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The Best Rhinestone Glue (Top glues to use in 2024)

The Best Rhinestone Glue (Top glues to use in 2024)

So you want to get started with bedazzling, but you’re now sure which rhinestone glue is best? Do not worry…I’ll “stick” it to you! When it comes to adding rhinestones, there are several important factors to keep in mind when choosing the right adhesive or glue. Some questions to ask before getting started are:

  • SURFACE: Is the surface porous or non-porous – this definitely makes a difference when it comes to rhinestone glue. Is it a dry surface?
  • PREP: Has the surface been properly prepped? Sometimes this requires using rubbing alcohol on the surface and other times, sanding might be required. Or…no prep needed – this depends entirely on what the surface is made from.
  • DRY TIME: Time – how long does it take for the glue to fully cure? Have you followed the manufacturers instructions for the amount of time and is the glue drying at room temperature?
Woman bedazzling a box with red rhinestones
One of my obsessions is bedazzling cereal boxes

I will be breaking down these rhinestone topics in detail. Hopefully by the end of the article, you will have a clear understanding for which is the best glue to purchase for use on rhinestones. I tested out three glues for gluing rhinestones to a variety of materials and the results were very interesting to say the least! I started by preparing the surface with some light sanding and rubbing alcohol to be sure the rhinestones could properly adhere. Don’t skip this step!

Also, I only tested out the glues on a dry surface for best results. If you do not work with dry surfaces, I cannot guarantee the results of this experiment. I only used flat back rhinestones and they were all glass. Be sure to work on hard surfaces only. Next, I added a dot of glue four times (just to be safe) and pushed the rhinestones down using a wax pen. It is important to use a permanent adhesive otherwise your rhinestones will fall off!

For best results, be sure to be using flat back rhinestones and I will only be working with either acrylic rhinestones or glass rhinestones to insure a strong bond. Some people prefer to add an applicator tip to their adhesive, but I find using a toothpick or a push pin works just as well as precision tips. You can also use a wood stick and just be sure to hit the key places on your surface. There is no best way – test and experiment and see what works best for you! Also, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding dry time, etc. I did not use a precise application of the glue (meaning I probably used too many) because I didn’t really care if the end result looked messy – I was really just testing to see what works best!

result of rhinestone glue on a metal tumbler mug after appropriate dry time
Rhinestone happy tumbler

For this experiment, I didn’t use too much glue – just a small dot is more than enough. The reason I didn’t test out craft glues, super glue or a hot glue gun is because I’ve tried them in the past and they do not have a strong hold over time. I do not consider these to be a permanent glue solution. Epoxy resins are always a winner, but they’re more toxic and smell stronger than some other glues.

art beat box digital rhinestone course banner 1

What is the best rhinestone glue for metal?

Woman testing out rhinestone adhesive to find the strongest glue for metal
testing out rhinestone glue on metal

Whether you are gluing rhinestones to a laptop or a tumbler, you will definitely need the right glue. Full disclaimer – none of these glues have been tested in a dishwasher, so be sure to hand wash a tumbler with rhinestones to avoid any lost rhinestones.

Want to see my tests? Check this out:
Testing rhinestones on fabric
Testing rhinestones on fabric


These are the glues I used:

Because adhesives differ in their cure time, I waited 36-72 hours to give the rhinestones ample drying time and to insure that the glue is full strength from the curing process and the results were very different than I had expected. I used pliers to attempt to remove the rhinestones from the metal. Here are my results for the strongest glue to use on metal.

  • Supertite – the rhinestone popped right off the metal easily. 
  • Gemtac – the rhinestone did not come off easily. It needed a tremendous amount of pressure. This is one of the flexible glues – even when dry.
  • Liquid Fusion – I could not get the rhinestone off of the metal – even with a lot of pressure and I tried to remove them on four different rhinestones! Check out my full review on youtube here:
  • Bob Smith Enterprises – this glue was very strong – I could not remove the rhinestones. However, it is a more toxic glue and requires mixing to use. I mixed it using a popsicle wooden stick. 
  • E6000 – this permanent adhesive worked well and I was unable to remove the rhinestone.


