Home / Swarovski Crystallizing tutorials / How to Crystallize Havaianas Flip Flops Tutorial – Deco Princess Test

How to Crystallize Havaianas Flip Flops Tutorial – Deco Princess Test

Swarovski Crystal Havaianas

Completed Havaianas Flipflop UK size 6/7 using 165 x Crystal ss20 (84 per side)  Swarovski Flatback Non-Hotfix Crystals Per Flip Flop. For a pair you will need approximately 330 Crystals for a pair of 6/7 UK Havaianas Flip Flops.



Havaianas have a problem bonding crystals to their rubber strap over the past few years in that the adhesive used will turn soft after a few days/weeks resulting in the crystals coming loose. We have been lucky enough to receive some Japanese Adhesives Called Deco Princess and (unbranded) GemMii glue for testing from GemMii you can find the adhesive here



The Equipment used for this test.

1. Before commencing this tutorial you will need to prep the surface which has been covered previously in our first tutorial along with all the equipment you require and an explanation. You can find the tutorial here How to Make Swarovski Crystal Flip Flops

You can find the Crystals, Jewel Setter and Adhesive used in this tutorial here: www.crystalandglassbeads.com



2. Pad out the strap we used a sock in one of our plastic grip seal bags, which prevents and fibres from going onto the glue and from the socks getting covered in glue : )



3. Apply a small amount of adhesive to the strap.



4. Spread out the Adhesive you can use the back of the jewel setter or a flat strip of card to evenly distribute the adhesive, but for this tutorial I used a spreader supplied by GemMii which is very convenient to use.



5. Using the Jewel Setter pick up your first crystal and place in the centre bottom edge of the strap.



6. And that’s the first crystal in place.



7. Continue adding crystals in the order shown above to form the template for the strap rows.



8. That’s Row 1 complete adding the bottom, middle and top crystal in that order.



9. First 3 Rows Complete, now continue adding rows of 3 crystals at a time until you complete the first half of the strap.



10. The first half of the strap complete.



11. Time to start on the opposite side of the strap.



12. Just like the first half of the strap add your first crystal (after the center row which is already complete).



13. That’s the template setup for continuing the remaining rows to complete the flip flop.



14. Row 1 complete now continue adding crystals until the second half of the strap is crystallized.



15. Complete….One Crystallized Flip Flop.


Adhesive 1.. Test Results: Deco Princess

Initially after the first few days the bond remained very strong, but by the second week after testing the crystals came loose, so Deco Princess isn’t suitable for Havaianas unfortunately although for other uses its a very nice glue to work with and I look forward to testing it on other materials.

Adhesive Strong Points:
1. It’s very easy to use. (Thicker than gemtac but not as thick as e6000, which makes it very nice to work with)
2. No Nasty Fumes. (surprisingly it actually has a pleasant smell which is unusual for an adhesive)
3. Good amount of work time before the adhesive hardens.
4. Dries Clear.
5. Strong initial bond.

Adhesive Weak Points:
1. Doesn’t work with Havaianas.


Adhesive 2.. Test Results: GemMii


This adhesive smells and acts very similar to superglue, as regards bonding it certainly sticks well, to the strap but discolours the crystals in the process even without getting any over the surface of the flatbacks. The adhesive bond is also so strong that once dry if the  strap surface is flexed it cracks the rubber making the adhesive unsuitable for Havaianas once again. .

Adhesive Strong Points:
1. Bond is extremely strong

Adhesive Weak Points:
1. Doesn’t work with Havaianas.
2. Nasty Fumes.
3. Very little work time before hardening.
4. Fumes Frost crystals surface.
5. Adesive is very thin in consistency


What’s Causing The Problem

When rubber is manufactured a chemical called Plasticizer is added to the base rubber material to make it more flexible. The plasticizer does this by lubricating the molecules of the rubber allowing them to slide by one another to achieve flexibility. So the more plasticizer the material contains the greater the rubber flexibility which is perfect for nice soft supple flip flops.

Unfortunately the base material and plasticizer used aren’t always compatible which results in a separation or migration of the plasticizer from the rubber. What this means is that the very chemical used to make the rubber flexible can seeps out of the material onto its surface. This process gradually happens over time but can be speed up by environmental conditions such as UV light, heat and compression (standing on the it), the three things that flip flops are guaranteed to be subjected to.

