How to Add Rhinestones to Your Silhouette Cameo Business

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I’ve had several Cutting for Business readers ask me about rhinestones, more specifically – are rhinestones a profitable addition to my Silhouette or Cricut business? I’ll be honest with you, I am not much of a “bling” person. However, I know someone who is! Welcome Lisa Potts from The Rhinestone World. I’ll turn it over to her:

One of the most common statements I hear from people is, “I have always wanted to do rhinestones, but I am too intimidated!” In your Silhouette business, rhinestones are an easy item to start using with high profits. Due to the demand of bling shirts with weddings, dance moms, and sport moms; a Silhouette business can quickly increase their profits by simply adding rhinestones to their existing offerings.

What do you need to get started?

If you already own a Silhouette, then the biggest investment is already purchased! With just a few more items, you’ll be ready to start cranking out some awesome bling!


This is the most obvious item needed, of course. Be advised, there is a difference in rhinestone quality. Your products carry your business’ reputation, so make sure you are purchasing the best quality stones for your customers so you can proudly stand behind your work. Apparel rhinestones are called “hot-fix” rhinestones. These have a heat activated glue on the back and are best applied with a heat press. They can be pressed to most fabrics and Bling N-E-Thing decal material. Rhinestones are not recommended to be pressed to 100% nylon, ribbed garments, satin, or denim due to the likelihood of the stones falling off over time. TRW uses and recommends Korean low lead rhinestones for customers and businesses as they are the best quality for an affordable price. While rhinestones can be applied with a home iron, a heat press is the best option because you can regulate the pressure and temperature.

Rhinestone Sizes and Types

Rhinestones come in a variety of sizes, measured in “ss” units. The larger the number, the bigger the stone. SS10 rhinestones are the most common stones with the widest variety of colors.

  • SS6: 2mm
  • SS10: 3mm
  • SS16: 4 mm
  • SS20: 5 mm

Rhinestones can come in other sizes, but SS6, SS10, SS16, and SS20 are the most commonly found and easiest to work with. In addition to the basic colors, you can also purchase Korean low lead stones in Arora Borealis or “AB” colors. These stones have an iridescent coat on the stone that reflects light more and creates a more “sparkling” appearance.

Machine cut rhinestones contain more facets than our Korean low lead stones, which results in a higher quality and a brighter shine. These are most commonly used for accent pieces in designs due to their higher cost.

Template Material

Let’s be honest here, you’re thinking that these rhinestones are going to be hand placed, right? That’s the beauty of template material. Cut out a template with holes, brush the stones in, and you’ve got a rhinestone transfer ready in minutes! A common complaint about template material is that not all the stones go in and you will have to flip over the stones. We recommend Sticky Flock template material. A brush is needed to make your template. A simple paint brush from the hardware store will be perfect for the job. Brush your stones in, and it will be nearly perfect, requiring minimal adjustments. The best part? The template material is reusable! Cut it one time and you can use it over 50 times!

How to Add Rhinestones to Your Silhouette Business by for

How to Add Rhinestones to Your Silhouette Business by for

Just like adhesive vinyl, transfer tape is used to move your design onto the item you are putting it on. Acrylic Hot-Fix Tape is needed to move rhinestones and is made to withstand the heat of your application. Like Sticky Flock, Hot-Fix Tape can be reused a few times.

How to Add Rhinestones to Your Silhouette Business by for

The Cost and Profits

The highest up front cost you would have for rhinestones is the Sticky Flock template material, which is normally around 7-8 dollars a foot. The good part is that because the material is reusable, your cost will be made up in just a few shirts. The average material cost in a shirt could range from 5-9 dollars, but can sell for over $30. Customizations, like an added name or number, can easily raise your retail price with an even lower material cost. Cutting an alphabet in advance (called pre-cuts) can allow you to piece together names for any customization, further increasing the profits you can make from your material.

