So, you want to add some sparkle to your costume. You run to the craft store and search for rhinestones. Where are they? The kids craft aisle? With the jewelry-making supplies? In the aisle with the other costuming items?
Yes. You'll find rhinestones in all of those places - and more! Don't forget the scrapbooking aisle, the wedding section, and with the stickers. They're probably hiding in more places around the store too!
So where do you start??
If you're anything like me - you're completely overwhelmed and have no idea what the difference between all of these rhinestone varieties are! Some come in enormous packaging and some in tiny bags. Some seem fairly inexpensive and others are very pricey! So what do you do?
Well, you've come to the right place. I'll give you the rhinestone rundown
The biggest determining factor on price is the quality of the rhinestone. There are two factors that play into quality.
Crystal rhinestones are top-of-the-line. The most popular crystal brand is Swavorski. You've heard of that one, right? Yeah, they have their own jewelry store in malls. So, as you can imagine, they also are usually the most expensive. Don't be fooled by products using the Swavorski keyword. Lots of knock-offs use this in their search terms to get you to buy!
Glass rhinestones have great shine and light reflection. They're similar to crystal rhinestones, but without as big of a price tag.
Plastic rhinestones will not reflect light nearly as well as glass or crystal. These are the kinds of rhinestones you find in the kids aisle or mixed in with costume materials.
The industry term for this is facets. The number of facets a rhinestone has increases how well it reflects light. More facets (cuts) means more angles for light to hit and bounce off the stone. Swavorski's newest rhinestone has 16 facets.
Rhinestones marked "AB" have an aurora borealis finish on them. These reflect multiple colors rather than just the color of the rhinestone.
The size of the rhinestone will affect the price as well. Rhinestones are usually sized by "SS" which stands for "Stone Size". Sometimes you'll see "PP", which is "Pearl Size". Both the PP and the SS sizes are included on the attached chart, along with an image to let you see the size of the rhinestone.
Rhinestones are sold by the gross. One gross = 144 rhinestones.
There are four main ways to attach rhinestones to items.
1. Glue-on. Exactly what it sounds like. You use glue to attach the rhinestone to the material.
2. Hotfix. These have a special compound on the back that will adhere to material when heat is applied. Some are low-heat hotfix and others require a special heat press to use.
3. Sew-on. These have tiny holes you can thread a needle through to attach to clothing.
4. Adhesive. These rhinestones are not meant for clothing. These are stickers which can be used on paper or hard surfaces.
So that's the need-to-know about rhinestones to get you started! For comparison purposes, I've included a few links to different quality rhinestones. All price examples listed are equivalent 1-gross.
Swavorski - 16 facets - around $29.95
Glass - around $7.50
Plastic - around 4.99
Crave Glam has size SS20 glass rhinestones in 12-facet and 16-facet cuts.
1 gross of the 12- facet rhinestones is only $2.97
1 gross of the 16-facet rhinestones is only $4.97
I did a side-by-side comparison, and Crave's 16-facet rhinestone is indistinguishable from the Swavorski rhinestone. As the owner, I'm sure my word doesn't mean as much as a customer review - so I'm looking forward to getting some feedback to post as well! Keep an eye out for a special promotion!
For shipping, a 4-gross minimum order is required, but you can mix and match! If you're ordering any other item from Crave, you can add on a single gross of rhinestones.