When my sister's 50th birthday was fast approaching, I had no idea what to gift her. My sister Tammy is the biggest Dolly Parton fan I have ever known, she even has a full Dolly room dedicated to all her Dolly memorabilia.

Dolly’s style oozes glitz and glamour - you may remember the iconic guitar Dolly Parton played at the infamous Glastonbury Festival in 2014. As this snippet from Vogue magazine describes ‘This Sunday afternoon, while everyone else at the Glastonbury Festival is wellie-deep in the mud, strolling nonchalantly atop a pair of five-inch stilettos on the Pyramid Stage in a blinding spray of mile-high platinum hair, rhinestones, and fringe, no doubt, will be none other than Dolly Parton.’

The brief from Dolly was “Rhinestones, more rhinestones, and an extra sprinkling of rhinestones.” Dolly wowed the Glastonbury audience wearing a dazzling white bell-bottomed jumpsuit completely hand embellished in rhinestones and to compliment her outfit was a matching bright white, crystal covered Taylor GS Mini slung over her shoulder. The guitar was a glossy white finish with Crystal Clear rhinestones covering the entire instrument from front to back. The gems gave the guitar a puzzle-like pattern and even the headstock was given a crystal makeover! So when my sister asked me if I would paint a guitar in the style of Dolly’s, I rose to the challenge and of course I had to add those dazzling rhinestones.

Enter, Crystal Parade! I’m so impressed with the vast array of styles and colours of the crystals I had no idea where to start… however I reached out and almost instantly Poppy was there to offer her advice and point me in the right direction of what to purchase. I went ahead and ordered what Poppy suggested and as always, the delivery and customer service was flawless and quick!

My order of Zodiac Non Hotfix rhinestones in the AB colour was on its way. I ordered a wholesale pack of 1440 in size ss16 (4mm) and 2 wholesale packs of ss30 (6mm) rhinestones. Once my child sized guitar was sanded and painted white, I got to the best part of gluing on each flatback crystal one by one. I followed a picture I found online of Dolly’s guitar and tried to replicate the best I could. Applying the crystals was actually very therapeutic and by using the GemTac glue and the Crystal Katana to pick up the crystals, made the application of the crystals very quick and manageable. At one point I was sat in the garden applying some of the rhinestones and the sparkle was outstanding in natural light! Each individual AB crystal reflected lots amazing colours.

Crystallizing the guitar, including the front, sides and top part took three days to complete. I couldn’t wait for my sister to see this as I knew she would be overwhelmed with the blinged replica. And it did not disappoint, Tammy absolutely adored her gift and there was even a small tear on receiving it, it now sits proudly in the Dolly room.

I’m now considering making myself one, I loved the whole process of researching, sourcing the guitar and giving it the Dolly crystal make over! I can’t recommend Crystal Parade enough when it comes to quality and customer service!

On to the next project!

Craft & diy