Often, we associate sparkling gemstones with Hollywood glamour or the lives of the rich and famous. There’s something about the play of light upon the facets that attract and enchant us. While most of us can’t afford designer clothing, we can easily alter store purchases with sparkling flatback crystals. Rhinestones add a bit of glamour at a reasonable price. Moreover, applying rhinestones to clothing isn’t as hard as you might think.
No matter how you use them, rhinestones add a touch of elegant sparkle. Have a plain shirt? Bedazzle it with rhinestones for a dressy casual look. Upcoming wedding? Bling out your wedding invitations. Don’t know what to give your best friend for Christmas? Deck out a coffee mug with rhinestones. Rhinestones Etc. has many tutorials blogs like these with instructions.
The Best Glue for Rhinestones Depends on the Surface
Probably the most popular way to attach rhinestones is to use an adhesive. Your choice of glue depends on the surface you’re applying the rhinestone to and the rhinestone itself. The substrate, or surface you’re gluing to, can be porous or smooth, heavy or lightweight.
Thus, some adhesives work better on certain surfaces. Beacon’s Gem-Tac is a great all-purpose glue. The manufacturer recommends this glue for fabric, wood, suede, glass, vinyl, and metal. It’s easy to apply, dries clear, and is washable.
E6000 is another adhesive suitable for just about any type of surface. The manufacturer recommends it for all the same surfaces as Gem-Tac plus plastic, tile, ceramic, cement, rubber, leather, and Styrofoam. However, this glue is a bit harder to work as it is thicker, harder to apply, and dries quickly.
There are applicator tips for E6000 that you can buy separately. We like to squeeze a bit out over a paper plate and use a toothpick to apply the glue. Once the glue starts to become tacky, simply squeeze out a bit more. This glue does dry quickly and you must use it in a well-ventilated area.
While most adhesives are safe to use, some manufactures don’t recommend their product for use with Acrylic rhinestones. Both Beacon’s Fabri-Tac and E6000 advise against using their glue for use with these types of rhinestones. Always check the glue manufacturer’s instructions and the supplier of your rhinestones for the best adhesive to use.
How to Glue Rhinestones onto Fabric
The most important aspect of gluing rhinestones on fabric is using enough glue. One of the most frustrating aspects of bedazzling clothing is rhinestones falling off during washing. This always occurs with an improper gluing technique.
To properly glue rhinestones, you need a drop of glue about the same size as the rhinestone. When you place the crystal in the glue, some adhesive should seep out from the sides. This creates a seal, firmly attaching the rhinestone to the fabric and prevents it from peeling off. Since all rhinestone fabric glues dry clear, the only thing you’ll see is the sparkle.
Hot Fix Rhinestones Have Glue On Their Backing
Hot fix rhinestones have flat backs with an adhesive already on their flat or backside. When you heat the glue to a temperature between 250-340° F, you can apply it to form a permanent bond. Some fabrics may be unsuitable for hot fix application. These types of textiles include tightly woven fabrics, thin fabrics like organza, or real and imitation leather.
If you’re not sure if you can use hot fix rhinestones on your fabric, you can perform the pearl test. Place several drops of water on the material. Fabric that has water that pearls is not suitable for hot fix application. On the other hand, you can use hot fix rhinestones on fabrics that absorb the water drops quickly.
Other Methods for Applying Rhinestones
Two other ways of attaching rhinestones are sewing and metal settings. Sew-ons involve rhinestones with predrilled holes for attaching. Simply sew the rhinestone on with a needle and thread through the predrilled holes. Rose Montees are rhinestones set in a metal setting. The setting has a cross channel on the back for sewing or stringing wire through.
Metal settings give your rhinestones and extra secure hold with a decorative element. Tiffany settings have the prongs come through the back of the fabric to attach the rhinestone. Whereas rim settings frame the rhinestone with the prongs going through the fabric from the top. Rose pins are rhinestones already attached to metal settings.
Add Rhinestones For A Touch of Glamour
As you can see, there are several methods of applying rhinestones. Some projects allow for different ways to affix them. Begin by thinking about the project you are working on. If you’re planning on using adhesive for attaching your rhinestones, check the glue manufacturer’s suggested use.
If you still have any questions about what works best for your project, you can contact us for help at here. Of course, we'd love to be your source for rhinestones. With discount pricing, fast shipping and great customer service, Rhinestones Etc. can help you with your crystal needs.
I have been adding bling for over 20 years. Through my projects, I hope you find inspiration.