Wednesday, August 8, 2012

How to Bling

Blinging, Bedazling, Bejewling.  All these terms refer to the act of gluing sparkling crystals onto clothing or crafts...or if you're a cheer mom, gluing crystals onto EVERYTHING!  I am a Southern Cheer Mom; the worst offender out there!  (and I call it blinging)

There are two ways to bling:

*  One way uses a hot tool to heat the crystal and activate glue that has been pre-applied to the crystal.  This is the best way to apply crystals on tshirts that don't have any screen printing on them (the hot tool will melt the screen print).  To use this method, you need to purchase crystals labeled "Hot Set".  These crystals usually have a dull grey backing; this is the glue that will be activated when heated.  Here's a pic of my hot tool:
The little bag in the left of this pic is a bag of tips that came with my tool.  They vary in size, but I find that I get more use out of the small, flat tip that's on the tool in this pic.  (see how "loved" it is compared to the bright shiny ones in the package?)

The bag on the right is a bag of red hot-set crystals.

To demonstrate this method, I'll show you how I replaced a missing crystal on a jacket:
 Place a hot-set crystal on your project:
 Hold the heated hot tool on top of the crystal.  Hold for 8-10 seconds to fully activate the glue.
 Let the glue cool completely...and you're done!

While the glue is still hot, you can use tweezers to gently move the crystal into position if needed.

* The second way to add bling to your creations is to use glue.  The best glue I've found for gluing crystals on is E-6000 glue.  BE CAREFUL when using this glue!  It's super stinky!  Please use in a well-ventilated room and follow the precautions on the package.

In this picture, you see red, black, and white crystals on the left and E-6000 glue on the upper left.  Also in this photo is a wax stick (a stick with sticky wax on one end) and tweezers.
 To glue your crystals on, simply place a dot of glue on your project and place the crystal on top of the glue.  Ideally, you want the glue to cover the entire back of the crystal and come out of the sides of the crystal JUST ENOUGH to hold the crystal in place (like a diamond is held in place by the prongs on a ring).

 In the following photo, I'm using the tip of the glue tube to spread a small line of glue over an embroidered "e" in the name, "Courtney."  The embroidery serves as a guide for the bling in this example.

 Then, I use the wax stick to pick up a crystal (I empty my crystals onto a plate so they don't scatter too much)...
 ...and place the crystal into the glue.
 I continue placing crystals until the "e" is filled.  While the glue is wet, the crystals can be moved around to ensure complete coverage.
 The finished name:

Wait for the glue to dry (up to 4 hours) and you're done!

Whether you choose to glue or use a hot tool, some of your crystals may fall off so keep your extras handy!

Now, go out and find something to bling and tell me all about it! :)

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