Friday, June 13, 2014

Assembling a Wedding Brooch

Weddings are often one of the biggest moments in any couple’s life. If you’re in the spotlight, you will want to have some memento of the big day, like a special brooch to add to your dress or the entire entourage’s attire. When the wedding is several months down the road, you can take some time to get that special item ready.

The overall design of the brooch may be something that symbolizes your relationship and the commitment you are about to make. As such, the stones you pick for it should more or less match the same motifs as the wedding. The foundation of the brooch can be a small metal plate with a flat surface and has enough space to accommodate the entire design. List down the required gemstones and support tools as you make the design then order them.

Brooches are commonly fashioned around a central piece or formation with other satellite items gradually put outward. The Swarovski crystal you use must be big enough to place comfortably at the center of the foundation, but must not overpower everything else. Place the design sheet you made nearby as a guide, but do not rush the placement; you can enlist select friends to make other copies.  

A well-designed wedding brooch will be worth it for remembering that special day. Like your diamond engagement ring, the crystals should shine bright too.

Sparkling Centerpieces with Swarovski Rhinestones

Whether you’re having a simple dinner party at home or holding your wedding reception, you may always be challenged with finding the perfect centerpiece. If you want a one-of-a-kind, eye-catching décor, why not try these centerpiece crafts with hotfix Swarovski rhinestones?

Swarovski Soiree
Centerpieces with a soiree of Swarovski rhinestones can definitely dazzle guests. Coat recycled wine bottles or other glass wares in jewels, and voila! You have a statement dinner accessory! You can also wrap any other plain centerpiece in satin ribbon fastened by an elegant Swarovski studded brooch.

Floral Festival
With some sparkle, the usual flower centerpiece can become a floral festival. Decorate the bottom, top, or center segment of a vase with Swarovski crystals for instant glam. Alternatively, wrap colorful flowers in cloth studded with white or silver crystals, and arrange them on a clear vase.

Lantern Limelight
Instead of simple votive holders or candelabras, put candles in decorated jars to make limelight-worthy lanterns. Get some clean, empty jars, and arrange rhinestones around the lid. You can also cover the jars in translucent, colored papers so that the candles shine in different colors.

Fruit Fete

Classic fruit centerpieces can be transformed into a whimsical fruit fest. Take a bowl, tiered cupcake stand, or cake platter, and embellish the edges with rhinestones. Choose rhinestone colors that easily complement the fruits you’ll be using, like rich blue hues for yellow citrus fruits and charming emerald shades for red fruits.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Tips on Choosing Beading Wire

Doing your own beaded jewelry could turn into a fun hobby, or even a nice source of profit. Every project should come with enough foresight and planning though; otherwise the pieces you end up with could be unappealing and quickly fall apart. One of the things you have to know is how to choose the right wire or cord to hold your beads together.

Strand Number

The number of strands that the beading wire contains determines its flexibility, so be sure to look out for this information when checking the label. Generally, the more strands on the wire, the more flexible it is, which means jewelry using this cord will be much less prone to permanently bending or kinking.

Wire Diameter

The thickness of the wire you choose should be just right so that the beads can comfortably fit into it without being too loose or too tight. Wire diameter also tells you how durable or strong the wire is, allowing you to estimate the weight that you could put on it.

Pound Strength

Pound strength is another measure of strength, and it can specifically identify how much weight a strand can carry without breaking. However, the weight of your beads isn’t the only thing that affects the overall durability of your jewelry. Other physical factors, like the amount of natural wearing the material can withstand, will also determine its longevity.

Make Your Own Swarovski Crystal Beads Jewelry

High-quality Swarovski crystal beads are very popular among jewelers because these stones shine beautifully and are easy to work with. A wedding gown or an evening dress bedecked with these stones, could be further enhanced with a matching necklace or bracelet. Instead of going to a professional jeweler for this, you can make your own jewelry with some basic tools and stringing knowhow.

For bracelets, you’ll need jump rings, a 4-loop slide lock clasp, beading wires, a pair of chain-nose pliers, and an assortment of crystals. Start by picking a jump ring and opening it using the pliers; you’ll be doing this for all of the jump rings. Next, pick the clasp, take it apart, and insert the now-open jump ring to one loop in the clasp. Fill the rest of the loops with jump rings this way.

