etc. is now an affiliate seller for Rhinestones Unlimited. This means we have access to all the newest rhinestone products for nails. You can access all the latest crystals for nails at this link: https://rhinestonesu.com/crystalsfornails/?afmc=76 Additionally, Rhinestones Etc. continues to sell loose rhinestones in smaller quantities for nail design. Whatever your preference for rhinestone nail art, we have the product for you.
No matter what type of project you’re tackling, you need the right tools. After all, you can’t do a first-rate job using third class tools. Using the wrong tools will leave you frustrated and stressed. This holds true for embellishing with crystals as well. There are certain rhinestone tools that just make it easier to apply crystals.
Organizing, Storage and Purchasing Helps
First, if you frequently do many rhinestone projects, you’ll need organizers to store your rhinestones. Storage units with individual locking compartments keep colors from mixing. Also, sorting trays keep colors and sizes separate making it easier when applying rhinestones.
Next, if you use a lot of rhinestones, having a manufacturer’s color chart is indispensable. Typically, there is a charge for it. However, computer screen monitors may not show the color accurately. It can be very frustrating when the color is slightly different than what you expected.
Tools that Help with Applying Rhinestones
Generally, there are 2 types of rhinestones with flat sides used for embellishing: hot fix and flat backs. Hot fix rhinestones have glue on the flat side of the rhinestone that requires heat to be activated. If you choose to use hot fix rhinestones, you’ll need a hot fix wand or applicator. This tool comes with different tips to match different size rhinestones. The tip heats up to activate the glue on the rhinestone.
On the other hand, flat back rhinestones, or glue on will require an adhesive to apply. There are several excellent adhesives on the market. Just make sure the adhesive dries clear, is washable and safe for the type of rhinestone you are using. For example, manufacturers of industrial-strength glues don’t recommend use with acrylic rhinestones.
While you can use tweezers to pick up rhinestones to set into the glue, this isn’t ideal. Glue may build up on the tweezers causing the rhinestone to stick. Moreover, squeeze the rhinestone too hard and your rhinestone will go flying.
Whereas, pick up tools, which are pencil shaped, have a sticky end which picks up the rhinestone. Press it into the glue and the rhinestone will stay. There are several types of wax tipped pick up tools on the market varying in price. Pick up tools range from only a few dollars to the name brand Crystal Katana which costs about $25.00.
Embellishing is Easier with Rhinestone Tools
Whether you’re rhinestoning shoes, clothing, handbag or dance costume, rhinestone tools enable you to do a professional job. Having these tools on hand will help eliminate dissatisfaction and anxiety when doing your project.
And if you need rhinestones for your project, Rhinestones Etc. has discount pricing and great customer service. We've been selling rhinestones online for over 10 years.
And now get free shipping off your first purchase! Simply click on the button above to get your coupon code. Happy stoning!
Kids and adults alike love Halloween for a chance to dress up and pretend to be someone else. Children especially love to go door to door trick or treating to collect lots of delicious candy. While adults love to throw costume parties to celebrate too. Our Trick or Treat Halloween rhinestone template makes it easy to bling out a t-shirt in celebration of Halloween.
Pick you your favorite color tee shirt. Download the rhinestone template. Then follow our instructions below to bling out your shirt at a fraction of the cost of retail.
A Brief History of Halloween
Most people know that Halloween originated with a Celtic pagan festival. Participants would dress up in costume to ward off ghosts. But how and when did the iconic saying “Trick or treat” enter into American culture?
Unfortunately, the coining of the phrase is unknown. What is known is that Charles M. Schulz used the phase trick or treating in a 1951 Peanuts comic strip. Moreover, in 1952, Disney produced a cartoon entitled “Trick or Treat” featuring Donald Duck with Huey, Dewey, and Louie. This cartoon short visualized for children how to trick or treat. With these two influencers, the term became cemented into our culture.
