What you will need:
1. Swarovski flatback rhinestones NON-HOTFIX: size ss9 (2.6mm), ss12 (3.2mm), ss16 (4mm), ss20 (5mm), ss30 (6.5mm) and ss40 (8.6mm). View Swarovski flatback Crystals
2. 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
3. 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
4. Craft Syringe: For precision application of the adhesive. Syringe can be found here
5. Bluetack: Piece of Bluetack to plug the syringe end.
6. Orange stick: Small wooden stick used for pushing back cuticles.
7. High heel shoes: To add the crystals to.
1. Squeeze a small amount of glue into the syringe (don’t fill the syringe as seen in the image below), you can always add more as required. The syringe can be used again if cleared out after use otherwise any adhesive left in the syringe will thicken if left overnight and set after two or three days.
2. Once the syringe and adhesive have been assembled poke the end of the syringe tip into the Blue Tack which will prevent the glue from setting. An alternative to BlueTack is to dampen a piece of kitchen roll and place into the bottom of a cup, the syringe can then be placed into the cup where the damp kitchen towel will help to prevent the adhesive in the tip from curing/thickening. Each time you finish applying adhesive to a crystal embed the tip back into the BlueTack or place in the cup with the tip pointing down.
3. Get the various sized crystals ready by placing them faceted side up onto a clean dry surface ready for use.
4. Using the Jewel setter pick up the first crystal by gently touching the crystals faceted face with the wax bud tip. Please Note * The wax sometimes leaves small amounts of wax on the rhinestone crystal, leave until the adhesive is dry then it wipes off.
5. Squeeze a small amount of adhesive onto the foiled side of the crystal (back of the crystal).
6. Place the crystal into position on the shoe, use the orange stick to release the crystal from the jewel setter wax bud. Once the crystal is on the shoe surface press down on the crystals faceted face with the flat surface of the orange stick for 4-5 seconds to allow the adhesive to bond with the shoe surface. The shoe in this tutorial is suede which means that failure to press the crystals down firmly will result in the adhesive just bonding to the crystals foil surface and falling off the shoe.
7. When you press down of the crystal adhesive it will squeeze out from around the sides of the crystal which can then be removed with the pointed tip of the orange stick. Using the pointed tip scrape around the outer edge of the rhinestone in a circular motion and any adhesive will come free and stick to the orange stick. Wipe the excess glue removed from the jewel setter tip with a piece of kitchen roll, not toilet paper as the fibres will stick to the jewel setter tip and transfer to the glue.
8. Continue adding crystals of varying sizes to the shoe surface by repeating steps 5-7, you can alter the size of the gap between the crystals to suit your design. The smaller the gap between the various size crystals, the more crystals the design will take. Notice how the crystals look dull, don’t worry about this as its just wax and can be cleaned off the crystals once the adhesive is dry.
9. Once the base of the shoe is complete it’s time to start on the heel, this is where the ss9 and ss12 crystals come in handy for the bottom of the heel especially the curved surface.
10. Start with the smaller crystals at the bottom of the heel ss9, ss12 and ss16.
11. ss20 Crystals can be added to the edge of the heel but not the curve until higher up on the heel.
12. As the heel gets thicker you can start to introduce ss30 to the design.
13. Continue adding crystals a few ss40 crystals can be added to the top part of the heel and the completed heel can be seen below.
14. Once the adhesive is dry remove any wax from the crystals with a soft dry cloth and the sparkle will return to the crystals.
15. One complete shoe…… You can alter the spacing between the crystals to suit the look you require.
You can find all the crystals, adhesive and the syringe required for the tutorial here…
Author : Crystal and Glass Beads
Other useful posts:
1. How to crystallize shoe heels cover the heel completely
2. How to crystallize Converse Trainers
3. How to Crystallize Havaianas Flip Flops
Going to add crystals to my high heels can I use gemtac as Im woried about the e6000 fumes and if so will it work in the syringe?
Gemtac should be fine on Suede, I have tried it on leather and it gives a very good bond so yes it should be fine.