Next, string your beads with a beading wire; use crimp beads first, then the Swarovski beads. It’s best if your Swarovski beads are 4mm or 6mm in diameter. Attach the wire to one jump ring, crimp bead first, until you’re done with all rings.
For necklaces, you only need to follow the same instructions, although you may want to put great care on how you restring them. For a multi-stranded necklace, remember to space out your beads evenly so that each strand will meld perfectly with the other strand once they’re strung together.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

How to Identify Genuine Swarovski Crystals

When it comes to jewels, gems, and other decorative stones, spotting the difference between authentic pieces and copies is very important. This is especially true if you are ready to shell out good money for the genuine items. Thankfully, some stones, like wholesale Swarovski crystals, are relatively easy to test for authenticity, although you will need a sharp eye, and perhaps a few inspection tools to spot the quirks.

For starters, Swarovski crystals are cut using state-of-the-art computer technology, which means that their proportions and smoothness are uniform. In addition, the facets and lines of a genuine Swarovski crystal all meet in certain points, which is something that counterfeiters can’t replicate. Lastly, genuine crystals wouldn’t have any bubbles in them, especially when viewed from different angles.

It is also important to know the qualities of a genuine Swarovski crystal and see how a crystal for sale fares against these. Real Swarovski would have a unique shine and sparkle when subjected to light. Swarovski crystals also should not have any scratches on them, nor would they have an oily or swirly finish.

On another note, Swarovski crystals are typically not sold in strands. If you are offered such a product, ask for any written proof or guarantee that would confirm the authenticity of the crystals.

Applying Rhinestone Appliques to Dance Costumes

Competitive dancers are lucky to get themselves regularly dressed in fancy costumes, often decorated with rhinestone appliques. Technically, costumes impact the scores in dance competitors, even as their contribution may be indirect.

As an example, the Legacy Dance Championships, which is a renowned dance competition, allot 10% of a participant’s total score to appearance. To spruce up dance costumes and get the most of that important 10%, rhinestones are dancers’ best bet. Here’s how one can use them effectively.

One would need a sketch or any other rendering of the costume design, which would show the intended placement of the rhinestones. Specifics like sizes and colors should also be represented in the rendering to avoid confusion. After outlining this “plan-of-action”, it is time to get the rhinestones on the costume itself.

To make the rhinestones stick, craft glue is ideal. It is not advisable to use gem tack or other cheap glues because they cannot guarantee long-lasting attachment of the jewels. One particular glue brand called the E6000 is preferred, primarily because its hold is pretty permanent once fully dried. To apply the exact amount of glue and avoid messing up the costume, the use of small syringes is recommended.

Focus is key in the successful attachment of rhinestones, as originally designed. When this is achieved, the costumes can enhance and highlight the fluid and graceful motions of the dancers, and give them a better chance at winning. 

Monday, June 2, 2014

The Clarity of Aquamarine Swarovski Crystals

Garnet, the birthstone for January, and aquamarine, March’s birthstone, have something in common. Both are often used as talismans by seafarers to help provide safe passage in their journeys. However, in history, aquamarine is the stone most associated with anything involving water.

In fact, the word "aquamarine" itself is rather redundant because, in Latin, "aqua" means water, and "mare" means sea. The stone is heavily associated with Poseidon, the god of the sea. Many in ancient Rome believed that the stones were sacred to the god (whom they called Neptune), and were convinced mermaids had tails studded with aquamarine stones.

Some devout Catholics may think of aquamarine as a sacred stone, because it was one of the foundation stones of the Church, according to Scriptures. To be accurate, the stone in question was beryl, the family of stones where aquamarine belongs. According to the Book of Revelation, beryl symbolizes the virtue of mercy.

True to its name, aquamarine gives off a bluish-greenish tint that calls to mind the changing color of the sea. Swarovski crystals capture that fresh aqueous tint, recalling the rejuvenating property and the clarity of water. As such, they make wonderful jewelry pieces, and elegant embellishments in clothing and fashion accessories. 

