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How to crystallize shoe heels

Swarovski heels

** PLEASE READ THROUGH THE COMPLETE TUTORIAL BEFORE STARTING **

What you will need:

equipment

1. Swarovski flatback rhinestones NON-HOTFIX: size ss12 (3.2mm), ss16 (4mm) or ss9 (2.6mm) for this tutorial I have used ss12 as the main crystal size and ss16 and ss9 to fill odd sized gaps. View Swarovski flatbacks

2. Jewel setter: This is a plastic wand with a wax bud one side and pointed end the other, it makes picking up rhinestones very simple. View Jewel setter

3. e6000 adhesive: This is an industrial strength craft adhesive that’s very strong, flexible, waterproof and clear in colour. It should be used in a well ventilated area with a mask for protection from the harmful fumes. View e6000 glue

4. Piece of cotton cloth / hanky: Cotton is ideal because it doesn’t leave fibres behind when you wipe a surface.

5. Orange stick: Small wooden stick used for pushing back cuticles.

6. High heel shoes: To add the crystals to.

For this tutorial I have used Jet rhinestones but you can use clear crystal, AB or any other colour to suite the shoe. The main size crystal used is ss12 along with a few ss9 and ss16 to fill in odd sized gaps.

Preparation and advice:

1. First clean the heel by gently wiping with a cloth to remove any surface grease, alcohol wipes can be used to remove any grease but care needs to be taken to test on a small area of the heel first as alcohol can discolour the leather (If you do use alcohol use it sparingly blot the heel only and make sure it isn’t absorbed into the shoe leather).

2. Empty some rhinestones onto a clean, dry flat surface and turn the crystals so that they are all faceted side facing up.

 

pick up crystal

3. The jewel setter we use in this tutorial is a plastic wand with a sticky wax bud tip, to pick up a rhinestone, gently touch the faceted face of the crystal and it will stick to the wax bud, then gently touch the rhinestone onto the adhesive and the bond with the glue should be strong enough to release the crystal from the wax bud. If you find you have press too hard the crystal will get embedded in the wax bud and need assistance to come loose, so just use the orange stick to gently release the crystal.  Please Note * The wax sometimes leaves small amounts of wax on the rhinestone crystal, leave until the adhesive is dry then it wipes off.
glue

4. When it comes to applying adhesive use a small mount of e6000 and spread it out in a line with enough glue for a few crystals, if you use too much it will dry before the crystals are placed into position, also if the adhesive is too thick it will cover the face of the crystal.

 

positioning

5a. After a crystal has been placed onto the adhesive use the orange stick to make any final adjustments to its position and then gently press down on the crystal to ensure a firm bond.

 

positioning

5b. If you press down first and then adjust the position, it will result in a build up of adhesive on one side of the crystal, if this does happen just remove and clean the crystal, level the adhesive and start again.

 

positioning

5c. It now time to workout how the crystals fit as each row of crystals will start from the bottom of the heel and work up we need to see how the crystals sit when going around the heel base. To do this you can either measure the outside diameter of the heel base (just above the heel tip) or temporarily stick the rhinestones to the heel. You can do this by using sticky tape used the wrong way around, smooth side against the heel and sticky side facing out.

On the heel in the tutorial the ss12 rhinestones fit perfectly around the heel, if they don’t you can replace one of the crystals with a larger or smaller size crystal to see if it fits. If the gap is too small for one of the crystals you have but large enough to be noticed, then you have an option of either replacing more than one crystal until the gap is filled up or space the crystals out. Keep a note of your results as this stage is important to ensure a good fit later on as you will need to know how many rows will fit at the base and in what size order the crystals go. For this tutorial its all ss12 along the bottom row, but for your heel it could be i.e. 5 x ss12, 2 x ss16, 5 x ss12 etc.

 

 

Getting Started:

add adhesive

1. Using the back of a jewel setter take a small amount of e6000 adhesive and spread it out in the bottom corner of the heel, with enough adhesive for a few crystals.

add the first crystal

2. Using the clean jewel setter pick up the crystal with the wax bud tip and again gently place onto the adhesive in the bottom corner of the heel (just above the heel tip).

 

Continuing the row

3. Continue adding crystals in a line following the edge of the heel. (Be careful not to get any adhesive on the inside of the heel that isn’t being crystallized)

Choose the correct size crystal

Completed row

4. When you get to the top edge if an ss12 crystal (or the main size crystal you are using) doesn’t fit then choose a different size crystal.

