With DIY and upcycling becoming even more popular in the current climate, and vintage style handmade clothing and accessories bang on trend, we’re exploring all things crochet. The art of crochet is making its way back into fashion design, interior design, jewellery making, craft and textiles and we’re looking at ways to elevate your crochet projects by incorporating crystals. Crystal Parade team member and resident crochet expert Jen, has been experimenting with how to add sparkle to her needlework. We set Jen a challenge to try and use 6 different types of rhinestone embellishment within her crochet projects and she didn’t disappoint!

Zodiac crystal rivoli buttons

Jen downloads her crochet patterns from Yarn Inspirations – a great website where you can learn the basics of crochet if you’re a beginner, as well as being a one stop shop for wool and tools. To make this pretty flower even more beautiful, Jen sewed on a Zodiac crystal button in Golden Shadow to form the centre focal point. On the back, she glued a simple brooch pin using gem tac glue, so it is now a fabulous one of a kind handmade brooch. Perfect for a gift or to add to your favourite jacket. Zodiac are a high quality, affordable alternative to Swarovski Rivoli buttons and available in over 10 colours!Zodiac bicone beads & Rivoli sew on stone

To celebrate Valentine’s Day, Jen made this super cute crochet heart and gave it a sparkly makeover by sewing on some Zodiac bicone beads and a rivoli sew on stone. These simple additions elevate the heart to a new level. Jen glued her heart onto a Valentine’s card, but you could turn it into a brooch, sew it onto a cushion, make it into a keyring or handbag charm – the possibilities are endless!Zodiac non hotfix crystals

This is one of our favourite crochet craft projects – crystallized flowers using flatback rhinestones. Jen has skillfully created a bunch of flowers in 3 different colours and glued some Zodiac flatback rhinestones onto the petals to give that extra touch of bling. These would make a fantastic gift for someone special in your life or an especially thoughtful Mother’s Day gift; pretty to look at, ever-lasting, handmade and bespoke…. they would be treasured forever! Jen used gem tac glue to stick on the many light pink rhinestones, but with the Zodiac brand you can choose from over 60 colours so you can really get creative.

Flatback cabochons & pearls

How cute is this Easter bunny!? A simple design made even more cute with the addition of Preciosa navette cabochons for the ears, a couple of rhinestones to depict the eye and nose and a smooth rounded Zodiac pearl for the tail – all in vintage pastel tones, perfect for Easter. These embellishments were glued on with gem tac, but you could also use E6000 if the project is for something that needs flexibility for movement such as on an item of clothing.Preciosa round beads & pearls

To jazz up her crocheted winter hats, Jen added some Preciosa round pearls (pink hat) and bicone beads (blue hat). Both the pearl embellishments and the beads have a hole running through the centre so they can be easily sewn onto fabric. Preciosa have a fantastic range of round pearls, not only do they add style, they are available in many colours and pearlescent coatings too. And the bicone beads catch the light beautifully, so this simple addition really lifts the hat. We love the contrast between the rich royal blue of the wool and the luxurious gold colour of the bead.Jen completes the challenge!

So there you have it, Jen has found 6 different rhinestone embellishments to elevate her crochet projects: Rivoli crystal buttons, sew on stones, flatback rhinestones, cabochons, round pearls and sew on bicone beads. Well done Jen!

Craft & diy