As the plasticizer migration occurs and the chemicals reach the surface of the rubber they get absorbed into the adhesive used to crystallize the flip flops. The plasticizer then changes the properties of the adhesive which turn soft and gummy and the crystals fall off.

Without changing the manufacturing process there are only 2 solutions to prevent the adhesive from turning soft:
1. We require a “plasticizer migration resistant adhesive”
2. To use a primer between the rubber and adhesive that prevents the migration whilst at the same time providing a strong bond between the 2 surfaces.


*** So the reason the results we have all had have differed in terms of how long the glue takes to go soft is because of the environmental conditions that the flip flops have been subjected to.  Add to this any preparation the rubber strap has been subjected too and we will see the effects of the migration most definately being sped up. ***

Where do we go form here?

So although the test was unsuccessful knowledge is power as they say and now that we know what’s causing the problem and that it’s not the fault of the adhesive, we can hopefully find a solution.

After speaking to an adhesives company I have sent off some crystals and a Havaianas flip flop for testing and fingers crossed they will be able to come up with a solution.

Please let me know what you think and if you find this post useful please share or give us a like

See Latest Post for a solution Which Glue Works on 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. we’ve found the gemtac works perfect on ours and has no cracking or issues we applied it using our signature spread formation little and often , along with a solution to remove the rubbers residue over 700 pairs sold and still looking as blingy as ever


    also the flip flop glue is just gemtac , just a heads up ahaahha

    • Hi Nella

      Thank you for the comment we had a customer asking about flip flop glue last week so I will be able to advise them that its the same as gemtac 😉 . Which solution do you find works to remove the rubber residue?

    • Hi Nella, I am looking to try the GemMii flip flop glue. How do you know it is just Gem Tac?

      • Hi No it’s not like Gemtac its more like super glue it will give a very strong bond to rubber HOWEVER if you get any over crystals it will coloud them and if the area you glue is flexed excessively the rubber may split.

  2. Hi Khaled

    Thank you so much for taking the time and effort in all these tests you are doing

    Much appreciated by us ALL!

    I have no doubt you will find the correct glue, I will keep checking back

    Thanks again

  3. What type of primer would you suggest using? Would a clear coat of nail polish before the glue possibly work? I have tested out almost every glue on the market and deco princess seems to be a great product except for your review about it loosening after so long. Thanks for your help!

    • Hi Ericka
      There are industrial primers which are used in industry that come in large volumes, finding one for the craft market is a lot more difficult. Its basically a barrier coating that bonds to the rubber surface but prevents any chemical from passing through so the glue doesn’t go soft. There are lots on the market but none suitable for our purpose that I have found yet unfortunately.

    • Did you try clear nail varnish?

  4. Hi, can I also ask what you used to make the crystals stay on? As I used Gemtac and they didn’t last very long, the crystals slid after after just a few wears :o( x

    • Hi Zoe
      There isn’t any other solution at present of all the tests gemtac lasts the longest but all adhesives will go soft because of the chemicals that leak out of the rubber, I have sent samples to 2 adhesives companies but I haven’t had any positive feedback from them yet.

  5. I want to glue non hotfix flatback crystals to a metal gadget that has a sphere shape; rounded edges. Is it best to use thicker glue’ to account for the curves, or should I just glue normally? TY!

    • Hi Susan If the sphere is big enough in comparison to the crystals so that the back of the crystals are flat against the wall of the sphere the adhesive thickness won’t matter (unless you drop the sphere, then the tick flexible adhesive will act as a cushion on impact). If on the other hand the crystal foil backing only partly touches the sphere wall (with a gap around the crystal base edges) using a thick adhesive will padd/fill in the gaps and provide some cushioning which will help when it comes to adding the crystals and also if the sphere takes a knock it will absorb some of the impact. Hope this helps

  6. Hi
    Is there any update on the glue probs on tgd havainans had anyone found done results where the glue stays And not ruin the crystal

    • Hi Carol
      All adhesives will go soft because of the chemical that bleeds from the rubber unless it has a anti plasticizer included, which only industrial adhesives currently have which I haven’t been able to find one that suits our purpose.

  7. Hi Khaled,

    I have to strongly DISAGREE with you about GemMii. From the photo you posted it looks like you used way TOO MUCH glue. Per the instructions the come with the glue (and on their website), you should use only a TINY dab per crystal. I have used this glue with great success on Havaianas (no crystal clouding, strong bond) but you have to used a tiny bit and follow their recommendations.

    Thanks for listening to a second opinion.