What glue do you recommend for mobile phone cases? Also do you recommend the same prep of buffing with sandpaper? Thanks
I will be putting up an iphone tutorial later on today. e6000 is definitely the best adhesive, have tried GS-Hypo cement, which is easier to use as its a little thinner but not as strong as e6000. As regards the cover if it’s very shiny I would recommend giving a light rub down if you are covering the entire case, if not then no as you will see scratches on the case, either way the bond should be pretty strong.
Would this work with hot fix?
Hi Viv yes depending on the material it will work with hotfix if its a fabric shoe but hotfix isn’t good with leather. If the shoe is leather or suede I would opt for e6000 or gemtac which provides a really strong bond on leather (haven’t tried on suede yet but the gemtac on leather is stronger than e6000).
For the look you have created. How many crystals of each size are required?
Have counted and approximately give or take a few crystals Per shoe the count is:
ss40 x 11 Crystals
ss30 x 40 Crystals
ss20 x 110 Crystals
ss16 x 130 Crystals
ss12 x 60 Crystals
ss9 x 40 Crystals
Hiya, do you have any tips on how to clean the syringe after use?
I have had a nightmare!
I try to only use a small amount of glue in the syringe at a time and after I have finished using I plug the end with a ball of Blu-Tac. If I don’t finish what’s in the syringe by the end of the 2nd day I squeeze out all the contents and then blow air through the syringe a few times to clear the nozzle, you can clean out the syringe with Hot water if the nozzle is starting to clog. When I use the syringe next I just peel the coating off the black plug and blow some air through the tip to make sure there are no dry bits of glue in the nozzle and use again. Hope this helps. If you leave glue in the syringe and don’t plug the end it will set solid by the next day, it took me 3 syringes to work that out ; )
Have you ever covered an entire shoe? I’m looking at doing it on a pair of wedding shoes and wondered if you had any tips?
Hi Leanne Covering a wedding shoe will be pretty much the same as the shoe tutorial where you will use a variety of sizes to fill the gaps, you will need at least 3 different sizes to achieve this but its worth having a small pack of the really small sizes just for tiny gaps. As regards covering the whole surface you will be able to cover most of the surface but occasional you will come across a tiny gap where its not possible to fill unless you are very lucky. Even the Swarovski wedding shoes sold in the shops have small gaps all over the shoe where the pattern didn’t quite fit seamlessly. You will need either e6000 or gemtac glue, a jewel setter or if you are opting for small crystals a cocktail stick with a bit of blu-tac on the end and 3 or more crystal sizes. ss16, ss12 and ss20 are a nice size to use, you can go down to ss9 but I wouldn’t go smaller with one of my main crystal sizes as its a pain to keep the crystals from getting swamped with adhesive especially if you use the e6000 glue. You will still use smaller crystals here and there if required but only sparingly. The other alternative is to use one crystal size and add the crystals in rows which doesn’t look as nice for the whole shoe but you can see the effect here http://www.crystalandglassbeads.com/blog/2012/how-to-crystallize-shoes.html If you have any further questions just let me know.
Would this work on Satin shoes? Or should I use a different glue?
Hi Néna you can use gemtac, e6000 or hotfix crystals on Satin fabric I would think that e6000 would give a slightly stronger bond than gemtac its worth having a look at choosing the best glue for crystals and fabric post
Hi is the shoe count per shoe or a pair of shoes? X
Hi Shelly Its per shoe toe.
Hii, great tutorial, can i ask where you got those shoes from as im looking for a pair of those in that egsact colour and cant find them any where :/
Hi Megi They are made by schuh there are quite a few places you can buy them online, if you are not in a hurry search for pink suede schuh which you can often get for about £7 from bidding 😉
So what do you call that colour^?
Hi Megi It’s called Pale Pink, on ebay you find it under pink suede but to me it looks like a Pale Pinky/Beige.
Okay thanks for your help 🙂
I am looking at covering a full size 6 peep toe shoe. Do you know how many crystals I would need to get approx? Also should I be using ss16, ss12 and ss09 non hot fix crystals?
