Why Zodiac Crystals are perfect for DIY projects
Whether you're in Halloween fancy dress for work, attending a glitzy party or going trick-or-treating with your kids, why not dress to impress and bling your own mask with Zodiac Crystals! Not only is this a fun project to get creative, but you will look fabulous too!

Zodiac is a fantastic new brand of rhinestones ideal for craft, dance, costume design, fashion, interior design & bridal wear and are used across many other creative industries. For this craft project we have used Zodiac Non Hotfix Crystals which have a flat foil backing so can be easily glued to most surfaces. There are over 60 colours and effects to choose from in the Zodiac range, including neon, metallic, iridescent and two-tone, so you are always sure to find the perfect colour for your project. With a high quality finish and a fraction of the cost of Swarovski crystals, you can afford to add some Zodiac sparkle to anything!

Bling your own mask: A simple step-by-step guide

We have used Zodiac Non Hotfix Crystals in SS10 (3mm) and SS16 (4mm), Gem Tac glue and a Katana Pick Up Tool to apply the flatback rhinestones to our mask template. Here we have used typically spooky colours associated with Halloween - Jet Black, Dark Amethyst (purple), Dark Siam and Light Siam (red). But you could also use different shades of orange, gold and black to create a Jack o' lantern style mask.

Step 1. Draw, print out a template, or purchase your desired face mask. We recommend one with a simple design if this is your first experience with blinging. If you have worked with crystals before, or feel confident in your creative skills, go for something with a bit more detail. Here we have used a ‘Day of the Dead’ inspired skull design that we printed out from an online template. It is best to use thin card when creating your mask – this will be sturdy enough to keep its shape once the weight of the crystals is applied.

Step 2. Colour in the parts of the mask you want to crystallize, even if you only do the outline in rhinestones, (as we will be doing here) it brings the image to life and avoids any white gaps. We used Light Siam and Light Peridot in SS16 (4mm) to bling the roses.

Step 3. Using a Syringe Applicator, apply tiny glue dots to the area of the image you want to crystallise. We recommend using a syringe applicator with tip as it allows you to apply small, precise amounts of glue without getting into a mess. If you do accidentally use too much glue, don’t worry – if you are using Gem Tac glue it will dry completely clear. This method is also a great way to avoid wastage. Next, pick up your rhinestone using a Pick Up Tool and place it down on top of the first glue dot, apply a small amount of pressure so it sticks. Repeat this step, making around 8 – 10 glue dots at a time before adding the crystals. As you get used to the method you will become quicker and more precise.

Step 4. Continue this application method for the rest of the design, highlighting key features of the mask. Here we have crystallised the flowers on the side in Dark Siam and Light Peridot rhinestones. The Dark Amethyst rhinestones look really striking for the eyes as they enhance the darkness of the sockets. And using Clear rhinestones for the teeth give the mask ultimate sparkle and really draws focus, especially when the light hits it.

Step 5. For the nose and cheekbones we have used Zodiac AB rhinestones, these are our most popular colour as the iridescent coating gives off a rainbow effect and offers an intense sparkle. As these lines are thinner and more intricate in their design, we used smaller crystals SS10 (3mm) to give a neater finish. It is easier to follow a curved line with smaller crystals and there will be fewer gaps in between.

Step 6. Once you have completed the main areas of the mask, you can add some extra detail by applying single crystals to the more intricate features. In this case, we have added an individual Jet Black stone to the end of every swirl and spot. Allow to dry for a good 24 hours before cutting out and using the mask.

Step 7. To finish of your mask, simply use some elastic banding and thread through a small hole on either side of the mask to make the head strap.

Tips & Tricks for DIY crystallizing

  • Practice applying the rhinestones to a spare piece of paper/card before you start your project, this will help you get an idea of how much glue to use and how much pressure to apply.
  • Use specifically designed tools to help the process such as a Crystal Katana pick up tool rather than fiddly tweezers, storage potsfor keeping the rhinestones neat and orderly, Gem Tac glue – our #1 bestselling adhesive and Application Syringe with Precision Tip for applying glue neatly.
  • If possible, work in the natural daylight as artificial lighting makes it harder to see especially when using smaller rhinestones.
  • Make sure your hands are clean when working with rhinestones - grease marks will show up and dull the sparkle.
  • Spend a little more money to purchase a high-quality rhinestone. The last thing you want is peeling stones, dis-colouration or scratches.
  • If you need more help on which type of rhinestones to use, advice on colours, sizes or application method, please contact your crystal supplier Crystal Parade.

Check out our blog for more expert guides, How To’s and inspirational tips and tricks.

Craft & diy