There is a lot of fun and laughter going on at Crystal Parade HQ. I’ve set the team a ‘bling your Christmas Jumper’ challenge. The ‘Christmas Jumper’ WhatsApp group was set up and off went Jen to Primark, she was soon pinging over images of the fabulous choice of Christmas jumpers available, we each picked our festive jumper and started to plan how best to create the wow factor and hopefully win a bottle of fizz.

The challenge was for the team to give their jumpers a makeover using any embellishments they wished from the Crystal Parade stocks, as you can imagine they were spoiled for choice as there are 1000’s of crystal embellishments to choose from. Jen loves to sew and picked Preciosa crystal bicone beads and pendants, Zoe, Gill and Alison opted for flatback rhinestones and pearls with Gem Tac glue, I chose to crystallize my Elf Jumper with hotfix crystals. As the jumper doesn’t have a thick pile, the hotfix works really well. I prefer to use the hotfix application method as I find it quick and neat, I don’t get myself in a mess with the glue.

There I sat with my not so sparkly Elf in front of me and straight away I knew I had to get her looking the part as one of Santa’s little helpers and I set about fully loading her arms with gift bags and presents. I used the Kandi Kane Applicator wand and the Zodiac hotfix rhinestones to create my design. I didn't use a template, I went freestyle, starting with just one gift bag and adding more colours as I went along. With all bags and gifts in situ, hair and facial features given the crystal makeover I felt there was something missing …….. it wouldn't be Christmas without a touch of mistletoe, again I went freestyle but if you would prefer to follow a design you can use hotfix transfer paper to create your designs.

In my design I used 3 different sizes SS10 (3mm) for the more smaller details including the bows on the gift boxes, Elf’s eyes, lashes and hair, then switched to SS16 (4mm) for the gifts and the stem of the mistletoe, for the berries I used Zodiac SS20 clear crystals.

The Kandi Kane applicator has a selection of different sized tips which you switch to suit the size of the crystal. The melting time of the glue varies depending on the size of the crystal. You will find that the smaller SS10 crystals the glue will melt and be ready to apply within 6 seconds, the SS16 (4mm) allow 10 seconds and SS20 (4mm) allow 12 - 14 seconds. When you pick up the hotfix crystal with your Kandi Kane applicator wand you will see the glue on the back of the crystal melt, the glue bubbles from the outside in, once the whole of the back of the crystal has bubbled up you know it is ready to place onto your garment.

It’s a while since I took time out to ‘bling’, I had forgotten how relaxing and creative it is, it has inspired me to find another project ………. I’m going to fully crystallize a 2 foot Nutcracker with 100’s of Zodiac SS10 rhinestones.

Clothing embellishment