Monday, October 18, 2010

New Toy - Rhinestone Press

You might think that we here at beadFX are just about beads. Well - until you spend more than 30 seconds on the website that is. Then you might think we are all about jewelry.

But - we have our sparkly magpie eyes on other sparkly stuff.


Hot Fix Rhinestones on clothing and fabric, as a matter of fact.

We just got a rhinestone press delivered, and so I'm trying to exercise some restraint, but really - right now I'm itching to cover everything in rhinestones.

This press is soooo easy to use, and so fast and painless - don't be surprised if I blind you with rhinestones.

Marg showed me how to use the press - you can see here, she's arranging the t-shirt in the press, with a rhinestone transfer on top. Abby is supervising to make sure everything is done correctly.

Arrange the t-shirt or whatever garment in position - chase out the wrinkles and folds. The decal or prearranged hot fix rhinestones are placed sparkly side up, (the press has a protective layer that will not damage the stones) with the glue side next to the fabric. Decals have a backing layer that needs to be removed from the back first, otherwise - the stones are arranged where they need to be.

A protective layer of teflon is placed inside the garment - to prevent adhesive from bleeding through the fabric and gluing the two sides together.

The press is swung into place, and clamped down. The heat and the pressure are the keys to getting great adhesion. The temperature is set on the front of the press with a dial, and a we have a timer to make sure the pressing is long enough.

Yes - you can do this at home with an iron, but this is way more fun.

Take it out of the press and peel off the plastic layer from the decal, leaving the rhinestones perfectly positioned. Hint - peel slowly, checking that all the stones are properly stuck in place. If some are still on the transfer paper, put it back in position and re-apply the transfer.

And here's the finishing beastie - a lovely dragon. The angle is odd because I'm apparently the only person who knows how to work a camera. Go figure.

We have some transfer paper too - which we'll be experimenting with - the idea is that you can make your own transfers and design your own decals. In fact - if you were really ambitious - you could design decals and have them commercially made - there are minimum order numbers for that, but they aren't too onerous.

We will be carrying rhinestone decals in the store, in addition to the loose hot fix stones. The press will be available for use, most probably free with minimum purchase, or a small fee for a given time.

Woo hoo! Sparklies!

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