The following images are one example of a shirt cost and what it can retail for:

How to Add Rhinestones to Your Silhouette Business by for

How to Add Rhinestones to Your Silhouette Business by for

A special thanks to Lisa (from The Rhinestone World) for stopping in and showing us how profitable (and easy!) rhinestones can be to add to your existing product line up. Be sure to thank her by pinning the image below on Pinterest or sharing with a friend on Facebook (just hover or tap the image below):

How to Add Rhinestones to Your Silhouette Business by for

19 thoughts on “How to Add Rhinestones to Your Silhouette Cameo Business”

  1. “A common complaint about template material is that not all the stones go in and you will have to flip over the stones. We recommend Sticky Flock template material. A brush is needed to make your template. A simple paint brush from the hardware store will be perfect for the job. Brush your stones in, and it will be nearly perfect, requiring minimal adjustments.”
    I have some questions after reading this helpful post – I haven’t tried using rhinestones with my Silhouette yet.
    -is the author saying Sticky Flock template material helps the stones to end the correct way when they are brushed into the template? Repetitive work is annoying, if a lot of the stones are wrong side up, turning them over would be a lot of work in a complex design like the one shown. If Sticky Flock can help keep them right side up, I’ll definitely buy it (is this easily found to purchase?).
    -she mentions a brush is needed to MAKE our template, is this correct or a typo?
    I’m hoping to try this very soon and do a demo for others. Thank you so much for your excellent blog! Debbie

  2. Hi Debbie!

    Great questions. 1. Sticky Flock DOES help the stones fall into place in the template. You may have one or two that need to be flipped, but the beautiful thing about the template material is that if the stones are in the holes upside down, they will roll out. You can find Sticky Flock at The Rhinestone World.

    2. Sorry about the brush statement. You need the brush to make the transfer, but the actual cutting of the template only needs the Sticky Flock and the Silhouette 🙂

  3. Where do you like to buy your rhinestones and sticky flock? Both are sold by silhouette but they are expensive if you are running a business. Do you know if silhouette has a program for people to buy at wholesale prices and without tax if they have a state tax resale certificate?

    1. Hi Blakely, The Rhinestone World is a great place to stock up on rhinestone supplies – and the author of this post. Their materials seem to work better than the Silhouette brand for me. Silhouette does have a program called Silhouette Handmade for businesses. Hope that helps! Christine

  4. Thanks for all the great info!
    Can you use any font or file with he rhinestones or would I need to buy specific fonts and cut files to use the rhinestones

    1. It depends on what software you are using. With Silhouette Studio, you can convert anything to a rhinestone design. In Cricut Design Space, you’d need to buy premade files/fonts to use.

  5. hello, if i want to make my own rhinestone templates and i want to be able to control the sizes will the basic designer edition work (the 50$ one) or do i need to buy the more expensive one. I need to make rhinestone templates that are really small like 1 square inch.
    can this be done in the basic software update and if i buy the basic can i add the more expensive one at a later time, like upgrade?

  6. Hello,

    I am new to the silhouette Cameo 3 world, but I would like to get things started. I want to make Rhinestone t-shirts, but am not sure which silhouette machine to purchase. There are a ton of video on YouTube and silhouette website, and lots of advertisements on amazon, but it does not explain which machine to purchase for Rhinestone application. Is it one machine to use for vinyl, rhinestone, etc and you purchase add-ons depending what you are trying to produce? Or is it just a template in the software for each application? Is the same needle used for rhinestones and vinyl and which one comes with the machine? I know about the material I would need to purchase the machine is my biggest issue. I hope you will be able to assist me with this information, or lead me to someone who can. I look forward to hearing from you.


  7. Question about Cricut Explore and Design Space…are there pre-designed fonts that work with Cricut Explore? I have watched some older YouTube videos that suggest using a second piece of software…surely there is something more recent and relevant than Spring 2015 or 2016 in terms of an interface with the Cricut Explore.

  8. Thank you for your information Lisa and Christine! Super helpful! I’m going to give this a try on my Cricut. A couple of questions, as a Cricut user, can I use/buy the Silhouette Designer Edition software and then save the file as a template to upload into design space? Or can I use a Rhinestone font in Design Dpace. Besides the Sticky Flock, rhinestones, brush, and transfer sheet, is there anything else I need if doing it on my Cricut. Thanks in advance!

    1. In theory, creating a design in Silhouette Studio Business Edition, saving as an SVG, then opening it in Cricut Design Space works. However, with rhinestones, it doesn’t work very well because the design gets resized. (You have to use Business Edition, not Designer Edition.) I’d stick with using a rhinestone font. I think you are set on supplies! I’d recommend using a cookie sheet with a lip (or something similar) so that if the rhinestones get spilled, you won’t have a mess.

      1. Thank you for the reply! I’m going to give this a go. Follow up question, how do you do multiple colors of rhinestones in separate sections without the colors mixing? For example, if I want to do all of the letters of Kimberly in different colors, maybe rainbow order, how would I?

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