How to Apply Swarovski Crystals to Designer Clothing

by Maryam Khan

Flat backed swarovski crystals can enhance an article of clothing.

glass crystals image by Sherri Camp from

Swarovski crystals and rhinestones are precise cut stones that add a bling to the plainest of outfits. Decorating the clothes can be challenging, especially when embellishing designer clothing since they are expensive and require great care and some level of skill to stylize and further elaborate them. Swarovski crystals are not only used in clothing but are also popular in bejeweling handbags, accessories and nail art. You can choose from plain white crystals to a wide variety of colors that compliment the color and design of your clothing.

Items you will need

  • Fabric glue
  • Tweezers
Step 1

Chose a design for gluing the swarovski crystals on your desired clothing item or follow a printed pattern on the item itself. Draw a small motif or select from a pattern book.

Step 2

Transfer the pattern to the fabric carefully, then iron from the back side to remove any creases from the dress.

Step 3

Place the area to be embellished on a flat surface and lift each crystal with tweezers and stick it to the dress after applying a small drop of glue to its base. Slightly press with the tweezers to secure the gem. Use a small cotton piece to gently clear any unwanted glue from the sides.

Step 4

Glue the rest of the crystals on your designer clothing item following the design pattern using the tweezers. If you are bejeweling a printed design, stick the swarovski crystals randomly or use them to highlight the print.

Step 5

Let the glued crystals dry for at least an hour or as directed on the back of the glue container. After the glue has dried, set an iron on low heat and press the back of the clothing to fix the glue. Your designer clothing has now been further embellished using sparkling crystals and rhinestones.


  • Flat backed swaorvski crystals are easier to stick using hot or fabric glue, thus making them more ideal for this project.

    Buy ready to transfer swarovski crystal motifs from any craft store and hot glue them to your outfit.

    Keeping the design minimal will make it more attractive.

    Place an old newspaper around the pattern as you work to avoid damage by spilling any glue on the garment.

    Bejeweled dressed should ideally be hand washed and ironed from the back to ensure the crystals stay in place for a long time.


  • Metal prongs can also be used to set crystals on fabric but this is more challenging and may damage your expensive clothing.

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