Have you ever tried using rhinestones with your Silhouette? If not, you should. If you use the Silhouette Rhinestone Kit you get great instructions and almost everything you need to get started. What's more, if you use a design from the Silhouette Design Store you only need the basic edition of the Silhouette Studio® software.
This pretty makeup bag is an ideal first rhinestone project. It uses the Bella rhinestone file by Sarah Bailey. In this post I'll show you how to decorate a makeup bag and give some extra hits and tips along the way. A file with multi-sized stones may look difficult, but following these suggestions you'll find that is really isn't.
WHAT YOU'LL NEED
Silhouette Rhinestone Template Kit (template material, transfer tape & backing board)
Rhinestone pattern download (#5909)
Silhouette aqua rhinestones in 20ss, 16ss & 10ss
Rhinestone Brush (or foam paint brush)
Heat Press or Iron
Rhinestone Setter (optional)
Scrap card (preferably a sheet in U.S. letter size)(optional)
STEP 1 - Selecting a File
There is a huge selection of rhinestone files in the store. You can search for them by filtering your search results to Cut Style > Rhinestones. You'll notice that they all have a little gemstone logo on the item picture.
The item description shows the size of the finished decal (rhinestone transfer) and the number of rhinestones needed to make it. In this case: 86 x 10ss, 41 x 16ss and 20 x 20ss.
There are sufficient of the smaller sizes (10ss & 16ss) in a Silhouette selection rhinestone pack to make this project along with a separate pack of 20ss stones. However, if you buy separate packs for all three sizes you may find the project a little easier, I'll explain why later.
STEP 2 : Preparing the file
Open the file in the Silhouette software. Take note of the warning to NOT re size the design. If you re size it the hole sizes change and the stones will no longer fit.
Ungroup the design (click, Object > Ungroup) and move the warning text off the mat then regroup all the holes (select, Object > Group).
Set the media size to that of the rhinestone template material. Draw a rectangle the width of your bag (if it is small enough) and centre/place your design as you'd like it to be on the finished item.
Draw a line along the bottom of the rectangle and delete the rectangle.
STEP 3 : Cutting the File
(optional) Cut the design from cardstock and use this as a placement guide for the rhinestone decal.
In the Cut Settings Window select Rhinestone Template Material. Do carry out a Test Cut, as you may find that the suggested blade setting is too high (I cut on Blade 5, Thickness 31). You need to have the blade deep enough to cut the top flock layer, but not so deep as to to cut through the white backing sheet.
Load the template material, paper side down, onto your cutting mat and send to cut.
HINT: Make sure you have a sticky mat and a sharp blade. If possible keep a sharp blade to use exclusively with template material and vinyl.
STEP 4: Preparing the Template
Keeping the cut file on the cutting mat, carefully peel up the flock layer. If you have your cut settings set correctly the layer will peel away leaving a mass of small circle cutouts behind. Check for circles left in the template material and remove them with the weeding hook. If you cut a cardstock version (optional in step 3) check it against the template. (N.B. I missed four circles that I wouldn't have seen without the template).
Align the cut template material onto the backing board.
STEP 5: Making the Decal
Gently brush the rhinestones into the holes. Start with the largest stones and brush excess stones away and return them to the pack. Add missing stones with a pick-up tool. Then tip on the middle-size stones, brush them into the holes and then brush away the excess. Finally repeat with the smallest stones.
HINT: When brushing stones into template holes it is quicker to locate stones into the holes if you use plenty of stones, so add a good pile. This is why I recommend the larger, separate bags of rhinestones over the small selection bags.
When all the holes are filled trim a piece of transfer tape to the size of the template. Peel off the white backing sheet and gently place the sticky piece onto the surface of the stones. Carefully peel it away and place it back on the white backing paper. Lightly smooth the top (shiny side) to make sure all the stones are adhered. Keep the white backing on until you are ready to apply the decal to your bag.
HINT: If the stones 'jump' up to meet the sticky transfer sheet, they can become mis-aligned. If this is a problem for you, try to reduce static in the environment surrounding your work area. Gently touching the back of the transfer sheet on to a tumble dryer sheet might help.
STEP 6: Attaching the Rhinestone Decal
Full instructions for applying rhinestones with an iron are included with the template kit. I used my Hobby Jack heat press. In order to press the decal on, it is advisable to place a pad inside the bag. A small silicon mat would be ideal, but I used a folded pillowcase. This allows for a more even pressure on the different depth of stones and prevents seam press marks from showing.
Peel off the the white backing from the decal and position the decal on your bag. Use the card template to help ensure that the bottom of the word is straight. Place a silicon sheet or cloth between the bag and the platen of the heat press. Press on a heat setting of 8, for about 30 - 40 seconds (these are Hobby Jack settings, your heat press may be different). Check to see if the stones have adhered by carefully peeling away the sticky layer (take care, it will be HOT)! If any stones lift press the bag again for a few seconds. Remove the sticky backing entirely and press again for a few seconds with a cloth/sheet to protect it.
STEP 7: Finishing
Check all the stones again once the item is cool. If any of the stones are lose use the rhinestone setter to adhere them again.
HINT: Use a scrap piece of the sticky transfer layer between the setter and the stones. This helps to hold the stone in place while the heat from the setter takes effect and allows you to use gentle pressure with the setter. Heavy pressure will cause the adhesive to be pushed out from under the stone.
To complete the project use the rhinestone setter to apply three of the larger stones to the zip pull tab.
There, the project is complete. Pretty isn't it?
You can make your own rhinestone designs too. The Designer Edition of the Silhouette Studio® software gives you design options for a number of different fill patterns and for up to 4 sizes of rhinestones. Why not give it a try?