Frequently Asked Questions
WHY HOTFIX vs non-hotfix?
Hot fix crystals can be used with prong settings and external glue exactly like any flat back rhinestones. When using with glue, these rhinestones will actually adhere better than plain foil back rhinestones. The hot fix glue backing on Swarovski crystals is textured and allows glues to “grab” more securely and prevent glue from touching the foil under this backing.
The backs of non hot fix (foil back) rhinestones are totally smooth and non porous. Topical glue applied to these plain foil back rhinestones can cause a chemical reaction which repels the rhinestone so you end up with a “silver” dot where the rhinestone used to be attached. We have all seen garments like this on discount racks.
Hot fix glue is textured and this works to your advantage when used with glue. This hot fix backing forms a protective barrier between the external glue and the foil. The glue “grabs” onto the hot fix rhinestone more firmly. We recommend Crystal Clear Gem Glue (odorless, non toxic, non flammable) for most surfaces.
Some glues do work better for some projects.
One-part or 2 part Epoxys work better for harder surfaces..
How to apply...
Note: Plastics are oil based and very rarely will hold even with the best glue. If you decorate certain items, it may void the warranty. Check with the manufacturer if in doubt. Expect some crystals to fall off from wear, etc. This is natural.
(MORE INFO ON CELL PHONES, ETC - below on RIGHT side)
How should I clean rhinestone embellished items? There is an "old" saying "hand decorate - hand wash" because the way garments can be "washed" will vary dramatically. Water temperature, detergents, other items in with the garment, etc can effect the crystals. Likewise, using a very hot drier and items rubbing against the garment can loosen stones. It is best to turn garments inside out and wash on a gentle cycle. Dry gently - best to line dry. Garments can also be dry-cleaned. For hard surfaces, we recommend gently wiping the surface only
What is the difference between "hot fix" rhinestones and regular flat back rhinestones?
Most rhinestones are flat backed. There is generally a silver "foil" on the backs of both types. The hot fix and non hot fix are totally interchangeable. If you prefer to use external glue, hot fix rhinestones will actually hold better since the hot fix glue gives the back of the stones a texture. The hot fix glue also protects the "foil" on the flat backs from coming in contact with the externally applied glue and prevents a chemical reaction which can cause the stone to fall off and the silver "foil" to stay on the fabric.
What is a transfer motiff? Transfers are made using a heat resistant sticky carrier film. The hot fix (iron-on) rhinestones and / or metal trimmings are used to form a specific design. A white protective sheet covers the embellishments and the transfer film. This white sheet is removed and discarded prior to applying the transfer. The transfer film with the design is placed onto fabric and pressed on with either a household iron or heat press. When the transfer cools to touch, the film is peeled off and discarded.
Can I make my own Transfer Motiff?
Yes, you can purchase the clear Transfer Film and make your own nailhead, pearl and/or rhinestone transfers. The most common size rhinestone used in transfer motifs is 10ss (3mm). Learn how on our make your own Design page- and order supplies from our store.
You will need transfer film and (we recommend) using a PTFE sheet to help protect your fabric and provide more uniform heat when using a household iron with steam vents. For picking up rhinestones, you will need the Precision Tweezers.
What fabrics are best for transfers?
Nearly are fabrics that can be ironed including spandex and ultra suede, can be decorated with iron on trims. If you are uncertain about a fabric, test by applying rhinestones in an inconspicuous area. (see link below for fabrics info)
My stones fall off too easily- MOST IMPORTANT thing to do is make sure you are getting the stones HOT ENOUGH!
The glue will appear wet and start to bubble - it is ready. Obviously the larger the stone, the more time it will take. to make CERTAIN the glue sticks to your material well, I immediately 'tap' or press the stone's glue 'into' the material by using a butter knife to press stone. Because you don't know the exact pressure you placed the stone onto the material, you may not have gotten it well enough. THIS PRESSING of the stone ensures better adhesion. Must do it immediately after placing the stone.