In conclusion, the three most reliable and permanent glues for metal are the E6000, Bob Smith, Gem Tac and the Liquid Fusion. If you plan to wash the metal, stick with e6000 or Bob Smith.

What is the Best Rhinestone Glue for Leather?

Woman testing out rhinestone adhesive to fin the best glue for leather
adhesives on leather

I experimented on leather using the same four adhesives and the results were also very interesting. It is imperative to prep the leather first with light sanding and cleaning with rubbing alcohol. Without these extra steps, the glues will not work. I experimented with:

  • Supertite – standard glue with slight odor
  • Aleene’s Rapid Dry – standard glue, slight odor
  • Liquid Fusion – standard glue with slight odor
  • Gemtac – standard glue with minimal odor
  • Bob Smith Enterprises – epoxy two part resin glue with a fishy odor. In my opinion, not a great choice because of the two part process and the unpleasant odor.
Applying flat back rhinestones to a leather shoe with a strong bond adhesive
gluing rhinestones to leather sneakers

In conclusion: The best rhinestone leather glues are E6000, Gem- Tac and Liquid Fusion.

What is the Best Rhinestone Fabric Glue?


When using permanent strong adhesive on to add crystal rhinestones to canvas, the question remains whether or not the glue will be machine washable. I tested that out and the results are interesting! So…which had the most permanent bond?

Rhinestones of a canvas bag testing the best fabric glue for rhinestones
rhinestones on a canvas bag

Although I would recommend using dry cleaning to wash rhinestoned fabrics, I’ve identified which adhesives worked best in a washing machine on a warm water wash. I haven’t attempted to try glues on stretchy fabrics, but if you do, be sure the fabric is stretched as much as possible. I washed this bag through several machine washings just to insure that I did it the right way.

I would also recommend using a fine precision brush applicator so that the adhesive glue doesn’t show on the fabric. This doesn’t matter as much if the rhinestones are very close to one another. The results were interesting and in my opinion…

In conclusion: The best fabric glues are: Liquid Fusion, E6000, Fabric Fusion, and Aleene’s Super Fabric Adhesive.

What is the best adhesive for hard plastics?

Rhinestones glued to hard plastic testing for the right adhesive for hard surfaces
Gluing rhinetones to hard plastics

Other brands…I tested out Aleene’s Jewel glue in the past and it made the rhinestones foggy, so I didn’t use this in this experiment. I also did not try to use a two part epoxy because the odor was bothering me. A great alternative for most glues would be to use UV light and UV resin, but the smell really bothered me, too.

In conclusion: The best hard plastic glue is E6000


What is the Best Rhinestone Glue for Cardboard?

If you’ve been following along for a while, you know that I am obsessed with bedazzling cereal boxes and candy boxes and even though these are technically considered cardboard, they do have a slight coating which could make the rhinestones hard to stick to. But I tested out all of the glues and they all seemed to do really well. So, I would recommend using Beacon Gem Tac for cardboard because…it stick to the cardboard just as well as any other adhesive and it is low odor which is important when working on a project for hours at a time!

The Best Glues for Rhinestones to Cardboard are: E6000, Gem- Tac, Liquid Fusion


Knowing the right type of glue prior to starting with rhinestones is imperative – it doesn’t make a difference if I am using large jewels or smaller ones. Whatever you decide, good luck and please comment below with your findings!

If you like things that are colorful, check out this DIY on marbling – so much fun and so super easy!

I created this chart for you to take with you to the art supply store:

Rhinestone glue comparison chart

Want the best adhesive for adding rhinestones to Crocs? Check out this post.

Looking for the best rhinestones for your next bedazzling project? I get some of my rhinestones from Amazon (linked above), but I get the bulk of my rhinestones from this incredible rhinestone online store. Use coupon code artbeat for 10% off all purchases!

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.