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How To Write A Name or Text Using Swarovski Crystals

Guide to Crystallizing Text Using Swarovski Flatback Crystals

Published by: Crystal and Glass Beads - Author: Khaled Alwan

If you have ever wanted to write something in crystals but don’t know where to start this tutorial will hopefully give you the confidence to get started. The kind of things that can be Crystallized with text are mobile phones, tablets, footwear, clothing, hats, glasswear, greetings cards, wedding stationery etc

It’s a lot easier to crystallize to a guide line than to form the text from scratch when starting out so these are some of the various methods that can be used.

1. Using a Stencil – Stencils are great for creating small amounts of bold text an example of which could be for greetings cards where a birthday number can be crystallized or a word like “MUM” for Mothers Day cards. see http://www.scruffymoo.com for some ideas or examples.

 

Crystallized block text

2. Digital Style Text – Can be used for writing text in a block or rows of crystals where certain crystals are substituted by a different colour to form text. See image above for an example or you can view the complete alphabet here.

Crystallized bold text
A similar method can be used even if the text isn’t included within the confines of a block of crystals. Unlike the previous example there is some flexibility for rounding out the lettering so that it looks more appealing. See image above for an example or you can view the complete alphabet here.

3. Freehand – If you are crystallizing text on a Champagne bottle or something similar you are going to have to write the text freehand. If you haven’t done this before it’s a good idea to print out the wording first and practice several times before commencing. You can then either crystallize the text straight off or I would recommend using a permanent marker to write out the text on the glass first. Even though this method takes a bit of getting used to you have the advantage that if you mess up the freehand template drawn in fine marker you can always wipe it away. To achieve this use some rubbing alcohol, nail varnish remover or something similar (making sure not to get any on the bottle label) then try again until you get a satisfactory result.

4. Trace Text – If you can place text behind a surface and still see the text like a cotton t-shirt you can trace the lettering instead of having to write it freehand if you aren’t comfortable doing so.

5. Print out Text – For crystallizing Champagne flutes, wine glasses, shot glasses etc the easiest method to use is to simply print out the text in the size and font you desire and then place the text behind the glass to use as a template.

6. Vinyl Lettering – To create fancy lettering in various colours you can use vinyl lettering which can easily be applied to glass or other surfaces. The lettering is then coated with crystals to cover the vinyl, which can give a nice effect if the crystals are coloured to match the vinyl lettering, especially for slab fonts (fat bold lettering).

How to Write Bride in Crystals on a Champagne Flute

Equipment for crystallizing a glass

Equipment required

1. Crystals – for this tutorial I have used ss5 and ss7 Flatback Non-hotfix crystals also known as rhinestones. Which you can find here
2. Gemtac Adhesive - alternatively you can use e6000 if you have it. Which you can find here
3. Blu Tac - or sticky tape for attaching the text to the glass.
4. Cocktail stick – for applying the adhesive or something similar.
5. Cotton Handkerchief / cloth - or something similar to clean the glass with.
6. Rubbing alcohol – to de-grease the surface of the glass.
8. Piece of paper with writing on – this can be printed, or hand drawn.
9. Crystal Katana - to pick up the crystals or magic pick mini is an alternative. Which you can find here

Useful Tools if you have handy but not essential.
1. Printer – To print out text
2. Photoshop / Word processing package / Gimp (Free package similar to Photoshop which you can download) or some similar program that will allow you to print out text and change fonts.

Preparation
1. Either write or print out the lettering you want crystallized in the size and font you desire. If you don’t have a suitable font you can download free non commercial fonts from numerous sites just do a search for Free Fonts (Cursive or handwritten if you want joined writing). To print out the text you will need ideally a program like Photoshop or Gimp which is free software like Photoshop or alternatively a word processing package. If you have downloaded a font you will need to unzip the font and place it into your fonts folder which on a windows machine the path will be C: Windows / Fonts, on a Mac the path is ~/Library/Fonts/.

2. Cut out the text so that there is a small border around the wording.

3. Clean the glass with alcohol and a cotton cloth to ensure that it is grease/ smear free.

4. Place the printed text inside the glass position and then secure with blu tac or sticky tape. Optional then depending on the size of the cloth you can use it to fill the glass and push all parts of the text against the glass wall.

Getting Started
5. With the start position (where you intend to put the first crystal) in front of you apply a small amount of adhesive in a line following the text contour. The reason I say in front of you is because is you are looking at the text from an angle i.e the right of the line and later on you switch to looking at the text from the opposite direction the text will appear wonky or distorted. You need to be looking straight on so that the thickness of the glass doesn’t distort your view.

Add Adhesive to wine Glass
6. Apply your first crystal, then gently press the crystal so that it’s secured by the adhesive. Then continue adding one crystal at a time following the text guide.

 

Add Crystals to the Adhesive
7. Continue adding crystals.

