DIY Rhinestone Heart Tumbler Step by Step Tutorial
Who hasn’t switched their plastic water bottles for stainless steel tumblers by now? They’re a convenient and eco-friendly way to provide a steady stream of caffeine or keep your favorite beverages cold in a hot car. Transform your ordinary tumbler into a dazzling accessory by creating a custom rhinestone heart tumbler!
If you know me, you know I love to bling anything and everything! In this blog post, I’m sharing a step-by-step tutorial on how to make a gorgeous rhinestone tumbler. The fun heart pattern makes this the perfect gift or accessory for Valentine’s Day! No more waiting 1-2 weeks for custom orders from Etsy when you can make these custom items yourself. Life’s too short for plain tumblers – it’s time to bring some bling to your daily sip of hot coffee in the morning!
I’ll be hand-placing the rhinestones in this tutorial, but if you have a Cricut and some transfer tape you could also make a rhinestone template for this project. Want to learn the best hand placement techniques and how to make custom rhinestone templates? Check out my digital rhinestone courses – they’re perfect for bedazzlers of all skill levels!
What type of tumbler can you bedazzle?
There are different sizes and types of tumblers, so which are the best to bedazzle? You can add rhinestones to a plain stainless steel tumbler, double-walled acrylic tumbler, or even the tumblers that come with a reusable straw or stainless steel straw. It’s easiest to make a custom rhinestone tumbler with the travel mugs that don’t have a handle and have a flat surface to work with. I chose to make a custom rhinestone tumbler with one like this one because it fits in my cup holder:
What type of rhinestones are best to bedazzle a tumbler?
If you’re not in the rhinestone world like I am, you may not know that there are tons of different rhinestone types. There are resin rhinestones, glass rhinestones, acrylic rhinestones, and crystal rhinestones. Their appearances all vary in different lights and they all have a range of different rhinestone colors.
So which rhinestones are the best to use to make a rhinestone heart tumbler? I chose to use a glass type of rhinestone because they’re high-quality rhinestones that really sparkle! I’m using different sizes of rhinestones for this project. Make sure you don’t use hot fix rhinestones for your custom bedazzled tumbler, because you need flat back rhinestones for the best results.
I get some of my rhinestones from Amazon, but I get the bulk of my rhinestones from this incredible rhinestone online store. Use coupon code artbeat for 10% off all purchases!
What is the best rhinestone glue to use on a tumbler?
The type of glue you use to make your rhinestone heart tumbler will make or break this project! You need a strong bond to make sure the rhinestones stay put through daily use. Even if you hand wash your bedazzled tumbler and keep it out of extreme temperatures, you need a specific glue that’s made for metal. In my experience, the best glue is Liquid Fusion or E6000 to keep your rhinestones snug and secure. Liquid fusion is lower odor, but E6000 is stronger. Rhinestones have even made it through the dishwasher with E6000! (On accident)
How to Make a DIY Rhinestone Heart Tumbler
What You’ll Need
Affiliate disclaimer: Although I stand by all of the products I use, I can receive a small commission from any products purchased via my affiliate links.
– Different Sizes of Rhinestones (I’m using size 20 clear and size 8 & 16 pink in this tutorial, but feel free to use a different color or size. It’s up to you! My favorite rhinestones are from becreateful.com. Use code artbeat for 10% off!)
– Heart Sticker
– Glue bottle or toothpicks (Check out this post for my guide on the best rhinestone glue for metal!)
– Rhinestone Tray (I like these heart shaped ones because they have a lid and can close easily)
– Table covering
*I love ordering supplies on Amazon because there are tons of selection results, free shipping (typically ships within a few business days) and it’s never final sale so if you change your mind, you can send the supplies back. Check out my favorite items on my Amazon storefront. You’ll find a full page of all of my favorite things!
- The first thing you need to do is lightly sand the surface and then wipe down your water bottle or tumbler using the alcohol pad to remove any dirt or dust that could prevent the sticker from adhering well to the surface.
- Carefully add the heart sticker to the tumbler. You can measure to make sure it’s right in the middle, or you can eyeball it. Make sure you like the placement before adding your rhinestones!
- Add the STONE SIZE 8 PINK and the STONE SIZE 16 PINK together to the rhinestone tray. You will be using both sizes of purple rhinestones on the inside of the heart.
- Fill your glue bottle with the rhinestone adhesive of your choice. There is no “right way” to apply rhinestone glue by hand. Sometimes I use a glue bottle, but I also like to use a simple toothpick! Add a thin layer of glue to a small section of the heart. Be careful not to add excess glue!
- Using the wax pencil, pick up one crystal clear rhinestone from the tray by pressing on top of the rhinestone. If the rhinestones aren’t facing up, gently shake the rhinestone tray and the stones will flip so that they are flat side down. Add some larger pink rhinestones to the heart. Press down firmly on top of the rhinestone to make sure the stones are attached to the sticker.
- Next, begin using the smaller pink rhinestones to fill in tight spaces. Work on the heart until it is filled in with very few gaps – you can use the wax pencil to move things around while the glue is still wet. Work in small sections so the glue doesn’t dry before you’re happy with the placement.
This is called the scatter method. The tighter the pattern, the more it will sparkle!
Want to learn more hand placement techniques? Check out my digital course on How to Hand Place Rhinestones Like a Pro!
- Put the pink rhinestones back in their container and add your SS20 clear rhinestones to the tray.
- Apply a small amount of glue in a straight line along the edge of the tumbler. The adhesive dries fast, so work in small batches and don’t make too long of a line.
- Using the wax pencil, press the back of the clear rhinestones onto the glue, adding a line of stones one next to another. Use some pressure to apply the rhinestones to make sure they’re sticking to the metal, and not just the glue.
- While the glue is still wet, use a flat surface to line up the rhinestones and make sure you don’t have any hanging over the edge. (You can see the pink bands I’m using in the photo, but any flat surface will work) Continue this process all the way around the edge of the tumbler until you have one complete line.
- To make a honeycomb pattern, add a line of glue directly underneath your first row of rhinestones. For the second row, place each rhinestone in-between two stones from the first row, forming a triangle.
- Continue this pattern around the entire tumbler. You may want to do this in a few sessions! When you get to the area with the heart, move from the perimeter of the heart outward to ensure a straight line
Look at that sparkle! Don’t worry about any minor imperfections – you won’t notice them once the project is complete!
Care Instructions for your DIY Rhinestone Heart Tumbler
If you want your beautifully bedazzled tumbler to last, it’s important to give it proper care. Don’t use the tumbler right away or even the next day. Allow the glue to fully cure for at least 48 hours. Make sure to hand wash your tumbler only with warm water and mild soap.
If you’re giving this Rhinestone Heart Tumbler as a handmade Valentine’s Day gift, make sure to include care instructions!
Step Up Your Bedazzling Skills
Want to learn about other hand-placement techniques like the honeycomb pattern? Or how to make an iron-on rhinestone patch using your cutting machine and a heat press? Check out my Bling it On Digital Rhinestone Course! It’s jam-packed with rhinestone types, different application methods, and advanced design techniques!