 

crystal rows

5. Now you are ready to start the second row, this is where you need to refer to the measurement you made at the start to make sure you use the correct size crystal. Repeat step 1. Add some adhesive then the crystals etc. It’s possible to create a tighter crystal pattern by staggering the crystals as seen above but that will impact the space taken up by crystals, so you may need to measure again to ensure that the crystals fit nicely if you decide to use this technique.

three rows of crystals

6. Continue adding crystals row after row until you reach the middle point of the back of the heel where you have 50% of the heel base covered.

new row of crystals

7. After reaching the middle point of the heel, start adding crystals from the other edge of the heel, complete the row and work inwards adding rows to close the gap. (This is why it was important to measure the heel at the start as we are working backwards and filling in the gap which could result in the crystal size you currently have not fitting the gap which is why it was important to measure first). If you have reached this stage without measuring and you are unable to fill the last row with the crystal size you have, you will need to get a smaller size crystal.

heel

8. Continue completing the rows (referring to your earlier measurements for crystal size for each row and don’t forget you are working backwards).  By aligning the crystals in rows to the edge of the heel we have effectively created a V gap which will now need to be filled. To do this start from the bottom and work your way up again in rows, one row for the left then one for the right until the gap is closed. This is where the larger and smaller crystals come useful.

 

heel complete

9. As you can see above the heel is covered with rows of crystals, an equal number of rows on the left to the right, to achieve this odd size crystals are used to fill any gaps.

 

finished heel

10. One completed Swarovski crystal heel, time taken approximately 2-3 hours per heel.

finished heel

 

Closeup image of the heel.

Author : Crystal and Glass Beads

Other useful posts: How to make Swarovski Crystal Converse

 

104 comments

  1. Love the heels going to do my own, how long did each heel take to crystallize and how many crystals do you need?

    • Hi Amelie
      It took approximately 3 hours per heel and approximately 600 crystals per heel, so it does use up a lot of crystals, but if you use a larger size like the ss16 it will take less. You can also apply the crystals in rows instead of the way shown in the tutorial, but if you do decide to do it this way its worth starting one side until you reach the middle and then start from the opposite edge and work backwards to the middle, so that you get a nice clean edge and any odd size crystals are blended on the back of the heel where its not so noticeable as a wonky edge.

  2. Helloo, was wanting to try this out myself. Ive been looking around for rhinestones for a good price and now I think ive finally found one but they are hot fix rhinestones.. Are they still useable? Thank you!

    • Hi DanDan
      Hotfix crystals wouldn’t be suitable they need to be non hotfix which you can find here http://www.crystalandglassbeads.com/19-nhf-swarovski-rhinestones in the various sizes. If you wand something sparklier than the jet try the clear crystal.
      You can also add the crystals row by row, start from the top and work your way down the heel. Start from one side add crystals until yo get to the center and then start from the opposite side and work backwards to complete the row, so that you get a nice clean edge either side of the heel and any odd sized crystals are blended into the back of the heel.

  3. Hi there,
    Have you ever tried a whole heel with slightly smaller crystals? I am looking to try and if you have any idea would be a great help :)
    Thanks.

    • Hi Lauren

      I these are the smallest crystals I have used. I wouldn’t go smaller than an ss9 unless you find an alternative to E-6000 as the adhesive is too thick for smaller crystals which will just get buried in the glue. If you are going to try smaller crystals then maybe I would try doing the crystals in rows, start from the bottom of the heel and work up to the top, that way if you realise it’s too big a job you can increase the crystal size and it wont look odd. If you go do apply the crystals in rows start from the outside and work towards the back of the heel and then when you reach half way start from the opposite end and work backwards so that you make sure that both sides of the heel have a clean edge rather than having to fill in which is fine at the back of the heel but may make the line look wonky on the sides. Also clear crystal is more forgiving than jet, where if you get glue over one of the crystals you have to remove it with the jet crystals, but with clear crystals its not so noticeable.
      Hope this helps

  4. Thanks for the advice!!! Great help :)

  5. Hi I was just wondering what the best glue would be to stick rhinestones to satin shoes? Thanks

  6. What a great post!! You say you used approximately 600 crystals per heel, how many of each of the 3 size crystals and tubes of glue did ou use?? I have no idea how many to order, thanks in advance.