How to Use the Trick or Treat Halloween Rhinestone Template
It’s so easy to bling out your tee shirt using our template. First, download the template here. You’ll be able to see the exact position and the sizes of the rhinestones we used. Of course, prewash your shirt before you start to attach rhinestones.
Next, decide whether you want to use glue on (flat back) rhinestones or hot fix. If you choose glue on rhinestones, you’ll need a quality adhesive like Gem-Tac. Whichever glue you decide on, make sure it is safe gluing embellishments to fabric, dries clear and is washable. On the other hand, if you choose to use hot fix rhinestones, transfer paper can make embellishing super easy. Transfer paper has 2 pieces, a clear piece sticky on one side and an opaque non-sticky piece.
How to Use Flat Back Rhinestones with the Template
After prewashing your shirt, lay it out as flat as possible. Then, using the template as a guide, place the rhinestones as indicated. Removing 1 rhinestone at a time, place a drop of glue slightly smaller than the rhinestone in its place. Gently press the rhinestone into the glue drop. Some of the glue should seep out from the sides of the rhinestone. This is very important as this creates a seal that helps prevent the rhinestones from falling off. When you’ve finished gluing all the rhinestones, let the glue dry on a flat surface for 24 hours.
Make a Rhinestone Transfer with Hot Fix Rhinestones
Once you’ve downloaded the template, place it on your work surface. You may want to place a piece of wax paper on top of the template. This will keep the sticky part of the transfer paper from sticking to the template. Lay the rhinestones out on the template (or wax paper) according to the template, facet side up. Then remove the opaque piece of transfer paper and lay the sticky, clear piece on top of the rhinestones.
When you’re ready to embellish your shirt, heat a non-steam iron to its hottest setting. Lay the transfer on your shirt. Press down on the rhinestone transfer for 10-15 seconds. Pick the iron up and press down on another part of the transfer. Do not slide the iron as this may move the rhinestones. After heating all parts of the transfer, remove the sticky part and let cool.
Halloween Rhinestone Template Download to Bling Our Your Shirt
So, what are you waiting for? Get started blinging out your shirt with our Halloween rhinestone template by downloading your today. And if you need rhinestones, check out the discount pricing offered by Rhinestones Etc. Selling online for over 10 years, we ship fast and have excellent customer service.
Just click on the button above to get free shipping off of your first purchase from Rhinestones Etc.
Precious gems, such as diamonds, emerald, or rubies all have specific characteristics that dealers use to determine the quality. Experienced dealers in gems know what to look for when considering the value of a particular gemstone. Rhinestones, crafted to mimic precious stones a fraction of the cost, also have certain characteristics. The quality of a rhinestone is determined by color, cut, clarity and contour.
Since there are many manufacturers of rhinestones, it’s important to know what to look for to ensure a quality stone. Manufacturers use different materials, arrangement of facets and cuts when making their brand. Also, every brand offers a different assortment of colors. Therefore, depending on the quality and color of the rhinestone you want will determine which brand you buy.
Color of Rhinestones
Let’s begin with color. Since rhinestones are man-made, manufacturers can make them any color they wish. However, some colors are more expensive than others. Crystal or clear rhinestone is the least expensive. Next, standard color such as reds, pinks, blues, greens, and others are slightly more expensive. Crystal AB, a clear rhinestone with an Aurore Boreale or rainbow coating is next, followed by the AB colors. Finally, the most expensive color is the Aurum which is a gold rhinestone with a thin coating of 14k gold.
As with real gemstones, the color should be consistent throughout the rhinestone. Additionally, the color should be consistent within batches. For example, all rhinestones in the color Fern Green should be the exact same shade and hue with no variations.
Cut or Facets of Rhinestones
Notably, rhinestones have facets, or small plane surfaces, that catch and reflect the light. Facets must symmetrical and uniform so that the facets reflect light evenly. Indeed, the more facets a rhinestone has, the more light the rhinestone reflects. And generally, a rhinestone with more facets is more expensive than one with less.
