How to Add Rhinestones to a Dress: A Step-by-Step Guide

Adding rhinestones to a dress is an easy and creative way to elevate any outfit. With the right supplies, anyone can create a stunningly embellished look with their own two hands!

Rhinestones are available in various sizes, colors and shapes so you have endless possibilities for customization.

Whether you’re looking for something subtle or over-the-top glitzy, adding rhinestones to your dress will give it that extra sparkle needed to stand out from the crowd.

Read on as we discuss types of rhinestone options available, how best prepare your garment before applying them and steps on how add these dazzling stones yourself – all while keeping your dress safe during its transformation process!

Table of Contents:

Types of Rhinestones

Flatback rhinestones are the most common type of rhinestone and can be used for a variety of projects, from clothing to arts and crafts. They come in a wide range of sizes, shapes, colors, and finishes.

Flatback rhinestones have a flat back that allows them to be easily glued onto fabric or other surfaces with craft glue or hot glue. The advantage of this type is that it’s easy to apply and remove if needed.

However, they may not stay put as well as other types due to their lack of secure backing.

Hotfix rhinestones are also popular for clothing applications because they require no additional adhesive; instead, they use heat-activated adhesives on the backside which bond when heated with an iron or special tool.

This makes them ideal for quick application without having to wait for glue to dry before wearing your garment.

Hotfix stones come in various sizes and colors just like flatbacks but offer more security since the adhesive bonds directly with the fabric once applied correctly.

Sew-on rhinestones are another option for those looking for something more permanent than hotfix stones or flatbacks secured with craft glue or hot glue.

These stones have small metal loops on the back side which allow them to be sewn into place using thread or yarn, making them a great choice when extra security is needed, such as on dance costumes where movement could cause other types of stones to fall off over time due to wear and tear from dancing activities like jumps and spins.

Sew-on stones come in many different sizes so you can find one that fits your project perfectly.

Key Takeaway: Rhinestones are a great way to add sparkle and shine to any project, from clothing to arts and crafts. They come in various types – flatback, hotfix, and sew-on – each with their own advantages. Flatbacks are easy to apply but may not stay put as well as other types; hotfix stones require no additional adhesive; and sew-on stones offer extra security for more active projects like dance costumes.

Preparing the Dress for Rhinestone Application

Before you can begin applying rhinestones to a dress, it is important to properly prepare the fabric. This will ensure that your design looks great and lasts for years to come.

Cleaning the Fabric:

The first step in preparing a dress for rhinestone application is cleaning the fabric. It’s best to use a mild detergent and lukewarm water when washing delicate fabrics like silk or chiffon.

Make sure all soap residue has been removed before continuing with the project.

Marking the Design on the Dress:

Once you have chosen your design, mark it onto your dress using tailor’s chalk or other marking tool of choice. If possible, try on the garment while marking so that you get an accurate representation of how it will look once completed.

Be sure not to press too hard as this could damage some fabrics! Prior to beginning any gluing process, it is recommended to pre-test the glue or adhesive on a scrap piece of fabric that is similar in texture and weight as what you are working with.

This will help determine if there are any adverse reactions between materials before applying them directly onto your garment.

Applying the Rhinestones to the Dress

Placing the Rhinestones on the Dress:

Before you begin, make sure to have all of your supplies ready and within reach. Start by placing each rhinestone in its designated spot according to your design.

Make sure that they are firmly placed and secure before moving onto the next step. For larger stones, use tweezers or a flat-tipped tool to help place them more accurately.

Securing with Glue or Adhesive:

Once all of the rhinestones are in place, it’s time to secure them with glue or adhesive. If using fabric glue, apply a thin layer over each stone and allow it to dry completely before continuing.

Hotfix stones require heat setting with an iron for proper adhesion; this will be discussed further below. To properly adhere hotfix stones, set your iron on low heat without steam and cover each stone with a pressing cloth or parchment paper.

Press down for about 10 seconds at a time until all of the stones are secured in place. Allow them to cool completely before touching or handling the dress again so that they do not come loose from their settings.

