HOW TO BUY RHINESTONES
When it comes to picking rhinestones for your project, there are a lot of things to consider. Despite their size, these tiny gems come in a variety of options, but the first thing you’ll need to determine when buying rhinestones is what they're made of.
Rhinestones are not all created equally. Some are made of plastic, and others are made of crystal. At M&J Trimming we sell the finest 100% Swarovski Crystals because they offer unparalleled clarity and shine. For over a century Swarovski has been the premier name in crystals, creating some the most dazzling rhinestones in the world. If you're working on a crafty project that just needs some shine, feel free to use the inexpensive plastic options. If, on the other hand, you're working on a fashion item, jewelry or something that is meant to really sparkle, Swarovski crystals are your best bet.
Now that you've picked your type, it’s time to pick your shape. The most popular style by far is the Xilion, a faceted jewel shape that is circular and easy to mix and match. In addition to this classic style, we also offer sew-on crystals in an array of different shapes, colors and sizes, from rectangles to navettes.
HOTFIX OR FLATBACK
If you're looking for the basic Xilion shape, you have another important decision to make: hotfix or flatback. The difference between these two options is the method by which they are attached to fabrics. Flatback rhinestones can be glued, and they can also be fixed into place with a stud gun. Hotfix rhinestones come with sticky glue on the back that is activated by heat. This option is great if you don't have a stud gun, don't want to deal with individually gluing pieces down, or are sensitive to the smell of glue. However, there are fabrics that hotfix stones will not affix to.
Materials Hotfix Rhinestones Should NOT Be Used On:
- Water-Resistant Materials
- Non-Porous Surfaces
For more information on the differences between hotfix and flatback rhinestones and their uses, please read this post on our blog.
The next important step is to pick the color. Crystal rhinestones can be one true color all over, but they can also be iridescent. Iridescent crystals reflect many colors at once and are referred to as AB, or aurora borealis, rhinestones. The two most popular colors for rhinestones are Crystal, a clear silver, and Crystal AB, an iridescent color that reflects a pastel rainbow. Crystals come in every color of the rainbow, from the dark and mysterious Jet, to the milky White Opal, and the selection keeps growing! Every year Swarovski releases new colors that continue the rhinestone color spectrum with additions like Tangerine, Iridescent Green, and Lilac Shadow. For a sample of our available colors, you can purchase a Swarovski Rhinestone Color Card.
Then there is the matter of size, Swarovski rhinestones range from SS5 (1.9mm diameter) to SS48 (11mm diameter). Take a look at our Rhinestone Size Chart if you want to know how big each SS is. For projects that need an intricate design, ss5 and ss7 are a great starting point. You might use these sizes for accessory cases, sunglasses or even nail art. For items that are bold and make a statement, try an ss40 or ss48 to really add big sparkle to any item. This size is great for making rhinestone stud statement earrings, or adding to home décor. Keep in mind that we do not carry all of the sizes in all of the colors. We currently carry the Crystal and Crystal AB in all sizes. The most popular sizes are ss16 and ss20 because they add visual interest to a piece without being too apparent. This size is the standard for clothing, shoes and accessories.
No matter what your project, rhinestones are a fun way to make your pieces really pop!