    • Hi Khloe
      Just counted and it was 6 x ss16 and 12 x ss9, the rest were ss12. I think if I were to crystallize the heels again I would use ss16 as it’s slightly bigger and easier to use and also would use up less crystals than the ss12. We are just waiting for a new supply of crystals and then I should be doing another heel but in a different style where they are more spaced out using random sized crystals.

  7. hi…i decorated some high leather look heels with rhinestones using e6000 glue and it doesnt look good the foil back seems to have been burnt away and they just dont look sparkly…do u think i can redo them using gemtac…please help? thankyou

    • Hi Julia
      If you have used Swarovski or Preciosa then there shouldn’t be a problem with the foil backing, its possible if you are using acrylic/Chinese crystals that depending on the manufacturer the foil backing used may not be so secure but it shouldn’t deteriorate with adhesive. You can use gemtac glue, a number of our customers prefer it to e6000 because of the lack of fumes and haven’t had any problems using it but it wont last as long as e6000 and if you don’t prep the surface well enough it may peel off over time.

  8. HI…Could you please recommend anysort of suitable mask etc whilst using e6000 glue because i am very worried about the fumes and the cancer warnings on back of glue?thankyou

  9. thankyou for your help…also do you know another glue i could use for sticking crystals to metal please

    • Hi Julia
      E6000 or G-S Hypo Cement work well, I crystallized a metal bag pendant which I have to put a tutorial up for when I get the chance and tried e6000, Metal Glass and More adhesive and G-S Hypo Cement. Of the 3 the GS Hypo cement was by far the easiest to use and provided a very good bond. Its very thin so application is simple the only downside is the fumes they are very strong.

  10. what glue would you recommend for using on suede uggs? thanks

  11. are the rhinestones in your shop 2028 or 2058? Just because i was wanting to purchase crystal ss9 2058 and couldn’t find any

    • Hi Becky
      We are the same as everywhere else where if there is 2028 left in stock that will get sent to us first and when that’s all used up as is the case with the more poplar colours it’s then the 2058 we get sent. As regards the ss9 we have in stock we have some 2028 in the crystal AB and the light Sapphire the rest are all the 2058 Xilion Rose Enhanced.

  12. Hello,

    I love what you have done and have bought some ivory satin shoes from next that I would like to cover all over in crystal rhinestones. how many would you recommend buying for the pair of shoes? I have no idea how many I might need? I was thinking of SS12, SS16 & SS20, what do you think?
    They are closed in and a size 6 – if that makes any diferrence to quantity?

    Would I need the large gemtac glue?

    Thanks in advance :-)

    • Hi Lucy
      Yes gemtac would be the best adhesive and a large bottle would come in handy, as regards how many crystals you need are the shoes flat or are you covering a heel as well as the shoe?

  13. Hi khaled,

    I would be covering the heel too (8cm)

    X

    • Hi Lucy I would think you need a wholesale pack of the two main sizes you intend to use and then a few small packs of 100 crystals for the third size, it would also be good to add a few ss30 / ss40 crystals in with the mix. If you have a look at http://www.crystalandglassbeads.com/blog/2012/swarovski-crystal-shoes-tutorial.html its the same principle just placing the crystals closer together. You can see the ss30 and 40 crystals at the back of the heel.
      I used
      ss40 x 11 Crystals
      ss30 x 40 Crystals
      ss20 x 110 Crystals
      ss16 x 130 Crystals
      ss12 x 60 Crystals
      ss9 x 40 Crystals

      So to compact the crystals you would need twice the amount of crystals just to cover the heel and platform of the shoe.

  14. Thank for your help khaled, I will let you know how I get on :-)

  15. Hi Khaled

    If you stagger the crystals up the heel do you fill in the gap at the base of the heel or just leave an un-clean edge?

    Thanks very much- great tutorial!

    • Hi Carrie
      To stagger the crystals I would start the next row from between crystals 3 and 4 (so that the new row’s first crystal starts between these 2 crystals) and work backwards adding another same size crystal and then use a smaller crystal to fit in the gap to finish off the bottom crystal of the row, I usually have a selection of ss5, ss7 and ss9 crystal to fill any tiny gaps. You can then carry on the row and may have to fit a tiny crystal the opposite end, but its better to add a small crystal than to have a gap. Hope this helps.

