Embellished shirts are expensive but cheap plain shirts tend to be boring. However, for most of us, our budget says buy the boring plain shirt. After you learn how easy and cheaper it is to bedazzle a shirt, you’ll be happy buying that ordinary solid color shirt. The t-shirt used in this project was one I found on clearance for $4.00 and the stencil I found at the dollar store.
For this project I used:
1 t shirt
Gold metallic fabric paint
Black diamond 12ss rhinestones (about 170 rhinestones)
Wax tipped tool or tweezers
Easy Steps to Bedazzle a Shirt
Wash and dry your shirt.
Because I like my designs to be somewhat symmetrical, I like to mark with chalk the position of the designs. Chalk works great because you can brush off your marks if you need to make a change and it easily washes out.
Once I marked out the position of my design, I was ready to paint. You can use a shirt board If you have one; place it on the inside of the shirt. Usually, I just use a piece of thick cardboard I have laying around. Using the chalk marks, position your stencil and apply the fabric paint using a paint brush. Either a foam brush or a regular paint brush works fine.
Remove the stencil and clean it off before repositioning it. When you are done painting, allow to dry completely.
I chose the rhinestone color of black diamond because I liked how it reflected off the black of the shirt and yet didn’t overpower the gold color of the stencil designs.
Again, I marked with chalk the design of the rhinestones.
If the material to the t-shirt is thin, you may want to leave the shirt board in place when gluing or place a piece of wax paper on the inside of the shirt.
To glue your rhinestones, place a drop of glue slightly smaller than the rhinestone on the shirt. Then, using your wax tipped tool or tweezers, pick up a rhinestone and gently press it into the glue drop. Continue gluing until your design is complete. Allow to dry flat for 24 hours.
How much do you think you’d pay in retail for this shirt? At least $25. But by doing it yourself, you can bedazzle a shirt for $10-$15 depending on the brand of rhinestones you choose to use. You’ll feel trendy and stylish while keeping to your budget.
How to glue rhinestones
Want to feel beautiful and confident even if you buy clothes off the rack? Anything can be enhanced by adding rhinestones. Embellish an ordinary shirt off the rack, add your own style, and it will be uniquely you!
For this project I used:
12ss Luminous Green rhinestones
Wax tipped tool
The Luminous Green rhinestone is a pale green with underlying lavender so depending how the light hits the rhinestone it sparkles green or pale purple. The shirt I want to rhinestone is lavender with decorative embroidery. I want to add sparkle while highlighting certain areas of the shirt. The underlying lavender would blend with the color of the shirt while adding sparkle and the pale green would highlight the sections of embroidery I want to draw attention to.
This is often how I choose what colors of rhinestones to use. Choosing a rhinestone the same color as your shirt will add sparkle while choosing a contrasting color adds highlight and sparkle. I also chose a smaller size rhinestone because I wanted to add just a small amount of sparkle.
Pre-wash and dry your shirt before you begin. Lay your shirt on a flat surface. My shirt has small circles of embroidery that the rhinestone fits inside and this is where I chose to rhinestone. Place a drop of glue slightly smaller than the rhinestone on your shirt.
Using a wax tipped tool or tweezers, pick up a rhinestone and place it in the glue drop, gently pressing down. Some of the glue should seep out from the edges. This is perfectly fine as it creates a seal and helps prevent the rhinestone from peeling off. Continue gluing rhinestone and then allow to dry flat for 24 hours.
Just the perfect amount of sparkle and color to catch attention without overpowering. This shirt is great for everyday wear!
Rhinestones and wax tipped tool are available from:
I have five kids and often feel like I am running a zoo. I love to craft and do so in whatever spare time I have.
On your first purchase of quality embellishments from Rhinestones Etc.