Since Czech glass makers began hand-crafting rhinestones, jewelry makers and designers have used them in their creations. Today, blinging out items continues to be very popular and fashionable. Yet, buying clothes already rhinestoned is expensive. By learning how to attach rhinestones to fabric you can save yourself a bundle and still look great.
Best Ways to Attach Rhinestones To Fabric
Fundamentally, it seems the list of items you can bling out is endless: handbags, shoes, key fobs, and sunglasses. Usually, to attach rhinestones to accessories, you’ll need to use an adhesive. Yet, you’ll find 4 primary ways to attach rhinestones to fabric:
1. Sew on Rhinestones
Generally, a sew on rhinestone has two pre-drilled holes in the crystal. Sew on rhinestones usually offer a wide variety of shapes including navette, triangle, square, and round. Often, these rhinestones are available in different colors including the popular crystal and crystal AB.
Another type of sew on rhinestone is the rose montee. These rhinestones lay in a metal setting that has cross channels underneath. A needle can easily pass through the enclosed grooves to secure it to the fabric. Additionally, a thin wire can pass through the channels to create stunning jewelry.
2. Metal Settings For Rhinestones
For round rhinestones, you'll find two basic types of metal settings, Tiffany and rim. Both settings have prongs that pierce through the fabric while holding the rhinestone in place. The difference between them is how they secure the rhinestone.
Tiffany settings attach from the inside of the garment. The prongs pierce through to the outside of the fabric to grab the rhinestone. You then bend the prongs to hold the rhinestone in place.
On the other hand, rim settings attach from the outside of the fabric. A rim surrounds the rhinestone on the outside of the material. Then you bend the prongs on the inside of the garment to secure the crystal.
3. Hotfix Rhinestones
Another type of round rhinestone is the hotfix. These have glue applied to the back side of the stone. By applying heat, you melt or activate the glue. When it cools, it becomes solid again firmly attaching to the fabric. Usually, it takes about 5 minutes for the glue to cool. However, the glue requires 24 hours to completely cure.
Generally, you can apply heat using one of the following methods:
Most hotfix rhinestone manufacturers recommend a temperature range of 250 degrees F – 340 degrees F to activate the glue. Moreover, not all fabrics will allow penetration of the glue for adequate bonding. For example, you’ll need to avoid materials pre-treated with stain resistors, softeners, or Teflon.
Typically, it’s always advisable to do a water pearl test first to determine if the material will absorb the glue. Place a drop of water on the fabric. If the water pearls, the fabric isn’t suitable for hotfix rhinestones. However, if the material readily absorbs the water droplet, hotfix rhinestones will bond to it.
4. Flat Back Rhinestones
Undoubtedly, the most popular form of attaching rhinestones to fabric is with the use of glue. When choosing your adhesive, check with the manufacturer to see that it is good for rhinestones, washable, and dries clear.
Above all, the most important thing to remember when learning how to attach rhinestones to fabric is the gluing technique. Use a drop of glue slightly smaller than the rhinestone. When you gently press the rhinestone into the glue drop, some glue should ooze out from the sides. This is very important as it helps to create a seal that prevents the rhinestone from peeling off. If your rhinestones fall off it is most likely due to using too little glue.
Most glues are multi-purpose, allowing you to glue rhinestones sunglasses, tumblers, and other accessories. However, some adhesives create a stronger bond on some surfaces. For example, glass or metal is very smooth and requires a stronger glue such as E6000. Fabric or paper is porous and you can use glue such as Gem-Tac. Again, before you begin your project, check with the manufacturer to ensure the adhesive will create a strong bond.
FAQs About How to Attach Rhinestones To Fabric
Do you still have questions about how to attach rhinestones to fabric? Below, we answer a few of our most commonly asked questions. If you have others, please contact us here.
Is One Way of Attaching Rhinestones To Fabric Better than Others?
Any method you choose will securely attach your rhinestones and usually, it’s just a matter of preference. However, sometimes, you may find certain shapes only in sew on.
Can You Attach Rhinestones to Sheer Fabrics?
Yes. We recommend that you place a piece of wax paper underneath the fabric to avoid gluing layers together. Once the glue has cured, simply peel off the wax paper.
Where Can I Buy Rhinestones?
Rhinestones Etc. wants to be your source for all your bling supplies. We offer fast shipping, competitive pricing, and great customer service.
Browse our online store to find the perfect color and size rhinestone for your project.
I have been adding bling for over 20 years. Through my projects, I hope you find inspiration.