My first time using Swarovski Elements Crystal Hotfix Flat Backs was definitely a learning experience! It took a lot of practice before I started setting my crystals confidently and accurately. You can learn from my mistakes and use today’s tips to add sparkle to your projects like a pro!
Crystal Hotfix Flat Backs have a pre-applied adhesive on their back. To activate the adhesive you need to heat your crystal. I used our BeJeweler® Pro Electric Rhinestone Setter to embellish a sheet of Ultra Suede by Lillypilly Designs. The Rhinestone Setter tool gets very, very hot. You need to use it with caution to keep from burning yourself or your fabric! Make sure you’re holding the Rhinestone Setter tool straight up and down. If you lean the tool to one side you won’t get as good of an adhesive bond and you risk burning your fabric with the edge of the tool. There’s nothing you can do to correct a burn like this except work around the mark. I think I can cut around this one, but I wouldn’t want to have to re-do an entire project because of a scorch mark!
You only need to heat your hotfix flat backs for approximately 30 seconds to create a good bond. I was careful to count to 30 for each crystal I set, but I was also pressing down on the tool much harder than I needed to. Firm pressure keeps your tool in place and prevents your crystals from moving while you set them, but too much can make an imprint on the back of your fabric and squish adhesive out from under the crystal. The back of my ultra suede wound up with a polka dot pattern!
You can find more information on setting Crystal Hotfix Flat Backs in our step-by-step technique!