Swarovski Crystals: Luxury in Any Form

Many people love Swarovski crystals so much, they want to see them not just in jewelry but in a myriad other things. Throughout modern history, the world has used millions of these manmade gems to add bling and create an illusion of luxury and elegance. Below are some of the extravagant large-scale uses of Swarovski crystals that give a whole new meaning to the word “fancy”.

The Oscars
The Oscars has been incorporating Swarovski crystals in their stage sets since 2007, starting with the 50,000 pieces used in creating a 34-foot crystal curtain, which was also seen in the movie, “Dreamgirls”. Overall, the crystals weighed around a ton. To date, the Oscars have used over 1.5 million crystals for stage and costume purposes.

The rich and famous want luxury even in their bathtubs. The Crystal Bateau tub made by British bath manufacturer Catchpole & Rye, and sold at Harrods department store in London for  around $200,000, was the product of over 200 man-hours spent on installing around 22,000 Swarovski crystals in four different sizes, covering the tub’s surface. 


In 2012, British architect Asif Khan, in association with Swarovski, created a pavilion in Miami using 1.3 million Swarovski crystals. Khan's aim is to artificially recreate a parhelion, popularly known as the Sun dog, a natural phenomenon where a halo is created on both sides of the sun with the help of ice crystals in the air.  

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

A Look at Other Uses for Rhinestones

Rhinestones have always been known for their decorative worth. These low-cost crystals can easily be bought in sets from an arts store and used for personal projects. While appropriate for decorating clothing and accessories, rhinestones may also be used in other ways, such as greeting card designs or designs for fingernails.

Rhinestones in Cards

Most rhinestones and other hot fix crystals have certain amounts of adhesive on them, perfect for sticking to paper and cardboard. Whether one uses it as a greeting card or as invitations, these beautiful stones can brighten any illustrated design. A tip for using rhinestones for cards: before sticking the stones, position them first on the card design. From there, determine if the crystals would indeed look good on the card, then if you like what you see, you can proceed with carefully placing the stones.

Rhinestone Fingernails

Some girls see rhinestones not only as clothing designs but also as a means of enhancing their fingernails. Several options and designs can be made with nail polish and rhinestones, ranging from letters, to shapes, to simple crystal patterns that can make any fingernail sparkle. The technique is to apply solid colored nail polish first, carefully pressing the rhinestones onto the fingernails, and finishing with a coat of clear nail polish.


Overall, it can be said that rhinestones can make any project look beautiful. The options for using these stones are only limited to one's imagination.

A Look at Other Uses for Rhinestones

Rhinestones have always been known for their decorative worth. These low-cost crystals can easily be bought in sets from an arts store and used for personal projects. While appropriate for decorating clothing and accessories, rhinestones may also be used in other ways, such as greeting card designs or designs for fingernails.

Rhinestones in Cards

Most rhinestones and other hot fix crystals have certain amounts of adhesive on them, perfect for sticking to paper and cardboard. Whether one uses it as a greeting card or as invitations, these beautiful stones can brighten any illustrated design. A tip for using rhinestones for cards: before sticking the stones, position them first on the card design. From there, determine if the crystals would indeed look good on the card, then if you like what you see, you can proceed with carefully placing the stones.

Rhinestone Fingernails

Some girls see rhinestones not only as clothing designs but also as a means of enhancing their fingernails. Several options and designs can be made with nail polish and rhinestones, ranging from letters, to shapes, to simple crystal patterns that can make any fingernail sparkle. The technique is to apply solid colored nail polish first, carefully pressing the rhinestones onto the fingernails, and finishing with a coat of clear nail polish.


Overall, it can be said that rhinestones can make any project look beautiful. The options for using these stones are only limited to one's imagination.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Mixing and Matching with Swarovski Rhinestones

Of the various jewelry materials available to craft jewelers everywhere, Swarovski crystals are perhaps the most popular of them all. Swarovski crystals are all cut using a patented technique invented by Daniel Swarovski, giving them a charming and timeless appearance. There’s also the distinct sheen that each Swarovski piece exudes, which is something other rhinestones can’t just do.

