We’re often asked about which surfaces you can and can’t attach rhinestones to, and one of the most common queries is about whether you can apply rhinestones to glass. The simple answer is YES, you absolutely can and it’s so easy! As long as your rhinestones are flatback rather than pointy back, you can glue them onto glass and mirror surfaces with ease.
Which rhinestones and glue to use for decorating glass
We always recommend using Non Hotfix rhinestones when attaching crystals to any glass surface, it is a lot easier, cheaper and safer to work with glue on rhinestones than with heat-fixing rhinestones, which may damage the glass. Any brand of rhinestone will be suitable for gluing onto glass, but we recommend using a good quality brand such as Preciosa or Zodiac. Some cheaper plastic or resin rhinestones may peel away from the backing which leaves an ugly piece of foil in its place. As for glue, Gem Tac is the number one craft glue and has been specifically designed to bond rhinestones to most surfaces, including glass. We’ve used Gem Tac to adhere rhinestones and other embellishments to glass many times and the results have always been good. Gem Tac glue dries crystal clear, which is ideal for glass work, and the glass can be gently hand washed without risk of rhinestones falling off.
Read our guides for more information on glue, tools and rhinestones:
How to glue rhinestones to glass
The best way to glue rhinestones to glass is by using an applicator syringe that has a precision tip. You need to half fill the syringe with Gem Tac glue, then gently squeeze it out in tiny dots onto the glass surface in your desired pattern. Start with 6 – 10 glue dots at first, allow a few seconds for the glue to go tacky, then start adding your rhinestones. To pick up the rhinestones, we recommend using a rhinestone picker tool such as the Katana or Tanto. Using a pick up tool is much easier than using tweezers, which are fiddly and time consuming. Use the wax tip of the tool to pick up your rhinestone, shiny side up, and place onto the glue dot, gently pushing it into place until it is flush with the surface.
If you are decorating a drinking glass, you can print out your design and fold it up inside the glass, this gives you a good template to follow when applying your glue. Popular rhinestone designs are names, ages, or slogans, such as ‘Congratulations’, ‘Happy Anniversary’, ‘Bride-to-be’ etc.
Read our tutorials for an in depth guide on how to apply rhinestones to glass:
How to care for crystallized glass items
Once the glue is completely dry (allow 24 hours), gently wipe over the top of the design with a damp cloth to remove any grease or dust. If you have decorated a drinking glass, it can be washed but by hand only, not in the dishwasher.
Ideas for gluing rhinestones to glass
There are so many ways to embellish glass with rhinestones, and lots of different glass made items to bling. We’ve seen clocks, mirrors, gin bottles, sunglasses, vases, wedding decorations, glass ornaments and many other objects covered in rhinestones. Here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing:
- Mother’s Day prosecco glass
Looking to treat your Mum to a personalized prosecco glass for Mother’s Day or her birthday? Buy a cheap glass flute from Ikea, The Range or a supermarket and purchase some SS10 Clear rhinestones, Gem Tac glue, syringe and pick up tool. Then you can get creative and print out a design with the word ‘Mum’ or ‘World’s Best Mum’. Don’t forget, you can do any design you like – you can create her favourite animal in rhinestones, or a love heart, the possibilities are endless!
2. Drinking glass with logo
Another example of ways to embellish a drinking glass is to display the logo of something you love. See how we’ve added some football bling to a boring pint glass, or some pretty Barbie pink sparkle to a standard gin tumbler.
3. Decorative Champagne bottles
A luxurious personalized gift to give a friend or loved one is a bottle of Champagne with added rhinestones to give that extra twinkling touch. You can glue rhinestones onto the glass bottle or label in a scattered rainfall pattern to create a starburst design. Or if it has a famous name or iconic logo, use rhinestones in the matching colour to go over it.
4. Christmas bauble
Take a simple, plain glass bauble and glue on some flatback rhinestones. They don’t have to be round, in fact there are many crystal shapes available to elevate a boring tree decoration.
5. Decorative seasonal item
For Halloween this year, we used a wax transfer paper to sketch out this skull design onto a plain glass ‘potion’ bottle. Then using the same glue on method as discussed above, apply the rhinestones individually and allow to dry fully. These make a fun project to do with children and they are totally unique!
6. Decorative candle holder
To make beautiful wedding table or Christmas table decorations, add some sparkle to a plain glass tealight holder. The light from the candle really brings out the sparkle of the rhinestones. Use a mix of sizes for a more intricate pattern.
7. Mirrored surfaces
You can apply rhinestones to a mirror or mirrored surface in the same way as glass. Try enhancing a mirrored picture frame, compact mirror or make up station mirror by gluing on some flatback rhinestones. We were commissioned to embellish some Mr & Mrs style mirror carriage clocks with Swarovski clear crystals, what a fabulous gift they make!
8. Interior design pieces
Our favourite glass projects so far have been the fully crystallised gin bottle and Marmite jar. Two iconic food/drink products that always cause a stir when on display. Keep hold of your favourite drinks bottle and fully embellish it to create a unique interior piece. You could even have it turned into a lamp base!
9. Reed diffuser
Speaking of interior design, upgrade your plain reed diffuser bottles by adding some much needed sparkle. Use a smaller sizes crystal for a more intense sparkle, and go for a bold colour that matches your colour scheme at home.
You can glue crystals directly onto your sunglasses, if you have frameless glasses you can create your own frame with rhinestones, or just add a subtle touch of bling to the corners. We were inspired by Harry Styles’ summer specs to create our very own sparkly heart shaped sunglasses.
We hope you’ve been inspired to add a touch of sparkle to your glassware, don’t forget to check out our blog for handy tips and tricks, as well as keeping up with the latest rhinestone and craft trends.