Decorating your outfits, fabric, and accessories with rhinestones immediately adds a touch of sparkle and drama. It is an inexpensive way to spice up any type of fabric and bring attention to the wearer.
Just keep a few things in mind when decorating fabric with rhinestones and you can’t go wrong.
1. Choose what articles of clothing you want to decorate with rhinestones. These sparkly decors are commonly found on blouses, eveningwear, jeans, fabric purses and even shoes.
2. Determine what type of rhinestones you will use. What you choose will depend on where you are placing the beads. There are three types you can use: hot fix strass, adhesive strass beads and sew on strass beads.
- Hot fix strass or heat flexible rhinestone beads are the easiest to use. They come with a pre treated back that has a sticky surface that bonds to the surface of the fabric when heated with an iron.
- Adhesive strass beads are used for non iron surfaces, such as shoes, handbags or other materials that cannot be placed under an iron because of its shape. You will need a special glue to attach the rhinestones to your surface. Superglue is not recommended since it may damage the beads and the fabric
- Strass beads for sewing are commonly used for jewelry pieces. Also, sewing the beads in will bond the beads better to the fabric.
3. Spot test a small inconspicuous area of the fabric before doing a full on application. You want to make sure the beads adhere to the fabric properly. Some thicker fabrics, such as denim and velvet may make it more difficult to apply the rhinestones on.
4. Lay out your pattern. You may use a pencil of tailor’s chalk to do the design. You may also decide to lay out the pattern on a piece of paper and get one bead at a time as you attach the beads. Be sure not to go overboard with your design. You just want a touch of drama, and don’t want to look like a Las Vegas Performer.
5. If you are using hot fix strass, preheat your iron on a low setting. Cover the beads with a thin piece of cloth and press the iron down gently but firmly on the fabric. It will take only about twenty minutes to melt the hot glue fix on the back of the beads. Gently lift the iron away from the fabric.
6. Be sure to do small sections as a time.
7. If you are using adhesive strass beads, purchase glue that is specifically for attaching strass beads to fabric. Never use superglue or other household glues. A special glue will preserve the quality of your beads and the integrity of the fabric. Also, it will help your fabric withstand numerous washings.
Make sure you care for your rhinestone decorated fabric properly. When washing the fabric, it’s best to hand wash it or use the gentle cycle. Be sure to place the fabric inside out to protect the beadwork. For further care, you may choose to have your item professionally dry cleaned.