Swarovski’s line of rhinestones actually comes in different types, each suited for the needs of the jewelers and designers using them. Flat-back types are designed to be attached using hot glue, while Hot Fix varieties already have adhesives on them so that hobbyists simply have to heat them. The company also has sew-on rhinestones that, as their name implies, can be sewn together or on cloth.

Craft jewelers and designers are free to mix and match their use of Swarovski’s full range of rhinestones for full effect. Whether you are making a piece of jewelry, a fancy costume, a new fingernail design, or even a gem-laden luxury car, Swarovski has the right rhinestone for you. The company’s versatile product range makes it a favorite among many hobbyists and fashion designers. If you’re in need of a little sparkle in your craft project, consider using Swarovski’s rhinestones.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Perfect Cut: Using Swarovski Elements for Projects

Half of the fun in creating your own jewelry is in making something beautiful out of scratch; the other half is in proudly wearing something that you’ve made and designed yourself. While basic jewelry making is quite a simple hobby to get into, enthusiasts are strictly limited to putting together beads and baubles molded or shaped beforehand. Unless a hobbyist dabbles in mining and gem crafting, she has to rely on purchases of beads and accent pieces to cobble jewelry together.

It can be restricting for hobbyists to simply stick to the preset designs that beads and other jewelry materials come in. Jewelry making also gets boring pretty quickly if hobbyists end up using the same materials over and over again. Fortunately, Swarovski’s line of customizable designs, dubbed Swarovski Elements, seeks to change all that.

Swarovski Elements allows customers to choose from a wide variety of gems and stones cut to specifications. This allows jewelry making hobbyists to obtain shapes that simply can’t be purchased on retail. Swarovski also offers other similar products designed to further enhance jewelry making and fashion projects. With the option to select custom made Swarovski crystals, jewelry hobbyists can take their projects to a whole new level of personalization.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Making Custom Accessories w/ Swarovski Crystals

No matter in what part of the world, accessories like necklaces, bracelets, and earrings will always be worn by women from all walks of life. Even as time passes and cultures change, one constant is that people wear these types of accessories to express their personality and show a little more of their individual style.
As it is well ingrained in culture and fashion, it can’t be helped that these accessories are produced in massive quantities. Unfortunately what isn’t realized by some producers is that the inspiration behind bracelets, necklaces, earrings, and other accessories is the need to stand out. Because of that, people constantly look for a way to develop their own designs and have it made by a professional, or end up making it themselves.
For the artist in you, you can proceed to make your own high quality accessories and embellishments by investing in wholesale Swarovksi crystal beads. One of the most popular jewelry design elements for the past several decades, the material sparkles like no other and comes in a variety of shapes, colors, and sizes.
Whether for personal use or to do business and produce one-of-a-kind pieces for your clientele, you can acquire Swarovski beads and other types at wholesale prices from trusted online stores. These suppliers can also provide new accessory design ideas.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Raising Your Gift Giving Efforts with Crystals

When it comes to giving gifts, nothing can compare to one that is unique and custom made. By being one of a kind, the gift holds even more meaning as it would simply be irreplaceable.
To make a gift thoughtful, a great recommendation would be to have it custom made with wholesale crystals. Timelessly popular with women, jewelry and other crystal-adorned items serve as memorable and elegant keepsakes.
There are many ways to have a gift custom made and it just matters what item you want personalized. If you are the type of person who has an affinity for crafts, you can easily make the gift yourself, as there are reliable online retailers who offer a wide selection of wholesale crystals. These retailers can also provide great gift suggestions to personalize, as well as recommend the types of crystals that would best suit your present, and how to go about your project.
Some popular custom gift ideas include home décor, apparel like shoes, caps and clothing, and accessories like bags, belts and cellphone cases. There are plenty of crystal designs, colors and shapes from which to choose, offering the gift giver limitless design possibilities. It will also help to look into various DIY tutorials to see how you can perfectly customize your gift.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Customizing Items with Rhinestone Appliques

