Recommendation needed for gluing rhinestone onto Ballroom dresses

I just finished the MIT comp and I realized I lost rhinestones on both my Standard dress and Latin dress. I recently bought flat back rhinestones to replace the lost ones but I havent bought the glue. Is that any brand better than another? I do not wish to damage my dresses with heavy patches of glue. Are there any brands of glue more solid and "cleaner" than another? Please give me some recommendations. Thanks a lot!
Honestly I have never glued a single rhinestone. In ice skating we had to make sure our costumes were secure and nothing would fall off that the next skater would fall on.

We had to sew ours on, and after each stone was sewn on it was recommended that we knot and disconnect the thread to make sure if one fell off the rest didn't. It's much more comfortable than glue, but takes maybe a little more time. Not much.

The stones have a hole in the center, and you have to use beading needles to sew them, but I can promise you it's worth the time.


New Member
There are three main camps in the glue debate:

1) E-6000. This is the glue that will stick anything to anything. If you read the lable you'll die laughing, because it talks about being used for marine repairs, fixing conveyor belts, and patching concrete. It's also rather toxic, and has a cancer warning.

2) Gem-tac or some variant. These are white glues designed for gluing non-porous materials like small mirrors or rhinestones to fabric. Some people swear by Chrisanne glue, but Gem-tac is my favorite. These don't hold quite as well as E-6000, but they don't smell as much and they are easier to work with.

3) Superglue. I think that's what Joe meant when he said cyanoacrylic or whatever it was. Maybe he'll see that I've invoked him on this thread and will chime in with his suggestion.


Well-Known Member

IMO Gem-tac is every bit just as good as E6k if you use proper technique and get the glue to slip up the side the stone. And you don't have to deal with the spiderwebs.

Yes, superglue is a cyanoacrylate glue, and yes it works for stones, but it's better suited for large gems. It seems to offgas a white fume as it dries, giving small stones a dull haze and the surrounding fabric a slight white halo. Also, the typical thin CA glue tends to just soak into fabric; you need to use a thick glue.


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I also prefer Gem-tac because it's neater and easier to work with. But something to consider for replacing stones is whether the whole stone fell off, or if the silver backing was left behind. If the silver backing is still glued to the dress, Gem-tac won't work since it's made to adhere only to fabric. For that, you should use E6000 since as Laura said, it will glue anything to anything.
When I recently stoned my latin dress, I was told to use something called Plumber's Goop (or Glue depending on the brand). It sounds odd to use that for rhinestones, but it really works well. It dries clear, is very easy to use, and permanently holds whatever to wherever, forever (as it says on the back). You can find it at Home Depot or any similar store.


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I use gemtac for gluing stones to fabric, and when I make hair pieces (stones glued together or stones glued to metal hair pins I use E6000


Well-Known Member
I know this doesn't really help you now, but if I wasn't so completely wasted by the end of the MIT comp, boy was it tempting to sweep the floor and collect all of those orphaned rhinestones. Actually I've collected quite a pile of interesting specimens over the years at comps, dress rehearsals, showcases etc. You tend to find quite a few in the ladies' room too ;)

My vote is for Gem-Tac. I've used it for years. I've tried E6000 on a few occasions, and really dislike its string-y tendencies and the odor. Are you in Massachusetts?


New Member
I know someone who collected orphaned rhinestones for years, including leftovers from her own various projects. Then she made a simple black dress and sprinkled all the different colors all over it. It ended up looking really cool! But it took a lot of stones!


Well-Known Member
AUGG.. Tell me all about it...
We do travel often to regional comps, or other pro/am comps that we like to do, that require a flight... I have this Dore travel bag that I can fling over my shoulder and travels on a flight well..... Everytime I come home there are stones on the bottom of the bag, which I just shake out over the garbage.... If I were to pick them up over the years I would of had a whole new gown!!

Funny story..... Once we were on a flight and I wanted to hang my over the shoulder gowns in the first class closet... The attendent gave me such a problem, the pilot thought it was cool that I was carrying on gowns.... He yelled at her to let me hang the gowns.. flight over, he comes out of the cock-pit to make sure I dont forget to take my gowns.... Yea, fat chance I will forget them!! She gave me this "I will kill you eyes", he gave me a killer smile!!

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