  16. I have done some shoes using gem tac and e 6000 but still find that some crystals find off, quite easily, is there anything i could put ver the crystals to like seal them without takingg away any of the sparkle??

    • Hi Sorcha
      Which shoes are you crystallizing are they flip flops, high heel shoes, converse or other? and what material are they made from?

  17. Hi Khaled

    I love your work!!!!

    I need you help, i want to crystalize my wedding shoes, i am from venezuela and my sister live in weston and she is going to buy the crystals and bring them to me. so i have to tell her all the indications…

    i have a satin peep toe heels shoes in color ivory and i want to crystalize my shoes lake this model http://us.christianlouboutin.com/us_en/shop-online-3/n-prive-riche-strass.html
    but the color of my shoe is ivory not silver like the ones in the picture

    And i want to use color crystal AB in all the shoe, maybe if i put some in color crystal clear also look good (or not?). what you recomend me, because i dont want to my shoes look like too much pink i need them more clear because my dress is ivory clear….

    but i dont have stores in here to look the colors and materials (swarosky or value b.) thats why i really need the help of a expert like you =)

    I have a lot of questions:

    1) what sizes of crystal and how many i have to use to make the Design that i show you before.

    2) i see diferents prices in swarovski, are: Value Bright or swarovsky elements, some people say that look same but i was thinking in buy the color crystal AB in original swarovsky and the smallers in color crystal clear but in value bright. what you recomend?

    3)my My budget is not big so If they seem almost equal i prefer to buy value bright. only if you tell me that is not the same and the value brigt is going to look cheap instead of beautiful in my wedding shoes… only in this case i will do the sacrifice buying only original swarovsky crystal.

    4) do you have pictures of color crystal AB in original swarovsky and in value bright? or the color crystal clear….. i need to see the difference between them

    5) where i can send may sister to buy me the crystals? Michaels or where?

    I really hope that you can help me

    thanks a lot for your time

    Gaby =)

    • Hi Gabby
      The crystals used on the shoe in the picture are both clear crystal and crystal AB of various sizes. I’m not familiar with value bright crystals sorry so am unable to comment on them.

      Crystal AB has a lot of pinks and purples in the crystal where as clear crystal doesn’t have as much colour in the crystal and looks more diamond like which may be more suitable for your wedding shoes.

      1. The crystals used will be a variety of sizes ss9, ss12, ss16, ss20 & ss30 crystals. As regards how many you need it would very much depend on the shoe size and style of shoe. The principle will be the same as we have used in our other Swarovski shoe heel tutorial click here but without the gaps between the crystals. The tutorial used 391 crystals (you can see the crystal count in one of the replys I gave) but only covers the heel and base of the shoe, so to completely cover the shoe will take a lot more crystals and hence cost a lot more.

      2. It looks to be most of the crystals are crystal AB which it also describes in the description.

      3. Clear crystal will work out a lot cheaper than the crystal AB and will still look very classy without having any colours in the stone that clash with your wedding colours. As regards using plastic crystals it won’t look the same as using Swarovski, but if you don’t have the budget for Swarovski Elements you can try Preciosa.

      4. Clear crystal flatback Clear crystal
      Crystal AB Flatback Crystal AB

      5. Where is Weston where your sister is based is it the US? we supply Swarovski Elements but are based in the UK and only ship to the UK and Europe, if you can advise where your sister lives I may be able to advise.

      Hope this helps and if I haven’t answered anything or you would like to know anything else please let me know.

  18. Hi Khaled

    What glue would you recommend to use on rubber welly boots?

    Thank you!

    • Hi Yasmin
      I would suggest Shoo Goo which you can get from ebay it’s for repairing rubber wellies and shoe soles if they get a tear and is made by the same company as E6000 and is slightly thinner in consistency but with stronger fumes.

  19. Hi Khaled

    I really want to customise the toes on my converse. What size/ type crystals and glue would you recommend? Do you know roughly how many i would need for a ladies size 6.

  20. Hi there,
    Could I use a glue gun to add crystals to my daughters converse?
    Thanks
    Claire

  21. Ur tutorials are fab, I really want to find like skull peices and some spikes to stick on heels where can I find these? Please help?!!!!!!!

  22. Hi can you not use hotfix tool and hotfix crystals for the convrse ?

    • Hi Laura
      The hotifx crystals are suitable for the canvas part of the shoe but the glue on the crystals isn’t designed to stick to rubber, which means that they will fall off.