Whether its shoes, jackets, dresses, bags, or other items, people want the clothes they wear and the accompanying accessories to stand out. This has led to many brands producing limited items with exclusive designs, giving it a touch of uniqueness for the select few who are able to purchase it.
It’s this need to be unique and the prices of items in the market that have led to the thriving of the customization business. Not a new concept, many have made a living by creating or customizing one-of-a-kind pieces in an effort to satisfy the need for a truly personal style.
While many have dabbled in using custom fabrics and colors, a popular trend among customizers has been rhinestone appliques. Whether used to adorn bags, enhance dresses, or to personalize basic cellphone cases, rhinestones have become a popular way to make items unique. Small businesses have been established for the sole purpose of bedazzling particular items, while many have also chosen to use rhinestones in DIY projects.
There are many rhinestones available in the market, from those made of Swarovski crystals, to those made with acrylic. Online stores that provide retail and wholesale of a wide variety of rhinestones are a great source for anyone looking for creative design options to choose from.

Monday, April 7, 2014

How to Keep Rhinestone Jewelry in Good Condition

Rhinestones can be a great investment, especially when cared for properly. Not only will caring for your jewelry help preserve it for years to come, but it will also make it possible for future generations to enjoy it.

Rhinestone jewelry is made of metal, so unlike silver or gold, it will oxidize and wear off over time. This can be remedied through simple cleaning methods. You don’t have to go out of your way to hire a professional cleaner. Here are a few pointers:

  • Never spray glass cleaner directly on the jewelry. Use a small cloth to clean the area and cotton swabs to target the places that are hard to reach.
  • Use non-abrasive cleaners.
  • Do not submerge rhinestones with foil backing in water, as they can be easily damaged.
  • Be gentle with your rhinestone jewelry when cleaning it. If you’re too forceful, the piece may come apart and it might become difficult to repair.
  • Avoid wearing your jewelry whilst taking part in rigorous activities. It’s also best to keep your jewelry away from hairspray, lotion, makeup and other beauty products.

Harsh environments tend to damage rhinestone jewelry. Make it a point to keep them in cool, dry, smoke and dust-free places.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Shopping for Swarovski Crystals

Swarovski is the brand almost everyone turns to for the finest jewelry crystals and pearls. Retailers all over the world sell pieces with Swarovski crystals, such as bridal pieces, necklaces, pendants, jaw clips, hair accessories and brooches. These pieces are usually known for their elegance and beauty.

Because of the various options Swarovski has to offer, it can be difficult to select styles and colors that complement you. Choosing jewelry is not that different from choosing clothes for your wardrobe. It is always best to stick to classic pieces that will never go out of season. But if you’re aiming for something a little trendier, it doesn’t hurt to step outside the box. Here are some tips:

  1. Make sure the jewelry is appropriate for the occasion. A huge statement piece might be right for a ladies’ night out, but if you’re attending a business meeting, it’s best to stick to simpler pieces.

  1. See what colors best suit your skin tone. Brightly-colored crystals don’t suit every skin type. You’re going to have to test which one looks best on you. It also helps to have someone you trust to accompany you while you pick out jewelry.

  1. Stay within your budget. While looking pretty is important, you also have to think about how much you’re willing to spend.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Bejewel Anything With Sparkling Swarovski Crystals

Any piece of clothing or fashion accessory, dull and boring as they might seem, still has that “shine” in them waiting to be let out. Put a little bling on anything using Swarovski crystals while following these instructions:
Prepare the materials first. You’ll need the crystals, 2 plastic plates, a pair of tweezers, and some glue. Lastly, choose your item to bejewel and come up with a design. It’s better to start small and simple before gradually going up in terms of difficulty. Simpler designs make laying out the jewels easier for beginners, so take care not to draw up a complicated design if you’re attempting the task for the first time.
Next, pour out the jewels onto a plate and the glue on the other. You don’t want them to mix at this point; otherwise, you’ll have to deal with the troublesome effort of separating the jewels from the glue, more so if it’s already dried up.
Use tweezers in picking up the jewels, dabbing on glue, and placing them on the material to be customized. Get used to using the tweezers firsthand, since picking up the tiny crystals with just your fingertips isn’t easy in the first place.

