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Topics: Swarovski, Hot Fix Rhinestones

Q.
I am going to try to make my own Swarovski crystal enhanced heels and was wondering what material for shoes is recommended. I seem to only find leather in the style that I want as opposed to satin. Would leather work, or should I look for something else? Thank you.
- Mary
A.
Oh, this will be fun! Leather or satin shoes will work fine. Rubber (like Crocs) and vinyl do not work well with this application. If you find satin shoes, choose Swarovski crystal hot-fix rhinestones which are applied with heat. If you find leather shoes, choose Swarovski flat back rhinestones and apply with two-part jeweler’s epoxy. Whichever materials you are working with, start in the middle of the heel and work your way out so both sides will be evenly balanced with the same amount of crystals. When working with epoxy, mix up small batches and work in small areas at a time. Apply a thin layer of the epoxy to the heel with a toothpick. Position the crystals on top of the glue and let fully cure 24 hours before wearing them. If you use too much glue, it will seep out from underneath the crystals and leave a bit of a glop that may be visible once cured. If you don't apply enough glue, the crystals will fall off. If using hot-fix, test on a piece of scrap satin before applying to your shoes so you are aware of the heat of the tool and so you do not burn the satin.

- Kristal Wick, Designer, Author, Jewelry Making Expert and Swarovski Ambassador

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