I love everything that sparkles- in that respect I'm a typical girly girl. Glitter and rhinestones- they make everything more fun, and since I had some extra sunglasses and rhinestones lying around, I decided to add some 'flare' to some sunglasses.
For this craft, you will need:
-rhinestones/gems (according to taste)
-scotch tape (or double sided tape)
-hot glue/E6000 glue (For this craft, you can use any kind of glue, really. I prefer hot glue because it dries instantly and you don't have to worry about the rhinestones slipping or falling out of place as they dry, though they can leave 'strings' behind so you do have some 'clean up' to do on your work afterwards, even if you are careful. If you aren't experienced with working with hot glue or don't want to worry about the 'string' issue, you can use any liquid adhesive, such as E6000.)
-razor blade/exacto knife (optional)
1. Pick your theme/rhinestones and/or gems
First you have to decide what kind of sunglasses you want to make. Do you want them to be all one color? A specific theme? Did you want to work within a specific color spectrum? Did you want them to be rainbow colored? Dark? Light? Before you can do anything you have to first decide what you want to create then dig through the rhinestones for what you want. I suggest spreading out your rhinestones/gems near the sunglasses you're embellishing to get a better idea of the colors/shapes/sizes that are available to you and how their size/shape/color correlates to what you're working on so it's easier to create your design.
Tip: If you want your sunglasses to be symmetrical, remember to only use matching rhinestones! When picking out your rhinestones be sure to find 2 of each gem to ensure you have 1 for the right lens and 1 for the left lens. (Obviously, if you want your sunglasses to be asymmetrical or are following a specific pattern or design this doesn't matter.)
I wanted to make two different types of glasses, one with just rainbow colors and one that was mostly "white" sparkles with colored gems amongst them, so I put out my sunglasses and picked out what I wanted to use and arranged them to look a bit like how I wanted them to appear on the sunglasses themselves to ensure 1) I would have enough to complete the design I wanted once I started, and 2) to ensure I liked the aesthetic I was creating.
2.Draft your design
Cover the are of the glasses where you want to add rhinestones with rolled-up pieces of tape to create a sticky non-permanent surface where you can "draft" the rhinestone design of your choice on your glasses. (You may also use double-sided tape, but I find rolled scotch-tape easier to remove than double-sided tape so that's what I used). This is helpful as it helps you to determine the spacing and the amount of rhinestones needed for your desired design.
For both of my glasses I used several sizes of stones for a more interesting look with more facets for maximum sparkle potential (because go big or go home, right?).
3. Prep surface
Remove the rhinestones from the tape and set them aside- but be sure to keep the design you will be making on the glasses in-tact so you can add them easily to your glasses. I suggest removing them from one corner to the other, setting your gems in the order they are removed so you can put them on again easily in the same pattern.
Clean the glasses you're about to decorate using glasses wipes or windex, but ensure they are dry before starting to decorate.
Use your desired glue to cover the glasses with your rhinestones or gems by putting a small dab of glue on the back of each rhinestone (too much and it overflows leaving you with a mess to clean up and possibly messing up your pattern, too little and your rhinestones fall off- you get an idea of a good balance after adding 1 or 2 gems and you see how the glue spreads on the surface of the glasses and they're added) and then add each rhinestone individually and carefully to ensure 1) you maintain the integrity of the design you're creating, 2) the glue doesn't dry before the rhinestones are added, and 3) to keep the 'excess' glue and/or 'glue strings' down to a minimum for a cleaner more professional look to the project.
Tip: If you have shaky hands or big/clumsy fingers, it may be helpful to use tweezers when placing your stone on your glasses.
After the first layer of rhinestones was complete, I added in an additional layer of rhinestones on top of the first layer on one pair of sunglasses to 1) hide some of the more 'unattractive' spaces between stones and jagged edges that I wanted to hide, and 2) add more sparkle!
If you have excess glue or glue strings hanging from your glasses when it's finished you can remove them in a few ways:
1) You can carefully use a razor blade or exacto knife to carefully cut off some of the excess glue (without cutting into or damaging the glasses and/or gemstones).
2) You can use acetone to remove extra strings or light traces or glue (or printed text you want to remove from the sunglasses as well)
Also, to make the glasses have a more polished look, on the rainbow glasses I used black puff paint as a sort of grout around the rhinestones that were on the outside of the glasses ONLY, I left the rhinestones on the lens side alone to allow more light/visibility in these glasses. I left the lighter glasses alone and did not add rhinestones to the sides of the glasses or add grout so I had two completely different styles to work with.