  23. i bought a rhinestones chains (Metal casing) to embellish my mother’s shoes. What kind of glue should I use to attach to leatherette shoes? Please help me!

    • Hi Gerald
      There really isn’t anything that gives a really strong long lasting bond to leather, but I have attached a crystal buckle to a leather shoe and ended up gluing a patch on the leather shoe and one on the back of the buckle leaving it to dry and then bonding the glue on the back of the buckle to the glue on the shoe. I used e6000 and it was the only way I could get a bond strong enough to hold as the buckle was quite heavy.

  24. I have a request…

    Can you do a diy blinged out fitted hat with swarovski crystals using the proper glue. This is something I would like to do, but just don’t know how.

    I would really appreciate it

    • Hi Bree by fitted hat do you mean a fitted baseball cap or something else? Do you have any idea what the hat you like is made from?

  25. Just discovered your blog and LOVING IT!!!

    I currently purchased a pair of size 10 patent leather wedge sandals that I’m going to attempt to crystalize for a wedding in July. Got all the stuff, E-6000 glue, face mask (for me and the family… dogs not loving it) magic jewelry wand and dish, and 8,500 China eBay Crystals… I’m cheap.

    BUT my question is, should I sandpaper the shoes a little to give them texture for the crystals to hang onto? Or will just a quick alcohol clean be enough???

    I will be blogging about what is sure to be a horrific traffic accident of a newby crafter, feel free to check in ;-P

    • Hi Mona
      You wont be able to use e6000 with acrylic crystals as it eats up the plastic foil backing and clouds the crystal, but you should be fine with gemtac or something similar. I wouldn’t sand patent leather as it will certainly ruin the shoe, unless you intend to cover every inch of it with crystals. I haven’t tried patent leather yet but normal leather isn’t the best surface for bonding with as no adhesive really seems to give the bond strength you get with plastic, rubber or fabric. With leather if the surface buckles too much it does tend to dislodge the crystals, the adhesive stays on the crystals but not on the leather. Hope this helps and good luck with the project.

  26. WOW! Thanks for all the reply info!! I had no idea about the E6000 glue melting the cheapy cyrstal backing and that leather is a bit of a no no for crystalizing! Have since bought a pair of satin shoes and got some gemtac glue to save my crystals. SO excited to get started now that I know what to expect :D

  27. Hi,

    I am decorating a bra for a marathon, attaching crystals using gem glue is there anything I can put over the top to help them stay on and seal them?
    Thanks

    • Hi Joskin
      If you put something over the crystals they won’t look as sparkly. You can use gemtac or e6000 to glue them to a bra, the e6000 would probably be the strongest and they should be fine once the glue dries, the other alternative is to use sew on stones which you can find here Crystal sew on stones. The third option are Crystal rose pins which you can find here if the bra has padding in, so that there is a layer of padding between the bra and any skin contact these will stay in place and won’t come loose. They are flat back crystals with a pronged back, you push the prongs through the material and then bend them to keep them securely in place and are more cost effective than sew on stones, but non hotfix flatback crystals would be the most cost effective option.

  28. Hi! I have just started out and have a couple of questions !

    How how many and what size crytals would you recommend for a size 12 kids ugg boot for the back heel?

    Also for a Nike blazer size 4?

    Thanks!!!

    • Hi Chloe
      If you have a look here https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.307136862724954.60024.212060838899224&type=1 It shows how various size crystals look at the back of an adults UGG boot (shows ss14, ss16, ss20 and ss30). For a childs size 12 size ss12 or ss16 should be fine, just measure the area you want to cover, so if it measures i.e. 50mm width for example divide by 50 /4 = a row of 12.5 crystals or for ss12 50 / 3.2 = a row of 15.6 crystals. So then you work out the height and if its the ss12 x number of rows of 15 crystals or for the ss16 x number of rows of 12 crystals.

      For size 4 Nike Blazers it will just be about 10/15% extra crystals than are used in the tutorial which you can find here Nike Blazers crystal tutorial

  29. hi is there a way of removing any excess glue that may get on to the surface of the crystals?

    • Hi Cheryl
      A cotton bud and nail varnish remover but be careful not to get any over the rest of the glue between the crystals (squeeze out the excess remover off the bud before using).

  30. thanks for that…can nail varnish remover be used on crystals with an AB finish? just wandering about the coating on them….

