How to Glue Stones to Jeans

by Kimberly Johnson

If you’re tired of wearing plain denim jeans, consider jazzing them up with stones to stand out from the crowd. Applying stones in patterns or shapes allows you to show your personality and add a little flair to your clothing. With many colors and styles of stones to choose from, the final look depends mostly on your imagination.

Lay the jeans on a flat surface.

Use scissors to cut a piece of cardboard to the width of the pants leg or other area of the jeans to which you are applying stones. Slide the cardboard inside the area to prevent the glue from adhering to the other side of the denim.

Arrange the stones on top of the jeans in the desired pattern. According to Printwear, choose stones that are either 6ss to 10ss in size, since they stand up better to repeated washing.

Squeeze out 1 to 2 tablespoons of fabric-suitable gem glue onto a disposable plate.

Pick up one stone using a jewel setter. To lift, simply press the wax end of the the setter gently onto the stone and lift up.

While holding the stone with the setter, insert a cotton swab into the glue and dab it onto the back of the stone. Ensure the glue extends all the way to the edges.

Re-position the stone as desired and press down firmly. Gently lift the setter to release. Don’t worry if the white glue is visible, it dries clear.

Repeat the process to adhere the remaining stones one at a time to the jeans.

Leave the jeans undisturbed for at least 24 hours to allow the glue to set firmly.

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Items you will need

  • Washing machine
  • Dryer
  • Table
  • Cardboard
  • Scissors
  • 6ss to 10ss stones and rhinestones
  • Jewel setter stick
  • Gem stone glue suitable for fabric
  • Disposable plate
  • Cotton swab
  • Iron on stencil (optional)
  • Iron (optional)


  • Iron-on stencils are a good option for forming the basis of your design. Apply them to the surface of the jeans using an iron and position the stones over the design.
  • When applying stones to new jeans, wash and dry them first. This will ensure they don’t shrink later and dislodge the stones.
  • Pronged settings are available to provide additional embellishment to stones. If opting to use settings, note that special jewel setters may be required.


  • Do not use hot glue or school glue to attach gemstones, as these types of glues will not stand up to wear and may damage fabric during application.

About the Author

Kimberly Johnson is a freelance writer whose articles have appeared in various online publications including eHow, Suite101 and Examiner. She has a degree in journalism from the University of Georgia and began writing professionally in 2001.