Rhinestones - A Guide by Red Star Rhinestones

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Rhinestones - A Guide by Red Star Rhinestones

The following guidelines will help you make the most of your rhinestones and includes information and suggestions for both acrylic and crystal stones.

Iron On Crystal Rhinestones & Metal Studs

Our HotFix iron on rhinestones are made from genuine crystal. They can withstand extremely high temperatures and generally sparkle more than acrylic rhinestones because they capture and reflect light. HotFix rhinestones have a heat activated glue on the back and once ironed on will stay there permanently and can be washed and ironed without falling off. They can also be used with specialised HotFix application products such as the BeJeweler and Gemagic. We stock both generic hotfix crystals and authentic Swarovski crystals.

HotFix rhinestones can be ironed onto clothing including jeans, jackets and t-shirts, belts, shoes, dancewear and costumes, bags, purses, scarves and hats - the possibilities are endless.

  1. To use the iron on crystals, set your iron or heat press to HOT and turn the steam function OFF.
  2. Arrange the crystals on the item you wish to decorate and cover them with a thin piece of fabric.
  3. Once the iron is hot, place it on the fabric covering the crystals (remember that the steam holes in your iron are cold spots). Take care not to move the iron as this may cause the crystals to move as well. Depending on the surface you are applying them to, the rhinestones can take between 20-35 seconds to adhere. After this time, turn the item over and iron the reverse side for 10-20 seconds then allow to cool completely.

We recommend that you avoid touching the crystals for around 2 minutes after ironing as they can become extremely hot.

Acrylic Rhinestones

These rhinestones are made from acrylic (plastic) and do not sparkle as much as the crystal rhinestones because they do not capture and reflect light, however they are still very beautiful and are a less expensive alternative to crystal. Our acrylic rhinestones need to be glued on or used with specialised settings.

Glues & Adhesives

Some craft glues, particularly those containing acetone, can corrode the silver backing of the acrylic rhinestones causing them to lose their reflective sparkly finish. PVA glue is normally safe as well as Jewel Bond and Gem-Tac, but we would still recommend that you test your glue on the rhinestones prior to starting your project to avoid disappointment. Any damage that may occur is usually visible within the first 30 seconds of applying the glue.

Double-sided tape also works well to secure the rhinestones in place without the risk of damaging their finish.

Lacquer, Paints & Sealants

We also recommend that you test any spray laquer, paints or sealants that you may be planning to use over the rhinestones prior to starting your project to ensure that it will not cause any damage.


The acrylic rhinestones are best stored in containers or bags out of direct sunlight and away from heat and moisture.


Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any queries and we will do our best to help.

Thank you for your interest, we hope our recommendations have been helpful.

Visit our store Red Star Rhinestones for a huge range including iron on hotfix crystal rhinestones (including Swarovski) and acrylic rhinestones - hearts, stars, moons, tear drops, squares, ovals, flowers, rectangles, butterflies, dragonflies, triangles and round rhinestones starting from 99c!

Copyright Red Star Rhinestones 2009

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