With a string of Irish dance competitions coming up in the next few months, we’ve been looking behind the scenes at how the dresses, shoes and head pieces are made. Our Zodiac and Preciosa rhinestones for Irish dance have always been popular and we just love learning about how they are used and seeing them in action on the dancefloor.

We recently caught up with Lyndsay from Shiny Shuz, a bespoke embellishment service for all things Irish dance, and she gave us her top tips for blinging Irish dance dresses, shoe buckles and head pieces.

Lyndsay: ‘I first got into blinging when my daughter, who danced, got her first costume. I felt it needed more bling, and the rest just developed from there. I’ve been blinging costumes for 16 years now, and the shoes I started 10 years ago when a friend asked me to do a pair for her daughter.’Lyndsay is a talented seamstress and blinger, in fact she can put her hand to anything. Her most popular dance accessories include headpieces, buckles, shoes, trainers, dresses and even wedding shoes.

Lyndsay: ‘I only use high quality crystals, my favourite is the Zodiac brand, I love the quality and cut of the zodiac crystals, the shine is amazing.’

We asked Lyndsay for her tips on which glue to use for applying crystals: ‘For headpieces I would use Gem Tac or E6000 for flexibility. If I’m stoning dresses with large stones I’ll use hot glue, and for tiny stones for shoes etc, I like to use Gem Tac as it’s a clean and tidy finish.’Large sew on stones are a key feature of any Irish dance dress, they are great full giving the effect of full coverage, and with the huge range of shapes and colours in the Zodiac brand, it is easy to get creative with your design. Sewing crystals to fabric is the most secure and durable application method, but as Lyndsay describes, using a hot glue gun is also a quick and effective method.

Heat fixing crystals to the shoe buckle is another top tip for adding sparkle to the outfit, you can glue on rhinestones, crystal shapes and even pearls for a more sophisticated finish. Here Lyndsay has used a selection of AB rhinestones and flatback pearls to create these stunning buckles. We asked Lyndsay why dancers like to have rhinestones dance shoes, and she told us that they add a nice effect to a plain black shoe and can be tied in with the theme of the dress. They’re also a great souvenir for her customers to keep – the memory of a big achievement.Shiny Shuz offers a fantastic choice of pre-made rhinestone accessories as well as the option of bespoke crystallisation. They are on Facebook and Instagram so you can check out Lyndsay’s amazing work, and where you will also find information on placing an order. Thank you Shiny Shuz for letting us take a peek behind the scenes of your sparkling business.

'Take a look at our handy guide to the best crystals for Irish dance.'

Irish dance