    • Hi Avery
      The clouding wasn’t from the GemMii adhesive it was from the superglue style adhesive they also sell, the GemMii adhesive was nice to work with but does go soft the same as any other glue due to the chemicals that leak from the Havaianas rubber. I did give the superglue another try but found that the rubber split when bent after gluing, but as you said its possible I also used too much adhesive the second time so will try once more with spot application and see how I get on.

  8. Hi Khaled,
    I’m guessing, from reading the latest comments, that things haven’t changed and an alternative adhesive for Havianas is still be found? Such a shame, as constantly being asked to supply the crystallized havianas. Will keep my eye on here just in case anything moves on and someone can come to the rescue!

  9. Hi Khaled,
    Is there any updates on the adhesive. I was wanting to give crystalized havaianas out to my birthday guests on holiday in a few weeks time. Not sure if to go ahead with this idea after researching which glue to use.

  10. marla c barton

    Here it is flip flop season and I still have not found a solution to the Havaianas / Glue problem! Anyone ? Can you help?

    • Hi Marla
      Have found no solution for the Havaianas possible some readers can suggest alternative brands that are popular.

  11. I have a pair of brown havaianas that had swarovski crystals on part of the strap, not the whole strap and not completely covered. The crystals were attached using E6000 glue. I’ve worn these for a little over a year and have not lost a single crystal. In fact, the strap broke and I wanted to remove the center piece and re-use it on a new pair but I couldn’t get it off and I had to struggle to get any of the crystals off. I will always use E6000 with havaianas because it works awesome!

    • Hi Felicia
      You are very lucky the bond is good most people now find that e6000 will go soft after a few days/weeks and turn like chewing gum. As regards removing the adhesive you can use nail varnish remover.

  12. Hi

    Firstly, thank you for your great tutorials and glue testing.

    Secondly, I’ve been asked to bling Havianas (despite my suggesting other brands it still seems Havianas remain the flip flop of choice). One tutorial I have read suggests a hot glue gun. Before I waste crystals and time I wondered whether you (or anyone else) had heard if this works. Thank you.

    • Hi Janet
      Generally hot glue is used for paper, card, wood etc but you can get glue sticks for rubber which are made from pure acrylic resin, I haven’t tried this adhesive as the drying time is only 60 seconds which doesn’t give you much time to position your crystals, but theoretically it should work. I don’t know if it will suffer from the same softening issues as other adhesives but if you do try please keep me posted and I can advise others and possibly look into a hot glue adhesives test.


  13. What type of primer should I buy?
    & a few people have mentioned hot glueing. Have you tried that as well? Thank you

    • Hi Lacey I haven’t tried hot gluing, the problem with the flip flops isn’t the adhesive used it’s the rubber, it bleeds out the chemical that makes the rubber flexible which ultimately means when it gets absorbed into the adhesive it turns it like chewing gum. The only way to prevent this is to use a primer barrier that prevents the chemical from reaching the glue or to use a glue that has a resistance towards plasticizer migration, neither of which have I been able to find in small quantities suitable for supplying customers. They use this a lot in industry especially for cars but I have been unable to find a supplier in the UK, Europe of the USA.

  14. Any updates with a solution for the crystals not staying on the flip flops?

  15. Hi I just wrote you in another blog comment section that a might have found the glue solution!!!!!! Wrapping the flip flops (I like Old Navy) in ribbon. Can you please read it and tell me where I can read your comment. I am so excited I might be on to something but still having a few issues!! Your help is greatly appreciated. Hopefully we can get this problem solved and share it with the members!!


    • Have you tried gel super glue yet Have contacted Gorilla glue and they suggested maybe to try the Gel Gorilla super glue which I shall try.

  16. I think I tried it I remember it being like crazy glue and Gemmi glue. I dont like it worked. What to you think of the ribbon idea???

    • Hi Amy
      It will have the same problem if you glue the ribbon onto the rubber, it’s the rubber itself that causes the glue to go soft, it will also cause the glue holding the ribbon to soften. It will work however if you are able to stitch the ribbon onto the strap or staple it on. Will certainly give it a try though. I know rose pins work because I have seen a pair created by someone at Swarovski.

      • I have tried the ribbon method but there are some issues that I can see:
        1. The ribbon edges will eventually fray unless you seal them.
        2. Glue melts that is holding the ribbon in place.
        3. I tried stapling the ribbon which works well, one staple either side, this may be an issue as sweat and water will cause the staple to rust.
        4. I used white ribbon on a white flip flop and the inside of the ribbon will get dirty very quickly from suntan lotion, sweat, chlorine etc.

