The effect of ‘ombre’ within colour, means the gradual changing from one colour to another. French for ‘shaded’, the term ombre originally started in the hairstyling industry, to describe the trend of having dark roots that gradually change to lighter ends. This trend then developed from natural hair colours, to dyed colours, and became so popular that people started to want ombre in other parts of their life. From clothing, make-up and wallpaper, to wedding cakes, fingernails and accessories, the ombre effect can be seen everywhere!Our customers often ask how to replicate an ombre effect using rhinestones, and although it looks simple, it can actually be quite tricky to master. First you need to choose which colours you want to use, popular choices are going from black to white or from a dark colour to the lightest shade of that same colour. The really effective ombre designs are when you start with one colour and gradually change to a completely different one.

There are two ways to create an ombre effect when using rhinestones, one is a simple colour blocking technique ideal for beginners, and the other is a little more complicated but effective – merging the colours into each other.

Method 1. Block Colours

This is the simple method that follows a strict pattern – you can’t go wrong. Start with your first colour rhinestones, either the lightest or darkest shade, and apply a few rows of this colour. Then find the next shade closest to that and do the same number of rows again. Continue going through the colours in order of light to dark (or whichever way you prefer) until you reach the end. As long as you have used the colours in the right order you should have an effective graduation.

Here’s an example of block colour ombre, the crystal Katana embellishing tool starts with Fuchsia rhinestones at one end and graduates down to Clear crystals at the other. There are 5 colours in total, in 5 blocks of 8 rows. You can slightly see where the next colour starts but it is still an effective ombre.

Method 2. Merge Colours

This is a little more complicated, because unlike the first method, there is no strict pattern to follow, you need to do it by eye. The advantage of this method is that the graduation is seamless so will look much more effective.

Start with your first colour, applying a few rows of solid colour. Then as you go along, start adding in a few rhinestones of the next colour, using more and more as you go along until you have a solid block of that second colour. Use this same technique with the rest of the colours and you should have a gradual merge, with no solid lines.

Here’s an example of how nail artist Lisa Johnston uses this method with neon rhinestones and other Preciosa colours, starting with red and gradually going through the rainbow colours. As you can see, her technique is to incorporate the colours into each other; there is no straight line between colours. This technique is really effective and Lisa makes it look effortless (although we know it isn’t!)Black to white

In these gorgeous rhinestone shoes by Crystalled by Jane, you can see how a gradual fade from black to white has been achieved using the merge method. Jane started with Jet black rhinestones and finished with Clear, and used varying shades of grey/silver in between. This is another really good example of merging the colours.Colour to colour

This is a stunning example of how the ombre effect can totally transform an Irish dance dress. This dress from Rising Star Designs is encrusted with crystals in shades of blue and purple, with some turquoise in there too! The rhinestone ombre follows the colours of the fabric.With so many shades available in both the Preciosa and Zodiac crystal range, you can get really creative with colour choices. And you don’t have to stick to standard rainbow colours, choose pastel tones, neon brights or even metallic colours for a totally unique effect.

Rhinestone application