Embellishing is everywhere! A huge trend on designer runways, the look of overly-embellished shirts, pants, purses and more is taking fashion by storm. I love it—the more sparkle the better!—and it’s totally doable for a DIY.
In this tutorial, I take a printed graphic tee and add rhinestones and sew-on embellishments for a multi-dimensional piece. What’s great about embellishing is that you call the rules—add as much or as little decoration as you want!
Iron-on rhinestones make it simple and easy to add touches of sparkle in specific spots. Choose crystal colors that match the graphic of your tee (mine from Wildfox.com—they have some really pretty and trendy graphic tees!) so that they blend in well. Using a pre-printed graphic tee makes it easy to quickly embellish, because you can follow the design.
Are we ready to start?!
Step 1: Gather materials. You’ll need an iron, a graphic tee, sewing thread or embroidery floss, an embroidery needle, crystal iron-on flatbacks and any other embellishments (such as sew-on rhinestones, sew-on cabochons, or charms). I’m using metallic rose flatback accents.
Step 2: Iron out your tee on a flat surface – it helps to not use an ironing board – and place your crystals over the area of your tee you’d like to embellish. I picked colors that matched the graphic so that the crystals sort of blended and gave a subtle sparkle. there were blue tones and yellow tones in the design, so I used a mix of those crystals plus AB flatbacks.
Step 3: Iron your flatbacks on, keeping the iron pressure firm but even on the crystals. I did this for about 30 seconds, then checked it by letting the fabric cool and seeing if the crystals adhered. My iron was set on the wool setting. Depending on what kind of iron-on crystals you have, this step will vary. There will usually be instructions on the packaging of the crystals, so please follow their recommendations! You can also use a press cloth here over the crystals, which will be gentler on the graphic on the fabric, especially when ironing over the printed area. Mine was fine without a pressing cloth, but the graphic ink wasn’t as thick as some others I’ve seen. You can always fabric glue the crystals instead of ironing if you are worried.
It also helps to not use steam when ironing the crystals.
I used Cousin brand Crystazzi iron-on crystals which you can get off Amazon. Also, many major craft retailers sell iron-on crystals and Swarovski HotFix crystals.
Check to make sure the crystals have adhered, and iron more if needed. Again, pay close attention to the instructions on the package! Also, don’t slide the iron or shift it- this will also shift the rhinestones. Press evenly and firmly straight down.
If you have a Hotfix tool, you can also use this instead of the iron.
Step 4: Continue embellishing other areas of the graphic. You can use as many or as little crystals as you’d like!
Step 5: If using sew-on rhinestones or cabochons, simply cut a 12″ piece of your sewing thread or floss. Knot the end, and string on the needle. Sew on your component (I usually run the thread multiple times through the piece for added strength).
If using metal like I am here, you will have to be very careful when washing! Hand wash ONLY and try to avoid the metal areas—if they do get wet, try to dry them very soon after washing, to prevent rusting. It’s better to use glass or acrylic sew-ons for long-term wearing.
Secure the string a few times around the cabochon, for strength.
Knot the string at the inside of the fabric multiple times for strength, then cut excess string.
Step 6: If you want to add iron-on crystals around the embellishment, be careful when ironing. Alternatively, you could add the crystals before sewing for ironing ease!
I’m carefully ironing around my sew-on rose here but using the same method as Step 3.
Continue sewing or ironing until your desired look is complete!
Again, when washing: hand wash and hang dry, as these shirts end up being very delicate.
Super chic! And ready to wear!
Check out all of my other tutorials at quietlioncreaitons.com – thanks for reading!