    • Hi Cheryl Just tested for you to be 100% sure and no acetone/nail varnish remover doesn’t damage the AB coating.

  31. Hi,

    I have purchased a pair of round closed in pumps for my wedding and would love to cover them in crystals. I have purchases ss9, ss12, ss14 and ss16 swarovski crystals.
    I’m not sure whether to place the crystals in some kind of uniform or random. Do you have any tips for placing them in uniform?

    Thanks,
    Sarah

    • Hi Sarah
      It would very much depend on the effect you are trying to achieve, in my opinion it looks a lot nicer using random crystal sizes as there is no uniform pattern and as such any mistakes aren’t noticeable. The same cant be said for starting a uniform pattern if the pattern isn’t kept then it is a lot more noticeable.

  32. Hi, can i ask what glue to use to decorate phone cases? E6000? And can you use normal gems with this glue for the cases?

    • Hi Megi e6000 id the best choice, as regards normal gems it would depend on what they are made from, if its plastic or acrylic the e6000 will dissolve the foil backing and cloud the crystals, so the answer is dependent on the material you are using the e6000 with.

  33. Thanks so much for the very informative post! I have been strassing shoes for awhile now but recently decided to try making a business of it. I love the E6000 glue but the fumes are sometimes unbearable for me. I am wondering if you could recommend a glue that is just as good the E6000 and can withstand temperatures below freezing? I live in Wisconsin.

    Thanks!!!!
    Ty

    • Hi Ty
      I dont know of any adhesives that can withstand very cold temperatures as most become brittle below zero degrees, you can try contacting Beacon Adhesives or Eclectic Products who manufacture e6000 and ask some advise from them as they have a range of e6000 glue’s for various conditions, but I think they will all have strong fumes so a mask may need to be used.

  34. Hey I am crystallizing a pair of blue shoes with clear crystals but I was wondering would I spray paint the heel of the shoes silver/white so the crystals blend in more?

    • Hi Victoria
      If you paint the heel do a test first on a scrap surface to see if the paint comes off as you will be sticking the crystals to the paint and some paints become brittle and can crack once they dry while others just absorb into the surface of the material. Try sticking a few crystals to the paint and try peeling them off after a day or two to see if the bond is good and that the paint doesn’t crack.

  35. Love these heels!!!!!!

  36. Great tutorial with great visual aids! I am thinking about strassing a pair of ‘clear’ heels that are 13 years old for my ‘something old’ for my upcoming wedding… can’t decide on biting the bullet. A little nervous about how Crystal AB would look on ‘clear’ shoes. If painting shoes, so recommenced a particular type of paint for clear plastic that is amenable to holding glue?

    Thanks for the tutorial! I def feel confident attempting heels now!

    • Hi Alexis
      Have you considered a mix of clear crystal and crystal AB using mainly clear but with AB scattered to give more colour. The AB gives a lot of purple and pink so you need to be sure that it wont be overpowering if you are going to go just the AB route. It looks nice using a variety of sizes to cover the heel see here the shoe used just clear crystal. As regards painting the heel it would probably look nicer if the heel was left clear where you can scatter the crystals to give a nice effect see this shoe tutorial you can add the crystals with no gaps or larger gaps the principle will be the same. Hope this helps. Just make sure to remove any grease, oil or dirt from the heels before applying the adhesive.

  37. Hello, I want to customize some shoes for my graduation, ive already bought the shoes i want and they are wedges.

    I just wondered if this will work on suede / fabric heels? I don’t want to destroy the shoes if it doesn’t work!

    Thanks, Zoe

  38. Hi Khaled
    how do you know how many crystals and what sizes i will need to cover 2 inch kitten heel and how much glue i should buy.
    Thanks Alice

    • Hi Alice

      The height of the heel is 2 inches what’s the heel circumference (tape measure around the outside) at the bottom and top?

  39. Hi, thank you for such a great tutorial. I was wanting to add crystals to my wedding shoes to add some much lacking sparkle and wondered if you could tell me roughly how many & what size crystals I should get. The heel is just short of 3 1/2″ but the area for adding the crystals to its 3 and 1/8″. The measurement round the top is 5″ (I just measured the part that will have crystals, I hope that’s right) and the bottom of the heel is 1″. Thank you in advance,
    Jayne

    • Hi Jayne Apologies for the delay have emailed you a mockup of ss12 and ss16 which you can see you would need to fill in the gaps with a smaller size, but will give you an idea of the number of crystals used.