Also, remember the old adage, “Practice makes perfect”. Add more complex patterns as you go on. This is a craft that requires a lot of patience, so make sure you have them beforehand. Cheers and good luck in your bejeweling!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Swarovski Rhinestones Colors and Meanings

Using the meaning of colors can be one way to choose jewelry gifts for special people. The color may symbolize your feelings toward that someone. Alternatively, the color can represent the dominant traits you see (or wish to see) on that person. Let these basic color meanings guide you in choosing Swarovski rhinestones:

Instead of somber tones, black jewelry actually represents resilience and power. The classic monotone also denotes elegance in its bold, dramatic presence.

Perfectly depicting love and romance, fiery hues symbolize passion and courage. Red has always been a classic choice for occasions like Valentine's Day. The energetic red also worthily represents vigorous life, fortune and confidence.

Suitable to bubbly people, the bright, sunny yellow is closely associated to optimism, success, and happiness. Golden or pastel yellow dyes are also linked to hope in overcoming obstacles, creativity and individuality.

Similar to red, pink represents love but in the softer, more caring aspects. Instead of passion, pink nurtures compassion. The carnation color illustrates beauty, tenderness and extreme kindness, as well.

As the color of nature, green brings prosperity, healing and harmony. The emerald tones additionally represent understanding, humility, and generosity in the most genuine people.

The sky and sea's blue color radiates tranquility, truth, and inspiration. Blue is also symbolic of communication and loyalty that are substantial to any relationship. The color inspires earnest and reliable characteristics in the most admirable people.

Monday, March 24, 2014

How to Start a Jewelry Business

They say that you should never do something you’re good at for free. In that case, why not start a jewelry business, especially if you’re already into making them? Before you embark on this enterprise though, know that the road isn’t all glitters, gems, and shiny crystals – you’ll have to put in some work if you want to succeed. Here are a few helpful tips:

Startup Costs

As in almost any other business, the first step should be to think about whether you can afford the startup or capital costs in the first place. The wide array of materials and tools that you’ll need could undoubtedly set you back a lot before you can reap in a profit, so make sure that you have enough to spend for the continuity of your business, at least until the coffers start filling up.

Physical Store vs. Online Shop

Next you should ask yourself if you want to make a brick-and-mortar store for your business, or if you want to just do everything online. Consider the cost of setting up the shop against setting up a website; you might be surprised to know that going online isn’t always the most affordable way to go.

Choose a Supplier

You should also take your supplier into consideration. Choose one that can efficiently ship your materials for you at a low cost. You should also look into choosing a supplier with a wide variety of beads, strings, and other jewelry-making items you’ll be needing.

How to Make a Beaded Bracelet with a Clasp

Crafting the perfect-looking bracelet could make for an exquisite gift with that nice, personal touch. However, you should know that creating such a work of art involves a lot more than just piling on a bunch of crystal beads and rhinestones on a string. To start with, here are a few basic tips on how to make a beaded bracelet with a clasp.


Make sure that you choose sturdy beads, in your own choice of colors, size, and design. For a bracelet though, look into beads ranging from 4mm-8mm. The beading string should also be strong enough to last, like a nice, medium weight nylon string. The clasp can be any design, really, as long as it’s one meant for single strand jewelry.

Clasp and Beads

The first thing to do is to cut your string to the desired length and tie one end to the clasp, preferably using a surgeon’s knot. Now it’s time to insert the beads. As you go on adding beads, make sure to periodically wrap it around your wrist to find out if it’s tight enough.


Use the loose end of the beading string to thread the other half of the clasp, cutting the string only if it already fits your wrist right. Leave a little flexing room by keeping a little bit of space in between the last bead and the end of the clasp.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Embellishing Clothes with Rhinestones

Diamond simulants like rhinestones and crystal beads are commonly used to decorate and enhance a number of items, including clothes and fashion accessories. These materials are easily accessible and can be used more than once. While popular products among mass manufacturers, rhinestones can also be purchased for personal projects, one of which is to embellish clothes.

The most common way to attach rhinestones to clothes is by using a special glue that allows the crystals to bond with fabric. The right amount of glue has to be applied to the rhinestone before it can be set on cloth. Handling tiny rhinestones is best done with the use of tweezers. Many rhinestone products come with heat-sensitive adhesive at the back, which makes attaching the beads to clothes much easier. This kind of attachment has to be done with care, however, as too much heat can damage the rhinestones. The lowest temperature setting in an iron should be used.

