How to Dress up a Bag with Rhinestones

Upcycled Bags with Rhinestones
Last week I was browsing through Target’s “Dollar” area, and spotted some cute little bags.  I thought I could dress up bags with rhinestones for our little princesses for Easter. I had never worked with rhinestones before and figured this would be a good beginner project.

Yesterday I decided to get going on the project. However, after taking a better look at the Target bags, I decided the quality was so poor (even at $3.00 a piece) that it wasn’t really worth the effort: the bags are going back for a refund. I went through my stash of fabric and found a vintage tablecloth that I figured would be perfect for my little bags.

I have made several larger bags in the past, so I took the basic pattern for those bags and cut it down to make something more appropriate for little girls.

Sewing Easter Bags
Our awesome KNK team sent me rhinestones several months ago but I had yet to take the time to learn how to apply them. Thank goodness for Sandy McCauley and her awesome videos! I watched all of her rhinestone designing videos and learned so much. (I will be watching a LOT more of her videos in the near future, because I learned so many awesome tips.)

Sandy made it look so easy designing the rhinestone templates that I couldn’t wait to get going. Of course, there was a bit of a learning curve so it didn’t seem quite as easy as it looked watching her, but I managed to get a good result for my first try.

  • Materials:
  1. Rhinestone Motif Rubber
  2. Rhinestones
  3. Rhinestone Transfer Tape
  4. Blue-capped Blade
  5. Small baking pan
  6. Backing board such as chipboard, foam board, etc.
  7. Iron
  • Settings on KNK Zing:
  1. Force – 100
  2. Speed – 10
  3. Multicut – 2
  4. Offset – .25
  • Steps:
  1. Design Template (or open pre-made design)
  2. Remove backing from rubber and place sticky side down on mat.
  3. Use brayer, or rub firmly with hand to make sure rubber is adhered adequately to mat.
  4. Insert into Zing and cut.
  5. Peel template off mat slowly. Make sure all holes are clear. (All the circles should stay on mat.)
  6. Apply rubber template to firm backing. I used a piece of foam board.
  7. Place template in baking pan to contain rhinestones.
  8. Spread rhinestones over template. Spread rhinestones over template until all holes are filled. Make sure all holes are filled and rhinestones are right-side-up.
  9. Brush off excess rhinestones.
  10. Cut piece of transfer tape and adhere to top of rhinestone design. Press gently and make sure all rhinestones are sticking to tape before removing from template.
  11. Place your rhinestone design on your bag or other item.
  12. Use iron on wool or cotton setting. Hold for ten seconds. Pick up to move slightly, and repeat a few times.
  13. Remove transfer tape.
Make sure all holes are cut out of template.

Holes Should be Empty and Circles will be Stuck to Mat

Rhinestones are spread over template

Spread Rhinestones Over Holes


If you are designing rhinestone templates for the first time, you will definitely want to watch Sandy’s videos. She also has a YouTube video that shows clearly how to apply them. You will learn a lot of tips that I did not include here.

2 thoughts on “How to Dress up a Bag with Rhinestones

  1. When I saw your post I was impressed that a Target bag was so cute and so well made. And then I read further. :O) I too have rhinestone supplies and have never used them. It will be on my to do list for March to watch the
    videos and try rhinestones. And you are right, Sandy’s videos are awesome.

    • Thanks for leaving a comment, Nancy. I am finishing up the other two bags and feel I am getting little better at placing the rhinestones. I will try to get up a picture of all three bags. 🙂

      Oh, and by the way…. you should really try a project with those little gems! I am not a “bling” kind of girl… but it really is fun to add a little sparkle!

Comments are closed.