For example, Swarovski’s Xiruis rhinestone has the most facets of any rhinestones, 16, arranged in a star shaped pattern. It’s also the most expensive rhinestones on the market. Preciosa’s Maxima rhinestone has 15 facets while other brands have between 8 and 12 facets. Manufacturers arrange facets for light distribution and brightness, generally around the sides of the table or top of the rhinestone.
The next characteristic of a quality rhinestone is clarity or the state of being clear. It’s is a term used to describe the absence or presence of flaws inside the rhinestone. Cheaper rhinestones may contain cloudiness or bubbles within their structure. A quality rhinestone will be clear without any imperfections.
Certainly, the most common shape of rhinestone is the circle. However, rhinestones are available in a myriad of shapes including rectangle, triangle, or oval. Moreover, fancy shapes like heart, moon or star are also available. Some brands only have the round shape available as this is the most popular shape. It’s also the least expensive shape.
In conjunction with the shape of the rhinestone is the size of the rhinestone. There are various sizes of round rhinestones measured by the “ss” or stone size. Usually, retailers will also give the millimeter size for reference. Generally, fancy shaped stones are available in millimeter sizes. Typically, it is the shape and the size that helps determine the price of the rhinestone.
So, the next time you’re rhinestone shopping, keep in mind the 4 C’s: color, cut, clarity and contour. These 4 characteristics will determine rhinestone quality and price. And when looking for competitive pricing on rhinestones, shop Rhinestones Etc. With discount pricing and fast and friendly service, we want to be your source for rhinestones.
Just click on the link above to get your coupon code for free shipping off your first purchase!
Typically, pumpkins are an enduring symbol of Autumn. They’re members of the gourd family, which includes gourds and squashes as well. Generally, pumpkins are ready for harvest September through October, which happen to be 2 Fall months. And so, the humble orange fruit has become the iconic image of fall. You can proclaim your love for pumpkins by blinging out a shirt to wear during this season. Additionally, our pumpkin rhinestone template makes embellishing a shirt with rhinestones easy.
How to Use Our Pumpkin Rhinestones Template
First, download the rhinestone template here. Our template shows the position, size and quantity of the rhinestones you’ll need. You can use it exactly or experiment with different sizes or colors. Next, pre-wash and dry your shirt before you begin embellishing. If the shirt material is thin, you may want to put a piece of wax paper between the layers. This will keep the glue from seeping through the top to the bottom. Make sure you lay your garment as flat as possible on your work surface.
Finally, decide on what kind of rhinestone you want to use, hot fix or flat back. Both work great although you use slightly different techniques for each one. Hot fix rhinestones have glue on them and need heat to activate the glue. Flat backs need an adhesive like Gem-Tac or E6000.
Hot Fix Rhinestones
Certainly, hot fix rhinestones work well with rhinestone transfers. Transfer paper makes putting rhinestone designs on clothing simple. It’s made of a clear sticky piece and an opaque non-sticky piece. Once you’ve downloaded the template, lay the rhinestones on the template, facet side up as indicated. Separate your transfer paper and lay the sticky side on top of the rhinestones. Here again, you may want to use a piece of wax paper. Position it over the template before laying out rhinestones to keep the transfer paper from sticking to the template.
When you’re ready to embellish your shirt, heat an iron to its highest setting. Hot fix rhinestone manufacturers don’t recommend steam irons because the steam and the steam vents interfere with glue activation. Next, lay your shirt out flat and position your rhinestone transfer on your shirt. Press down with the iron and hold for about 12-18 seconds. Lift the iron straight up and repeat on another part of the transfer. Do not slide the iron as this may move the rhinestones. Finally, when you’ve activated the glue on all the rhinestones, let the rhinestones cool.
Flat Back Rhinestones
Whereas, embellishing with flat back rhinestones requires the used of a glue. For gluing rhinestones to fabric, my favorite glue is Gem-Tac. It dries clear, is washable and is easy to apply. Lay the rhinestones out on the shirt to form the design. When you’re ready to glue, remove one rhinestone, and place a drop of glue in its place. Pick up a rhinestone and gently press it into the glue drop.
