Rhinestones are a wonderful way to bring some sparkle and beauty to clothing, artwork, or furniture. Often used for decorating dance costumes, rhinestones are incredibly eye-catching which makes them the ideal way to add some glamour to theatre sets.

They’re also often used to add a luxurious appearance to furnishings or to add texture to pieces of art. You can also use rhinestones for clothing personalisation since they make them look more expensive and high-end.

What Are Rhinestones?

Rhinestones are flat-bottomed stones that are made out of crystal paired with a backing of mirror foil that helps to reflect light. The crystals are cut to the chosen shape (typically round), with several facets that are angled to enable reflection of the light for added sparkle.

A rhinestone may be coloured or clear, or it may even have a coating that creates special effects, such as opal, iridescent, metallic, neon, or multi-tone effects. AB crystals (or Aurora Borealis crystals) are another popular finish due to the additional colours that have been added to the cuts or facets of gem.

What Are Good Quality Rhinestones?

Good quality rhinestones have many facets (more facets means more sparkle), and won’t have any chips, scratches, or discolouration. It will also have a durable and strong foil backing that won’t peel away.

When you buy rhinestones wholesale, it’s possible to determine whether the rhinestones in one packet are high quality if they’re precisely the same size, colour, and shape, and they haven’t scratched or grazed each other. There are three well-known brands that represent the highest quality rhinestones – Zodiac, Preciosa crystals, and Swarovski.

Are There Different Kinds Of Rhinestones?

Two main kinds of flatback rhinestone exist – Not Hotfix, and Hotfix. A Hotfix rhinestone will already have glue incorporated into its foil backing, waiting for heat to activate it.

A Hotfix rhinestone may be applied with Hotfix Applicator Wands (if the project is small-scale), or heat presses (for a larger or bulk project like making costumes). Another option is to iron on rhinestones with a standard household iron (if you are applying a Hotfix transfer).

A Non-Hotfix rhinestone requires separate glue for its application. The best option is either Gem Tac or E6000. Gem Tac has been designed specifically for use with rhinestones as the glue will bond with the rhinestone’s foil backing making it more durable when compared with other types of craft glue.

How Do I Choose The Best Rhinestones For My Project?

The first step to choose the best rhinestones for your project is to examine the surface they you’ll be applying your rhinestones to. You will need to determine whether you require Hotfix rhinestones, or Non-Hotfix ones. While Hotfix rhinestones are suitable for use on most surfaces, they aren’t recommended for use on either plastic or glass surfaces.

The next step is to consider whether your project is large or small-scale. If you plan to crystallise several costumes, clothing items, or objects, you’ll find using Hot Fix crystals a much faster option and you won’t need to deal with any mess since you won’t have to use any glue. On the other hand, if you’re working on a smaller project such as rhinestone application to a single clothing item, pair of shoes, or greetings card, you’ll find Non-Hotfix rhinestones your best option. Not only are Non-Hotfix rhinestones more affordable but you also have no need to buy yourself a Hotfix application tool.

You will need to select the right size and colour rhinestones for your project too, but there are several ways to do this. The first option is to get in touch with us to obtain a colour chart that will show all of the sizes and colours available.

Alternatively, if you have a good idea about what colour you’d like for your project but want to see all of the various shades you can pick from, you can talk to our team members who will send you free samples. A third option that you may want to go for is to send us a small amount of the fabric that you’d like your rhinestones to match, or a good-quality image of the material. We will then be able to find the perfect match to suit your requirements.

You’ll find a wide variety of sizes to select from too. 1.1mm (SS2) – 3mm (SS10) are sizes most popularly used by nail artists and beauticians. 3mm (SS10) – 4mm (SS16) are typically used for embellishing clothing, accessories, wedding veils, greetings cards, smartphone cases, and other kinds of decorative objects.

Sizes 4mm (SS16) – 5mm (SS20) are popular for use on ball gowns, theatre costumes, freestyle dance costumes, bikinis, and burlesque or drag costumes while the bigger sizes of 6mm (SS30) – 11mm (SS48) are most often used to crystallise Irish dance costumes and larger items like cars, furnishings, and interior design items.

Top Tips For Using Rhinestones

Here are a few helpful tips to get you off to the best start when you’re using crystal rhinestones for the first time:

· Practice applying some rhinestones to some spare fabric or paper before beginning your project. That will enable you to determine the correct amount of glue you need to use.

· Only use a specifically designed tool to aid in the process as it will be far easier to manage than if you try to use fiddly tweezers.

· You need some storage pots on hand to keep your rhinestones orderly and neat.

· If you are using separate glue for your rhinestones, Gem Tac is your best option with an application syringe and precision tip to allow glue application without any mess or fuss.

· When applying rhinestones try to work in natural daylight rather than artificial light since it will be far easier to see small rhinestones.

· Ensure you have clean hands when you work with rhinestones as any grease marks from your fingers will dull the crystals’ sparkle.

· It’s always worth spending a little bit more to buy high-quality rhinestones. You don’t want to deal with scratches, discolouration, or peeling stones.

· After applying your rhinestones and waiting for the glue to dry you can polish them with a damp cloth. It’ll make an enormous difference to their appearance.

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