It would depend on the surface if it’s a fabric then you can use hotfix or non hotfix crystals, if it’s suede or leather I would opt for non-hotfix. Which size crystals you use will very much depend on the desired look, the 3 crystal sizes you have chosen will work well together, but if you are trying to get a bubble like effect it may be worth using a few larger crystals in with the mix. We have completed the whole shoe in crystals and will update the image on the tutorial in the next few days (Just need some good lighting to take a picture).
hi just wondering if you had to do anything to the heel and platform , like clean or sand it, in order for the crystals to adhere??
It would depend on the surface if its suede then no just make sure it’s fluff free and for leather if it’s been polished de grease the leather, which will strip all the shine from it so be careful and only do this if you intend to cover the complete surface. We have an update of the crystal shoe where the complete shoe has been crystallized, will add the image as soon as I get a chance.
Thank you for getting back to me. The shoe is pain-tent leather effect so I will go with the non-hot fix crystals. Look forward to seeing the new tutorial.
Can you give me an estimate as to how many crystals i would need to cover a full pair of shoes please. I would look to use three sizes as you recommended. Many thanks.
It would depend on the style/ shape of shoe, the size and what 3 crystal sizes you use so I wouldn’t be able to give an estimate sorry, but the main size I would guess would use at least 1 wholesale pack or more for the 2 shoes. Will try my best to upload the pic of the completed shoe so you can see the end result with a few different sizes.
Hi I’m wanting to cover just the heels of a pair of ladies size 8 shoes..there red suede and I was going to cover them in the same way as you have above. How many of each size crystal would you recommend to do a pair of shoes? Thank you
The simple answer is that I don’t know sorry it would very much depend on the heel style and which size crystals you intend to use.
Which glue works best on patent leather? Is it necessary to prep the shoe? Thank you.
Hi Dee Gemtac is supposed to work on Patent Leather but I haven’t tried it out personally see the manufacturers site http://www.beaconadhesives.com/cggem-tac.html
I am trying to bling out several things, but mainly high heels of all kinds. I have learned a lot of things from your blog and tutorials…thank you. My question is about sealers and top coats. I have noticed that very rarely is a sealer or top coat mentioned to use on a finished product using crystals and gems. Should a sealer or top coat of any kind be used on things after you have attached them to your project…? I understand that the sealer could take the shine off of the crystals, however is there a sealer on the market that will not cause that to happen? Is there anything that can be used on top of crystals that provides an extra layer of protection to prevent any fall offs and act as waterproof or weather proof protection…??? All of the sealers that I have read about all say they are non yellowing…is this true on top of crystals, gems, silver jewelry pieces and any other materials that you would use to attach to a high heel for embellishing??? If there is a sealer that is specific for this type of project, would you use a glossy or a matte finish sealer? I have not tried any kind of sealer yet, but bought a pair of high heels already covered in crystals, all over (from heel to toe). The crystals keep falling off and it is driving me crazy because it seems like a top coat or sealer would solve this problem. But I am too scared to spray on anything on top of the heels. The crystals used are two sizes… one is very small and is black and the other is a=16ss in size and dark pink/reddish in color. Would color of crystals matter as far as a sealer or top coat is concerned? I am researching for my own high heel designing purposes, but also to save an awesome pair of heels that I purchased. Since I did not make the high heels, I do not know what adhesive was used on them and that could be the initial problem. I have replaced several of the missing crystals on the high heel, and I am using E6000…
Do you have any suggestions on sealers, preferred brand, and whether to buy a glossy or a matte finish if choice is available???
Thank you for your time, your research and your awesome website!!!!
Im glad some of the posts have been useful to you. I don’t know of any products that are sealed with a top coat aside from nails at salons. I will de doing a post in the next few weeks looking at nail art, the different application methods and how strong they are along with top coats looking at if they yellow, make the crystals dull etc. If a top coat was to be used it would have to be some kind of varnish nail or other so if I find it acceptable on nails I will do a test on a product to see if coating the crystals protects it and prologues it’s life. As regards heels sometimes gemtac is a good choice for fabric surfaces over e6000 because it seeps into the fibres to give a stronger bond where e6000 only stays on the surface, for smooth surfaces both adhesives work well.
What about satin shoes? what glue would you recommend? 🙂
You can use gemtac or e6000 on satin shoes although my preference is gemtac because it’s self levelling so shrinks back flat if you are a little over generous when applying the glue.