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How to Make Swarovski iphone Case Tutorial

How to Crystallize an iphone with Swarovski Crystal Elements

Image of completed Swarovski Iphone tutorial

Please note ** This tutorial has a lot of images and may take some time for the page to load.

What you will need:

How to crystallize an iphone equipment needed

1. Swarovski flatback rhinestones NON-HOTFIX: size ss5 (1.8mm), size ss7 (2.2mm), size ss9 (2.6mm), and ss12 (3.2mm). View Swarovski flatback Crystals

2. Cocktail Stick: Use a cocktail stick with a small blob of Blu-Tack on one end for picking up the small crystals.

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

4a. GS Hypo Cement: This is a medium strength craft adhesive that’s strong, easy to use and clear in colour. It should be used in a well ventilated area with a mask for protection from the harmful fumes. View GS Hypo Cement Glue

4b. 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

5. Craft Syringe: For precision application of the e6000 adhesive. Syringe can be found here

6. Blu-Tack: Piece of Blu-Tack to plug the syringe end.

7. iphone Case: To add the crystals to.

******Please Note***** You Do Not Need Both GS-Hypo Cement and e6000 For this tutorial I have used GS-Hypo Cement which is thinner than e6000, comes in a tube with a precision applicator and is easier to apply than e6000. However e6000 provides a stronger bond and the flexibility of the glue acts as a cushion between the crystals and case so if you bump the crystals they are less likely to come loose with e6000. You only need the syringe if you are using e6000. Both Adhesives have strong fumes, I used a mask for adding the hundreds of crystals to the phone as I found GS-Hypo Cements fumes to be stronger than e6000. You can purchase a half face mask from B&Q with an organic gases and vapour filter which eliminated the harmful particles and the smell.


Getting Started:

The most popular crystals for covering iphone cases are ss9 and ss12, using ss9 allows you to use more crystals and because the crystals are small they require less of the other size crystals to fill in gaps. The trade off is that they are more time consuming to apply and require more crystals than the ss12. For this tutorial I have used mainly ss12 crystals.

Rub down the iphone case surface

1. If you intend to cover the entire case you can rub down the surface lightly to give a better bond. Don’t rub down the surface otherwise as the scratches will show between any gaps in the crystals. Make sure that you wipe away any dust/particles created by rubbing down the surface with an alcohol wipe or a damp cotton cloth and leave to dry before adding crystals

Starting point

2. This is our starting point the corner by the camera hole which has the longest side.

Add adhesive to the iphone case

3. Add a small amount of adhesive to the corner, just enough for a few crystals, if you add too much glue it will dry before the crystals are added. If you are using e6000 adhesive for the tutorial view our previous tutorial to show you how to use the syringe. How to use e6000 and craft syringe

Add crystals to the iphone case

4. The first few ss12 crystals added with an ss7 at the corner point to fill the first row as neatly as possible.

First row of crystals complete

5. And that’s the first side crystallized keep the crystals close together and in a straight line just touching the edge and not overlapping it or the crystals will get knocked off when you put the phone into the case.

First row of crystals end

6. A nice neat finish to the first side again using a smaller crystal filling in the gap at the end of the row.

Continue Crystals

7. Continue working your way around the edge of the phone case to complete the first row of crystals.

Crystal alignment

8. In this tutorial we have used the offset style A. as seen above because the rhinestones are more tightly compacted together and allow more crystals to be added to the phone.

Second Row of Crystals

9. To start the second row of crystals add the 1st crystal of row 3 above and between the 2nd and 3rd crystal on the first row, the reason for this is to get a nice clean straight row, fill in the small gap which will likely take 1 x ss12 and a smaller crystal and then complete the row.

Second Row of Crystals complete

10. Second row of crystals complete on one side of the phone case.

Camera hole

11. ss7 Crystals used to circle round the case camera hole.

Finish 2nd row rhinestones

12. Continuing adding crystals to the other side of the iphone case to complete the 2nd row of crystals.

Start 3rd Row

13. Start row 3 with an ss12 crystal above the 3rd and 4th crystals in the 2nd row, then fill in the gap (2nd and 3rd crystal) and continue adding crystals to row 3.

