Learn how to make a rhinestone tumbler from start to finish with a name on it. You’ll love this fun bling rhinestone tumbler!
It’s been a while since I’ve given you a new tumbler tutorial, so with all the rhinestone tumblers I’ve been seeing lately, I knew I needed to make one.
Honestly, I kept putting this bedazzled tumbler DIY tutorial off because I knew it was going to take a long time! I’m not a very patient crafter, so spending 8-10 hours on a project is rough.
But I’m so glad I did! I love how this gorgeous DIY rhinestone tumbler came out and it wasn’t hard to make, just tedious and time-consuming.
I even tried a few different ways to add rhinestones to a tumbler to show you the difference. You don’t even need to use epoxy resin for this tumbler, so if you are sensitive to it, this sparkly tumbler is for you!
But first, let’s go over some stuff about rhinestones and what rhinestone tumbler supplies you will need.
Table of Contents
When I started this tutorial, I had never really bedazzled anything so I had no idea there were so many types of rhinestones! For the sake of this post, we are only going to go over crafting rhinestones.
According to Wikipedia, a rhinestone is “is a diamond simulant made from rock crystal, glass or acrylic.” So basically, it’s a fake or imitation looking diamond made from cheaper materials. When looking at rhinestones to by, you’ll see the following:
- Glass Rhinestones – fragile but shiny like diamonds
- Crystal Rhinestones – very shiny
- Plastic Rhinestones – include resin and acrylic rhinestones – are a cheaper plastic imitation rhinestone.
Then they also come in flatback or diamond back. We want a flatback when crafting so it’s easy to apply to the tumbler.
And to add more confusion, they come in hot-fix and non hot-fix. Hot-fix (iron on rhinestones) rhinestones have an adhesive on the back that adheres when heat is applied to it much like iron on vinyl. Non hot-fix need to be glued on.
If you have a cutting machine and an EasyPress 2, you can cut out specific material to make rhinestone templates, but we won’t get going over that method today.
Even more parameters to take into account… the different sizes of rhinestones… and there are a lot!
You will see the abbreviations ss and mm the most often. SS stands for stone size and is used most often for flat back rhinestones and MM is size in millimeters.
From what I’ve found the most common size for rhinestone tumblers, are ss10 to ss20. Here are approximate conversions of rhinestones:
- ss10 = 2.6 – 2.85mm
- ss12 = 3.1mm
- ss16 = 3.6 – 3.9mm (rounded to 4mm)
- ss20 = 4.7mm (rounded to 5mm)
Another common abbreviation you’ll see is AB. AB stands for Aurora Borealis, which is an iridescent effect added to the top which makes them shine differently in different lights!
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So, with all this information, what is the best rhinestone to use for tumblers??!!
After all my research, I ended up using ss20 AB Glass Flatback NonHot-Fix Rhinestones. You can probably go a size smaller with an ss16, but you’ll need more rhinestones and it will take longer to apply each individual one!
You can find the exact rhinestone I bought on Etsy here. I used the AB aquamarine in SS20 (5mm) and purchased two bags (they come in bags of 1440 stones). I used a contrasting color for my name in different sizes.
I was curious if I could glue rhinestones on to a plain stainless steel tumbler and also a coated tumbler. I had read somewhere about needing to sand, which I had always heard when making glitter tumblers, but I never needed too so I wanted to make sure I didn’t need to again!
So I did a few different tests. I glued on some rhinestones to a coated tumbler and also to the stainless steel part of the tumbler and the rhinestones both stuck very well. Even when pushing on them hard and washing them, they do not budge. No sealant is needed!
But as far as other cups go, you can rhinestone about anything. Plastic and acrylic cups or tumblers would work well too. You can even make a cool rhinestone Starbucks cup with just a few different colors of rhinestones.
These are the specific items I used for this turquoise rhinestone name tumbler with straw.
- 2 bags of AB Aquamarine ss20 Glass Flatback NonHotFix Rhinestones
- Fusion-Tack Adhesive (or can use Gem Tac or E6000) – permament glue to attach rhinestones to tumbler
- Wax Pencil – to pick up the rhinestones with
- Mixed Bag of LBM-4 rhinestones
- Needle glue bottle – to apply thin line of glue
- Mixed Bag of Black Flatback Rhinestones for name
- Stainless Steel Tumbler
- Colorshot Mermaid Spray Paint
- Permanent Vinyl
- Cricut cutting machine
When adding rhinestones to tumblers, you might see the color that’s underneath the rhinestones where they meet and where you put different size rhinestones. So ideally you want the color of the tumbler to be close to the rhinestone colors.
I had purchased a plain silver stainless steel tumbler and wanted to add aqua rhinestones on it so I painted it first with Colorshot Mermaid color that I had on hand. You can read all about spray painting a tumbler if you need more help on this step.
You can spray the bottom or not. The paint will probably scratch-off from being set on the bottom if you don’t seal it with something.
If you don’t want a name on your tumbler, you can skip this section!
For this rhinestone tumbler with name tutorial, I am going to use a script font. Block fonts would be much easier since you don’t have to get small rhinestones in the small crevices and because the lines should be even.
With script or cursive fonts, you usually have different thicknesses of up strokes and down strokes. I would suggest trying to find one that doesn’t have super skinny parts. Instead, try to find one that the change in thickness isn’t too dramatic.
I went through all my uploaded fonts on my computer and decided on Falling Star Script font. I sized it to fit and cut it out of permanent vinyl with my Cricut. Weed off the extra vinyl and apply it to the fully dry tumbler.
