RHINESTONES- A PERFECT COMPLIMENT TO YOUR LEATHERWORK
Adding rhinestones to leather is one of my favorite ways to spruce up an outfit. From rhinestone western wear to dance costumes to my Saturday night ensemble, rhinestones and leather just go together.
It can be tricky to get rhinestones and leather to play nice together. Today we’ll take you through the basics, so your next project goes seamlessly.
Do Rhinestones Stick to Leather?
They do—if you know what you’re doing. Before you go off gluing any which way, heed our warning. There are alternative ways to attach rhinestones to leather that will be much more durable.
Fun fact: the reason we sell metal settings is for leatherwork! Our products come in black, silver, copper, and gold so that you can find your perfect look.
Here’s one approach we’ve found works well: Use a thin piece of leather to attach your rhinestones with metal settings. Then, stitch that thin piece to your project. Voila! Whether you are making a dog collar, horse bridal, or a beautiful handbag, you name it: you can achieve a look that’s both dazzling and durable.
SEW ON RHINESTONES, BEADS & BUTTONS
Stitching your rhinestones to leather, along with the metal setting method, will be the strongest and most durable method to attach crystals to your leatherwork. Sew On Rhinestones, along with crystal beads and buttons are all beautiful options.
FABRIC OR METAL SET BANDING INSET OR WEAVE
A creative option would be to weave the leather with a rhinestone banding or cut a section of your leather out for a crystallized fabric or applique inset. You are creating a piece of art so let your imagination go and give it a try!
What is the Best Glue for Rhinestones on Leather?
If you’re going to use glue, we only recommend one: Supertite Ninja Flex Professional Grade 2-part Instant Adhesive. Be sure to keep this intense adhesive stored in a cool, dark place and read the instructions before beginning your work.
Tips for Rhinestones & Leatherwork
TEST, TEST, TEST!
Before you begin, ALWAYS practice on a scrap piece of the leather you’ll be doing. Leather always behaves differently; you’ll quickly get a sense of whether your method will work.
MARK OUT YOUR DESIGN
I also recommend marking out your design, that is, where you want your rhinestones to go. You can do this with chalk or a pencil on the leather itself. Planning your idea ahead of time will cut down on any mistakes (or, as Bob Ross would say, “happy accidents”). Keep a clean damp cloth handy to help wipe away any “happy accidents” that occur.
NO HOT FIX
Avoid heat setting your rhinestones—it just doesn’t play well with leather or even imitation leather.
SCORE YOUR LEATHER BEFORE GLUING
Natural leather has oils that make a strong, lasting bond tricky to achieve. Remember, even the best glue will prove fruitless if the leather’s surface hasn’t been scored or the finishing coating hasn’t dissolved. You can use alcohol swabs to get rid of some of the oils and sandpaper to give it a rougher surface.
ALLOW FOR THE FULL CURE TIME FOR THE ADHESIVE
Once your masterpiece is completed, let it rest for a full 24 hours. That’ll give it time to set completely. Avoid dry cleaning this piece; it can weaken the glue’s bond over time.
SHOW IT OFF!
Finally, it’s time to rock your creation! You’ll love how the glittering rhinestones contrast with the richness of the leather. It’s certainly one of my favorite combinations.
Want to learn more about rhinestone glue? Read our comprehensive guide to all the different options out there, including our tips and tricks for application.
Stock Up on Rhinestones for Leatherwork
I hope that these tips inspire you to begin your next project. If you use our rhinestones to design any rhinestone western wear or leather belts or really anything and post it on social media, tag us at @rhinestonesunlimited so we can see your handiwork!
And remember, if you make a mistake, that’s part of the process. Dust off your tools and try again, as the saying goes.
Need color inspiration? SHOP OUR FOUR UNIQUE RHINESTONE BRANDS BY COLOR. From beautiful blues to raging reds, your leatherwork is sure to stand out!
Rhinestones Unlimited blog author Jemm Stone is what we in the biz like to call sparkle obsessed. Her monthly insights will tell you everything you need to know about anything rhinestone-related.