What you will need:
a. Swarovski flatback rhinestones NON-HOTFIX: size ss5(1.8mm), ss7(2.2mm), ss9(2.6mm), ss12 (3.2mm) and ss16 (4mm) for this tutorial the main crystals for the stripes and outer edge are ss12. View Swarovski Non-Hotfix Flatbacks also called rhinestones.
b. 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
c. Sand Paper / Emery board: You will either require a small piece of fine sandpaper or an emery board.
d. 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
e. Piece of cotton cloth / hanky: Cotton is ideal because it doesn’t leave fibres behind when you wipe a surface.
f. Orange stick: Small wooden stick used for pushing back cuticles.
g. Isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol): Used for degreasing a surface by removing any traces of oil and grease and dries very quickly.
h. Converse Hi-Tops: To add the crystals to.
i. Pen or Pencil: To draw the template for the star and stripes.
1. Give the rubber toe surface a good rub with the sand paper / emery board to roughen it up. Once the surface has been prepared it will provide a much better platform for the adhesive to bond with.
2. i. Wipe the rubbery powder from the toe.
ii. With a Clean dust free part of the cotton cloth clean the surface of the toe with some alcohol to remove any grease, oil or dust. Because the fluid is alcohol it will dry very quickly and leave no residue.
Creating The Star Toe
1. To create the star you can use a stencil if you have one or as I did for this tutorial printed out a star on card, then cut it out and used as a template for drawing the star.
You can use a sharp pencil to draw the star or a pen, for this tutorial I used a permanent marker which turns out not to be permanent on Converse rubber and will smudge if you get it wet. To prevent the pen from running you will need to completely cover the surface of the toe with adhesive when adding the crystals to seal a protective waterproof layer over the ink.
In the first image you can see a nice clean star which I left to dry and then stupidly thought, I will just test to see if the pen is actually permanent so wet my finger and proceeded to rub the blue which made a real mess. I has to clean it all off and start again and as you can see in the next image the star is no longer crisp and the white has pale blue smudges : (
A nice tip I had from a customer is to draw the shape in pencil, then space out the crystals and fill in any gaps with a very fine colour glitter.
2. Using Clear Non-Hotfix flatbacks starting adding crystals at one of the star points and work inwards.
3. Continue working your way around the star points adding crystals to fill the gap using various sized crystals.
4. Once the points are crystallized keep working your way to the centre closing the gap until the star is completely covered with crystals.
5. Starting at the top corner add some e6000 then start to add crystals along the top edge of the toe (only add enough adhesive for a few crystals at a time as e6000 dries fairly quickly). The blue crystals used in the tutorial are Swarovski Cobalt which is an electric blue and the main size used along the outer edge is ss12 (3.2mm) with ss5, ss7, ss9 and ss16 to fill in any gaps.
6. Fill in the gap between the top row of crystals and the star you will need a variety of crystal sizes unless you decide to fill in the gaps with glitter.
7. Add crystals along the outline of the star with Cobalt crystals to get a nice clean edge and then proceed to fill in all the gaps.
8. One complete Star toe.
Creating The Stripe Toe
9. Draw the red stripes. If you only have one or two crystal sizes to work out the width of the stripe set out a row of crystals on a flat surface then add a second, third and fourth row of crystals. You will only need 5 or 6 crystals in each row then offset each row so that the crystals sit between the crystals in the previous row. Once you have the 4 rows complete measure their width and use as a guide for drawing the first red stripe. You can then do the same for measuring the clear crystal stripe so that there are no large gaps. To Draw the lines I used a soft plastic tape measure.
10. Add the first row of red crystals along the edge of the stripe the crystals used are Light Siam which is a vibrant pillar box red.
11. As you can see in the image each row of crystals are offset to cover as much of the toe surface as possible. Either the first row or offset rows will require a smaller crystal at each of the outer edges to fill in any gaps.
12. Once the red stripe is complete start adding clear crystals for the white stripe one row at a time until the white stripe is complete and then fill in the red gap at the end of the toe. The tip of the toe will require a range of crystal sizes to tightly fill in the gap.
13. Once completed stripe toe.
14. The finished Pair of Swarovski Hi-Top All Star Converse. Leave for 24 hours to dry then give a spray with canvas shoe waterproofing spray.