Tip: I used Dollar Tree contact paper as my transfer tape to decrease the chance of it pulling off any paint. It has less stickiness than regular transfer taper.
This is going to be our template for the name. I will be putting black rhinestones on top of it, which is why I picked black vinyl!
Ok, it’s time to start adding rhinestones to the tumbler. This is going to take a while! Most likely you’ll need several days unless you have a straight 6-8 hours to work on it.
The first thing we want is a couple of lines of rhinestones at the top to work off of.
With the glue in a needle nose bottle, squirt a thin line of glue about 2-3 inches long across the top of the tumbler.
Now, use the wax pencils to pick up the rhinestone and place it on one end of the strand of glue. Gently press the wax on the top of the rhinestone and it should lift right up.
Place it right on the glue and it should stick right down. Keep adding rhinestones so they are right next to each other and level with the top.
Once you have that 2-3 inches of glue full of rhinestones, add another strand of glue and repeat the same process, adding on rhinestones one at a time.
Once the top line of glued rhinestones is down, we are going to add the next line. These rhinestones will be placed below and in between two from the top row so it forms kind of a honeycomb pattern.
Once the top two rows are done, let the glue dry for a few hours. These rows will serve as the start off point for the rest of the rhinestones and you don’t want them moving around.
After a few hours or the next day, start repeating all of the same steps by adding glue then placing the rhinestones.
Put on some music and get comfy! This is the very long tedious part!
I decided to do my name about halfway through but you can do it whenever you want. You just want to make sure to let the name dry before you add more rhinestones so you don’t accidentally knock some of the stones with your fingers while they are still wet.
I used slightly smaller rhinestones on the name. I started with ss16 and then used some smaller ones as needed for the thinner lines.
It doesn’t need to be perfect, this is just a template.
You can see on the upstrokes of the letters below, I used a smaller size stone to change the width of the letter.
Again, let the name rhinestone glue fully dry before adding more rhinestones to the surround.
If you added a name, leave some space around the name to make room for the different size stones that will be placed at the end.
Just to give you an idea I got about 2/3 of the way through the rhinestone tumbler with one 1440 bag of ss20 stones. So you definitely need two bags for this size of skinny tumbler.
Just keep gluing on the rhinestones until the cup is full! Then go back and start sticking the different size rhinestones in the crevices and insides of the letters. It’s a lot of trial and error to see which ones actually fit!
Just like putting a puzzle together. If one doesn’t fit, I used my weeding tool to take it out and then stuck a smaller size on.
My bottom line didn’t end up exactly straight so I had to add some smaller rhinestones at the very bottom of the tumbler to fill it in.
Once you have the tumbler rhinestones, give yourself a pat on the back and admire your beautifully sparkly work!
Make sure to let the glue dry for a full 72 hours before you get it wet. And Hand Wash Only!
Oh, that sparkle!!
If you’d like to see these steps in action, make sure to check out my rhinestone tumbler YouTube video here.
Using a Rhinestone Template
Another option of making a rhinestone cup is by using a template that you buy from Etsy or online and cutting it out of Flock material to create a template to add the rhinestones in. This is where hot fix rhinestones come in!
You can cut the Sticky Magic Flock with a Cricut machine ( I used the setting: Birch, Permanent Adhesive) and it worked great! Peel the backing off the flock and apply it directly to your mat.
In order to design a specific name, you’ll need a font that will cut the individual holes for the rhinestones (TRW has quite a few and a ton of tutorials on how to make these so I won’t go into much detail).
Pull the template off and put it on a table. Dump some hot fix rhinestones on top (these are ss10) and use a spreader so they end up in the rhinestone holes.
Then you’ll use some rhinestone transfer tape to take them up.
Then I cut two offsets out of glitter HTV and used HTV Anything material and my EasyPress 2 to fuse them all together into one decal.
Then you just peel it off the backing and add it on a cup! The dark black outline is actually the clear HTV anything that is the sticky layer.
Just another fun way to add some glitteriness and bling to a cup!
If you’d like to save this handmade rhinestone tutorial for later, simply hover over the image below and PIN It now!
- Stainless Steel Tumbler
- Rhinestones - ss20 AB flatback glass and assorted size pack 2 bags of 1440
- Rhinestones for Name - assorted sizes
- Supertite Fusion Tack
- Wax Pencil
- Spray Paint (optional)
- Needle Nose Bottle
- Cricut and permanent vinyl
- If tumbler is not colored, spray paint a coat of paint similar to your rhinestone color. Let dry.
- If wanting a name, cut a name out of vinyl and apply to the tumbler.
- Put some of the glue in the small bottle. Apply a small ribbon of 2-3 inches around the top of the tumbler.
- Use the wax pencil to pick up the rhinestones and place them one by one on the glue so they form a straight row.
- Add another glue line and repeat adding the rhinestones.
- For the second line, place the rhinestones in between the two above it so it forms a honeycomb pattern.
- Do two to three lines and then let dry for a few hours.
- If you are adding a name, apply the glue directly on top of the vinyl in strips and add contrasting rhinestones. You will probably use 2-3 different sizes if using a script font with different thicknesses.
- Let the name dry for a few hours before adding the rest of the rhinestones so you don't accidentally knock them.
- Apply rhinestones all the way around the tumbler, leaving some room around the name on both sides to add different size rhinestones later.
- Once you have rhinestoned the tumbler, go back and start adding rhinestones inside the letters and around them. Think of it like a puzzle and try to fit the best size that is needed to fill the spot.
- Let the handmade rhinestone tumbler cure for 72 hours before getting it wet! Enjoy!
See post for full detailed tutorial and link to YouTube video.
Thanks for stopping by and have a creative day!