Novel Living


This article was written on Dec 04, 2010, and is filled under Decorative, How-To, Jewelry.

How-to: Save money crystallizing by yourself

There has been a great interest in crystal lately. Girls like shiny things and I know I want to buy almost anything that is sparkly. The reality of it is, however, that crystallized products  also cost a lot more than their blander counterparts. Case in point:

crystal dog collar

$58 at

$10 for the collar, practically nothing for the crystals (leftovers)

I know Tofu’s collar is a bit worn, and it’s not suede, but this was an easy update to her collar. The crystallized collar is certainly not worth the price its asking for. I had some extra crystals from a previous project and just glued them on!


  1. Flexible glue (I use Beacon Flip Flop Glue. It’s strong, flexible, and dries clear.)
  2. Bent paper clip (I prefer it to toothpicks because dried glue can be peeled off.)
  3. Crystals you want to use.
  4. Collar
  5. Tweezers
  6. Paper or anything you don’t mind getting glue on.

How to:

  1. Layout crystals the way you want them to be on the collar.
  2. Squeeze some glue onto the paper, or whatever you decided you won’t mind getting glue on.
  3. With your tweezers, move away one crystal.
  4. Dip the bent out end of your paper clip in the glue. Get a good drop of it on the end.
  5. Dip the glue onto the place where you want the crystal. Do not dab too much on or the glue will squish out when you place the crystal on.
  6. With your tweezers, carefully place the crystal over the glue and gently press down with your tweezers.
  7. Finish your project and let dry.


  • Make sure to use a flexible glue that will also sink into the fabric of your collar.
  • Swarovski crystals are the best quality. I got mine at Amazon, but I’ve also gotten cheaper quality, but still nice crystals at Michaels. Sometimes they have a 2 for $5 deal and you get a lot of crystals in each pack.

I’ve also crystallized cameras. I think it adds a little glamour to taking pictures.

crystallized canon camera

A crystallized camera by Canon.

For this I used old Swarovski crystal tattoos I’ve had forever, but these little crystals are super cheap online.


  • When you’re thinking about where to place your crystals near the lens, turn on and off your camera to see how the lens rotates and make sure you don’t plan on placing crystals were there are moving parts.

I am most happy with my hair accessory though. I fell in love with the Cara Giant Star Crystal Headband at Nordstrom but I was not in love with the price. This was the piece that started my crystallizing journey. I decided I could and would have to make it myself because I was not about to spend nearly 40 bucks on something that didn’t even reflect the price with its quality. The stones on the star itself were lackluster compared to real crystals.

cara giant star headband

$38 at Nordstrom

I used crystals bought on sale at Michaels and bought the headband on Amazon. Total: ~$20

The best part is; when you make your own items, you can customize it to however you like. I attached my star to an alligator clip, instead of directly onto a headband. That way, I could wear the star by clipping it anywhere on my hair, or if I wanted, clip it onto a headband too. Why limit your options to use the star by permanently gluing it to a headband? Making the star a clip made it more versatile for any hair style.


  1. 3mm thick black foam
  2. Thin metal headband (I got mine on Amazon. It’s 1/8″ thick.)
  3. Black satin ribbon in the same width as the headband.
  4. Download the star template, print, and cut out around the circles.
  5. Alligator clip
  6. Same materials as the materials for crystallizing at the beginning of this how-to.
  7. Hot glue gun (optional if you have your own preferred glue)


  1. Trace the paper star onto the black foam with a pencil and cut the star out of the foam.
  2. Line one triangle of the star with crystals, 8 on each side, sharing one crystal for its point.
  3. Fill in the triangle with crystals so they fit. It should add one crystal for each row.
  4. When you are finished with one triangle and you like the layout of the crystals, carefully take out the crystals, one row at a time, and glue them in place.
  5. Repeat on a neighboring triangle.
  6. Start filling in the center of the circle as much as you can until you think you need a triangle to wrangle the crystals in.
  7. Glue the alligator clip on with the hot glue gun.
  8. At any point your crystals are drying, you can start on the headband.
  9. Put a little glue on one end of the headband.
  10. Carefully wrap the ribbon on that end and hold it dry. Make sure the ribbon wraps around the end into the inside of the headband.
  11. When the end is dry, glue more of the ribbon on, inch by inch.
  12. When you reach the other end, wrap the ribbon around to the inside of the headband and glue in place.

A complaint I read on the reviews in the Nordstrom website is that the star sticks out of your head, making it look kind of funny. I decided to glue on some bendable wire to make my star bend and curve to the shape of my head so it wouldn’t stick flat out. If you want to do this too, here are the additional steps to take.


  1. Metal bendable wire, 20-gauge
  2. Thin black felt cloth
  3. Hot glue gun


  1. Cut the wire into 3, 4″ pieces.
  2. Arrange and bend the wire so that all triangles of the star will have wire running from it to the center.
  3. Hot glue gun the wire into place and let it harden.
  4. Use any kind of glue to glue the star to the black felt.
  5. When it is dry, cut around the star and trim to size.
  6. Glue the alligator clip onto the back of the star.


  • Before you glue the alligator clip, think about where you want to glue it. Place it where you think it should go, and then hold it up to your hair and make sure that’s the way you would want the star to look when you clip it in.
  • Placing the crystals in the star can be tricky and not all crystals will fall into place perfectly. Try to space them a little bit to evenly cover the area without making an obvious gap.
  • The last few crystals will be the toughest. Try to minimize gaps and fill in holes will smaller crystals.

I hope you enjoy updating your precious possessions by crystallizing!

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