This Tutorial was created by Crystal and Glass Beads.
Swarovski have a style of flatbacks called Fusion Concepts (2058/B Xilion Rose) which are made from ceramic and have a marble effect. The purpose of this tutorial is to give you some ideas for where you can incorporate Swarovski Fusion Concepts into your designs for this tutorial we are using a soap dispenser. The chosen dispenser has a stone effect similar to the bathroom style that the dispenser is going to be placed in, where the sink unit is mahogany wood, the sink itself is white ceramic and the taps chrome. With such a variety of colours we tried to create a random pattern effect using colours to compliment the unit and it’s surroundings. To achieve this we started off playing around with different colours of various shades of brown, gold, silver, grey, white and the marble fusion concepts to come up with a suitable pattern.
You can see above part of the final pattern decided upon using ss16 (4mm) crystals which include the colours: Golden Shadow (001 GSHA), Bronze Shade (001 BRSH), White Opal (234), Crystal Light Chrome (001 LTCH), Marbled Light Grey (657), Smoked Topaz (220).
Equipment used for this tutorial
- Isopropyl Alcohol also called Rubbing Alcohol which is used for degreasing the rubber toe and removing any dust. (available on ebay which is where we get ours). OPTIONAL EXTRAS
- Clean Cotton Cloth/hanky/tea towel for applying the Isopropyl alcohol.
- Ruler - For marking line height.
- Tape Measure - For marking up guide line.
- Fine Pencil For drawing guide line.
- Flatback Non Hotfix Crystals – For this tutorial I have used ss16 flatback crystals along with ss12 for filling in any gaps. (available here)
- Flatback Fusion Concepts – For this tutorial I have used ss16 ceramic fusion concepts. (available here)
- Cocktail Stick which is a small wooden stick with a sharp point at both ends, they are usually used to skewer food or decorations and can be purchased from any supermarket.
- Soap Dispenser - To Crystallize.
- Gemtac Adhesive which is a strong craft adhesive that’s white when applied but dries clear and is non toxic. (available here)
- Crystal Katana Tool for applying non hotfix flatback crystals which is a really nice tool to use for all crystal sizes (available here)If you are on a tight budget or are only looking to use the tool once we also have a cheaper tool available which you can use called the Jewel setter (available here)
1. Firstly you need to work out your pattern/design for crystallizing with (see above).
2. Lay out your crystals on your flat surface faceted side up in groups of colour or size for easy access.
3. Clean the surface of the dispenser using rubbing alcohol and a clean cotton cloth to remove any dirt or grease from the area that’s going to be crystallized. (If you don’t have rubbing alcohol (Isopropyl Alcohol) you can just use some water and a clean cloth to rid the surface of any dirt or dust. Use a small amount of washing up liquid if the surface is greasy but make sure it’s all completely removed with water before crystallizing).
4. Using a ruler/marked stick and a fine pencil mark off a height for your starting point (making small pencil marks).
5. Place your flexible tape measure around the soap dispenser at the points marked off with your ruler and draw a starting line around the dispenser using your sharp pencil.
6. Add a small amount of adhesive along the line using your cocktail stick. For this tutorial we have used Gemtac Glue which is white when applied but dries clear and is very easy to work with.
7. Using your crystal katana/applicator tool pick up your first crystal and place onto the adhesive cantering the crystal to the line (if you align the crystals to the top or bottom of the line you will see the pencil line through any gaps). Once you are happy with the position use the chrome end of the katana tool to firmly press the crystal into the adhesive to ensure you get a good bond.
8. Continue adding crystals and firmly securing them into the adhesive along the guide line.
9. You can see the pattern slowly starting to form above golden shadow, bronze shade, white opal and then light chrome.
10. Next come the ceramic fusion concepts being added to the line.
11. The last colour in our design is the smoked topaz before we start repeating the pattern over again.
12. As we come to closing up the gap you may need to change the pattern slightly so that you don’t end up with an extra block of the same colour.
13. The line is nearly closed but there is one small gap that’s slightly too small for an ss16 (4mm crystal).
14. We are going to use an ss12 (3.2mm) crystal to fill in the gap and close up the first line of crystals. If you find that the ss12 is too big for the gap either remove on of the ss16 crystals and use 2 x ss12 to complete the end of the row or space out the ss16 crystals.
15. Now we proceed to row 2 below the first row and add a small line of adhesive using a cocktail stick. The second row begins half way along the strip of our first design so that the colours are offset from the row above.
16. Start adding the Golden shadow crystals which are the first colour in our design pattern.
17. Continue adding crystals to row 3 making sure that the design is always offset from the colours above. Work your way around until you have completed row 2 closing the gap with smaller crystals if necessary. The white adhesive you can see above gemtac shrinks as it dries and turns clear as can be seen along the first row which has had some time for the glue to dry.
18. Add some adhesive for row 3 and start adding crystals making sure that the pattern is offset from the row above (row 2) or rather than having a nice (random looking) pattern you will start to get blocks of colour in the design.
19. Continue adding crystals until you close up the third row of crystals again using smaller crystals if required when it comes to the end of the row. Once the third row is complete start row four then five etc.. each time offsetting the start of the row so that the colours don’t overlap those in the row above.
20. As you can see above we have just completed row 8 and there is a nice distribution of colour throughout the rows where no colours are overlapping. You can see from this angle at the bottom right hand that it looks like the same colour is touching in three rows but the middle row is bronze shade where as the bottom and row above are light chrome. Again continue adding crystals row by row until you have completed your design.
21. Completed Swarovski Crystallized soap dispenser (see start of post for view in bathroom).
Leave the glue to dry overnight and then buff the crystals with a clean cotton cloth to remove any wax residue and ensure that all the crystals are firmly secure. Its better to have a crystal come free now and be able to secure it back into place than loose a crystal down the sink later on.