        On the upside the crystals did stick to the ribbon with both gemtac and e6000.

        Im trying some glues in the next few days which hopefully one will work and I will keep you posted.

  17. Hi,

    What are Rose Pins, do you use them to attach ribbon to flip flops? I know you can’t sew thru the thick rubber of a flip flop I already tried. Do you have a pic of a Rose pin you can post?


  18. Hi again,

    I looked at the rose pins. U saw someone at Swarovski do a whole par of flip flops in them? Or just use one to hold the ribbon down? If they did the whole flip flop in rose pins was it hard to place the pins in the flip flop? How many ss16 would fit across? Or do you use SS20s? Do u do it without the ribbon. Does the rose pin rust on the flip flop? Is this a real solution to the glue problem?


    • Hi Amy
      I have had another solution from Swarovski today, but just need to find out where I can get the items from. The crystals are stuck to a plastic mesh which is stitched onto the flip flop strap. This will solve the problem if I am able to source the components. Also have a number of adhesives which Im testing there is always hope that one will work so fingers crossed. The rose pins will work but need costly equipment to set them which I would rather find another alternative that’s more cost effective.

  19. Thanks Khaled for getting back to me so quick!!

    I looked up videos on the rose pins and saw the hand tool and dye setter you have to use and the company says you can’t get the crystals very close if you use the hand tool!!! U would only be able to fit 1 SS16 or SS20 stone across the strap and about and 1/2 apart from each other. It is about $100 for both tools. Is this the tool you are taking about? I want to be able to place the stone right next to each other but if this is the only way I can do it i might try it. But it looks like if you miss set a stone the whole flip flop will be ruined!!

    The mesh sounds interesting if you can make your own pattern of stones. Does it come in only fixed stone colors and patterns on the mesh? And how much stitching is needed and with what. It is very hard to get a needle thru the rubber I tried!!!

    Thanks again!!

    • Hi Amy

      The mesh and stones are separate from the info Swarovski provided me they attached the stones to the mesh and then stitched the mesh onto the flip flop straps. I would imagine you can also get the same result by stitching the net first and then gluing on the stones. I just need to get some feedback on the mesh, fingers crossed it will be a good solution.

  20. Klaled,

    The Mesh thing sounds and hard. I hope it works out but I rather we could just find a glue that works!! LOL!!!! I am going to have to resort to the rose pin method. You send I could send pics and questions to the email addy info@crystalandglassbeads.com is that correct. Is that you. Will you answer as fast as you answer here? I want to send pics and questions offline before we know if it works!!!!

    • Hi Amy would hold off on the rose pins for the next week as I hope I have an adhesive that will work fingers crossed.

  21. Khaled,

    That would be great if you really found a glue that really works!!!! I tried the special glue Gemmi from Deco Princess and was only able to get two perfect pairs out of it before it showed the signs of frosting the stones!! 🙁

    Please post here as soon as you know if the glue you have really works!!!! Flip flop Season is fast approaching let’s hope we have a solution!!!!!


    • Hi Amy
      Deco princess definitely works but I also had the same problem of the crystals frosting. Having spoken to the lady who sells the adhesive she advised that if applied carefully applying a tiny dot of glue for each crystal the problem of the crystals frosting and the rubber cracking should be avoided.

  22. Hi Khaled,

    Any results from the glue you were testing last week?


  23. Ok, Please keep us posted!!


  24. Hi Khaled,

    Hate to be a pain but did you get a chance to try the glues on the flip flops yet? 🙂


  25. Hi.did you tray the Swarovski crystal two part epoxy glue?thanks Rita

    • Hi Rita
      I haven’t had some work to do on the site the past few weeks but back on the case now should have some results in a few days.

  26. Hi. I was looking for which glue to use and stumbled upon this. Have you found a glue yet that doesn’t go soft?

    • Hi Adrienne
      Have tested a few over the past few weeks but no success and still have others to test, so I keep hoping that I will find one.

  27. Hi Khaled
    Any news if you have a solution on the glue to use on the havainas ??

  28. Hi Khaled
    please I have tried the E6000 glue on the havaina but after a few days or maybe a week
    it just peeled off

    what is the best glue do you recommend
    please reply asap
    thanks heaps




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