How to Add Swarovski Crystals to Leather

Written by alice stewart
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How to Add Swarovski Crystals to Leather
Rhinestone-embellished Frame (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

Swarovski crystals can be used to embellish leather pieces such as shoes, bags, belts, picture frames and clothing to create a personalised and individual look. Adding Swarovski crystals to leather is more difficult than gluing them onto plastic materials, as leather contains natural oils and has a smooth surface that can prevent the crystals from sticking properly.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Swarovski crystals
  • Tweezers
  • Leather
  • Sandpaper
  • E-6000 industrial strength craft adhesive
  • Newspaper

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  1. 1

    In a clean and well-ventilated area, lay out the newspaper to prevent damage to any surfaces.

  2. 2

    Scatter the crystals over a spot on the newspaper, and use the tweezers to turn them so that each crystal is laying sparkly side up.

  3. 3

    Gently rub the sandpaper over the desired area to create small bumps and grooves on the leather, which gives the Swarovski crystal something to stick to.

    Applying the Rhinestones

  1. 1

    Put a droplet of E-6000 adhesive onto the specific area where you want to place the crystal. The droplet should be slightly smaller than the size of the Swarovski crystal. You may want to practice on a scrap piece of material first to perfect the technique.

  2. 2

    Pick up the Swarovski crystal immediately with the tweezers, gently squeezing at the sides. Place the crystal onto the glue droplet and gently press down with the edge of the tweezers, allowing it to set.

  3. 3

    Repeat this process until you have reached your desired effect.

Tips and warnings

  • E-6000 is the best glue to use as it dries clear and it won't affect the finish of the crystals.
  • 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.
  • Keep your Swarovski crystals away from small children as they can be a safety hazard.
  • Avoid using superglue or hot glue as it can damage the foil on the back of the crystals, resulting in loss of colour and sparkle.

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