Notably, some of the glue should seep out from the sides. This is very important as this forms a seal that helps prevent the rhinestone from peeling off. Often. crafters who are new to rhinestoning don’t use enough glue and the rhinestones will fall off in the wash. Admittedly, some people are afraid of glue blobs and use too little glue. However, rhinestone glues dry clear and is invisible once cured.
Download Our Pumpkin Rhinestones Template
Rhinestone design is easy with our downloadable pumpkin rhinestone template. Best of all, it’s free! Simply click here to get your template. If you have any questions about how to use the template, you can contact us here.
And if you’re looking for fast and friendly service on your rhinestone purchase, shop Rhinestones Etc. We offer discount pricing on all our embellishments, from rhinestones, to half pearls, metal trim, and clay beads.
And now get free shipping off your first purchase!
Just click on the button above to get your coupon code!
Today, there are many rhinestone products on the market made by many different companies. It can be downright confusing when trying to decide on the best quality rhinestone. Moreover, there are several factors to consider when buying rhinestones, including what material the manufacturer makes the rhinestone from. Accordingly, you may see rhinestones advertised as crystal or glass. Is there a difference and are crystal rhinestones the best to buy?
Rhinestones Etc. sells quality crystal rhinestones at discount pricing. What’s more, you can get free shipping off your first purchase!
A Brief History
As early as 1500 BC, ancient civilizations in Mesopotamia and Egypt were making some type of glass vessels. It was during the Middle Ages, however, that glass making flourished especially in Venice and Murano, Italy. Surprisingly, it was an English businessman who in 1674 filed the first patent for leaded glass. His formula produced a heavier, denser glass with greatly increased refractive power. It’s this prismatic power, the ability to break up light like a prism, that attracted jewelers.
Particularly, a French jeweler, Georg Friedrich Strass, created the first man-made rhinestone sometime in in the early 1700s. Production blossomed in Bohemian where artisans perfected rhinestone making. However, rhinestones were still only for the wealthy as craftsmen cut each one by hand. Then in 1895, Daniel Swarovski, a Bohemian jeweler, patented an electric cutting machine which manufactured rhinestones more cheaply and quicker.
What About the Prismatic Effect?
Since then, the rhinestones market has exploded with production now also in China and Korea. Some Asian brands advertise low lead crystal and some just as glass. When purchasing rhinestones, does it really matter?
Of course, the name brand names Swarovski and Preciosa rhinestones are all cut from genuine crystal. However, because of health concerns with lead, these companies have developed crystal rhinestones without the use of lead. Their patented formulas produce high-quality crystal that has the prismatic quality.
So, what exactly is this prismatic quality and why is it so important in producing sparkle in rhinestones? Sunlight, as we know, is actually a combination of different colors on different wavelengths. Light bends as it moves from air through another surface or medium. How much the light bends as it travels through the medium is the refractive index. Dispersion, which is the separating of colors into a rainbow, is a byproduct of refraction.
Ordinary glass has refractive properties but adding lead or other metals dramatically increases the refractive index. Items with a higher refractive index tend to show more brilliance, as the medium bends light at a higher angle. Additionally, more light reflects back to the eye, rather than passing straight through the medium. Consequently, rhinestones made from material with a higher refractive index, such as crystal, will have more sparkle. Comparatively, rhinestones made from material with a lower refractive index such as glass will have less sparkle.
Crystal Rhinestones – Where to Buy
There are quality crystal rhinestones manufactured by lesser known companies. However, if maximum sparkle is important, make sure the producer cuts them from crystal and not just glass. And when shopping for rhinestones priced competitively, shop at Rhinestones Etc.
Selling online for over 10 years, Rhinestones Etc. has fast shipping, discount pricing and quality customer service. And now get free shipping off your first purchase!
