BEST TOOLS FOR APPLYING NON-HOTFIX FLATBACK CRYSTALS

Taking up a new hobby or learning a new skill is a great way to start off a new year! Learning how to use crystals to create fabulous artworks or gifts is certainly a great use of your time, trust us! If you've decided that 2018 is the year you learn how to crystallise your world, then you want to make sure you have the right tools for the job. To learn how to apply a non-hotfix crystal, look no further!

BEST TOOLS FOR APPLYING A NON-HOTFIX FLATBACK CRYSTAL

Each tool has different aspects and features, depending on what kind of job you need it for. You may find you only need one, or two, or a combination of tools for your crafting. We've gathered the most popular tools for applying a non-hotfix crystal to your projects to help you make the right decision for your needs.

MAGICAL PICK

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This magical little tool is ideal for picking up and setting flatback crystals.
It also works perfectly with pearls, beads, sequins or any other tiny jewellery components you are using in your craftwork.

The tapered resin tip of the Magical Pick is coated with a substance that makes it tacky to touch. This makes it easy to pick up shiny, smooth crystals and beads and place them wherever you choose. It has a great balance of stickiness, so it’s not so sticky that it will leave a residue on your work.
This kit also comes with cleaning materials, so you can re-use the Magical Pick again and again. When not in use, the pack comes with clear plastic sleeves to protect your Magical Pick until the next use.

HOW TO USE:

1) Holding the Pick by the handle, place the tacky end on top of the non-hotfix crystal or bead you want to pick up.

2) Next, you add your glue or adhesive to object you are crystallising. This will affix to the side that you want to stick down, so remember to always use the Pick on the opposite to this.

3) Finally, place your bead or crystal down using the Magical Pick. The adhesive will hold it and then you can lift your Pick away.

4) If you need to move your crystal a little once it is placed, the Magical Pick has a pointed end on it for minor adjustments.

In order to rejuvenate your Magical Pick and refresh its stickiness, all you need to do it roll it across the adhesive strips that come with your Magical Pick kit.

PERFECT FOR:

Bead or crystal craftworks that require precision placement.

JEWEL SETTER

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This pack of two Jewel Setters is ideal for working with larger crystals. It uses a wax bud to pick up crystals and hold them while you apply your adhesive or glue. Because of this, it doesn’t lose its stickiness over time and doesn’t need to be re-applied. The downside is, smaller crystals can get embedded into the wax bud, so this tool is best suited for larger crystals and beads.

If the wax gets a bit too warm while you are working and goes soft, simply pop it into the fridge for a few minutes and it’ll be back to normal and ready to use. (Just remember to keep it away from your food!) Because of the soft wax tip, you may want to use a separate tool to press your crystals and beads down firmly. You’ll also need to wipe down your crafts afterwards as some waxy residue will be left on the surface of the crystals or beads.

HOW TO USE:

1) Choose one of Jewel Setters from the pack, mould the malleable wax tip into a cone shape and gently touch the top of the crystal or bead you want to pick up.

2) Once it is affixed to the wax cone, apply your glue to the the area you want to stick your crystal or bead.

3) Place your bead or crystal down where you want it to be and you will find that the crystal will adhere to the glue.

4) Using the opposite end of the jewell setter gently press down on top of the crystal to secure in place.

5) Once the crystal or bead is set in place, wipe the top to remove any waxy residue.

PERFECT FOR:

Larger crystals, and crafts with a high number of crystals or beads to place.

TWEEZERS

crystal-parade-metal-tweezers

One of the simplest and most long lasting of all craft tools - the humble metal tweezers are a mainstay of most crafting tool kits. For crystal and bead work, tweezers with a tapered curved tip seem to work best as they offer the most precision while working. Many crafters choose to use tweezers over other tools as they are durable and don’t require any additional elements, such as tacky surfaces or adhesive extras, in order to work.

The downside of this is that tweezers can be fiddly to work with, as they require you to do the ‘heavy-lifting’ as it were, and grip the crystal or bead yourself. This can be tricky with round beads or smooth surfaces.
Tweezers with a fine tip will make the job much easier, but you have to have a bit of patience and dexterity as well.

HOW TO USE:

1) Using the fine end of your tweezers, pick up your chosen gem or bead

2) Holding the crystal in place, apply a dab of adhesive to the area you want to decorate

3) Place your crystal or bead down using the tweezers and hold in place

4) Remove the tweezers without knocking the bead or crystal out of place
Be aware that tweezers often get glue residue on them as you work, so you’ll need to clean this off regularly.

PERFECT FOR:

Crafters on a budget as tweezers are inexpensive and last for years.

CRYSTALKATANA

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The Crystal Katana is the tool of choice for any professional nail technician, artist and keen crafter. Designed with a speciallized jewellery wax point at one end and a metal pick at the other, the Crystal Katana allows you to pick up and place crystals with just one tool. Nail artists will often work with many crystals throughout the day and time is money. The duality of this tool, along with the comfortable wooden handle, makes it an efficient and lightweight addition to your kit.

HOW TO USE:

1) Using the wax end, pick up your selected non-hotfix crystal with the Crystal Katana

2) Place your glue on the nail where you want the crystal to stick

3) Once the crystal is fixed in place, flip your Crystal Katana over and use the metal tip to firmly press your crystal down

4) You can also use the metal pick to adjust the placement of your crystal, and to wipe off any excess glue before it dries.

The wax tip is made from premium jewellers wax so it won’t leave residue on your chosen crystal and, because it is 2-in-1, you won’t have to swap hands at all during the process.

You can replace the wax tip as well, or, if it breaks, mould it back into place by warming it with your fingers.

The Crystal Katana is also a professional-looking tool, so it is ideal for nail technicians and beauty therapists.

PERFECT FOR:

Nail technicians looking to save time whilst performing a professional job.

So there you go, the perfect tools for applying non-hotfix flatback crystals!

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