How to Add Crystals to Jeans

by Jessica Leigh ; Updated September 28, 2017

Embellished designer jeans can cost a pretty penny at department stores and boutiques. Luckily, it is easy to mimic designer looks at home without breaking the bank. Make your ordinary jeans stand out by adding a little sparkle and creative flair with Swarovski crystals.

Turn the jeans inside out and wash. Before applying crystals to your jeans it is important to remove any dirt from them. Even if you are decorating new denim, washing it will remove excess dye from the textile. Dry and iron the jeans after washing.

Prepare your work area. Place a piece of wax paper on the reverse side of the area you will be decorating and lay the jeans flat on the table. Scatter the crystals on the table so that the flat part is on the table and they are facing up. This will make them easier to work with when you are creating your design.

Draw a design with the vanishing marker on the area you wish to decorate. Start with a simple design for your first project. As you gain more experience in embellishing fabrics you can create more elaborate designs with crystals of more than one color.

Fill the medicine syringe about three-quarters full of glue. The syringe will allow you to make the smallest dots of glue possible so that no excess is visible around the crystals. Practice dotting the glue on a piece of wax paper before applying it directly to the denim.

Apply small dots of glue along the entire outline of your design. Don't worry about covering the marks. The vanishing ink will disappear within 48 hours, leaving only your crystal design.

Pick up a crystal with the wax end of the jewel setter and place it on a dot of glue. You may need to lightly push it down with your finger to get the crystal to stick. Repeat until your crystal design is complete.

Allow the crystals to set for at least 24 hours before wearing the jeans. If you wear them while the glue is still wet or tacky the crystals may fall off.


  • To avoid crystals falling off in the washing machine, wash embellished denim by hand and hang to dry.

About the Author

Jessica Leigh is a professional writer with works published for "The Houston Chronicle" and various websites. In addition to pursuing a degree in legal studies she has years of experience in the financial industry as a tax preparer.