Children of the late 1980s and early 90s probably remember Bedazzled jewels---small plastic rhinestones that attach to your clothing with the help of a little tool that looks like a stapler. Today's answer to these jewels is Hotfix. Hotfix jewels require no fancy little stapler; instead, these colourful rhinestones feature a heat-activated adhesive on the back. You can attach them to almost any surface with the help of a clothing iron, or you can purchase a special spot-heating tool specifically for working with Hotfix gems.
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Create clothing with glittering monograms, team names, flowers, or embellished cuffs and collars with your Hotfix jewels. The most common use for the jewels is to decorate plain T-shirts and jeans and make them into something funky and new. All you have to do is press the jewels in the desired pattern to the desired piece of clothing. They should stick temporarily. Turn the piece inside out and iron the fabric over the jewels on a low cotton heat setting without steam. The adhesive will fuse the gems into place. You can use this same method to apply the jewels to handbags, canvas shoes, or even socks.
If your painting and drawing skills aren't the best but you love creating landscapes and pictures, try Hotfix crystals as your medium. Simply arrange these jewels in the desired picture on a piece of fabric, iron the back, and you're done. You can even use a light desk and slide a pre-drawn pattern under your fabric as a guide. Artwork is also a creative way to use up pieces you won't use anywhere else. For instance, you can colour in a tree trunk with all those brown jewels you avoided using on your jeans. You can also recycle ripped jeans and worn bed sheets into backing for your projects. Leave a 1-inch border around the edge of the fabric for framing.
Add a little glamour to party and wedding invitations with a few Hotfix crystals. The spot-heat tool is best for cards, as an iron might leave scorch marks on your cards. You can either create entire pictures with your gems, or simply add a jewel or two to the centres of O's or rubber-stamped flowers. You could also create a scrolling design around the edges of the card. Use these ideas in creating a princess, fairy or sweet 16 for your daughter. The spot application tool means that older children and teens can help you make the cards. Smaller children might enjoy creating designs for you to follow with jewels.
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