Forum: Irish / Irish - Dressmakers & Costumers

Crystal info 2012 (karma: 6)
By China_Doll
On Sat Sep 29, 2012 08:46 AM
Edited by China_Doll (189854) on 2012-09-29 08:46:20
Made sticky by Sumayah (204191) on 2012-09-30 14:36:39 Shiny new updated information!

Some info is the same as my last crystal post...some has been changed or updated depending the trends. please add your tips tricks hints and fave places to buy etc.

Crystal Styles and Sizes

*Swarovski- Top of the line and the only stones I will use.

*Preciosa- some people say from stage these are as good as Swarovski stones- I do not agree but they are cheaper and they still sparkle a lot. They might be good for someone on a budget.

*Acrylic- these are plastic stones- I would really not recommend these for any project unless it is for young children’s art projects. They are very cheap but do not have much sparkle. It really isn’t worth adding these to expensive costumes.

Hot fix or Fatback

I used to swear by hotfix- they were cleaner than gluing stones- usually the work went quick. But there were quite a few stones falling off and when the Swarovski launched the new cut I dropped my hotfix wand and grabbed some e6000 and Have never looked back (more info on what you need for attaching Hotfix or Flat backs below)

Swarovski styles include:

2028 flat back

2028 hotfix

2058 flat back

2058 hotfix

The 2028 cut is being phased out for the 2058 ,you can currently find 2028’s on sale for anything that is not being made in that cut… is usually running some kind of sale on anything they are trying to clear from inventory.

The 2058 is a better cut and a much more brilliant stone. The prices are the same as the 2028, however the hotfix for this stone is not out yet.

The main Swarovski sizes are as follows:


I would not recommend using anything under a 20ss for most projects- (Crystal Poodle socks are the exception 14ss/16ss are nice for those) the first 8 sizes are very small and do not give off a lot of sparkle. For an idea of the 3ss take a pen and touch the top to a piece of paper. The tiny dot left behind is what a 3ss looks like.

Places to buy

There are tons of places to buy crystal; some have slightly cheaper prices- some have free shipping. Sometimes the webpages are just easier to navigate- for whatever reason you will soon end up with your favorite company. Here are a few of the ones I have used. - This has become my site of preference I usually only order elsewhere if Dreamtime happens to be out of something I need (rare) Free shipping on orders of $75 or more, they also have come up with a points system which allows you to use the points to buy certain items or gift cards for use one anything on their website. Oh and those large stones everyone is looking for- they sell them here! – Prices on bulk items are good and free shipping on all orders- Customer service is great. It has been awhile since I have purchased from here but shipping was quick and prices were competitive. – Never used this place- the prices are a little higher but they run sales often and have some slightly different sizes

Michael’s arts and Crafts

If you are in a real bind and only need a few extra stones Michaels usually stocks 20ss and below of a few basic colors. The price is outrageous at 5 bucks for about 30 stones but you can catch them on sale now and again and in a pinch at least you can run out and grab them without waiting for Shipping.

Crystal Colors (speaking in only Swarovski)

Swarovski has a ton of great colored stones by far the most popular are the Crystal Clear and Crystal AB. These two are the stones that give off the most sparkle.

Crystal Clear has the look of a diamond- these are a safe bet for ANY color combo on ANY costume.

AB or Aurora Borealis is a coating added to the clear stones that have a multihued coloring depending on which way you look and what color they are sitting next to.

From there Swarovski offers colors across the rainbow and many in between the very outdated color chart that I have in hand has about 150 colors and more have been made.

If you want to work In Colored stones (which can bring extra depth and definition to your projects) I recommend ordering a color chart or trying to find one to borrow it is NEXT to impossible to tell the exact color of a stone from your computer screen. The charts are not cheap but they have a stone of each color and each of the main sizes so they are worth the money.

How to Apply Hotfix stones

For hotfix stones you require a crystal wand-

These can be purchased at all of the websites above- or also at Michael’s they run around $15-$25.

You want an electric wand not battery operated- the cord is a hassle but so Is changing battery’s in the middle of your work. Just make sure you have an extension cord.

Each wand should come with several tips in the most common crystal sizes (16ss, 20ss, 30ss, 34ss, and 40ss)

Place the stone where you want it and hold the wand with the correct tip size directly on the crystal for about 15 seconds. The wand and the stone will both be very hot- be careful

How to Apply Flat Back stones

Just like everyone has a favorite place to buy crystals- everyone has their favorite glue. The two main ones I hear are e6000 and Gemtac.

I vote e6000 especially for stoning on satin or embroidery work

(E6000 is very strong smelling and you should work near a vent or an open window whenever possible.) I use a syringe to apply the glue directly where I want it on the dress and then use a jeweler’s stick to pop the stone where I need it. Be careful not to let your glue drip- I almost always have a paper towel in hand to cover the syringe as soon as I am done laying the glue down.

How to Apply large Cushion back stones

These stones give many people headaches. Because they are not flat back stones people are afraid they will not contact with the fabric enough and might fall off- I ALWAYS use cushion back as I do not like the look of the holes in the sew on stones.

I take the stone I want to use and cover the back in e6000- hold onto the stone for about 20 seconds- let the glue get a little gummy then sit the stone down where you want it (make sure to lay it precisely so you don’t get unwanted glue in the wrong place) Hold the stone in places for about 20 seconds to make sure it is not going to slip…make sure you set your large stones then leave your project lying flat for about an hour so they can set without moving.

How to Apply large sew on flat backs

Yeah yeah the name says sew on- I don’t sew…if you can sew well BY ALL MEANS sew these bad boys down;) but it isn’t necessary . I handle these just like the cushioned back stones. It is a little easier because they are flat in back and do not move as much- I would still cover the entire surface in e6000 and leave it out for about an hour to set.

