Glam Up Your Shoes with Swarovski Rhinestone Crystals
April 07, 20234 min read
Want to glam up your shoes? All you need is some Swarovski crystals, glue and a little know-how! Adding your own bling to your favourite pair of shoes is both affordable and easy to do. Whether you’re looking to glam up the heels on your summer wedges, or you’re looking to give your favourite pair of trainers a glamorous makeover, it’s easier than you might think.
In the following guide, we’re going to share with you some great tips to keep in mind when glamming up your shoes with Swarovski crystals. Let’s take a look!
Best crystals for shoes
The type of Swarovski crystals you choose to glam up your shoes is pretty important: if you opt for the wrong type of crystals, the results are unlikely to match your expectations and you could end up wasting your money.
Before we begin, it’s also important to note that Swarovski changed their purchase policy in 2020, and you can no longer buy Swarovski crystals uniquely for personal use. In order to buy Swarovski crystals, you need to be able to certify that they’ll be used to create a physically sellable product (such as shoes!). However, if you’re simply looking to add some sparkle to a pair of your own shoes, we’d recommend using other branded crystals - such as Serinity Crystals - which are equally gorgeous and suitable for personal use.
Which type of Swarovski crystals are best for glamming up a pair of shoes?
Well, first you’ll want to ensure that you’re using non-hotfix crystals. While hotfix crystals are great for adding a little bling to clothing, they aren’t a good idea for shoes. This is because they require heat to make them stick, which means - depending upon the material of the shoes - heat could potentially cause damage. So, stick to non-hotfix, and ideally Swarovski flatback crystals for best results.
As for the design, there are so many to choose from! If you’ve never added crystals to a pair of shoes before, it’s recommended you take a look online for a little inspiration. That way, you’ll get to see which sizes, shapes and designs look best - have a scroll through Pinterest, TikTok or Instagram for some inspo!
What size Swarovski crystals should I use for shoes?
When selecting the size of Swarovski crystals for shoes, consider the following factors:
The style of the shoe
Delicate shoes, such as ballet flats or strappy sandals, may look better with smaller crystals, while bolder styles, like platform heels or boots, can handle larger crystals.
The desired effect
If you want a subtle shimmer, we’d recommend opting for smaller crystals, whereas if you prefer a more eye-catching, dazzling effect, choose medium to large crystals.
If you plan to create intricate patterns or designs, smaller crystals may work better due to their precision and detail. For simple designs or full coverage, medium to large crystals may be more suitable.
How many Swarovski crystals to cover a shoe?
How many Swarovski crystals that you’ll need to cover a shoe will largely depend on the size, style, and design that you have in mind.To estimate the number of crystals required, consider the following factors:
Measure the shoe's surface area
To determine the shoe's surface area, measure its length, width, and height. Then, multiply these dimensions to calculate the surface area in square inches or square centimetres.
Select the crystal size
Swarovski crystals come in various sizes, typically measured in millimetres (mm) or SS (Stone Size). Smaller crystals will require more crystals to cover the same area compared to larger ones, so keep this in mind when selecting the right sizes for your project.
Calculate the coverage area per crystal
Determine the surface area of a single crystal by multiplying its length and width (assuming a square or rectangular shape). If the crystal is round or irregularly shaped, use the formula for the area of a circle, or estimate the area based on the crystal's dimensions.
Estimate the number of crystals required
Divide the shoe's surface area by the coverage area per crystal. This calculation will give you an approximate number of crystals needed to cover the shoe.
Overestimate rather than underestimate
It’s always a good idea to overestimate how many crystals you’ll need; you don’t want to be mid-way through your design and realise that you’re running out of crystals! Buying extra crystals also means you’re covered in the event that you lose or misplace some.
Make sure you have the right tools
Of course, you’re not going to be able to glam up your shoes if you don’t have the right tools. With non-hotfix Swarovski crystals, you’re going to need some tweezers, glue, a cotton cloth, a cuticle stick and potentially a jewellery setter. These will make applying and setting the crystals in place much easier.
How to apply crystals to shoes
Although the way you apply the crystals will depend upon the type of shoes you’re glamming up - as well as the material you’re sticking them onto - there are a few pieces of advice to follow.
Firstly, you absolutely must ensure that the shoes are clean! If you try to apply the Swarovski crystals on top of dirt or grease for example, they’re not going to stick - plus it’s not going to give you that luxury, fresh-out-the-book look if there are visible smudges. Take your time to clean your shoes according to the manufacturer’s instructions, letting them dry naturally (ideally overnight) before you begin the crystal application process.
It’s also worth taking time before you start to separate the crystals into groups, turning them upside down so they’re quicker to work with. We like to use triangular magical trays, which you can spot in some of our videos on our YouTube and TikTok channels; they make it easy for you to split up all your different coloured crystals when applying.
Plus, if you’re using Swarovski crystals, there are a lot of tutorials online that can show you exactly how to apply them to shoes in no time at all. So if you feel like glamming up a pair of shoes, take a look at our stunning selection of Swarovski crystals, available in small and wholesale packs, and get sparkling!
Check out our most popular Swarovski Hotfix Flatback Crystals