You may have heard about these flat-backed crystals, they have become popular in the needlepoint world. Earlier this week I used them for the second time on a needlepoint piece. I’m always hesitant about adding glue-on items to my needlepoint, largely because I worry about glue getting through the holes in the canvas and gluing the needlepoint to my desk.
With the Hot Fix crystals you don’t have to worry about this. There is just enough glue to fix the crystals onto the canvas securely, but not enough to cause problems.
The crystals are flat backed so they snuggle up against the canvas beautifully, with faceted tops, so they are very sparkly. I just added them to the Lee Cross pictured in progress here and I love how they elevate the needlepoint.
To activate the adhesive you need a special tool that looks kind of like a curling iron. It has several different heads, sized to fit the different crystals. Screw in the correct head, let it heat up, and press it onto the face of the crystal. It takes less than 10 seconds for the glue to melt and the crystal attach.
The crystals are only available in specific sizes. My iron has tips for 2,3,4,5,7, and 9 millimeter crystals. Kreinik distributes crystals in 3, 4, 5, and 6 mm in single colors and in a limited number of assortments. You can find a significantly bigger selection and more assortments by looking at bead companies. I bought mine at Fire Mountain Gems, where they have a lovely set of assortments, colors in every size and even some unusual shapes such as stars, triangles, and snowflakes.
The irons are available many places and from several companies. Kreinik distributes one as do several scrapbook distributors and manufacturers. The iron gets very hot, so be sure to allow it to cool down before changing tips.
The only problem I had was that occasionally the crystals would get stuck inside the tip. When this happened I was able to loosen them so they dropped out with the tip of a needle. The crystal was very hot at this point, but quickly enough it cooled to where I could put it into its proper place. The glue was still tacky enough to hold.
While I loved this product and will be using it again, I would be selective about where the crystals are used. I would not use them on pieces that are going to get much wear. Nor would I use them on pieces that need to be blocked or were designed as heirlooms. I just don’t know how they will hold up. If you do, add your experience in the comments.
Try these, they will make great additions to your needlepoint.
P.S. You can get the free stitch guide to the beer glass at the top of the article on Kreink’s blog at: http://kreinikthread.blogspot.com/2011/05/toast-to-metallics.html