Thursday, September 10, 2009

Hot Fix Swarovski Rhinestones

First off, I wanted to mention that since I have several new followers that may not know what I look like, I am changing my profile shot for a bit. Hopefully that will make my new friends feel like they know me a bit better.

All that being said, I wanted to show you my first project using Hot Fix Swarovski Rhinestones. In my latest order from, I decided to get the Bejeweler, an electric tool that makes designing with rhinestones a bit easier. I am not hesitant to use hot tools, such as wood burning or soldering pens, shoot I've even used a torch to make glass beads. This tool is very much like a wood burning pen and was very easy to use.

My main problem with this project was that I spent so much time deciding on what color stones to get, that I based my order on the cost of the stones, trying to get the most for my money. I'll know next time to buy fewer colors but larger stones. I didn't do enough research before I placed my order and was a bit surprised by how small the stones were. has a learning center with a video that showed me how to place the stones and how to use the heat tool, but I couldn't find anything showing me what size the stones were. Since getting my order, I have found another website that has a really good guide as to how big the stones are and what the abbreviations mean. I now know that SS means stone size and has nothing to do with mm which was what I was thinking.

Here are a few shots of my experience with the hotfix rhinestones. I didn't have a real project in mind, I just wanted to learn to use the tool. I chose a really plain everyday blouse and decided to put some snowflake type designs on the collar points.

First I marked the design using a gel pen - not the best idea kids...

(next time I will use a marker that disappears after a while, but this did OK, I guess)

Then I laid out the crystals on the dots, I used tweezers to pick the little buggars up with and in the process dropped two of them. (At .12 each you don't want to drop too many, because they apparently become invisible when they hit the floor)

On the first one I laid them all out and then got the heat tool and pressed down on each stone...

This was a bit difficult to do and on the other one I tried placing one down and then using the heat gun. This didn't really work that well either and even though the tool has multiple size tips, the stones I chose were too small to pick up with the heat tool and place individually like that.

Since I seldom give up, I persevered and added a green design on the other collar point and added crystal ones down the front. It actually turned out pretty good and I plan on getting some larger stones and dressing it up some more. Actually, if I can figure out how large the iron on designs are, I might go that way the next time.

So here is the finished product...

All in all, this was an interesting project. These crystals are really, really sparklie and if you had a costume or a ball gown to embellish these are most definitely the product to use. If you have little ones that want to jazz something up and they are old enough to use a heat tool, it would be such a fun project, but keep in mind these little stones can get away from you really quickly and you end up needing many more than you might realize at first. For me, I think my next sparklie project will be made with the Swarovski Crystals that you string, I am a beader after all and can somehow keep up with beads better.

In the mean time, put your thinking caps on and maybe you and your BFF can come up with something that needs some sparklie bling. If you do, check out The shipping was so fast I could hardly believe it and the packaging is always cute (tissue paper and stickers) and very secure and they include a card with a project on it.

I hope to start working on yet another new project tomorrow. Not sure what I will get into, but cooler weather is certainly making me think about yarns and crochet hooks and maybe some fiber jewelry. How about you? How does the change of seasons affect your art? Do you tend to want to hibernate and snuggle in or are you invigorated and wildly productive in the winter?

Just remember that whatever your style is, wherever your creativity takes you, you are an artist. In the kitchen, at the computer, putting together everything for school or work each morning, wherever you are ART. I really believe this. I really do.

Have fun and enjoy the weekend!


Nezzy said...

Susan good to see you, you are beautiful. This tool is so cool. I gave a presentation in my design class in college on embellishing clothing designs with rhinestones, metal studs and the like. We had hammering tools for the process then. I really could of wowed thme with the hot fix. Have yourself a wonderful day!!!

sguyot said...

A well done project outline with real food for the imagination. Looking forward to your crystals project. Have you had a chance to visit one of the "CRYSTALIZED" locations yet ?

Sashi said...

I love women who wear sparklies! I can't wait to see what else you do with your jewels. :)

I find that I am the most productive in the winter time, partly because my creative juices usually get flowing at night and nights are much longer! I am also more apt to work on projects that take more time to complete.

I'm in sewing mode right now but am starting to get the drawing/painting bug back again.

Tricia said...

hi susan, it has been great visiting here today. As always you have been up to such neat art adventures!
i may need to check out this new tool-sounds like something olivia would love.

Steve Groenier said...

Hi Susan, this is a wonderful blog post that will be very helpful for first timer using the Bejeweler and Swarovski Hotfix Rhinestones. It was great to hear and see step-by-step what your experience was. You have great photos and it looks like you did a fantastic job on this first project. The red and green crystal snowflake design was very cute and will be fun to wear this holiday season.

I am sorry to hear of the challenges you had trying to figure out the Swarovski crystal sizes and do appreciate that feedback. We do include the size of each crystal in millimeters on each product detail page but clearly we need to do a better job. I’m going to ask our team to come up with more ways to make the size easier to find and understand.

One tip I did want share with you and your readers was to print out the Swarovski Wireframe Bead Diagram chart we have on our Swarovski Resources page. On page four of this chart you’ll find a handy reference to the stone sizes. It shows each stone size in millimeters and inches along with a visual reference.

We also have a Swarovski 2028 Hotfix Flatbacks shop by size page that provides more of a visual reference so you can see the difference between SS08 to SS48. Hope this helps.

Thanks for creating this fantastic intro to using the Bejeweler and Swarovski 2028 hotfix rhinestones!


Countryfolk Keepsakes said...

Cool!! I love a lil' bit of sparklies. Heck, what gal doesn't?!

Susan said...

Hey to all, I hope everyone gets a chance to check out the links that Steve supplied. He is so right. I printed the size charts and Page 4 is exactly what I needed. Next time I won't have the same concerns with rhinestones or beads. Thanks, Steve-O, you're the best!

June said...

You're very pretty! Prettier than you used to be. Just like me. :-)

I love sparkles and I really admire your tenacity with all of your projects. Me, not so much. My floorcloth is still waiting for two sides to be glued.

To answer your question, part of me is looking forward to hunkering down and writing more when the cold winds blow. I would love to knit again, but knitting doesn't lend itself to the interruptions that my dogs provide.