  40. Hello,

    Love your blog! I have a question my wedding heels are already made but wondering what type of adhesive or glue would work perhaps over these crystals to not take away from the sparkles. The problem is there are studs on them to how in these gems which the studs are seeming to snag on my dress :/ please help

    Kimberly

    • Hi Kimberley
      The only time I have heard of anyone coating crystals is for nail art, when do you need to complete the heels by as I will be testing coating crystals soon once I have all the necessary equipment.

      Khaled

  41. Hi! Just stumbled upon your tutorial and it’s fantastic! The illustrations are really wonderful, and make the pattern and process much easier to plan out! I’m planning to rhinestone and detail a friends wedding shoes, do you have a recommendation for what material is best for the shoes? I know she wants patent leather, but I’m afraid the rhinestones may pop off easier? Your feedback is much appreciated! Thank you!

    • Hi Katerina
      I haven’t tried patent leather so will need to test the material but I know a number of customers who have crystallize patent shoes and haven’t had any problems. As regards what to stay away from the only major problem occurs with Leather it’s better to stay away from as nothing sticks very well long term. Most other surfaces either e6000 or gemtac will work to give a good bond.

  42. i have now finished hot fixing gems to my shoes, but im wondering if there is any clear glue i can use to put over gems to secure abit more. they are satin shoes so dont want to ruin the material?

    • Hi Hannah
      There are videos on Youtube for people using nail varnish top coat over crystals or mod podge which I have recently become aware of both will create a thin plastic like layer which will bond the crystals together but they won’t keep them on the fabric any more secure as the surface is flexible. If they come loose they will just stay bonded to the clear plastic later until that cracks. If it’s a hard surface coating the crystals will be more effective that using on satin. If they do come loose I would be inclined to use gemtac adhesive to stick them back on as it gives quite a good bond.

  43. Hi Khaled

    Great Tutorial

    Two things:

    1. Can I use self adhesive diamante
    2. Would a coat of clear modge podge help in securing and coating the diamante (i suppose the same as nail varnish)?

    • Hi Mondy
      You can use self adhesive diamantés but they won’t stay attached for very long, they are more of a temporary crystal rather than a long term solution. What will then happen if you use modge podge or nail varnish over them is that (I will use nail varnish as an example) the varnish will form a thin membrane which the crystals will all bond to, then one by one they will come away from the surface you are sticking them to but stay attached to the membrane. This can then go one of 2 ways it will either all come away in a sheet or the contact with the nail varnish/modpodge and the surface you are sticking the crystals to will form a sufficient bond to hold everything in place. The better solution would be to choose a suitable adhesive for the surface you intend to crystallize and use non-hotfix flatbacks instead of self adhesive ones. Incidentally what surface are you hoping to use the self adhesive crystals on?

  44. Hey! What glue would you recommend for ugg boots?

    • Hi Gabbi E6000 would be the strongest if you have a little patience, it will mean that you may have to hold the crystal in place until the glue gets a chance to seep into the fibres and as e6000 is thick this can take a few seconds/mins. Gemtac on the other hand is a lot thinner and easier to get to bond but the glue itself isn’t as strong, but the plus side is that it doesn’t have nasty fumes. 1st choice e6000, 2nd Gemtac.

  45. Hello my question. is what glue do you recommended to use on Satin material when applying rhinestones? That won’t come of after the fist watching.. please help??

    • Hi Carlina
      I would recommend hotfix for satin material if you intend to use glue gemtac is the easiest to use as its more liquid and seeps into the fibers, you just place the crystal on top and when dry the bond is pretty good. E6000 on the other hand (applying with a cocktail stick) the glue doesn’t bond with the material when applied it just stays on the surface, but when you press the crystal down onto the glue and it dries the bond is very strong. Of the two e6000 is the stronger but a lot more effort to crystallize with. If you opt for e6000 make sure to keep the top on the tube so that it stays runny as its a lot more difficult to work with on satin when the glue thickens.
      Hope that helps.

  46. I would like to know can I crystal patient leather shoes? If so what glue to make sure it lasts

    • Hi Valerie
      I have tested patent leather with gemtac, e6000 and epoxy resin and will write up the test in the next few days

  47. Hi there, I’ve already stressed my wedding shoes and I’m really happy but I can’t figure out how to clean the excess glue from the top of the acrylic rhinestones without removing the colour? Normal crystal would be fine to clean with rubbing alcohol but I’m not sure it’ll work with cheaper acrylic stones?? Any help or ideas would be VERY appreciated!!

