How to Glue Rhinestones so They Stay Put!

Rhinestones are really versatile! They can be used anywhere and everywhere a little extra glam is called for. But do you know how to glue rhinestones in the right way? If not, you’ll be forever reattaching them. And seeing your beautiful craft projects literally falling apart.

To avoid these kinds of craft disasters, read this guide on how to apply rhinestones. Follow the steps and you can ensure perfectly applied rhinestones every time.

Woman uses hot melt glue gun in handmade applications. Needlewoman glues sequins. Closeup, selective focus

Choose the right glue on jewels

Firstly, you need to make sure you have the right rhinestones for the job. You can get rhinestones made from crystal, glass, acrylic or resin.

Acrylic rhinestones come in a huge range of colours, shapes and sizes. You’re really spoilt for choice! Crystal rhinestones are more sparkly. But they’re also heavier and more expensive.

Whichever material you choose, make sure your rhinestone has a flat (rather than a pointed) back. This is essential if you’re planning to glue them into place.

You can also find hot fix flat back rhinestones. These tend to be made from crystal rather than acrylic. They come with a heat-activated glue already applied to the flat side of the gem.

Factoring in the practicalities is important. But you also need to be sure your chosen rhinestones fit well with your design and the overall look of the piece you’re creating.

Choose the best glue for rhinestones

Different materials require different types of glue. So the rhinestone glue you choose will depend upon where you’re planning to fix your rhinestones.

Will you be attaching your gems to fabric garments like jeans, shirts, dresses or shoes? Will you be sticking them onto a smartphone or a purse? Or do you want to use them in nail and face art designs?

Once you have a clear idea of what surface you’ll be sticking the rhinestones to, you can choose an appropriate rhinestone glue:

Beacon Gem-Tac.

This is a permanent rhinestone glue that can be used on most surfaces, including fabric. It’s a great all-rounder.

rhinestone glue

E6000 Craft.

The E6000 is an industrial strength adhesive. It works best if you’re sticking rhinestones to a hard surface, like glass, plastic or metal. It doesn’t work so well on fabrics.

rhinestone glue

G-S Hypo Cement.

This glue comes with a great little applicator tip, making it the perfect option for fine detail work. G-S Hypo Cement works well on metal, plastic and ceramics. But if you’re working with garments, you’ll need to seek out the brand’s fabric formula.

rhinestone glue

Heat gun.

If you’re using hot fix rhinestones, the easiest way to apply them is with a hotfix applicator, or heat gun. With different sized tips, you can attach rhinestones of all sizes.

rhinestone glue

More tips on how to glue rhinestones

If you’ve got the right rhinestones and the best rhinestone glue for your project, you’re off to a great start. These extra tips on how to glue rhinestones will help you get the flawless finish you’re looking for.

Prepare your workspace

Open the windows or work in a well-ventilated area as some glues produce unpleasant fumes. Also consider the surface you’ll be working on. Cover with a large piece of cardboard if necessary.

rhinestone glue-6

Gather other useful tools

There’s lots of useful kit out there designed to make rhinestone crafting that bit easier.

The Beadsmith Magical Tray helps you to keep rhinestones organised, and magically turns them the right way up too!

The Beadsmith Magical Pick makes picking up rhinestone much less fiddly.

If the glue you’ve chosen doesn’t have a fine enough applicator, a small nozzle craft syringe might prove useful.

A simple toothpick can also come in really handy for removing any excess glue from around the sides of your rhinestones.

rhinestone glue

Leave enough time for the glue to dry

It takes longer than you might think for rhinestone glue to dry properly.

For hard surfaces – like metal, plastic, glass, etc. – we recommend you leave glue to dry for at least 24 hours. If you’re gluing onto fabric, leave it three to five days before washing or wearing a garment.

rhinestone glue

Troubleshooting: How do you keep rhinestones from falling off?

If you’re following all of the steps above, your rhinestones should stay exactly where you want them to, particularly if you’re gluing onto a hard surface.

It can be a little trickier with fabrics, however. Consider choosing sew on rhinestones if you’re fixing gems to fabric that will be worn and washed regularly. 

Ready to start your rhinestone craft project?

We hope these tips on how to glue rhinestones to fabric and other materials has given you some inspiration for your next craft project.

And remember! You can find beautiful and glue-able flat back rhinestones on the SUNMEI product page. Just get in touch for more information or to order samples.

Looking for more information? We can help you!

SUNMEI provides a wide range of catalogues and free samples. Get in touch now. We would be happy to help!


SUNMEI is a specialized manufacturer of acrylic rhinestone and button for over 20 years. We provide a wide selections of acrylic rhinestones and buttons. Visit our product page and find out more styles!