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Tips for Blinging Your Horse Tack With Rhinestones

Tips for Blinging Your Horse Tack With Rhinestones

Posted by Rhinestones Unlimited on Dec 21st 2022

When you're performing at a horse show, not only do you want to show off your brilliance to the world, you want to show off the brilliance of your equine partner. Custom embellished tack will bring out your horse's best features and capture the attention of judges and the audience when it shimmers under the light with every graceful movement. Here, we provide some of our best tips for blinging your horse tack with gorgeous, sparkling rhinestones.

What Types of Tack Can You Bling?

You can bling most forms of tack with rhinestones, including the saddle blanket, saddle, cinch, breastplate, reins, bridle, stirrups, and martingale.

What Types of Rhinestones Are Best for Tack?

Most tack is made from durable leather, sans the saddle cloth, which is typically wool, cotton, or synthetic fabric. Leather can be a finicky material to work with, and for this reason, you need to choose your rhinestones carefully. We recommend using flatback rhinestones with a leather compatible adhesive, flatback rhinestones with metal settings, sew-on rhinestones, or fabric/metal set banding insets. Never use hotfix rhinestones on leather, not even imitation leather. They don't play well together!

What Type of Glue Do You Need?

Our next tip for blinging your horse tack with rhinestones is to invest in suitable glue. If you're using standard flatback rhinestones, you'll need a strong adhesive to apply them. Supertite Ninja Flex Professional Grade 2-Part Instant Adhesive is our go-to for leather work.

How To Apply Rhinestones on Tack

Before you apply your rhinestones, plan your design and test your preferred attachment method on a leather scrap to ensure it works. And, if you're using glue, score the leather beforehand using an sandpaper or an emery board and a chemical primer such as an alcohol swab or leather deglazer. Once you finish your preparations and your workstation is set up, you can get started. The following steps vary based on the attachment method you chose.

Flatback Rhinestones

Apply a small dot of glue on the leather where the stone will be set. Use a bumpy surface such as our magical tray to shake and flip the stones right side up, then pick up the stone using one of our pick-up-tools or a tweezer, position it, and press it lightly into the leather. Let the glue set before moving and then dry completely as per the glue instructions (usually 24 hours), before using your tack.

Metal Settings

To apply metal settings to your tack, we recommend attaching the rhinestones with a rim setting to a thin piece of leather and then sewing that thin piece onto the tack. This is by far the most secure way of applying rhinestones to leather.  

Sew-On Rhinestones

Using a similar method with the thin leather piece, sew your rhinestones onto the thin leather that will be then attached to the tack. Use silamide thread and a beading needle. Position your rhinestone, push your needle through the back of the leather and up through one of the rhinestone's holes, then pull tight. Repeat until the rhinestone is securely fastened.

Banding Insets

With banding, you can either: 1) weave banding insets with leather pieces, or 2) use banding with net on each side to attach a thin piece of leather to each side.  Then, attach your banding design to the tack for look of a rhinestone inset.

At Rhinestones Unlimited, you'll find bulk rhinestones for all your embellishing needs. Whether you want to bling your own show wear or give your horse shimmering, stand-out tack, we have high-quality, affordable rhinestones from brands like LUX Austrian Crystal™ and Maxima Crystals by Preciosa┬« for your project.