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Posts Tagged ‘flat backs

Decorating Your Flip-flops with Rhinestones

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Flip-flops can be made of different materials; rubber, vinyl and polyurethane. Rubber is a better material to work with in almost all cases and we recommend you purchase footwear with rubber straps if possible before you start the gluing. This is due to the fact that its surface shine is inherent in the material and not added by placing a top coat of another, less ‘gluable’ material.

In order to obtain the best adhesion from your glue, you should take a minute to prepare the straps to both remove the shine from the material and level the surface. Removing the shine can be accomplished easily by using a nylon scouring pad (the dark green side of a two-sided kitchen sponge), a little water and a few strokes back and forth.

Leveling the surface is a bit trickier and may be required if the straps have a deep pattern on them or if there is a brand name logo on them. If this is the case, you may actually want to use a small hand tool (like a Dremel tool) to remove the pattern or logo. In either case, you should then remove any residue with a little isopropyl alcohol and a clean, lint-free cloth (i.e., not a paper towel). Let the straps dry.

A very popular scheme for the rhinestones on the strap is to line them up, three across. Should you use this layout, you will probably use 16ss rhinestones for best coverage. You can design your pattern around this scheme. If you want to use a larger stone (20ss), you may have to move to a honeycomb pattern. This looks nice as well.

Once you have decided on the scheme and pattern, apply a little adhesive and set the stones one at a time. There are various techniques for applying adhesive on the straps. One involves covering the entire surface with adhesive, the other targets each stone. The ‘shot-gun’ approach is done by covering about an inch of material at a time, by spreading the adhesive over the entire width/length of the strap. This is obviously faster, but reveals the glue in areas around the stones on the completed shoe. If you apply the glue in an even enough thickness, it may actually not be that noticeable, since the glue should dry clear.

The other approach involves a tooth pick or a syringe to apply the glue in the exact location of each stone. This will take longer to accomplish, but will leave a cleaner looking strap and may actually prevent multiple stones from falling off in the event there is a weakening of the bond. Allow the glue to dry completely before wearing the flip-flops, to be safe, this will take several days to about a week (please be patient.)

For a complete selection of 16ss and 20ss flat back rhinestones, please our Rhinestone Biz website.


Written by rhinestonebiz

November 29, 2007 at 7:08 pm