May 8, 2010

Tips For Adding Crystals To Your Craft Projects




Who doesn't like a little sparkle? Recently I wrote about the joy of adding hot fix crystals to a quilt or other sewing project and since then I've learned a few tips that I wanted to share with you. Sometimes it's hard to get the guts to try a new technique, and this one is so fun, I can't help but tell you all about it because I want you to be able to take part in the fun!

The first thing I do is experiment with layout and colors. It's hard to tell how something is going to look until you try it on the fabric you are using. Sometimes the fabric has a detail that provides a natural place to put a crystal, and other times it's better to make up a design on your own. 



Tweezers like these are an absolute must.  The crystals are so small, even the most nimble of fingers will have trouble picking them up and putting them into place. A quick warning- tweezers like these are pretty sharp so be careful while you are using them. Keep them out of reach of little hands as well. 


While you are experimenting with colors, it's good to have a place to hold the crystals you are using.  They have a tendency to fly across the room without any  notice so keeping them in one place is highly recommended. I speak from experience- crawling around on the floor trying to pick crystals out of the carpet is not an amazing way to spend your afternoon. ;)


This photo's purpose is to illustrate just how small these little guys are.
Don't let that deter you- they are highly sparkly for their size! 


When I am working on a project where I'm going to be using a lot of crystals, I always make sure I have enough to complete the project by placing them in their layout before I start attaching them. Since I was working on three zipper pouches at once, I needed to make sure they would all be spaced in a similar way. 



This is what they look like before you apply the heating tool. As you can see they are a bit roly poly because the glue is on the back.  Once you use the heating tool, they will lie completely flat on the fabric. 



I let the heating tool heat up for about 5-10 minutes before I start using it to make sure it's heated to a high enough temperature to melt the glue on the crystals.



Then, one at a time I attach the crystals by holding the heating tool on the crystal for about 10-12 seconds. The tool I have comes with other attachments that let you attach a cluster of crystals at once if the crystals are very close together.


In this photo the crystal on the left hasn't been attached but the others have.


After you're done you end up with something fun like this zipper pouch set! My mom made these and I attached the crystals.  Isn't she talented?
 ( Happy Mother's Day Mom I love you! )


She also made this one and I attached the crystals in a heart shape. There are stencils you can buy if you want to make really fancy designs or lettering. This is the first time I've tried a shape and I think it adds a really fun touch. 


  If you are interested in these fun pouches, they are listed in my etsy store


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