Tips for Applying Rhinestones to Mesh Fabric

Tips for Applying Rhinestones to Mesh Fabric

Posted by Rhinestones Unlimited on Dec 1st 2023

You can apply rhinestones to just about anything—paper, wood, glass, fabric—but some materials are harder to add shimmer and shine to than others. Mesh, a type of synthetic fabric that’s like a net with gaps between the threads, is one of these materials. Sewing rhinestones? Not easy. Gluing them down? The adhesive can slip right through the mesh.

If you’re determined to glam up your mesh apparel, is here to lend a helping hand! Discover some must-know tips for applying rhinestones to mesh fabric.

Use a Barrier

When working with mesh fabric, make sure you use a barrier such as parchment paper, cardboard, or even an old pillow you don't care for any longer. The barrier helps prevent glue from seeping through one side of the fabric to the other, which could cause two parts of the item to stick together. A great barrier surface for mesh fishnet tights is a plastic 2 liter soda bottle!

Choose the Right Type of Rhinestone

It’s rather difficult to sew rhinestones onto mesh fabric. Because of this, you should steer clear of sew-on rhinestones for the project. Hotfix rhinestones can also be unsuitable depending on the amount of nylon in the mesh fabric.  Nylon fabric will burn exposing it to heat of the hotfix applicator tool could damage it.  Make sure to test your fabric before choosing hotfix rhinestones for mesh fabric. 

Flatback rhinestones and glue is often the best option in this scenario. To apply them, place small dots of glue (we recommend a durable glue like E6000 or Gem-Tac) on the mesh fabric, then press your rhinestones down on top of those dots. 

Utilize the Appropriate Tools for Accuracy

Accuracy is essential when applying rhinestones to mesh. You need to make sure the rhinestones are fully on the fabric and not sitting partially over gaps; otherwise, they could come loose and fall off. Using a syringe for glue and tweezers or a pick-me-up tool for rhinestones can improve the precision of your application.

Let the Mesh Dry

Once you’ve finished applying the rhinestones, place your mesh fabric in a cool, dry area and let it sit there. Avoid touching, stretching, or otherwise disturbing the fabric until the glue is completely cured. Check the glue manufacturer instructions for the recommended cure time. You don't want the rhinestones to slip out of place, which can affect their ability to stick to the mesh. E6000 is the quickest hold and quickest cure time of all glues so it is recommended when you are not able to lay your garment flat to dry/cure.  While different glues have different drying times, you’ll typically be able to safely wear your garment after letting it rest for 24–48 hours.

Applying rhinestones to delicate fabrics like mesh can be difficult. But by using these tips for attaching rhinestones to mesh fabric, you can make the process a little easier.

Are you looking for high-quality flatback rhinestones that will make your mesh look majestic? At, we have a large collection of Starcut rhinestones available. These US-made crystals offer excellent clarity, faceting, and durability, and are also very affordable. With a wide variety of colors, sizes, and shapes available, we have the crystals you need for any project, whether big, small, bold, or subtle!