Finishing Touches and Care Instructions for Your Dress with Rhinestones

Once you have applied the rhinestones to your dress, there are a few finishing touches and care instructions that can help keep it looking its best.

Sealing with Fabric Glue or Sealant (optional):

To ensure your rhinestones stay in place, you may want to consider sealing them with fabric glue or sealant. This is an optional step but will provide extra protection against wear and tear.

Simply apply a thin layer of glue or sealant over the entire area where the rhinestones were placed and allow it to dry completely before wearing. Be sure not to use too much as this could affect the look of your dress.

To ensure your dress with rhinestones looks great, it is best to hand wash it using cold water and mild detergent when necessary. Do not put the dress in a washing machine as this could cause damage to both the fabric and stones.

When drying, lay flat on a towel instead of hanging up so that any excess moisture does not pull down on the stones which can cause them to come loose from their settings.

Additionally, store away from direct sunlight if possible as prolonged exposure can fade colors over time.

FAQs in Relation to How to Add Rhinestones to a Dress

How do you attach rhinestones to clothing?

Attaching rhinestones to clothing is a simple process that can be done with the right materials and tools. First, you will need an adhesive specifically designed for fabric, such as E6000 or Gem -Tac glue.

Apply a small amount of the adhesive to the back of each rhinestone and place it on your dress in the desired pattern. Once all of your stones are placed, press them down firmly for about 30 seconds to ensure they stick securely.

Allow 24 hours for the glue to dry completely before wearing or washing your garment. To add extra security, you may want to sew around each stone using thread that matches its color.

This will help keep them in place even after multiple washes and wearings.

How do I add sparkle to a plain dress?

Adding rhinestones to a dress is an easy way to add sparkle and glamour. You can purchase pre-made rhinestone appliques or individual stones in various sizes, shapes, and colors from craft stores or online retailers.

If you are using individual stones, use fabric glue to attach them onto the dress in any pattern of your choice. To create an even more eye-catching look, mix different sizes and colors of stones together for a unique design.

When working with larger pieces like appliques, use pins to secure them into place before sewing them on with thread that matches the color of the dress. After adding all your rhinestones, you will have a beautiful piece that will be sure to turn heads.

What is the best way to glue rhinestones on fabric?

The best way to glue rhinestones on fabric is by using a strong adhesive such as E6000 or Gem -Tac.

These adhesives are specifically designed for use with rhinestones and other embellishments, and they provide a long-lasting bond that won’t come undone easily. Before applying the adhesive, make sure the fabric is clean and dry.

Then apply a small amount of the adhesive directly onto each stone before pressing it firmly into place on the fabric. Allow time for the adhesive to dry completely before wearing or washing your garment.

For extra security, you can also sew around each stone after gluing them in place with thread that matches your garment’s color.

How do you sew rhinestones on fabric?

Sewing rhinestones onto fabric is a relatively simple process that can be done with basic sewing supplies. First, you will need to select the type of rhinestone you would like to use and make sure it is compatible with your fabric.

Then, decide on the pattern or design you want to create and mark it on the dress using tailor’s chalk or a washable marker. Once marked, thread your needle with strong thread such as nylon or polyester and knot one end securely.

Begin by inserting the needle through the back side of the fabric at each point where you have marked for a stone; then pick up one crystal from its backing paper and place it over your needle before pushing it down against the fabric so that its edges are flush against material below.

Finally, stitch around each crystal several times in order to secure them firmly in place before tying off your thread at both ends when finished.


With the right supplies, preparation, and technique, you can create a beautiful look that will last for years.

Whether you’re looking for something special for a night out or just want to add some sparkle to your everyday wardrobe, adding rhinestones to a dress is sure to turn heads.

With the right knowledge and materials, anyone can learn how to add rhinestones to their favorite dress!

Are you looking for a way to add some sparkle and shine to your wardrobe? Look no further than the Rhinestone Shop! We offer a wide selection of rhinestones in various sizes, colors, and shapes that are perfect for adding a touch of glamour to any outfit. Whether you’re looking to dress up a plain dress or create an eye-catching arts and crafts project, our rhinestones will help you achieve the look you desire. 

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