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What’s the difference between sew-on and glue-on rhinestones?

If you’re looking to add glamor to your wardrobe, your cellphone, your tablet or laptop, or just about anything, nothing grabs attention like rhinestones! They’ve added glitz to everything from 1930′s movie-queen gowns to modern movie costume designs to interior decoration. Even villains love the shiny stuff: the costume for Loki in the Thor movie sports Swarovski accents!

Besides looking great, rhinestones are easy to use, whether you glue them on or sew them on.

Glue-on Rhinestones and Hot-fix Rhinestones.
The fastest, easiest way to add rhinestones to almost anything is to use glue-on or hot-fix. Glue-on is just like it sounds: you use special glues to add the rhinestones to whatever you’re glitzing-up. For this technique, you’ll need “flat-back” rhinestones to give the glue the most surface for the glue. The type of glue is important: you’ll want to match the glue to the surface of your project, whether it’s fabric, plastic, glass or other material. Just glue the rhinestones on, and pay attention to drying time.

Hot-fix rhinestones are amazingly easy to use, too. The glue is already on the back of the stone. All you do is pick up the rhinestone with a special wand that heats the glue and then place the stone where you want it. It’s fast, accurate, and adheres very firmly to the surface. People just love the look — and the ease of hot-fix stones!

Both methods let you toss your newly-dazzling clothes in the washing machine without worrying that they’ll come off. Of course, if you’re glamorizing your phone, you don’t need to worry about washing anyway!

Sew-on Rhinestones.
This is the most traditional way to attach rhinestones. The stones have tiny holes along the edges or through the middle — your needle goes through these. Sewing on stones is a very secure method of attaching rhinestones, especially to fragile or stretchy fabrics that would make glue hard to work with. Sew-on rhinestones are the perfect choice for heirloom items like wedding dresses and veils.

But if you’re adding the stones to very thin fabrics, like chiffon, you’ll want to practice on a fabric scrap to see that the stones aren’t pulling the fabric out of shape.

Because the sewing method takes time, you’ll want to plot out your design before you start sewing, because you don’t want to have to rip out your stitches. You can use a special wash-out pencil to draw your design on fabric. Or, if the fabric permits, draw your design on thin paper, pin it to the underside of the fabric where it will show through, and follow the design. But there’s nothing to stop you if you want to go free-form!

Glue-on or Sew-on, you’re going to love adding rhinestones to your life!

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