Browse Categories
Shopping Cart
Your cart is empty.
UPS Logo
Estimated Shipping Charges
Email Newsletter
Request Catalog
Rhinestones How-To Library
We accept the following:
Visa MasterCard
Discover Card American Express

How to Use Rhinestones in Fine Arts and Objets

This category is vast, not to mention philosophical (what is "art," really?). We’ve seen everything from canvases to car engines, exercise equipment to animal skulls, garden sculptures to guitars to full-scale replica airplanes embellished with rhinestones.

If you’re a multi-media artist, flat backs (non-hotfix) will likely be your go-to crystal. With the right adhesive, these stones can be applied to nearly any surface. On canvas paintings, paper crafts and wood prints, flat backs can be glued on top of cured paint or ink. On dense metal work and sculptures, use a quick set epoxy—these are well suited to bond to metals, and on 3D surfaces, you will not have to hold the stone in place long before the glue can take over. Just remember to work in small areas at a time! Epoxies dry rigid, however; if movement is important in your piece, choose an adhesive with flexibility when dry, such as E6000. Clay ceramics, woods, masonry and acrylics can accommodate pointed back chatons glued right into bezels, cavities and crevices. To help you choose the right glue for your project, check out the comparison article on our blog, The Right Sticky Situation.

There are other ways and other rhinestones to apply to your art piece. Get creative! Fabric arts can use a felting technique to encase cushion back and fancy stones—crystals with faceting on both the face and the back of the stone. The Swarovski® Crystal Applicator Tool is a handheld device that can set crystal rivets, snaps and jeans buttons to canvas, leathers, quilts, yarn goods and dense textiles. Hotfix flat backs come with a heat-activated fabric glue on the back. You may find that it is easier to repeat your rhinestone designs onto different pieces with the use of with hotfix transfer paper, which allow you to arrange hotfix or non-hotfix crystals into a design and apply all at once. Learn more about choosing your attachment method.

From there, you’ll be more equipped to choose your quality, and as each quality has its own color offerings, you’re at the easy part of the design for the artiste: choosing your color.

When you are thinking about choosing your size of rhinestone for your project, our Estimating Guide (PDF)—originally created to help you choose your quantity—may be helpful as it shows a visual of rhinestones for line or space planning.

See other sections of our How-To library for more help with the design process or tips to help choose your quantity.

Visit our Inspiration Gallery and Pinterest page to see creative uses of rhinestones in art!

Rhinestones Unlimited: Learn. Shop. Sparkle.