I opened a facebook page that has some photos of dresses and other misc items I have done. Also myself and a few other Crystal fanatics I know are on there and can help with questions... YOU can message me if you are interested in details.

13 Replies to Crystal info 2012

re: Crystal info 2012 (karma: 1)
By catie44
On Sat Sep 29, 2012 05:49 PM
I am a college student who dances and finances my dancing, so needles to say I'm on a pretty strict budget! I often use Preciosa stones because they are a better price. If you buy Preciosa, make sure to buy the newer, redesigned VIVA12 series. If it doesn't say that it is VIVA12, then it is most likely the old style, which is not very shiny and looks cheap. The VIVA12s are wonderful and the have the same brilliant sparkle as the Swarovskis in my opinion. I would definitely recommend them to anyone on a budget!
re: Crystal info 2012
By Realtreble
On Sun Oct 07, 2012 06:46 PM
Edited by Realtreble (146991) on 2012-10-07 18:52:43
Great post and very helpful. To add to the discussion about Swarovski vs. Preciosa, the smaller the stone, the better to use Preciosa to stretch your crystal budget. I know some DMs (but I'm not one of them) who mix Swarovski and Precosia to lessen the overall cost of crystals on a costume.

A better way to stretch your bling budget is to find a supplier clearancing the Swarovski 2028s. They can be mixed in with the newer cut without an obvious difference in appearance. One additional warning, I can tell the difference between the appearance of the Perciosa ABs and Swarovski ABs. The coating is slightly different and would never mix them together on the same project.
re: Crystal info 2012
By ksfeismum
On Mon Oct 08, 2012 03:50 PM
You are awsome! Thanks :)
re: Crystal info 2012
By lmurtaugh
On Fri Nov 09, 2012 03:34 AM
The Dreamtime site says that you cannot use the E6000 on "foiled stones or crystals." What does this mean exactly? I am buying Swarovski crystals and it says "type:foiled."
Should I be buying crystals that are unfoiled?
re: Crystal info 2012
By Irishdancer189member has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Fri Nov 09, 2012 05:15 AM
What is the name of your facebook page?
re: Crystal info 2012
By Mom4
On Sat Dec 01, 2012 09:00 PM
Love to gem my own. Can't wait to try a new type. Thanks.
re: Crystal info 2012
By krisinstitches
On Mon Dec 31, 2012 01:31 PM
re: hotfix process....

I use a slightly different process than Amber for the hotfix crystals. I pick up the stone with the wand, hold it upright while the glue softens, then place it where I want it on the dress. I've had a few mishaps where the crystal has fallen out of the wand and landed where I didn't want it, but not so often that I've changed my process. I've found that by doing it this way, I'm sure that all of the glue has softened, allowing for a firm attachment.
re: Crystal info 2012
By Niamhalexis
On Wed May 15, 2013 10:44 PM
I do the same as krisinstitches.
re: Crystal info 2012
By marie26
On Wed May 22, 2013 05:07 PM
I was using hot fix until they started falling off my dress and now I use the glue. Thank you sit this sticky because I was thinking about using acrylic stones but the top line ones are really worth it.
re: Crystal info 2012
By China_Doll
On Sat Jul 13, 2013 11:03 AM
Just pointing out that I have Purchased the Crystal Katana tool from Dreamtime Creations and I love it- It works very much the same as cheaper jeweler sticks but does not get messed up as easily and is much more comfortable to hold for long amounts of time. HIGHLY recommend it! also for anyone who want's crystal advice I have officially opened a facebook page with photos of my work. . . .
re: Crystal info 2012
By Realtreble
On Sat Jul 13, 2013 03:20 PM
marie26 wrote:

I was using hot fix until they started falling off my dress and now I use the glue. Thank you sit this sticky because I was thinking about using acrylic stones but the top line ones are really worth it.

I have found hotfix a problem with porous fabrics. I especially had trouble fixing stones onto poly-satins and poly-dupioni. Silk velvets need extra pressure to afix securely.

BTW, Good dressmakers never let other dressmakers use acrylic stones. ;)
re: Crystal info 2012
By Realtreble
On Sat Jul 13, 2013 03:35 PM
Edited by Realtreble (146991) on 2013-07-13 15:40:50
lmurtaugh wrote:

The Dreamtime site says that you cannot use the E6000 on "foiled stones or crystals." What does this mean exactly? I am buying Swarovski crystals and it says "type:foiled."
Should I be buying crystals that are unfoiled?

I have not read on Dreamtime that they discourage using E6000 on foiled crystals. Most of us use foiled crystals as the foil reflects the light best to create maximum sparkle. Unfoiled crystals are just the leaded part of the stone, so you can see through the facets to the fabric.

I have used E6000 on several varieties and colors of foiled Swarovski stones without a problem. I know ChinaDoll also uses foiled crystals. You should be able to use E6000 on your project with foiled crystals with the usual cautions and caveats. Here is a photo of my most recent bling project. All of the stones are foiled. Stones larger than ss20 were attached with E6000, including the cushion back navette stones on the sleeves and bodice.

Have fun!
re: Crystal info 2012 (karma: 1)
By Thuppers
On Fri Aug 30, 2013 12:55 AM
I also read that on Dreamtime Creations website re: E6000. However, after reading that is what is used here and no one seems to have any problems with it, I will give it a go.

My DD's first custom solo is arriving in September, and while it is coming with some crystals, I will have to add a lot more. I admit to being a little nervous about it, as I would hate to ruin the dress! I have done simple repair work with my hot fix wand, but to do an entire dress seems a little daunting.

This is all very good advice! China Doll, I follow your Facebook page. You are amazingly talented!


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