    • Hi Natalie
      The only thing I can suggest that will remove the glue without damaging the crystals is by using heat to melt the glue.
      Method 1. Dipping a soapy cotton bud into hot water removing the excess water (not with your fingers or you will burn them) and then rubbing over the glue to see if the heat will help remove the glue.
      Method 2. Using a hair dryer to heat up the glue on the crystals and then a sharp knife to gently take the glue off the surface. You will need to take care not to scratch the crystals, but if the knife is blunt and you push at the glue it will likely pull the glue out from under the crystal as well as the crystal face. A sharp knife will help to separate the glue above and below the crystal cleanly (I have used this technique to remove gemtac glue in the past but be aware it also softens the glue under the crystals). Using alcohol greater than 30% or acetone will damage acrylic so I wouldn’t recommend the standard way of removing glue for Swarovski or Preciosa crystals.

  48. Do you have any suggestions for apying Swarovski crystals to a pair of canvas tennis shoes temporarily? I only want to apply the clear gemstones along the sole and the stitching, I like the manufacturer’s design on the canvas and don’t want to cover the main part of the shoe completely, so just some accents using the Swarovski crystals. However-I would like to be able to remove the crystals following this event & be able to wear the sneakers for everyday use without the “bling”. I know that you probably will think I’m nuts for putting the work into applying the crystals & the. Wanting to take them off, but it’s important that I am able to wear these shoes later / without the crystals. I am anxious to hear your reply.

  49. Hi, I have a lovely silver coloured Jar (metal) powder compact size and I would like to decorate it with crystals. Which is the best glue and do I need to seal? Would size SS16 be suitable

    • Hi Sam
      You can use gemtac or e6000 glue you don’t need to seal the crystals but if the jar is going to be exposed to any kind of heat I would opt for the e6000. As regards size it would depend on the jar. Have a look at http://www.crystalandglassbeads.com/blog/2014/flatback-crystals-guide.html I have created printable sheets for all the different sizes print out the size wrap around the jar and it will show you how many crystals you will need and what the crystal size will look like.

  50. Hi Khaled,

    I have read through many of the tutorials (FANTASTIC!) as well as the 98 comments above. You have said that the crystals will not work on leather shoes. OH NO! Yes, the shoes I have to work with are leather. I have the Swarovski crystals, e6000 industrial glue, acetone and am ready to go. Now what? Getting another pair of shoes is not an option (the bride to be has already moved to another state) and the wedding is in 3 weeks. Will a light sanding on the leather help? My plan is to cover the heel completely. Across the toe (they are peep toe pumps) and on the sides are die-cut flower shapes. I was going to place 1 crystal in the center of the flowers. Any help / suggested will be greatly appreciated! Thank you so much!!!

    • Hi Peggy sorry for the delay haven’t been on the blog for a week or so, if its urgent you can always contact us through our main site or use the contact form which i check the emails multiple times a day. E6000 will stick the crystals on the heel and they will suit the purpose and last through the wedding. The main thing is that the heel isn’t flexible which certainly helps you can also do a small test with 2 part epoxy resin which is cheap to buy and will form a solid layer over the leather making the crystals harder to knock off + you can get epoxy resin for leather.

  51. Hi Khaled,
    I need to know what glue to use on patent leather for the heels and the platform of the shoe. You said you tested e6000, gemtac and epoxy resin back in November of 2014. I have not seen what you found out about the tests. Can you post the results please? It would be very helpful. Thanks so much

  52. Hi Khaled. I’d like to make my Swarovski shoes which outer layer is something like suade simulated leather. If I use Hotfix will it stay longer then using non Hotfix E6000? I want them to be all covered in crystals. Thank you

    • Hi Sylvia both hotfix and e6000 both give a strong bond when used on a suitable surface, it would depend if the hotfix bonds to the material which im not sure it will. Try putting a drop of water onto the surface of the leather and see if it sits on the surface or is absorbed into the material. If it just sits on the surface I very much doubt hotfix will give a strong bond. The one benefit of an adhesive like e6000 is that it provides a tiny amount of flexibility/give between the crystal and the material where if the surface is rigid it’s not such a big deal but if it flexes then adhesive may be your better option.

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