How to Use and Apply Hotfix Rhinestones (Crystals) and Metals
Hotfix rhinestones and metals can be applied with various tools and methods, as described in the manuals from Swarovski and Preciosa, listed below. Be sure to follow the instructions for the brand of hotfix rhinestones you are using. We also offer some general information about using hotfix trims.
Application Info from Swarovski and Preciosa
Hotfix Method (PDF) - From the Swarovski Elements Application Guide (Used by permission)
Optimization Rules (PDF) - From Preciosa, for the Application of Hotfix Stones
Using Hotfix Rhinestones (PDF) - Tips and Tricks from Rene, a Rhinestones Unlimited customer
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Hotfix rhinestones and metals are not recommended for attachment to plastic, metals, glass, or denim. If you are working with these materials, you may want to consider the gluing, sewing, or metal setting attachment methods, as described on the page How to Attach Flat Back Rhinestones (Crystals).
General Guidelines for Using Hotfix Rhinestones (Crystals)
Fabrics should be pre-washed and free of any chemical finish, such as water resistant treatments. When working with stretch fabrics, try to slightly pre-stretch the fabrics before applying hot fix crystals. Always test the application on a sample swatch or in an inconspicuous area.
Some general guidelines for using handheld hotfix wands or applicators, such as BeJeweled or Crystal Craft:
- Note there are two types of tips included with most wands. Flats (spots) are designed for use with metals and hotfix shapes. When using these types of trims, you will place the trim on the garment and set the tool tip on top of the trim until the glue is heated.
- The second type of tip is the concave rounded tip. These are for use with flat back rhinestones and pearls. The shape of the tip allows you to pick up the rhinestone with the tool. When the glue is melted, you will place the rhinestone on the fabric. Be sure to use the same size tip as the rhinestone size you are working with.
- While the tool is heating up, get your rhinestones ready. For example, pour out some of the rhinestones onto a paper plate, glue side down. By doing this, the rhinestones are spread out and are easier to pick up with the hot fix wand.
- After you pick up the stone with the hotfix tool, you may want to angle the tool a bit so the stone does not fall out.
- Do not "slide" the rhinestone once you have placed it.
Placing Rhinestones Accurately for Your Design
And here are a few tips about making sure you place your rhinestones according to your planned design:
- To speed up the process, you may want to "chalk dot" the pattern on your garment before starting. That will allow you to work quickly because the locations of the rhinestones are already dotted out for you.
- If you are working on a complicated or detailed design, consider using hotfix transfer paper. You can trace your design onto the paper to make the placement of the hot fix stones easier and more precise, then apply heat using a household iron to set them all at once.
- If your handheld hotfix tool didn't come with the size tip you need, or if a tip wears out, we have replacement tips available.
If you still have questions, remember you can always Ask Mama Rhinestone!