Follow the link and scroll to the bottom of the page for lots of info on different ways to handle different kinds of material: (coming soon)
Rarely, but there has been a couple of times that the stones may not stay in one of the tips.... HERE IS WHAT YOU SHOULD DO: If the tip is too loose, use a pair of pliers and GENTLY squeeze the tip. SO GENTLY that it doesn't even feel like you've done anything!! If you are not careful, you could break it.
IF THE TIP IS TOO TIGHT, put a flat tip screw driver in it... (if it's too thick, try something more flat) carefully push.. you may not feel anything BUT THIS IS SOMETHING THAT NEEDS HARDLY ANY CHANGE!!! You could break it if you're not careful.
The best thing to do the slightest adjustment, then try it..... AND/OR work in a couple stones and eventually there will be some glue residue on it and it will hold it in place....
SOME STONES can appear bigger or smaller.
Sometimes just color can make a stone appear bigger or smaller (that’s why i wear a lot of black!) However, from batch to batch there could be a slight difference in sizes. BUT a 4mm sized stone can be anywhere from 3.8mm to 4.1mm and still be called a 4mm stone. You rarely notice a difference, but if you try to pick up a 3.8mm stone w/ a 4mm tip, it could make it a little trickier. That’s why we recommend manually placing a couple so that there will a little glue residue to help pick it up! A little petience goes a long way!
Be sure to check out our Bejeweler Page, too, for more information! Happy Blinging!
WE HAVE many ready-made Iron On Designs! Check out our ebay store for more!
WHEN YOU NEED TO USE RHINESTONE GLUE with THE HOTFIX STONES:
When you have a surface that is hard, smooth (such as plastic or rubber) or doesn't have any material for the glue to grab on to (leather) WE RECOMMEND PREPPING THE AREA FIRST!
Great example is CELL PHONES. Because the stone needs to grab onto something for a secure hold, you need to buff the surface to give it some 'tooth' for the stones to adhere to. Clean the surface with rubbing alcohol and let dry completely.
Put a dot of 'crystal clear' jewel glue where each stone will go. Goes on white, dries clear. LET DRY. Apply crystals w/ Bejeweler, IMMEDIATELY lift up. Cure project for 24hrs. longer drying = stronger bond.
IT'S WORTH THE EXTRA TIME!!
I have recently been using the E6000 for those hard-to-stick-on surfaces. Once you get used to it (a little messy) I think it is faster and easier than the glue above.
GEM TAC is another glue for fabric, etc...
SO... both can be used, but it is a matter of preference.
:) ALSO Beacon 527 was suggested by a gal who put over 20,000 Swarovski on her Motorcycle! BEAUTIFUL! :)
Check it out:
A Q-tip can be used to press the crystal onto the leather.
Refrain from attaching the crystals to areas of clothing that have to withstand a lot of abrasion.
Angel wings design in crystal clear and Topaz/Golden ALL RHINESTONES. Shown with a Peace heart in the center. LARGE design! BEAUTIFUL!
(next time i'll put the wings closer to the heart...
TRANSFER PEN INFO
. This pen marks directly from the design onto fabric. No special paper required. No rubbing or ironing necessary. In addition, there is no need to adjust for mirror imaging - a concern when transferring letters and numbers. Use the One Step Transfer Pen to mark placement for appliqué and quilting designs as well as for painting and embroidery projects.
The blue ink in this pen is designed to penetrate uncoated paper. Any standard paper will work - inexpensive photocopy paper works well. Avoid coated magazine pages, freezer paper or foils.
Place design over area to be marked. Trace very slowly, allowing the ink to seep through the paper. An alternate method is to mark dots on the lines of the design and then connect the dots directly on the surface to be marked.
Always use plain water to remove marks. Test before use on a scrap of fabric to be marked. Avoid ironing over the marked design or using detergent to remove - this may set the marks permanently
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