Some beads also come with holes through which the beads can be sewn onto a fabric or similar material. While this method can take more time and effort than others, it can also ensure a more secure attachment.

Adding rhinestones to clothes is a surefire way of making a garment more attractive and eye-catching, especially for those with a flair for crafts and design. To achieve the best possible results and preserve the quality of the rhinestones, the attachment has to be done with care. 

Applique—Getting Those Beads Sewn On

The famous adage “simplicity is beauty” isn’t always applicable, at least not in the world of fashion and accessories. There is something more that can be done to a plain surface to make it more interesting and unique in people’s eyes. Perhaps this kind of expectation is what gave birth to the crafting technique called applique.

Applique involves mounting a material on another base material to produce intricate and distinctive designs. This can be done by sewing or embroidering, pasting, or pinning. Regardless of the method used, applique is indeed a very useful form of art that makes clothing design more dynamic and interesting.

Beads are among the most popular materials used for applique. By designing the beads with flat bases and holes on edges to allow for sewing, these small pieces can turn a dull fabric into an elegant one. The glittery cuts of the stones produce a sparkle not found in plain fabric. Furthermore, they can be made into patterns that perfectly match outfits of various styles.

Traditionally, applique is done manually to achieve complex details. Today, different kinds of machines are used to facilitate the job, especially for mass production. However, many producers still prefer handcrafting, particularly for special designs that need exceptional workmanship. In fact, some of the most beautiful applique work ever made in history, such as those displayed in museums, were all done by hand.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Tips for Making Rhinestone-Studded Shirts

Just how popular are rhinestones these days? Step outside and walk around your block, and you will probably come across an individual with rhinestone-studded accessories like bracelets and purses. You will likely encounter someone with a rhinestone-encrusted pair of jeans. Heck, you could even spot a dog wearing a rhinestone-studded collar.

Initially, to a number of people, rhinestones are desperate attempts to look fashionable and hip, but mind you, these shiny elements can actually do more than make one look trendy. In fact, if you have faded shirts that you've been too sentimental to throw away, you can actually make them useful again and, in the process, effectively avoid the “hoarder” tag.

To make your cherished possessions useful again, the first thing to do is to obtain a good supply of rhinestones. Some online stores sell rhinestones in a variety of shapes and colors at affordable prices. The ideal rhinestones to use for clothes are either hot fix or sew-on rhinestones.

Rhinestone designs for shirts can range from slogans to cartoon characters; you can even make your own or download them from the Net. However, be wary of choosing a design with too many details like the ones for Persian rugs as you may not end up with results that you intend to get. Use a cloth chalk to dot the pattern or design.

A Crystal Clear Look at Swarovski Crystals

Why are Swarovski crystals so popular? In 2011, Beyonce made headlines in celebrity news sites when she received a Swarovski crystal-encrusted baby bath tub as a baby shower gift from her good friend Kelly Rowland. In 2008, Nicole Kidman wowed movie fans all over the world when she showed up on the Oscar red carpet donning a necklace with a combination of Swarovski crystals and diamonds.

While today's celebrities like Beyonce and Nicole Kidman make Swarovski crystals a fashion must-have, the history of these luxurious crystals actually go as far back as the late 1800s courtesy of Daniel Swarovski, who established a crystal-cutting factory in Wattens, Austria. Swarovski is credited for creating the patent for crystal-glass abrasion methods, which eventually led to the birth of decorative crystal stones.

Back then, these stones were commonly used as parts for lavish chandeliers. In fact, places like the Metropolitan Opera and European monarch-owned castles proudly display chandeliers that utilized the breathtaking crystals. By the middle of the 20th century, Swarovski decided to further delve into jewelry production; thus, he utilized special treatments in his crystal stones to produce unique colorful effects.

Today, these Swarovski crystals are produced through a specialized but undisclosed manufacturing process at the company's plant based in Wattens, Austria. Here, the crystals are subjected to strict quality control measures to ensure utmost quality. Modern and genuine Swarovski crystal products come with the easily identifiable swan logo.