Swarovski rhinestones are a beautiful and colourful addition to any item. Their pointed backs require special settings, but this ensures a much more secure hold than even the best glue. There are two kinds of settings. Tiffany-prong findings have little prongs that stick through the fabric to hold the rhinestone. If you don't close the prongs securely, these can snag a little. Rim-set findings hold the rhinestone from the front, with their prongs sticking through the fabric to fold over behind the stone. These snag less but cover up part of the stone. Whichever you choose, you will also need a setting tool because pointed-back rhinestones cannot be applied with glue. According to the experts at Tutu.com, a Stapler-style setting tool is more comfortable for most hands.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Tiffany-prong or rim-set findings
- Plunger or stapler setting tool
- Permanent marker or dressmaker's chalk
Choose the size, colour and shape of rhinestones. Figure out exactly where you want to place them, and mark the spots with a fine-tip marker or a dot of dressmaker's chalk.
Place your settings and rhinestones on the fabric. Put Tiffany-prong findings prong-side up beneath the fabric, with the prongs sticking through to grab the rhinestone.
Place rim-set findings prongs down, on top of the rhinestone, so the prongs poke through to the back of the fabric.
Use the setting tool to close the prongs and secure the rhinestone to the fabric. Center the rhinestone and finding in the tool, and either squeeze or press the plunger to set the rhinestone.
Repeat Steps 2 to 4 until your pattern is complete.
Use tweezers or jeweller pliers to make sure the prongs have closed tightly around the rhinestone.
Tips and warnings
- Drawing your pattern out on paper before you set the rhinestones ensures that you will get the exact look you want.
- Rhinestones can be slippery, so good tweezers are useful to place them in the finding prongs.
- Do not attempt to glue pointed-pack rhinestones; they will not stay.
- If you mix pointed-back and flat-back rhinestones that are glued onto an item, you must not dry-clean it. Dry cleaning can make the glue turn yellow.
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