Rhinestone Pickup Stick

by on September 14th, 2010
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Working with rhinestones and other fake jewels can be a little tricky. Only one side of the object looks like a jewel; the other side is flat so that you can glue it in place. When the rhinestones are tiny it can be nearly impossible to pick them up and place them where needed. There are assorted ways to pick up rhinestones without using your hands. One way is to use a quarter-inch dowel rod – just a piece of it – to pick up the jewels. Tap the end of the dowel on a wet cloth and touch it to the jewel. It will stay in place until you transfer it to where you want it. Another way to pick up a small jewel is to roll a piece of Scotch tape up to be a tiny tube. Touch the end of the tape to the stone, put it in place, then hold the rhinestone down with a toothpick or other object, and pull the tape off of the jewel. Those techniques work for some rhinestones but, for really tiny ones, they’re not ideal. What you need is a pickup stick and you can easily make one in just a minute – as long as you have what you need.

If you’ve got hot glue, you’re halfway through with making the pickup stick. In addition to hot glue you’ll need an ordinary, wooden skewer. Actually, the whole skewer will make it awkward to pick up rhinestones; just cut a few inches off of one end of the skewer. The skewer piece has a pointed end and that’s perfect for making a jewel pickup stick.

Hold the skewer so that the pointed end is upwards. Apply a dot of hot glue to the very tip of the skewer, and allow it to dry. If needed, apply a second dot of glue. The object is to create a tiny, round blob on the end of the stick. When the glue has dried, it’s just tacky enough to pick up tiny jewels. Simply touch the dried glue to the chosen rhinestone and it will stay until you place it where you want it.

After using the pickup stick many times, the glue can lose its tackiness, so just tear the old blob off. Apply a new dot of glue to the tip of the skewer and you’re ready to go again.

If you love adding rhinestones to shirts, purses, vases, lampshades, and other things, you’ll love the new pickup stick. It can help you create even more than you already do because each rhinestone project will go much quicker. Make assorted pickup sticks, each with a larger amount of glue on the end than the previous one, and you’ll have an easy way to hold larger stones as well.


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