3rd row complete

14. That’s the 3rd Row of crystals going around the sides of the case complete.

Fill in corner

15. Fill in the corner gap as above.

4th Row

16. Start the 4th row of crystals.

Complete case sides

17. Finish the 4th row of crystals to complete the sides of the case.

Mark iphone case

18. We need to create a path for adding crystals to the top face of the iphone in a straight line.

draw line across iphone case

19. Draw a line across the case face, Starting from between crystals draw a line across the face of the cover as seen above the line from between crystals (as above) so that and crystals added are also offset.

Follow line with crystals

20. Follow the line adding crystals to complete your first row.

Continue adding flatbacks

21. As each line is offset its likely you will have to fill in either side of every 2nd row with a smaller crystal.

Add crystals row by row

22. Continue adding crystals row by row, but stop before you reach the camera hole.

Continue adding crystals around the camera hole

23. Fill in the gaps around the camera hole and the curve.

Crystallize rows up to camera hole

24. Add a few more rows of ss12 crystals in neat rows as seen above but leave a gap around the edge of the camera hole and also leave out the last row.

Add the last few crystals and fill in the gap

25. Close the gap with a few more ss12 crystals and then smaller ones. Generally I would add the crystals to the remaining gap without any adhesive to see which crystals sizes are most suitable for filling the remaining hole. Once you have a nice snug pattern remove the crystals and then glue them into place.

Swarovski Elements iphone

26. Completed iphone case using Swarovski Crystal Elements (flatback, non-hotfix crystals)

How to crystallize an iphone

27. Side view of completed iphone case.

HOW MANY CRYSTALS DID I USE: 925 x ss12, 37 x ss9, 35 x ss7 and 18 x ss5.

Author : Crystal and Glass Beads

Other useful posts:

1. How to crystallize shoes
2. How to crystallize Converse Trainers
3. How to Crystallize Havaianas Flip Flops

Check Also

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This Tutorial was created by Crystal and Glass Beads. Swarovski have a style of flatbacks …


  1. Hi, How many crystals did it take to complete this please? In all sizes? x

  2. Hi I have watched all ur tutorials, can
    This be done with gem tac? I have a 4 month old baby so don’t want the harmful fumes of the other glues with him in the house or myself to b honest, cos do the masks eliminate all fumes or just some? Also this may seem very stupid question… Can u use super glue?

    • Hi Viv yes you can use gemtac but the crystals wont stay on as long as e6000 which is the best choice and doesn’t smell as bad as GS-hypo cement, with the mask on and the window open you wont smell anything and the fresh air will flush the fumes out with the mask protecting you from the chemical nasties in the glue (Make sure the baby isn’t in the same room when using any of these adhesives and that the door is closed and the window opened). Superglue also has fumes that can cause problems for some people, but most importantly the glue will ruin the crystals if you get it on their face, it can also turn white once dry and the bond easily cracks, which is why e6000’s flexibility is a big benefit.

  3. was wondering if you can help me i trieed to customise some welly boots using e6000 glue but the following day they just peeled off in a sheet?? please could you recommend a strong glue especially for rubber and preferably waterproof please…also its hard to sand areas of the boot down first because the crystals are scattered around so dont want to wreck the boots…please help xxx

    • Hi Julia

      The only other thing I can suggest is to try Shoe Goo which you can get from ebay or Amazon its made by the same company who make e6000 but its used for repairing rubber soles, tears in boots etc. You can get it in clear and it should bond perfectly with crystals and the surface of the rubber.

  4. What an excellent tutorial. While the finished product looks great it has a bit too much bling for me. But then I’m a bloke and I’m not into that sort of thing. My wife and daughter though would absolutely love it.

    • Hi Sire
      Same for me a nice black case does the job for my phone but its the same with my wife and daughter the sparklier the better.

  5. Hello, I know this is a different post but I will be encrusting my converse and other shoes etc shortly and have purchased all the tools and equipment as described. However after reading Julias comment above re her wellington boots (crystals peeled off in a sheet), will this happen with the converse (as the toe caps are rubber). Or am I right in thinking that providing the base has been filed/sanded to ensure a rough base for the sticking this shouldnt happen? Thanks!

    • Hi Hannah
      It’s been 8+ months since I did the pink converse in our tutorial and I have only lost 2 crystals to date which were easy to re apply, as long as you prep the toe correctly and use enough adhesive, the crystals are pretty much on there for good. The surface of glossy rubber wellies and converse trainers is slightly different, but for the converse if you follow the tutorial and rub down the surface and then clean away the dust and any grease with rubbing alcohol the e6000 will give a very good bond. Have ordered a pair of American flag converse so will have another tutorial online soon and will also be adding crystals to the side of the trainers.

