Monday, February 16, 2009

Attaching Hot Fix Rhinestones on Fabric

Itching to be a Rhinestone Cowgirl? Or maybe you want to add some sparkle to your scrapbooking?

We suggest the Bejeweller(R) if you are setting individual rhinestones. We tried some of the cheaper stone setting devices and they just don't work as well. The Bejeweller comes with a variety of sizes of tips - for the different sizes of stones. The basic idea is that you pick the stone up with the cup in the tip - pause until you see the glue liquify, and put it in place. Essentially - these hot-fix stones have hot-melt glue, pre-applied, making the whole process of applying them waaaay easier.

First lay a sheet of paper or teflon behind the fabric that is going to be covered. That will keep the glue from seeping through and getting on something else. (Like the table, the other side of the t-shirt, etc.

You plug in the BeJeweller, like a curling iron and after it has warmed up a bit, use the tip to pick up a stone, right side facing upwards (into the cup of the tip). You will see the glue start to melt in a few seconds. Once the glue is melted, just touch the tip down where you want the stone and lift off. The stone should remain in place. If it sticks to the tip (which it will if you let the glue melt too much), just pry the stone loose by inserting a needle in the slot behind the stone. In that case, do not try to reuse the stone. (You might want to practice with a few first on a sheet of paper or scrap fabric, to make sure you have the hang of it.)

After the pattern is finished, carefully turn the fabric over and lay it on a sheet of waxed paper or teflon. Put another sheet of paper or cloth on top of the fabric. Take an iron at the hottest setting, no steam, and place it over the pattern for about 10 seconds. Do not rub or move the iron on the fabric or you might dislodge the stones. This will ensure that the glue has completely set in place.

Once the stones are set and the glue has completely cooled, the garment can be washed on the delicate cycle in your machine with no problems. We have even washed them (accidentally) in the regular cycle with no ill effects. Just make sure you turn the garment inside out before washing. These stones are used in garments such as skating costumes which take a lot of hard use without coming off.

Maybe start with a small project or two first, before you try to out bling Elvis. ;-)

The stones themselves are labeled with the utterly confusing "ss" (stone size) labeling, and, to make it even more confusing - the sizes are more of a range than an exact measurement. Don't get me wrong - the rhinestones are all the same size, it's just that when you talk about ss 9 - it is defined as being 2.5 - 2.7 mm.

Size in MM

Number of Stones
SS from to
per Inch
6 1.9 2.1
13 - 12
7 2.1 2.3
12 - 11
8 2.3 2.5
11 - 10
9 2.5 2.7
10 2.7 2.85
11 2.85 3.0
8 - 9
12 3.0 3.2
13 3.2 3.4
8 - 7
14 3.4 3.6
15 3.6 3.8
7 - 6
16 3.8 4.0
17 4.0 4.2
18 4.2 4.4
19 4.4 4.6
20 4.6 4.8

30 6.3 6.5


We have both the Swarovski Crystalized Hot Fix and the Preciosa.

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