Simply click on the button above to get your coupon code for free shipping! If you have any questions, you can contact us here.
Sometimes the simplest materials can make the most beautiful things. For example, you can take discarded magazines and turn them into colorful paper beads. This craft of making paper beads is old, possibly dating back to Victorian England when women used scraps of wallpaper. Today, artisans continue the tradition with modern twists creating beautiful jewelry. You can make your own paper bead earrings with rhinestones following our simple directions.
For This project I used:
4 mm Jump ring
Wooden skewer/knitting needle
Jewelry pliers: round and flat nose
How to Make Paper Beads
There are a few different bead shapes you can make which depend on the shape of the paper you cut. A rectangle piece of paper will make a tubular bead while a triangle will make a cone bead. Variations in these shapes will lead to interesting variation differences shape. I used a long triangle shape with a base of ¾ of an inch and sides 8 inches long.
Cut out the desired shape from your paper. Place the printed side (the side you want facing outward) face down. Starting about ¼ of an inch from the base, spread your glue thinly starting at the wider end. Set your skewer/knitting needle on the unglued base. Begin to roll your skewer rolling the paper with it to form the bead. When you reach the end, slide the bead off and allow to dry.
Next, you’ll need to seal your bead to protect it from the elements. I sealed my beads with several coats of Modge Podge, letting each coat dry thoroughly.
How to Make the Paper Bead Earrings
Once the last coat of Modge Podge is thoroughly dry, your ready to glue rhinestones onto your paper bead. I do like to use E6000 on my jewelry projects because of the strength of the bond. Typically, I squeeze a small amount on a paper plate and apply with a toothpick. Always use in a well ventilated area and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
To begin, slide a small bead onto your head pin and then slide a on one of your a paper beads. The next step is to make a loop at the top of the head pin. This can be a little challenging and takes a little practice. You’ll need your round nose and flat nose pliers. Place the round nose just above the top of the paper bead. Then bend the head pin around the nose of the pliers. Continue bending until you have a circle. Remove the round nose pliers. Finally, holding the circle with the flat nose pliers, bend the remaining wire tightly under the loop.
Repeat this process for the other beads. Open a 4mm jumg ring, inserting it in the loop you just made and an earring wire. Close the jump ring. Do this for all the beads.
Unique and sparkly, our paper bead earrings with rhinestones are also super easy to make. Plus, the earrings look expensive and artisan made. Make yourself several in different colors to match outfits.
And if you need some rhinestones, check out the inventory at Rhinestones Etc. Selling rhinestones online for 10 years, we ship fast and have excellent customer service.
And now get free shipping off your first purchase! Just click on the button above to get your coupon code! Any questions, contact us here.
From earliest times, sparkling gems have captivated our attention. Generally, it was only the nobility or very rich who could afford to have jewelry made from precious stones. So, jewelers sought out alternate cheaper sources to make sparkling jewelry at a lower cost. The discovery of natural rhinestones along the Rhine River provided a supply for a time. When this natural source became depleted, jewelers looked for a way to make them.
In the early 1700’s a breakthrough came. A French jeweler by the name of Georg Friedrich Strass developed imitation gems later called rhinestones. He discovered that coating a piece of glass with metal powder created a shimmer in glass, similar to a gemstone. The novelty caught on although the imitations were still very expensive. Cutting each rhinestone by hand was labor intensive.
Nonetheless, crafting rhinestones blossomed in Bohemia, now the Czech Republic. Individual skilled artisans honed their craft producing their version of rhinestones. One of these skilled craftsmen, Daniel Swarovski, patented an electric cutting machine. This new machine cut crystal more precisely and quickly than by hand. In 1895, he moved to Austria and opened his own manufacturing plant. Meanwhile, those individual companies in Bohemia eventually merged in 1948 to form the Preciosa brand.
Today, there are many other manufacturers of rhinestones in a wide variety of shapes and colors. The Asian markets in particular, produce a large number of quality crystal rhinestones. While there are different brands of rhinestones, they all share some of the same characteristics.