 

Continue Adding Crystals to the Glass
8. Continue adding crystals.

 

Follow the curve with Crystals
9. If you look closely you can see the subtle difference between the 2 different size crystals used.

 

Crystallized letter B
10. That’s the B Complete. Now it’s the same principle for crystallizing the rest of the lettering.

 

Bride Crystallized lettering complete
11. And the last crystal added.

 

Crystallized Champagne Flute
12. The completed Glass : ) (Should have cleared the junk off the work surface before taking a photo because it’s all reflected in the glass OOoops! at least you get the idea of the end result though.

 

How to Crystallize a Shot Glass

Shot Glass
1. Follow the steps above for cleaning the glass and preparing the text.

Place text inside shot glass
2. Place the text inside the glass and secure.

Add adhesive to lettering
3. Add a small amount of adhesive and add the crystals then continue adding adhesive then crystals until the text is complete.

Crystallized Shot Glass
4. Completed Shot Glass with Initial for Hen Party.

Row of Crystallized Shot Glasses
5. Completed Shot Glasses.

 

How to Write a Name in Crystals

Add some adhesive with cocktail stick
1. In the position where the first crystal will go apply a small amount of adhesive.

Place first crystal onto the adhesive with CrystalKatana
2. Add the crystal.

Press crystal down into the adhesive
3. Gently press the crystal into the adhesive.

Continue spelling out the letters in crystals
4. Continue adding crystals to the adhesive then adding more adhesive and more crystals etc

Letter e complete in crystals
5. The letter e complete

Crystallized word SUMMER Complete
6. The finished result.

 

How to Crystallize Joined Lettering

1. Write out the text in pencil/pen or print out the text and trace. If you do use pen make sure that it’s a fine tipped pen or one that the ink wont bleed into the paper/ fabric and cause a mess.
Add the first crystal to the letter S
2. Add the first Crystal.

Continue adding crystals to the letter S
3. Continue following the text adding adhesive then crystals.

First Part of Word Summer Crystallized
4. A close-up of the first part of the name.

Second Part of Word Summer Crystallized
5. A close-up of the end of the name.

How to crystallize text tutorial
6. The completed name.

 

Text in One Crystal Size vs Miltiple Sizes

Should I use one crystal size or more to write text with? This very much depends on the font you have picked and the effect you desire if the font is thicker in parts then you can use a slightly larger crystal to replicate the effect otherwise there is no need.

bride written in 3 crystal sizes
Example 1. The above wording has used 3 crystal sizes, ss5, ss7 and ss8 you can get away with just 2 size to create this effect but the idea is to show you the difference between 1 size and using more.

crystallized bride text
Example 2. On the example above I have use one crystal size to crystallize the complete word bride using ss5 crystals. The fact that I have used only one crystal size doesn’t detract from the overall result I don’t think.

Thank you for reading the tutorial. Please give us your feedback and if you find the tutorial useful a like or share would be much appreciated. You can view our full Swarovski Crystal range of here

9 comments

  1. Hi just wondering what size crystals would you recommend I use to crystalise bikinis for a hen party?
    & will hotfix be best
    Thank you

    • Hi Stacey
      If you have a hotfix wand then yes I would Opt for Hotfix if not you can use Non-Hotfix with Gemtac Glue and it will be exactly the same as the example shown in the post. With the Hotfix there is no glue mess, but the nice thing about gemtac is that even if its applied a little thickly it self levels when it dries so goes flat.

      • What size crystals will be best ordering? I purchased ss6 & they seem tiny. It’s for names on bikinis x

        • Hi Stacey
          It would depend on how much you want to write and how big the space on the bikini is but if you want something a little bigger ss9 / ss10 should work well if you go any bigger you need quite large space to fit the name or phrase. If it’s initials or a digital style writing initial you can use ss16 or ss20 which will stand out quite well.

  2. Interesting and great guide. I like crystals and I’ll try to do write my name with your method(or something similar), but I do not know if it will look at least as good as on your pictures.

  3. Hi I’ve attempted to crystallise a pair of pumps same as converse without name as my sister don’t like converse I managed front fine but when came to me writing on sides I think the stones were to big wat size would u recommend pls there normal pumps not high tops xx

    • Hi Gemma
      It would very much depend on how many letters there are in the name in relation to how much space you have, if it’s just initials you can use a larger crystal size ss12 or ss16. If you intend to crystallize a full name you will need smaller crystals ss8, ss9 or ss10 if it’s in a handwritten style.

  4. Thanks so much for the lovely tutorial. Just completed my first project and I’m really chuffed. I was hoping to post a picture. I have a jewellery website and I would like to credit your instructions in my blog if that’s ok? I will mention the website and credit your blog. I will be using my own photos and text. Let me know if this is ok. Thanks again love your website and products. Irene x

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