How to make rhinestone designs

Written by holly smith
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How to make rhinestone designs
Use hot fix Swarovski crystals for a more expensive rhinestone design. (glass crystals image by Sherri Camp from

Add sparkle to T-shirts, sweatshirts, hats and more by adorning the clothing with a rhinestone design. Purchase an inexpensive piece of clothing and make it look expensive by adding rhinestones. Rhinestones come in various colours and sizes. To create a design using a template, use hot fix rhinestones. These are rhinestones that come with a thin layer of glue already placed on the flat side of the rhinestone. Activate the glue and affix it to clothing using an iron.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • hot fix rhinestones
  • clothing you want to decorate
  • iron
  • 1 sheet of heat transfer paper
  • design template

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  1. 1

    Find a rhinestone design template online.

  2. 2

    Print the template.

  3. 3

    Use tweezers to place hot fix rhinestones onto the pattern. Place the flat part of the rhinestone onto the pattern leaving the jewelled part up.

  4. 4

    Peel off the backing of the heat transfer sheet to unveil the sticky surface.

  5. 5

    Press the sticky surface down onto your rhinestone pattern.

  6. 6

    Peel the transfer sheet off, with rhinestones attached.

  7. 7

    Press the transfer sheet with the rhinestone pattern onto the piece of clothing you want the pattern on. The flat side of the rhinestone should be touching the clothing.

  8. 8

    Iron the transfer sheet and rhinestone pattern onto your clothing. This will activate the glue on the bottom of the hot fix rhinestone, causing it to stick to the garment. Consult instructions on the transfer sheet for exact heat transfer advice.

  9. 9

    Wait for sheet to cool and then peel away. The rhinestone pattern will then be affixed to the clothing.

Tips and warnings

  • If your pattern includes a lot of colour, print off the template in colour. This will make it easier to follow the pattern with the correct rhinestone colour. Use a ruler or other straight edge to ensure the pattern is placed on clothing straight. You can locate hot fix rhinestones and heat transfer paper at craft stores such as Hobby Lobby or online. Do not use hot fix rhinestones on clothing that cannot be ironed.
  • Irons are very hot and burn the skin. Use care when ironing the pattern onto the piece of clothing.

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