Turn a bathing suit from boring to boutique in minutes with rhinestones and fabric glue. Last year’s swimsuit doesn’t need to be thrown in the trash simply because rhinestones are all the rage on the runway now. You can get the same fashionable look and add a little glam to your beach wear in a few easy steps.


Rhinestones come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors to suit any fashion sense. Apply small silver rhinestones to a black swimsuit for a sophisticated and sexy look, or choose big, bold, brightly colored stones in a variety of colors for a fun suit that grabs attention. Use small rhinestones to make a pattern or spell out a word, which will include a more complicated application process, or choose chunky stones for a quick fix to a tired suit.

Fabric Glue

The glue you choose is of extra importance because it needs to be able to stand up to water, chlorine and washing. It also needs to be able to adhere permanently to the stretchy fabric of a swimsuit. Choose a flexible, stretchable permanent glue specifically made for stretchy fabrics. Make sure it’s washable and that it dries clear.

Application Process

With a washable marker, make a mark where you want each rhinestone to go. Use a measuring tape to evenly space the marks for a more professional, uniform look. If you’re making a pattern or spelling out a word, make sure your design is exactly as you want it before you begin applying the rhinestones, because once the glue is applied it cannot be removed. Squeeze a small amount of glue onto the back of a larger rhinestone, or use a toothpick to apply glue to the backs of smaller rhinestones. Do not apply too much glue or it will look sloppy. Press each rhinestone to the swimsuit in the places you have marked. You can use tweezers to pick up and apply smaller rhinestones.


Allow the swimsuit to dry for 24 hours before wearing or washing it. Purchase extra rhinestones and keep them on hand in case you lose a rhinestone while wearing the suit. Plan your suit before you begin gluing the rhinestones. Stick to the plan as you go because mistakes are permanent. Consider making a matching sarong or beach cover up by gluing the same rhinestones on the fabric in a similar pattern.