Daniel Swarovski founded his company in the 19th century to feature Austrian crystals, according to the About Austria website. Swarovski manufactures optical products such as binoculars and telescopes as well as decorative crystals for figurines, clothing and accessories. For its 100th anniversary in 1995, Swarovski built a theme park called the Swarovski Crystal Worlds, or Kristallwelten, in Wattens, Austria, which features workshops and crystal art. However, you don't have to travel to Austria to create a crystal pattern; you can create your own Swarovski design to accessorise any garment at home.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Hot-fix transfer paper
- Rhinestone positioner
- Medium-size book
- Cotton cloth
Draw a design for your Swarovski crystal pattern on a piece of paper. Keep in mind what colours you will use and the sizes of the crystals. You can find examples of designs online (see Resources). When drawing, do not place the crystals too close together.
Tape the finished pattern design to a piece of cardboard the same size. Use two to three pieces of Sellotape and secure your paper to the cardboard.
Cut a piece of hot-fix transfer paper a little bigger than your crystal design with scissors. Peel off the white backing and save it for later use.
Place the hot-fix transfer paper over your design with the sticky side up. Use small pieces of tape to secure it to your design.
Position the Swarovski crystals, with the crystal side facing down, onto the transfer paper over your pattern, using your rhinestone positioner. One tip of the rhinestone positioner is slightly sticky and allows for easy pickup of your crystals. Once you pick up a crystal, place it on the sticky hot-fix transfer paper. Use the other end of the positioner, which is pointy, to make any adjustments in placement.
Remove the hot-fix transfer paper carefully from the cardboard by peeling off the tape. Replace the white backing to the transfer paper. Check your design from the front to see whether you need to make adjustments. Turn on the iron to the cotton setting.
Place your design facedown, with the white backing facing you, onto a medium-size book or any hard, flat surface. Gently pull off the white backing without moving the crystals. If something has moved, use your rhinestone positioner to move it back into place.
Put the sticky side of your transfer paper onto your fabric you want the design glued on. Readjust the design by lifting it and replacing, rather than shifting the paper. Turn over the garment so the crystals are on the bottom.
Place a cotton cloth over the garment. Place the iron on the cloth and leave it in one place for about 30 seconds. Do not move the iron around.
Flip over the garment and use the cotton cloth to firmly press on the crystals. Allow the garment and design to cool. Carefully peel off the transfer paper.
Tips and warnings
- Do not place the crystals too close together.
- Place your ironing board near your work area for easier transfer of your project.
- Use caution when using a hot iron. Keep children and pets at a distance when ironing.
- Crystals may be a choking hazard. Keep children away when applying crystals to transfer paper.
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