If you’re looking for a creative way to jazz up your dance costume, rhinestone crystals can be a great way to add some sparkle, texture and flare. With a wide variety of Hotfix and Non Hotfix crystals in a huge range of colours, you can create on trend, imaginative designs to help you stand out from the crowd.

You might be wondering exactly how you go about adding flatback rhinestones to your dance costume, and that’s why we’ve created this simple guide below. Be sure to read thoroughly for best results.

An Introduction to Rhinestone Crystals

There are many reasons why you might want to decorate your dance costume with heat on or glue on rhinestones. Rhinestone crystals are an easy way to set you apart from the crowd and really help your costume to stand out.

They’re great for adding in extra colour and sparkle and can be used to help create a theme or enhance a design. Another advantage to using crystal embellishments is that in some areas of dance such as Irish Dance, costume decoration can aid you in gaining extra points. The more sparkle the better!

Prepare Your Workspace

It goes without saying that you will need a clean space to work one when applying rhinestones to your dance costume. This makes it easier to work and helps prevent the costume from folding or creasing which may affect how the rhinestones are applied.

It is best to dust and clean the workspace before using, to ensure that no glue picks up any debris, dirt or dust when applying the rhinestones. It is best to add rhinestones to your costume in natural light, or at least have a large source of light so you can clearly see what you are doing.

Be sure to have your rhinestones close by and lay out any tools or appliances you’re using so you can easily reach them. And always keep a rubbish bin and a damp cloth nearby in case of any glue spillages.

Prepare Your Dance Costume

The most important part of any DIY job is the preparation that goes into ensuring everything is ready and runs smoothly when you’re underway. You will firstly want to ensure that you are using the right kind of rhinestone crystals for the specific fabric of your dance costume.

For example, hotfix rhinestones are ideal for costume which are made from cotton, satin, silk, denim or lycra and can easily be ironed on or applied using a hotfix applicator tool. If you choose to work with non hotfix crystals, these need to be applied with glue.

You will also want to ensure that your dance costume is clean and free of any stains, wrinkles or creases in the fabric, as this may interfere with applying the rhinestones. You will then want to place your dance costume onto a clean, flat workspace consisting of a hard top, such as a table or our Dolly Board.

Choosing the Right Glue

Which glue you will need will depend on the type of material that your costume is made from. For the majority of dance costumes, we recommend Gem Tac as it is easy to apply, forms a strong durable bond with the rhinestone and dries crystal clear.

If your costume is made of velvet as most Irish dance dresses are, then we recommend you use E6000 Glue. This is because it has a thicker, gel like consistency and forms a stronger bond with the thick fabric. This glue is flexible so can handle movement, and will also dry completely clear.

If the costume needs washing, remember to hand wash only and don’t use fabric conditioner as placing the costume in the washing machine may cause the rhinestones to fall off.

Picking the Right Tools For The Job

It is important that you have the correct tools needed for the job. Here are some of the best tools we can recommend using for applying rhinestone crystals to your dance costume.

Dolly Board – The Dolly Board offers a flat, hard surface to work from and enables the user to stretch material over it, making the application of rhinestones simple and reduces the chance of them slipping off and onto the floor.

Glue – As we have mentioned, you will need the right glue depending on the fabric of your costume. We recommend E6000 for velvet and Gem Tac for almost all other materials. If you plan to sew on rhinestones, you may want to swap the glue for some thread and a needle

Hotfix Applicator – Our favourite tool for heating and applying rhinestones is the Hotfix Applicator Wand. It is a professional, easy to use tool which is mess free and meets safety regulations.

Crystal Katana – We recommend using the Crystal Katana to pick up and place the rhinestones as it is much quicker and easier to use than tweezers. This tool is perfect for both beginners and professionals and will last for many years.

Precision Glue Applicator – This handy tool is great for applying just the right amount of glue needed to avoid making any mess. The applicator syringe can store the glue for a few days if kept sealed so you don’t need to worry about wasting excess glue.

Tips For Application

Now that we’ve covered all the basics, here are some great tips to keep in mind when applying rhinestones to your dance costume.

Use Natural Light – Natural light is easier to work in, artificial light can be hard to see small and fine rhinestones when working.

Be Clean – This goes for your workspace, your costume and your hands. It will be easier to work with the rhinestones.

Invest in Tools – Having the correct tools makes the process much easier, why not invest in a Crystal Katana as mentioned above?

Practice Makes Perfect – Be sure to get plenty of practice in on some spare fabric before starting the real thing, so you get a feel for the application process.

Need Some Inspiration?

If you want some inspiration for helping with design ideas for your dance costume, be sure to look at sites like Pinterest. Irish dancing dresses are also brilliant for inspiration, as are Latin and Ballroom dresses. You can also check out Crystal Parade on both Instagram and Facebook for loads of different rhinestone design inspiration.

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