How to Attach Rhinestones to Textiles


Rhinestones can add a sparkle to any wardrobe. The four common methods of attaching rhinestones to fabric and clothing are glue, clamp-on mounts, a hot fix or sewing. You can use clamps when the stones are too big to glue. The hot-fix technique is the fastest, while sewing them on allows you to remove and reuse your rhinestones later.

Things You'll Need

  • Glue
  • Rhinestone tool setter
  • Iron/hot-fix tool
  • Needle and thread
  • Use specially formulated bonding glue when you're planning to glue rhinestones to fabric. Simply take a cotton swab to dab a small amount of glue to the fabric where you will be placing the stone. Use a tweezers to gently place the rhinestone onto the glued area. Let the glue dry for several hours. Be careful of not using too much glue, but make sure that all edges of the rhinestone are covered.

  • Clamp on rhinestones using mounts. This methods works best for garments that will be dry-cleaned or when you are applying larger stones that glue will not support well. Tiffany settings enter from the back of the fabric and crimp over the stone on the front side. Rim settings are placed on the front of the fabric over the stone and crimp on the back of the fabric. You will need a rhinestone setting tool for this method.

  • Attach hot-fix rhinestones to fabric if you're looking for a fast, easy method. Such rhinestones come with heat-sensitive glue on the back. The glue melts into the fabric fibers, resulting in a very strong bond. You can use a household iron or a hot-fix setting tool.

    If you're using an iron, set it at the lowest heat setting. Lay the fabric face up on a hard surface. Place the hot-fix rhinestone face up at the desired position on top of the fabric. Then place a thin cloth over the rhinestone. Lightly press the iron on top of the cloth-covered rhinestone. Hold it for a minute or until the glue heats up enough to adhere to the fabric. Let it cool completely.

  • Sew on the rhinestone to the fabric with needle and thread if you have the time. Many flat back rhinestones come with holes in them for attaching by traditional sewing methods.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you are going to glue the rhinestones to fabric, consider using a syringe with a smaller tip. Using a syringe gives you a smaller, more precise dot of glue.
  • Don't use glue at all if there is a possibility that the garment will ever be dry-cleaned.

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