Which Glue Works on Havaianas Flip Flops?
This Tutorial was created by Crystal and Glass Beads. All of the adhesives used for bonding crystals to havaianas flip flops we have previously tested tend to go soft after a short period of time, the duration being affected by exposure to the sun, heat and usage. From countless hours spent online looking at various adhesives we have come up with four more glue’s which we hope will provide a solution for crystallizing Havaianas Flip Flops with Swarovski Flatback Crystals.
Equipment used for this test
- 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).
- Clean Cotton Cloth/hanky/tea towel for applying the Isopropyl alcohol.
- Craft Knife - For removing the Havaianas logo.
- Emery Cloth/Sand Paper - For lightly scuffing the strap.
- Flatback Non Hotfix Crystals - For this test I have used aquamarine and light turquoise ss16 flatback crystals but generally for adult Havaianas I would use size ss20. (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.
- Havaianas - Flip Flop for testing adhesives on.
- Adhesives - Being tested are 4 adhesives.
- 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)
- Socks - Pair of socks in a bag for padding out the strap.
1. Using your craft knife carefully shave off the ‘HAVAIANAS’ logo so that the raised surface is flush with the flip flop strap (Please don’t do this unless you have adult supervision as these knives are very sharp).
2. Pad out the strap so that it won’t buckle/bend when we are adding adhesive or crystals. For this we have used a sock inside a plastic bag to ensure that no fibres get into the adhesive or so that no adhesive sticks the sock to the strap.
3. Lightly buff/scratch the surface of the Havaianas strap which gives a better bonding surface for the adhesive than applying glue to a smooth surface.
4. Now we are going to clean the strap. Dab some rubbing alcohol onto a clean cotton cloth and wipe away any grease/rubber particles or dust from the straps surface.
5. The first adhesive we are going to test is Power Flex Gel Super Glue made by Loctite. The description says that it’s and extra strong rubber-infused formula for flexible bonds, ideal for strong and highly flexible applications on rubber, plastic and many other surfaces.
- Water resistant
- Easy grip squeeze bottle for maximum control
- Non-drip for vertical application
- Holds heavy loads
- Bonds in seconds
- Suitable for use on most surfaces
- Dries transparent for invisible bonds
- Solvent free
- Self-piercing & anti-clog cap
6. The adhesive is a little tricky to open (I didn’t read the instructions correctly) once open if you press the sides too many times the glue floods out and won’t stop. So if you use this adhesive open the seal correctly and then just press once squeezing a small amount of glue onto a piece of card to work from just to be on the safe side. Super Glue Power flex is very thin/watery in consistency so will run when it comes out of the tube despite it being a gel. The smell is very strong and the crystals do tend to slide a bit when applied so make sure that the strap is flat before adding any adhesive or crystals. It dries very quickly but there is enough time for positioning the crystals on the strap.
7. Using a cocktail stick apply a tiny amount of adhesive in a line to the centre of the strap and add three crystals using the Katana/applicator tool. Position the crystals and press them gently into the adhesive as there is quite a short working time with super glue. Unlike e6000 the crystals do tend to slide a little as the glue is water like but dries very rapidly so this isn’t a major issue.
8. Add more adhesive and place three more crystals to form a triangle which will be the starting point for the continuing crystal rows (have used aquamarine crystals above).
9. Continue adding small amounts of adhesive and then crystals. For the purpose of this test we have worked in blocks of 9 crystals then alternated the colour between aquamarine and light turquoise.
10. The second adhesive we are going to test is Gorilla Super Glue impact-tough formula that is quick drying and reinforced with rubber for increased impact resistance. On a number of tests I have seen online this adhesive offers the strongest bond when compared with the other various super glue’s on offer from the major glue manufacturers.