  6. Thanks for the response! After much research and deliberating on the adhesives (and buying both glues) I’ve decided to settle with the gem tac as if a couple drop off I can always reapply but feel safer with this rather than the E6000. (Each to their own I suppose). So will be attempting my embellishing over the bank holiday. Wish me luck!

    Pretty gutted though as I ordered all the tools and equipment yesterday and after only finding your site today realise you stock everything I would’ve needed under the one roof…will bear that in mind for future! Can’t wait to see the new converse tutorial! Your tips have been a real help so thank you 🙂

    • Hi Hannah
      Good luck its nice and easy as long as you just add a few crystals at a time and follow the tutorial, the gemtac gives a good bond, but can come off in a sheet it the edge comes loose and you pull it. I use a mask to protect myself from the fumes as I use the e6000 adhesive quite frequently, it only cost a few pound from B&Q it’s a half face mask with filters to protect against vapour fumes and eliminates the nasties and the smell also which is a big plus : )

  7. hello love the tutorials, i live in the united states not the UK do you happen to know any good websites that i can order these crystals off of? im having a difficult time finding the right ones, the ones i have found either look cheap, dont shine right, or are really expensive and not sold in bulk. if anyone could help me out i would Greatly appriciate it!! 🙂 thank you.

  8. im hoping to bling out my own iphone 3s case and i have to order the e-6000 for overseas and i was wondering what size tube i should order?

    how much does it take to cover the entire case (front and back clear covers) especially since i have some larger pieces?

    Please and thank-you 🙂

    • Hi Georgii
      The 0.5oz tube should be enough for the case as it doesn’t take up much glue if you are using a syringe to apply the glue just use a small amount at a time in the syringe so that you don’t end up wasting the glue, you can always add more as needed.

  9. Hi

    This is my first time, so I am a novice in training. I am looking at decorating something unusual I suppose, as it’s not listed on here. Therefore I was wondering if you could help me please? I am looking to crystalise something like a plug socket and was wondering if you could tell me what tools I would need and the best crystals & size etc:

    • Hi Sam do you mean a standard double white plastic plug socket that’s fitted into the wall or something different? Will do a mockup for you of layout and crystal sizes if you show me which one : )

  10. Hi Khaled

    I would appreciate it if you would do a mockup for me for a standard single one, if possible. -:)

  11. Thank you for this it is very much appreciated. So now I need to place an order and just to clarify. I need the ss12, e60000 glue, how many crystals will it take to cover it? Do I need any other accessories like the one’s on the site? Something to pick up the crystals, a syringe etc?

    • Hi Sam
      You will need approximately 471 ss12 crystals this is for a socket 86mm x 86mm so you may need to adjust accordingly if the socket you have is slightly bigger or smaller. You can get away with the crystals and e6000, but a syringe will make the glue easier to apply, just keep a blob of blu-tac handy and shove the end of the syringe in the tac after you apply glue to the socket each time to prevent the glue thickening in the nozzle. You can use a jewel setter to pick up the crystals or a cocktail stick with the sharp end broken off and a bit of blu-tac on the end. You will have to send us a picture once its complete and I will post on our site : ).

  12. Hi

    Just wanted to confirm. You said the ss12 crystals, that’s fine however, would it need to be the rinestones I would need?

    Kind regards

  13. Hello, have you got a tutorial for a iPhone 4S case with a name or initials on it?


    • Hi Samantha

      I don’t sorry it will be the same as the iphone case tutorial we have apart from adding a name in crystals in the flat face and filling the gaps around the crystals. I will put up a guide showing the difference in the next few days.

  14. Thank you, I tried one with a name but just seemed very gappy. I will try again

    Samantha 🙂

    • Hi Samantha if you take a pic and send to me at info @ crystal and glassbeads.com I will have a look and tell you where you are going wrong.

