The popularity of the Kurt Geiger inspired rainbow bag soared a few years ago with the launch of Primark’s almost identical version, and with the festival season here, as well as Pride month and the start of summer, rainbow accessories are making a comeback! Of course, many people will now own a rainbow bag of some kind (as they should!) But in this world of DIY and upcycling, why not elevate yours to the next level by completely encrusting it in rhinestones?!
We bought a cheap rainbow bag from ebay, and found the perfect Zodiac flatback rhinestones to match the colours – Light Pink, Fuchsia pink, Sapphire blue, Emerald green, Citrine yellow and bright Orange.
The best way to crystallise something that has straight edges and is a fairly simple shape, is by applying the rhinestones in a honeycomb pattern, this means placing each crystal in between the two above it. This application method is the most visually attractive as it ensures there are no gaps.
Tips for embellishing a handbag
If the material of the bag is patent leather, like this one, it is always best to sand down the surface first with some sandpaper. This roughens up the shiny surface, giving the glue something to adhere to, and a lower chance of any rhinestones falling off.
Start by half filling an application syringe with some Gem Tac glue, and screwing on the tip. This handy little tool is great for applying glue in small, precise amounts.
Then, using a rhinestone pick up tool (we used a Crystal Katana, but you can find other cost-effective versions), pick up and place the non hotfix rhinestones onto the glue. We made sure each coloured strip of the bag was neatly covered in rhinestones by using the honeycomb method mentioned above. The crystal size is SS20 (5mm) which is easy to work with and covers the area quickly, however when you get to a corner you may need to use some smaller sizes in the same colour to fill any gaps.
Our rainbow bag came in very useful for Pride celebrations this month, and was the talk of the town as it twinkled in the sunlight!