- Water resistant
- Non-drip gel
- Gives a very strong bond
- Bonds in seconds, no clamping necessary
- Suitable for use on most surfaces
- Dries transparent for invisible bonds
- Working temperature -40°C to 93°C
- Anti-clog cap
11. Add some adhesive to the flip flop strap, it’s a gel so doesn’t drip, is easy to spread and won’t flood out of the tube like the Loctite super glue does. Gorilla Super glue comes in a thin tube and is a lot easier to control the flow of glue from the tube than the power flex adhesive. The tube itself has a thin nozzle and the gel is a lot thicker than the previous adhesive tested which in turn for our purpose makes it a lot easier to use. Again the fumes are very strong much like the Loctite glue so you will need to use next to a window to get a good flow of air or use a mask. Much like the power flex it dries very quickly but has plenty of time for positioning the crystals.
12. You can see the crystals have gone on easily with plenty of time for adjustments for getting it just right (for this test I haven’t been particularly concerned about accuracy).
13. The third adhesive tested is Stormsure which is a flexible adhesive used for fixing leaks, rips and tears in wetsuits, waterproofs, footwear, inflatables etc…. It has lots of good reviews online and would seem the perfect adhesive for the purposes of bonding crystals to a rubber surface.
- Seven year shelf life
- Highly abrasion resistance
- Slow curing
- Bonds virtually all flexible materials
- Very strong
- Remains flexible and incredible tough
14. Squeeze a small amount of the adhesive from the tube ready to apply to the flip flop strap.
15. Using a cocktail stick apply the adhesive to the strap. Stormsure is similar to e6000 but a little thinner in consistency so is easy to spread with a cocktail stick. Much like the previous 2 adhesives it has a very strong smell so will need to be used in a well ventilated area. Like e6000 the crystals stick to the adhesive and release easily from the applicator tool so will be easy to work with if using large amounts of crystals.
16. That’s the crystals applied. NOTE** I did find that when I continued onto testing the next adhesive the crystals started to slide a little so had to be repositioned them (which was easily done) so be aware that it’s a slow curing adhesive and crystals may slide on a vertical surface.
17. The fourth adhesive tested is Weldtite puncture repair adhesive which I have used many times over the years for puncture repair on rubber bike inner tubes. The adhesive itself is described as a fast drying vulcanising rubber solution (improves the elasticity and strength of the rubber). There is no product information unfortunately as it’s a glue meant specifically for one purpose ‘repairing punctures’ which in my way of thinking is on a rubber surface the same as a flip flop strap so is therefore worth a try ; )
18. Squeeze out a little adhesive ready for use.
19. Apply the adhesive to the strap ready for the crystals using the cocktail stick. Weldtite glue is thin in consistency and a lot runnier than the Stormsure when it comes out of the tube. All of the adhesives had a strong smell but this adhesive I found to be the strongest of the four with a very strong odour. Being a thin gel it’s very easy to apply and started to become tacky after just 2 minutes so the strap didn’t have to be held flat for long.
20. That’s all the crystals added for the purpose of the test (At this point as previously mentioned I did have to go back and reposition the Stormsure crystals as they had slid a little).
21. With all the crystals added we then need to leave the adhesives to cure and see if any of them suffer from the soften problem loosening the crystals from the strap.
22. You can see from the picture above the adhesives used and the position of the crystals they have been bonded with.
23. We have waited for four weeks and checked the crystals each week to see if they soften see the chart above. After the fourth week the crystals were rubbed over with a cloth repeatedly to see if any crystals come loose. The flip flops were then worn for a day to see if any crystals become dislodged from the constant movement of the straps surface as it’s worn. The results being that crystals secured with the Weldtite glue lost 9 crystals but the other 3 adhesives all remained intact. At the end of the day the crystals were then rubbed over again to see if any more crystals loosened with the result being that the all of the Weldtite crystals move around but the other 3 adhesives remained firmly intact. So it’s safe to say we have finally found a solution to the Havaianas problem. I will continue to leave the flip flops exposed to the sun and check the adhesive for another 4 weeks updating the post if there is any change on the findings.
6 Week update: The Weldtite adhesive has started to yellow slightly from constant exposure to UV light. The Gorilla and Loctite glue crystals are still firmly attached.
If you find the post useful we would be very much appreciated it if you could give the post a like and share the results. Thanks for reading and if you have any other success stories please let us know..