  15. Hi,
    I wonder if you could tell me if the e6000 glue is also effective on larger stones like flat back pearls and cabochons on phones. Thanks

  16. Hi there, this tutorial is brilliant. Thank you so much for sharing!
    Do you have any advice for decorating a compact mirror with crystals? I have a beautiful compact mirror I would like to decorate. It is made from iron(I think) and has a shiny surface. Would you sandpaper the surface or would e6000 bond to the metal?
    Thank you,
    Mimi x

    • Hi Mimi
      I wouldn’t sandpaper the surface I would just use the glue directly but would use alcohol to wipe any grease that’s almost certainly on the surface if it’s been in use or handled as just touching the surface will leave grease marks from fingers. Will find a few metals today and test to see the result and post in the next 2 days that way I will be 100% sure the advise im giving is correct ; )

  17. Hello there,
    Firstly just let me say that this tutorial is brilliant and the phone looks fantastic.
    I wondered if you could please help. I’m looking at blinging an iPhone 4 case but just wanting to create a thick solid line with swarovski flat backs off centre. I wondered what sizes would be best and if hypo cement is best? 🙂
    Thank you,

    • Hi Ashleigh
      I have used ss12 for the tutorial as its easier to use than ss9 which are the most popular size for mobile phones where an intricate design is crystallized onto the cover, for just one colour I would stick with ss12 as they are a tiny bit bigger than the ss9 so don’t get so bogged down with the adhesive. Don’t use GS Hypo Cement as it is brittle the best adhesive is e-6000 which most people will use for mobile phones.

  18. hi were is the best place to buy the crystals from thank you

  19. I am wanting to cover a softish silicon 3D hello kitty iPhone case with the crystals, do I need to sandpaper it?

    • Hi Wenonah I wouldn’t sand a silicon case if its a soft rubbery silicon as its possible for the material to tear, if its a semi solid case yes you can give it a very light rub down the wipe with alcohol and try e6000 but im not sure how good the bond will.

  20. Hey! i want to decorate a car key like this


    i was wondering what size of crystals i need and how many? i want to use only one type of crystals and to put them closer than in the image. Thank you

    • Hi Diana
      I don’t have the same key and mine looks completely different, so have got a card reader and crystallized both sized in different patterns to show. It’s exactly the same principle you measure the area and work out the sizes you need which I would guess would range from ss5 to ss9 maximum. You can place the crystals as closely together as you wish and in the image it looks like clear crystal, crystal AB and either light or vintage rose have been used. Hope this helps. http://www.crystalandglassbeads.com/blog/2013/how-to-crystallize-a-gadget.html

  21. Hi I want to do different designs on phone cases such as initial letters. Logos ie Superman sign etc. I don’t want to do the whole case is there a way to draw the outlines or image on so I can crystalize neatly ? I’m a perfectionist lol. Help please

  22. wil you be doing tutorials on how to crystallize e a laptop and ipad case?

    • Hi Mimikul
      I haven’t got any plans at the moment, the process will be exactly the same as as the iphone case tutorial just using more crystals so you may want to go up to ss16 as the main crystal size.

  23. Perfect tutorial! This is EXACTLY what I was looking for! Two questions: did you use plain crystal or AB crystal with this? And if the case I want to decorate isn’t clear, what color would you recommend to give maximum shine to the crystals? I was told a black case is best for the contrast, but I’d like to hear your opinion. Thank you!

    • I used plain crystal for the case, I think it looks a lot classier than crystal AB and more like diamonds as crystal ab has a lot of pinks, purples and silver in them. As regards the case it would depend on if you are covering the case completely or if you want some contrast between the crystals and case. If you are completely covering the case go with the backing as close to the crystal colour as possible. For clear crystals the silver case works quite well, if you used a black case and completely covered the case but left a few gaps here and there you would see black gaps which wouldn’t look such a professional finish.

  24. What does ” no hotfix” mean?

    • Hi Ninette
      No Hoitfix means they don’t have a heat sensitive adhesive coating on the back of the crystals. Hotfix crystals usually have a foil backing with a coating over the foil, you heat up the crystals with an applicator tool and the glue melts and bonds to fabric or paper/card. They are not suitable for plastic or rubber. Non hotfix on the other hand just have the foil backing which you can use a suitable adhesive to stick the crystals to a surface. It would be worth having a read of our latest post https://www.crystalandglassbeads.com/blog/2014/flatback-crystals-guide.html Which is a guide to flatback crystals and answers lots of questions. Hope this helps

  25. Can i use super glue to make a bline phone case

    • You can but it wouldn’t be the most suitable adhesive to use, something a little more flexible would provide a better solution such as e6000, you can also use gemtac if you are worried about the fumes or araldite epoxy resin for a herd case. Super glue is brittle once dry and any bumps may cause the glue to crack it can also cloud the crystals, if you are using acrylic crystals the foil backing mat get eaten away by superglue or e6000.

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