You probably first noticed a device called the “Bedazzler” on a late-night infomercial. The product originated in the 1970s and is used by crafters across the globe to cover clothing — including jackets, pants and a baby’s onesie — with colorful rhinestones. The process of bedazzling clothing is accomplished by centering the rhinestone on the fabric and attaching it with the plastic device. Before setting the first rhinestone on your jacket, devise a pattern to create a uniform, professional look.
Preparing the Jacket
Lay the jacket onto a flat surface. Create a pattern freehand or use a stencil or template, available at craft stores. Mark the pattern with a black marker. Be precise when making the pattern to avoid leaving behind unnecessary stains. Save the pattern for the back, arms and pockets of the jacket. Another option is to create simple geometric shapes around the arms' cuffs or collar. Keep the pattern simple if you’re using larger rhinestones to prevent creating a cluttered finished product.
Bedazzling the Jacket
Set the Bedazzler on a hard, flat surface and lift the unit’s arm. Load the first rhinestone into the arm by placing the gem inside, leaving the prongs exposed. Slide the jacket’s fabric between the Bedazzler’s arm and metal plate, which is found on the unit’s base. Manipulate the coat until one of the pattern’s dots is directly under the arm. Press down on the unit’s arm until you feel a slight pop, like a stapler going through paper. Lift the arm and if the gem is not completely installed on the fabric, press down on the arm a second time. Turn the jacket over and examine the rhinestone to ensure no pointed prongs remain. If one of the prongs didn’t bend, press down on it firmly with a weighted object.
Remove the bedazzled rhinestone by straightening the metal prongs with a pair of pliers. Grasp the gem with pliers and pull it upward off the fabric. Keep in mind that removing the rhinestone leaves behind small holes that might require repair, especially if the holes continue to tear overtime. Bedazzling tough fabric, including denim, may require pressing down on the unit’s arm several times to engage the rhinestone. Some types of fabric, including leather and suede, prove too difficult for the Bedazzler, and might cause damage to the machine.
There is also a diminutive version of the original full-sized Bedazzler, the Mini Bedazzler. The product is very similar to the original version, allowing you to use the same size rhinestone at a fraction of the cost. The Mini Bedazzler is also safe for use on delicate fabrics and products, including umbrellas and decorative wrapping paper.
Residing in Chippewa Falls, Wis., Jaimie Zinski has been writing since 2009. Specializing in pop culture, film and television, her work appears on Star Reviews and various other websites. Zinski is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in history at the University of Wisconsin.