HOW TO RHINESTONE A BLACK DRESS

Sometimes you just need a little sparkle in your life!

If you’re preparing for a show, an exclusive after-party, or want something dazzling for a photo shoot, the iconic little black dress with just a hint of work, could be exactly what you’re looking for.

Go full glam or add a subtle touch - the choice is yours!

TYPES OF DRESS

A simple shift dress is one of the easiest to transform by adding some rhinestone detail to the neckline, waist or hem, although any dress in a suitable fabric will work.

The lighter the fabric, the greater chance that the glue will show through.

Just remember that rhinestones add weight, and the weight of a material will affect the way it hangs.

TYPES OF RHINESTONE

There are three primary types of rhinestone to use for fabric - sew on, hot fix and non-hot fix. Each has their pros and cons, and their best use.

Sewn rhinestones come with holes and can look incredibly fashionable, although they take a lot longer than gluing.

However, backing material is usually advised to prevent the stitching from scratching your skin, and to hide any small mistakes.

A rhinestone glued on with the proper glue is every bit as strong as one sewn on. Hot fix rhinestones come with the glue already on the rhinestone, and a special applicator heat wand is used to pick them up and activate the glue.

Often quicker, and dry cleanable, hot fix is particularly useful for hardier items like shoes - however bear in mind that they can’t be used on fabrics which are damaged by heat, so fabrics which have to be cold washed or can’t be ironed, should be avoided.

Finally, non hot fix rhinestones come clean and ready to go.

WHERE TO EMBELLISH

There are so many ways to sparkle up a black dress. Use an embroidery design to create a pattern, or highlight a subtle pattern in the fabric with some sparkly highlights.

Define a waist with a sparkly mock belt, or give the impression of a necklace by adding to the neckline. You can also create a new pattern to give the impression of a broach.

COLOURS

Any colour rhinestone should show up beautifully against black fabric - the only time you need to be careful is when applying black rhinestones to black fabric.

A rhinestone with A/B coating is more likely to sparkle under light, but will give an impression of colour.

Jet hematite usually appears blackest on black fabric, whereas black diamond colours will show more as grey.

Give the impression of depth by adding smaller, lighter coloured rhinestones among larger dark ones.

Experiment with different styles, colours and shapes to get the optimal sparkle, and make something unique out of something plain!