Types of Rhinestones
Typically, there are 3 main rhinestone types: crystal, glass or acrylic. Rhinestones manufactured from crystal are the most expensive rhinestones. Primarily, crystal is glass mixed with lead or other components which make it clearer and prismatic. The prismatic effect is the ability to take light and break it up similar to a prism. Because of the safety concerns with lead, Swarovski and Preciosa no longer use lead in making their crystal. Both companies have achieved this without losing any sparkle from the rhinestone. This means that both types of rhinestones are CPSIA compliant and are safe for use with children.
Similar to crystal, glass rhinestones have a coating to produce a shimmer in the rhinestone as well as facets. However, glass rhinestones do not have the prismatic quality of crystal. Nevertheless, glass rhinestones typically are precision cut by machine. Occasionally, you may see rhinestones listed as DMC or MC. These rhinestones are Asian machine cut rhinestones and they may be either crystal or glass.
Finally, there are the acrylic rhinestones, the most inexpensive of all. Formed from molds, acrylic rhinestones do have facets which produce some sparkle. Acrylic rhinestones are a great choice for children’s crafts because they’re lead-free and very inexpensive.
Confused about some of the rhinestone choices? Rhinestones Etc. has a large selection of rhinestones at discount prices. We’ll be glad to answer any questions you have regarding rhinestones. You can contact us here.
Rhinestones Quality is based on Color, Cut, Contour, and Clarity
When shopping for expensive gems, jewelers recommend examining a specimen for the 4 C’s: color, cut, clarity, and carat. The grade of each of these components helps determine the gem’s value. Although slightly different, rhinestones also have 4 C’s: color, cut, clarity, contour.
Chiefly, there are many different rhinestone colors and your color choice affects the price. Crystal or clear rhinestones are the least expensive. Aurum, a gold rhinestone with a thin coating of 14k gold is the most expensive. However, within each color, the hue, tone, and saturation must be the same for consistency. The trueness and intensity of color must be the replicated throughout. Variations in color are the mark of cheaper rhinestones.
Next, cut refers to the facets. Facets are the small plane surfaces cut into the rhinestone that reflect the light. The more facets, the more light reflects and hence the rhinestone has more sparkle. Swarovski makes a rhinestone with the most facets, 16 arranged in a star shape pattern called the Xirius. Preciosa manufactures a rhinestone named Maxima with 15 facets. Other rhinestone manufacturers cut between 8 and 12 facets into their rhinestones. Generally, the more facets, the more expensive the rhinestone.
Chiefly, clarity is the lucidity or clearness of the rhinestone. The rhinestone should be free from spots, streaks or bubbles. Any type of cloudiness in the rhinestone is the mark of an inexpensive brand.
Finally, contour refers to the consistency of the shape of the rhinestone. Typically, the shape of the rhinestone also determines its price. Round rhinestones are generally the least expensive, while fancy shapes such as baguette, navette, and others more costly. Size also affects the pricing, with rhinestones increasing in price with the size.
Hot Fix Rhinestones
One type of rhinestone is the hot fix which has glue attached to the flat side. To adhere, you can use a hot fix tool, iron or heat press. Swarovski, a manufacturer of rhinestones, recommends a temperature range of 250 degrees F – 340 degrees F to activate the glue.
If you choose to use an iron, you will need one without steam vents. Irons with vents don’t provide a flat surface and consequently inadequate pressure when applying rhinestones. Also, water and steam can negatively affect the hot fix application. Never slide the iron as this may move the rhinestones. Always press down the iron and lift straight up before applying heat elsewhere.
