How To Apply a Rhinestone Iron-On T Shirt Transfer

Rhinestone iron-on transfers are a popular way of jazzing up pieces of clothing as well as other items. They come in many designs and motifs using different sizes and colors of rhinestones. Other designs make use of metal studs.

If you want to apply rhinestone iron-on t-shirt transfers, here is what you should do.

  • Choose the t-shirt you want to apply the rhinestone transfer on. You can also apply iron-on transfers with rhinestones to sweatshirts, pants, bags, book covers and place mats. The item you choose should be made of fabric that can withstand the heat coming from an electric iron.
  • Prepare the ironing board and iron. Heat the iron. Set it to medium (roughly 350 degrees Fahrenheit). Make sure no steam comes out. Instead of an ironing board, you can choose a flat surface that can withstand heat.
  • Place the t-shirt on the ironing board or a flat surface. Smooth the t-shirt. The side of the t-shirt that is facing you will be the side where you will apply the rhinestone iron-on transfer.
  • Find a sheet of heat resistant plastic like baking paper. Insert this in between the two sides of the t-shirt. This will serve as a barrier to prevent the glue from the back of the rhinestone from penetrating the other side of the t-shirt. To make sure, you can even place a sheet of cardboard under the plastic. You can also use another fabric or a sheet of plain paper.
  • Get the rhinestone iron-on transfer. Remove the paper backing by peeling it off slowly. Place the sticky side (glue side) of the rhinestone iron-on transfer directly on the garment. Make sure it is on the right spot. Adjust it accordingly.
  • Using an even motion, press the iron-on rhinestone transfer. Even, firm pressure should be applied all over the transfer. Next, press on each area firmly but evenly. This is to ensure that the rhinestones receive the right amount of heat and pressure. Depending on how big the stones are, apply the heat for about 8 to 10 seconds per area. If the design has metal studs, these take less time as well as less pressure to adhere to the t-shirt. Some designs are a combination of large and small rhinestones; make sure you pay attention to both. You can use the tip of your iron for the smaller rhinestones.
  • Allow the transfer and the t-shirt to cool down. Don’t remove the plastic yet. Once it is cool, remove the plastic from the garment. The rhinestones should stay in place. In case some rhinestones have not adhered to the t-shirt, place the plastic back and iron once again.


  • While ironing, if the plastic curls or bubbles, it may cause a wrinkle or two on the t-shirt. Don’t worry; this will disappear when you wash the t-shirt.
  • You can reset rhinestones that are loose by gently pressing them with the hot iron. Just make sure that you don’t accidentally push the rhinestones out of place when you move the iron around.
  • When washing the t-shirt with the rhinestone iron-on, use cold water and the gentle cycle of your washing machine. The t-shirt should be dried flat with the rhinestones facing up.

Rhinestones date as far back as the Crusades. They were used to decorate the outfits of the royal families as well as other wealthy individuals. You can use rhinestone iron-on transfers to make your plain t-shirts, pants, sweatshirts and clothing items look more fun and exciting.


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