Learn From my Rhinestoning Mistakes

As I was sitting here, replacing missing rhinestones on my daughter’s dance jacket, I remembered something I wanted to share. I made some huge mistakes my first couple years rhinestoning. I have occasionally made the same mistake, but am getting better. What is this mistake you ask? Using too much glue!!

You can tell which rhinestones are the old  ones, because they are cloudy and flatter. The more conical shaped ones are the new stones that I'm replacing old ones with.

You can tell which rhinestones are the old ones, because they are cloudy and flatter. The more conical shaped ones are the new stones that I’m replacing old ones with.

Not only is using too much glue a problem, but so is letting it ooze out the sides of the stone, and not scraping off the extra!

Back story:

About a year and a half ago, I wrote a blog post on comparing E-6000 glue and Gem Tac. I was still fairly new to rhinestoning, but had learned a few things along the way. I have been continually amazed at the response that post has gotten. Thank you to those of you who have read and/or commented on it!

I feel I need to give a quick update to that post. Grace’s jacket is going on two years old now. The old, apparently “foil back” rhinestones are falling off with almost every washing now. The commenters who said E-6000 ate their rhinestones, I have an idea of what you mean! It took about a year and a half, and LOTS of washings (I think Grace would wear it every day if I let her), but they are, one by one, clouding up and falling off. I have been replacing them as they come off with the Flat Back Swarovski stones that I can get through our dance studio. Those have not had any issues so far.

I think she was only missing 1-2 rhinestones when she left for Iowa. This is what it looked like when she came back!

I think she was only missing 1-2 rhinestones when she left for Iowa. This is what it looked like when she came back!

This summer, Grace went to her first dance intensive at the Iowa Ballet Academy. It was a long, grueling week, with about 7 hour days of dancing. While it was probably the most intense week of her life, she loved it, and wants to go back.

While she was there, she apparently beat the crap out of her dance jacket. She came back missing about half of the old rhinestones that were left, and even a few of the newer ones. I asked her if she was picking at the rhinestones. Her response? “No, I was just picking at the glue.” Sigh… if I’d have just scraped the extra glue off the outsides of each stone, there wouldn’t have been glue for her to pick at. 😦

Back to my point:

Learn from my mistakes, PLEASE!

Mistake #1 – using cheap rhinestones. I didn’t know any better. Now I do!

Mistake #2 – using too much glue. It’s a fine line between not quite enough, and too much. There’s also an amount of time that is too long to let the glue dry before using it. I end up throwing away globs of glue because I started with too much, and it dried to quickly. Letting it get a little tacky is a good thing, letting it get rubbery is not. A little practice, and you will figure out just where those fine lines exist.

You can really see the rings around the old stones where the glue came out and trapped dirt over the 2 years. :-(

You can really see the rings around the old stones where the glue came out and trapped dirt over the 2 years. 😦

Mistake #3 – leaving the glue that oozed out the side of the rhinestone alone. While both Gem Tac and E-6000 will dry clear, they are still glue. When they get wet (for example, in the wash), the glue that is exposed will become a bit tacky again. This will trap all sorts of dirt and other particles that are coming off your other clothes, and floating around in the wash machine. After a while, each little circle of glue around each rhinestone starts to look pretty gross! If you have rhinestones that are falling off, like Grace does, it isn’t pretty!  In the second picture above, you can see the dark circles around areas where rhinestones used to be. YUCK!

A simple cure for Mistake #3, take the second wax stick in your pack, and use the edge to scrape off the extra glue that may have oozed out the sides. You will also want to make sure you don’t push down on the rhinestones too hard, and all the glue oozes out. I have done that too. I have later had to go back and reglue those, since they were then barely stuck on.

On dark or shinier fabrics (like those on our dance jackets), the glue sometimes dries with an almost whitish appearance. It may also  look whitish even when scraping off the excess glue.  I have not yet figured out the best way to get this off. Just be careful not to get too much on in the first place!

If you have a trick to remove the glue residue sometimes left behind, I’d love to hear about it. Please comment below!

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5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. LaFaye
    Oct 29, 2013 @ 18:57:19

    HELLO. That was quite a learning experience for you which gives me inspiration to create thanks.i am just curious to know where to purchase affordable acrylic rhinestones?

    Reply

  2. Trackback: Step by Step – Rhinestoning Our Recital Shirts | My Life as a Dancem0m
  3. Stacy
    Dec 17, 2016 @ 20:47:37

    Goo Gone is great at removing residue and not damaging the fabric!

    Reply

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