With rhinestones, you can add glitz and glamour to your favorite garments. But if you’re not used to working with these tiny, lustrous jewels, you might wonder how to apply them correctly.
If you’re using flatback rhinestones to ornament your clothes, you need to use strong, reliable glue to ensure the rhinestones stick and don’t fall off. Below, we explain what type of glue you should use for rhinestones and provide tips for choosing between popular glue brands.
What Qualities Should You Look for in a Glue?
There are a few qualities to look for in rhinestone glue: its viscosity, open assembly time, and cure time. Viscosity refers to a glue’s consistency, or how thick it is and how readily it flows. Thin glues with a low viscosity are easier to dispense, but they can be messy and take longer to dry. Thicker glues take more effort to squeeze out, but this makes it easier to control the flow. They also dry faster than less viscous glues.
The open assembly time is how quickly a glue starts to dry after you apply it. Ideally, you want a glue that dries quickly but not so quickly that you don’t have room for adjustment once you set the stone in place.
Finally, the cure time is how long the glue takes to fully dry and form its maximum bond. Generally, the faster the cure time, the better because you want to wear your newly rhinestoned work and show it off to the world immediately!
White Glue vs. Specialty Glue
There are two kinds of glue you can use to attach rhinestones to clothing: white glue and specialty glue. White glues look white while wet but dry clear. They have a low viscosity and flow easily out of the bottle or syringe. Then, there are specialty glues. These are industrial-strength glues used specifically for bonding to materials like fabric. They’re thicker than white glues, so they flow slower.
So which should you use? White glues work for most types of fabric, but for tougher materials like leather, suede, velvet, and vinyl, specialty glues will provide a stronger and more reliable bond. Other than that, it comes down to how squeezable you want your glue to be and how fast you need it to dry.
What Are Some Good Glue Brands To Try?
Technically, you can use easily accessible brands, like Elmer’s glue, but these cheaper brands tend to have a weaker bond and wear down faster. Instead, we recommend using white glue brands made for use with stones and jewels, like Gem-Tac and Jewel Bond, or specialty glues, like E600 and Fabri-Tac.
Glue is an essential tool for attaching rhinestones to clothes. Use the tips above to determine what type of glue you should use for your rhinestone project for the best results.