Rhinestoning 102 for MADTCoaches.com
© Deborah J. Nelson/Satin Stitches Ltd.
My rhinestone tips blog posted many years ago. “Rhinestoning 101” is still a very comprehensive guide to what you should consider, when considering adding rhinestones to your high school dance costume. I answer all these questions:
- What rhinestones should I use?
- Should I set, sew, glue or ‘hot fix’ my rhinestones?
- What is a ‘hot fix’ rhinestone?
- What color and what size rhinestones should I use?
- What pattern should I use to trim my costume?
- How do I determine how many stones I will need?
- How do I know how long my project will take, and what if I do not have enough time?
- What if I do not know exactly how I want to stone my costume?
- How should we work on stoning a group of costumes?
- What if I can’t do it on my own?
Rhinestones have only become more and more popular, with the Swarovski company creating more and more options for unique colors, with I assume, other lesser expensive rhinestone companies are following suit.
My thoughts? Standard colors are less expensive than the various coated/specialty colors. Any time you add layers of colors or effects to a stone, there is an additional labor charge. Sure, these stones look lovely ‘up close and personal’ but from ‘performance distance’ do you really notice? ALWAYS make your money decisions for trim on the visual: are they noticeable from ‘performance distance’. The special effects cost may only be $2 more per gross, but when you end up with 100 gross being used, this expense escalates!
Satin Stitches has paired up with a local Minnesota company, as a source for the Swarovski rhinestones that we use. Rhinestones Unlimited is located in suburban Minneapolis, sells nationwide through their website. They include lots of information on their website, including a “Rhinestone Estimating Guide” which has visuals to show how many stones are involved in specific coverages. They calculate size #12 up to, and including size #34. Sometimes a picture IS worth a thousand words!
At Satin Stitches, we STILL most always use Swarovski Hot Fix rhinestones. We still love that we can attach them ‘in the blink of an eye’ and they STAY ON! What more can you ask for? Don’t be intimidated when it is suggested to use a ‘hot fix tool’. You can, and we did, decades ago, but now we us a tweezers, a straight pin or a ‘pick me up’ tool – so much easier to work with than the official ‘hot fix tool’!
When we cannot use ‘Hot Fix’ rhinestones, we get out our ever popular “Loctite® Super Glue Gel control” glue bottles. “Gorilla Glue” is another option. But please don’t use those slow-drying glues. We need instant bonding of rhinestones at our shop. We have no time for waiting for a glue to ‘set up’. I have read discussions about the time for E6000 glue -used by many studios, I know. What did I learn? “E6000 starts getting tacky in approximately 2 minutes and begins setting in approximately 10 minutes. A full cure takes between 24 and 72 hours. Remember, temperature and humidity will affect dry time. To speed drying, apply heat using a handheld dryer set on low.” We don’t have time for this, should you? We love ‘instant’!
For added ‘texture’ with your rhinestone design, different colors, different sizes and shapes of rhinestones can be incorporated into a rhinestone design. Still use standard stones, for keeping your costs down, but yes, incorporate larger, Jewel Cut Flat Back stones with your basic smaller classic size #20 rhinestones for adding ‘depth’. Be sure and calculate how many to use, taking advantage of ‘package pricing’. For example, if the stones come in a 1-gross package, use nearly a gross in your design, not just a dozen or two for more economical pricing.
This is another reason for using standard stone colors. You will find more projects for using a Siam stone, for instance, than for Siam AB, which doesn’t maintain a true red.
Rhinestones Unlimited has a beautiful showroom. It’s a fabulous company to visit (with an appointment) to get an eyeful of just what is available to you, in the glittering rhinestone world! With wholesale programs, options for buying by your individual dancers and even workshops, check out Rhinestones Unlimited! Jewelry, specialty rhinestones, several embroidered appliques sold with or without rhinestones already attached (in many colors) this source for glitz is a not-to-miss company.
So go ahead and plan on glitzing up your dance costumes. I hope I’ve provided some additional information to give you more confidence to get the job done!
And if you are still in need of new or refurbished costumes for this season, check out our full custom design options on our website or faster and less expensive customizable costume options in our Web Store.