For part 6 of my series on Totally Minnie, my winning look for the Her Universe Fashion Show 2023, I’m excited to share all about how I did the rhinestones. I was really proud of how this worked out and I think it’s an amazing and efficient technique and, honestly, if I hadn’t done it this way, I don’t know that I could have finished in time. This was definitely one of the most fun parts of the making the dress.
The secret? Rhinestone templates + really precise sewing.
As I mention in the post on making the dots, there were 4 sizes of dots — 3”, 4”, 5”, and 7”. These were all cut out very precisely and the binding was equally sewn on precisely using a template to indicate the stitching line. This meant that the location for placing the rhinestones should be equivalent between all dots of the same size.
Using Silhouette Studio (I have the Business Edition which has the rhinestone template functionality), I created circles of the 4 sizes and made them rhinestones. I did print them first and overlay them with my circles. I ended up making most of them slightly smaller than the exact measurements so the rhinestone would fit inside the outer circle.
I cut the templates out of template material. I used flocked template material which I hadn’t previously used. I got it here on Amazon. There were some mixed reviews, but I really liked it! It cut easily and the flocking made it easy to fill with rhinestones. I didn’t have any backing boards so I just used some pieces of a cardboard box to stick the templates to. It doesn’t really matter as long as it’s flat. I will say though that that I was finding the little circles that were cut out all over the place for a while. Sticky buggers.
To fill the template, I just pour rhinestones over it, use the little brush to swish them around and they mostly just fill in the holes:
This worked great for the dots, but as I’ll mention later, didn’t work as well for the bow which had rhinestones of various sizes. So as long as your rhinestones are all one size, you’re good to go.
Then I placed clear transfer paper over the rhinestones in the template. The flocking material came with the transfer paper and you can use it multiple times.
With the circle of rhinestones on my transfer paper, I could go over to my Cricut EasyPress, lay it over the bound dot, line up the rhinestones and apply with the EasyPress.
Bingo! Done! And so much faster and more even than applying by hand (at least for me since I have a hard time keeping it even).
For some of the circles, I did have to do the rhinestones one half at a time to get it to line up properly. And occasionally I had to touch some up with the hot fix wand. But overall, I was able to do all 67 basic dots which amounted to about 4,000 rhinestones in a couple hours. I wish everything for this dress could have gone this smoothly!