Another way to attach hot fix rhinestones is with a hot fix tool. These tools come with different screw-on tips to accommodate different size rhinestones. To attach, you lay the rhinestones on a flat surface, facet side up. Heat up your tool, then place the tip over the top of the rhinestone. The rhinestone will stick in the cup of the tip. After about 15 seconds, the glue will begin to bubble. Tap the rhinestone onto the fabric and the rhinestone will stick. Don’t press too hard as this can cause the glue to spread and the rhinestone to stick in the cup. Allow the rhinestones to cool, which takes only a few minutes.
Unfortunately, there are some fabrics that are just not suitable for hot fix application. These include very tightly woven textiles, smooth leather or smooth imitation leather, and thin fabrics like organza. To check to see if your fabric is suitable for hot fix rhinestones, apply several drops of water. If the fabric absorbs the water droplet quickly, you can use hot fix rhinestones on it. Alternately, if the water pearls, the fabric is not suitable for hot fix rhinestones.
Flat Back Rhinestones
Another type of rhinestone is the non-hot fix or commonly referred to flat back. One way to attach flat backs or non-hot fix rhinestones is by gluing. There are a variety of rhinestone glues on the market. Some provide a better bond on certain surfaces than others. Be sure to check the manufacturer’s instructions for recommendations. Additionally, some glue manufacturers do not recommend using their product on cheaper rhinestones like acrylics.
For example, E6000 is an industrial strength glue that produces a strong bond to smooth surfaces. It works great on metal and glass. Alternately, Gem-Tac is a great fabric glue that’s easy to apply, dries clear and is washable. There are some other adhesives like Swarovski’s 2-part epoxy, Beacon’s Fabri-Tac and such. Just make sure whichever you use, its suitable for rhinestones, dries clear and if gluing to clothes, washable.
One of the key components in gluing rhinestones to clothing is the method. Many people use too little glue causing the rhinestone to peel off. It’s very important that some of the glue seeps out the sides of the rhinestone. This forms a seal to keep the rhinestone in place.
Other Methods of Attaching Rhinestones
Generally, there are some other ways of attaching rhinestones to fabrics: metal settings and sew-on rhinestones. To begin with, there are 2 types of metal settings, Tiffany and rim. Their basic difference is one secures form the inside of the garment and the other from the outside. In particular, a rim setting surrounds the rhinestone on the right side of the fabric. The prongs pierce and bend on the inside of the garment to secure the rhinestone. Whereas Tiffany settings have metal prongs pierce through to the outside of the fabric to grab the rhinestone. These prongs bend around the rhinestone to hold it into place.
Uniquely, sew-on rhinestones have pre-drilled holes in the crystal allowing a needle to pass through. Sew-0n rhinestones are available in a large variety of shapes. Similarly, a Rose Montee is a rhinestone set in a metal setting that has cross channels on the bottom. A needle easily passes through the cross channels thus, making them easy to sew on. Moreover, thin wire can pass through these channels as well, making Rose Montees ideal for jewelry making.
Sizing of Rhinestones
Admittedly, the sizing of rhinestones is unique and different. The system goes back to when rhinestones were a natural resource of sparkling quartz. Finders of these sparkling quartz stones grouped them according to their size by dropping them into different size holes. This gave the sparkling quartz a number “stone size“ or “ss”. Larger size sparkling quartz had larger numbers and smaller sized quartz smaller. Even though this natural resource no longer exists, rhinestone manufacturers still use this system of measurement.
Usually, retailers of rhinestones will give the equivalent millimeter size adjacent to the “ss” size so you can compare. Sometimes, too, retailers will have a sizing chart with a picture of the size of that particular rhinestone. You can view our millimeter/ss size chart here.
When trying to figure out how many rhinestones you need for a project will depend on the size you choose. This is especially true when you’re covering an item with rhinestones. For example, size 20ss is 4.7mm and you need about 29 rhinestones to cover 1 square inch. Compare this to size 12ss which is 3.1mm requiring 67 rhinestones to cover 1 square inch. Of course, the type of project you’re working on may influence your choice of size as well. For instance, you probably want smaller stones for rhinestones your nails yet larger rhinestones for embellishing your wedding dress.
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