How to Glue Gems Onto Clothes

Updated July 20, 2017

You can fairly easily and inexpensively jazz up or add some bling to your clothes by gluing rhinestone gems onto T-shirts or other pieces of clothing. Although other methods, such as heat setting, work best for long lasting durability, gluing rhinestones on works very well for areas of clothing that won't receive much wear and tear. While glued on rhinestones might not stand up to the abuse of being placed on the seat of a pair of jeans, they do work well for decorating the front of a shirt or the sleeve of a jacket.

Use a disappearing ink fabric marker to mark a design showing where the rhinestones will go onto the piece of clothing.

Place a dab of glue onto the fabric about the size of the rhinestone. You will want just enough glue that, when the rhinestone is pressed into the glue, a bit of the glue will surround the edge of the gem, making it more secure when it dries. The larger the rhinestone, the more important this is. Knowing how much glue to use takes practice and varies with the size of the rhinestone used.

Touch the top of the rhinestone with a rhinestone applicator to pick it up. Press the backside of the rhinestone down into the dab of glue and gently twist the applicator to release the rhinestone. Or, pick the rhinestone up with a pair of tweezers and press the backside of it down into the dab of glue. However, tweezers are more likely to have the tips become sticky with glue, making the rhinestones stick to the tweezers. Wipe any glue off the tweezers frequently with a damp rag to help prevent this.

Let the glue dry according to the instructions for the jewel glue.


Practice putting rhinestones on a scrap piece of fabric before working on a piece of clothing. Hand wash clothing with glued on rhinestones in cold water and hang to dry.


Do not dry clean as the chemicals can cause the glue to become yellowed and brittle, causing the rhinestones to fall off.

Things You'll Need

  • Disappearing ink fabric marker
  • Flat-back rhinestones
  • Jewellery glue
  • Rhinestone wax applicator stick or tweezers
  • Clothing
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About the Author

Sharyn Bloom first dreamed of becoming a writer back in junior high when a teacher praised her writing. In 2005 she made her first leap into publication with a local newspaper. She now writes for various websites as well as her own blogs, with a major focus on craft articles.