Learn the basics of rhinestoning shoes, clothing, hats, etc. After reading you will know what type of stones to use, what adhesive and where to buy these supplies, as well as how to select the correct size stones for each project, and how to glue the stones on.
Step 1: Identifying Proper Rhinestone Size for Project
When you decide you want to rhinestone an item whether it is a purse, shoes, belt, hat or clothing, you should first decide where you will be embellishing the item and come up with a general design or outline. The reason I suggest this is because if you are rhinestoning a hat, for example, you will likely be gluing rhinestones along the seams or the edge of the brim, etc. To have your finished project look sharp you must determine what the width is of the spots you will rhinestone, and choose the sizes accordingly. If you have a 1 mm seam and you use 1.5 mm stones they will overlap and look sloppy. Similarly, if you use a .75 mm stone in the same seam, they will be too small and the hat may end up looking like you had extra stones that you wanted to use up!
Step 2: Selecting Type of Rhinestone and Color
The type of rhinestone you choose might very well depend on what you are doing with your finished product. I sell kid's shoes on my website and I custom rhinestone them if the customer wants it done. I use only Swarovski Crystals because they are well known and beautiful and I find that people are more likely to add these rhinestones to their purchase because they know Swarovski and feel comfortable with what they are buying. The other option is Czech Crystals. They are about 20% less expensive than Swarovski and they are identical to the untrained eye and virtually identical to the rhinestone expert! I would not recommend using any other type of stone, especially not the plastic ones you can get in craft stores, because Swarovski and Czech crystals are far superior in color and sparkle and you just won't get the same look with the plastic or acrylic stones.
Step 3: Where to Buy Swarovski & Czech Crystals and Supplies
I highly recommend that you buy your supplied from The Rhinestone Guy. He is extremely knowledgeable and helpful and carries just about every size, shape and color rhinestones and just about everything else you could possibly need (including only the best adhesives). He is located in Santa Ana, CA and you can walk in and buy, phone in orders to be shipped or go to his website and order there. www.rhinestoneguy.com
Step 4: Start Rhinestoning!
When you buy your supplies, be sure you get a few applicators. Applicators consist of a piece of wax at the end of a toothpick but are absolutely essential. I use GemTac glue and it is flexible and dries clear. Because it dries clear you can use plenty of it. Dab the glue on the spot where you are going to lay the stone. Do the glue and stones one at a time and dab on a drop of glue about the same size as the stone you are going to lay on top of it. Use the applicator to apply the stones and simply touch the wax on the stone to pick it up and touch the back side of the stone to the glue and the stone will come off the applicator. Let your project dry and you are done!