Non Hotfix crystals, also known as glue on rhinestones, diamantes or gems are easy to use crystal embellishments for decorating clothing, shoes, accessories, costumes, textiles, furniture, nail art and parchment craft. Non Hotfix rhinestones have a smooth mirrored foil backing and when glued on using the correct glue, forms a strong bond with the surface of whatever you are embellishing. You can tell if a rhinestone is non hotfix or hotfix by the texture of the foil backing: smooth and flat = Non hotfix, rough and textured = Hotfix.

An introduction to Non Hotfix crystals

The term ‘non hotfix’ refers to the method of applying the crystal using glue, rather than heat, which is called Hotfix. Using non hotfix crystals is usually the preferred method of embellishing as they tend to be cheaper to buy, and you don’t need to purchase a hotfix applicator wand or heatpress. Non hotfix, or glue on rhinestones, are often favoured among crafters because the application is easy and there is a large choice of colours, shapes and sizes in the non hotfix range.

Which materials are suitable for Non Hotfix crystals?

You can glue non hotfix rhinestones onto almost any surface – paper, card, glass, wood, metal, plastic, fabric, rubber, and Preciosa lead-free rhinestones can even be glued onto teeth as tooth gems!

What are the different Non Hotfix rhinestone shapes?

There are many different shapes in the non hotfix range, the classic round rhinestone is always the most popular. But for papercraft, cardmaking and nail art, popular shapes include raindrop, heart, fan, leaf – there are dozens to choose

How to apply Non Hotfix rhinestones using a pick up tool and glue

When attaching non hotfix rhinestones using glue, it is important that you use a specific gem glue, we always recommend Gem Tac for most surfaces. For rubber or leather we recommend E6000+ glue, and for fingernails we find Crystal Fix is the best. Our favourite, and the recommended pick up tool for crafters, is the crystal Katana, a professional rhinestone picker that will last for years. If you’re just starting out and would prefer a more cost effective tool, try a tanto pick up tool or wax pencil. The best way to apply the glue is to use a syringe applicator, this allows you to squeeze out the glue in tiny precise amounts, to avoid wastage and mess.
• First squeeze some glue in the syringe and screw on the tip.
• Next, squeeze out tiny dots of glue in the areas where you want to add a rhinestone.
• Then, use the pick up tool to pick up and place each rhinestone onto the glue dot.

For a more detailed guide on how to apply non hotfix crystals, read our tutorial here.

Let’s look at some ways you can use Non Hotfix crystals in your DIY projects

1. Customize your clothes
By applying rhinestones to your clothing, you instantly give them a unique look – nobody else will own the same item of clothing as you. Try adding non hotfix crystals to the collar of a cocktail dress to really make it sparkle. Flared jeans are back on trend, so go back to the 90’s and add some bling to the leg seam of your favourite pair. Or have fun with a leather jacket and glue on some Jet black rhinestones to the shoulder pads for a steampunk vibe. See how Zoe has used Zodiac AB rhinestones to create this P!NK design for the singers concert.

2. Add sparkle to your nail art
Adding rhinestones to your nail art is a huge trend, and getting ever more popular. Flatback non hotfix crystals are perfect for bringing the sparkle to your manicure, choose from hundreds of colour and shapes to make your nails pop. In this example, Lisa Johnston has used the Tiffany Mix to jazz up her design.

3. Bling your dancewear
Are you a dressmaker, costume designer or ballroom & latin dancer? Give yourself some extra shine under the lights by embellishing your dress or waistcoat with Preciosa or Zodiac non hotfix crystals.

4. Crystallize performance costumes
Similarly, for any performer, non hotfix crystals are a great addition to the costume or outfit. The sparkle under stage light really captures the audience’s attention. They can be used to enhance costumes for ice skaters, gymnasts, drag artists, burlesque dancers, body builders, musical artists and circus performers.

5. Add sparkle to your bridal shoes
In the bridal world, crystals are used to bring some shimmering glitz to wedding gowns, tiaras, jewellery, accessories, wedding stationery and shoes. It’s easy to glue on some flatback non hotfix rhinestones to a pair of plain white or cream wedding shoes. The most popular rhinestones for this are the clear diamante, but you can bling up any pair of shoes with any colour you like.

6. Make your stationery sparkle
Forget boring stationery, glue on some Preciosa rhinestone shapes to add a bit of glam. Crystal pearshapes are the most popular among crafters, combined with non hotfix round rhinestones they look so elegant. Try jazzing up your notebooks, folders or office equipment to bring a bit of fun to the workplace.

7. Embellish your accessories
When it comes to crystallized accessories, there are so many ideas to try, from phone/tablet cases, shoes and handbags, headphones, homeware, rollerblades, car accessories – the possibilities are endless! Try applying crystals using the ‘Rockery Effect’, seen below on these gorgeous rose opal crystal headphones.

8. Jazz up a boring bag
We all own that one plain or boring handbag that is kept at the bottom of our wardrobe, desperate to be taken out. Why not give it a whole new lease of life by gluing on some Preciosa or Zodiac rhinestones? We gave our rainbow bag a sparkly makeover using non hotfix crystals and gem tac glue, simply match the crystals to the fabric and away you go.

9. Greetings cards
It’s really easy to make a simple greetings card look luxurious and expensive. Simply add a few non hotfix crystals to the main focal point of the card to make it stand out. Or, design your own card with the rhinestones making up the image itself. We have some great non hotfix rhinestone mixes to give you some inspiration.

10. Elevate your craft projects
By gluing on some rhinestones, you can really lift up your craft projects. Non hotfix crystals work really well with papercraft and cricut projects, there is a huge choice of colours and sizes so you’re sure to find a crystal to suit your design. When using a cricut machine to create personalized designs, the vinyl is a great surface for rhinestones to be attached to.

Keep up to date with the latest industry news, including new product launches, and blogs written by Crystal Parade customers. We also have a great selection of ultimate guides going into lots of detail about how to use our crystal products, plus some inspirational project ideas and handy tips for beginners.

Rhinestone application