Rhinestone Owl Shirt
First Cut

Rhinestone Owl Shirt

Do you need a little more bling on your apparel? How about the little girls in your life? My eight-year old daughter helped me make this rhinestone owl shirt, and we had a lot of fun in the process.

I’ve been collecting a variety of rhinestone colors to make a multi-color design like this with Silhouette’s rhinestone material. All of Silhouette’s rhinestones have a heat-activated glue on the back, so once the design is in place all you need is an iron to make it stick to your fabric (and yes, it’s washable!).


1-      Choose a rhinestone design in the online store and open it in Silhouette Studio. My daughter chose this owl. This one requires mostly 10ss rhinestones (the smallest) and a few of the 20ss (largest) rhinestones. We didn’t have the right color of the largest stones, so we just used the 16ss (medium) size in those large holes, which actually worked just fine. Never resize a rhinestone design on your Studio workpage.


2-      Place your rhinestone material on a cutting mat (it has a backing so you can cut without a mat, but I really prefer to use my cutting mat with this material) and load it into your Silhouette machine. You may want to try cutting several test holes on a scrap piece and adjust your cut settings as necessary to get a clean cut before committing a larger piece for the real design.


3-      Cut the rhinestone material with your Silhouette, then trim it down (if you haven’t already) and peel the backing away from the flocked (or older blue) rhinestone material. Expect to deal with a few of those pesky little circles that want to stay with the bigger design, but hopefully most will come away easily. You may want your “little helper” to pick all those circles out for you. 😉


4-      Place the sticky template material to a rhinestone backing board, which is simply heavy cardboard. You’ll save this template for using as many times as you want to recreate the same rhinestone design.


5-      Gently brush the rhinestones into the template holes using the fuzzy brush in the rhinestone kit. For a multi-color design like this, you’ll need to work with one color at a time. We worked from the inside, out. I think the pick-me-up tool is a must-have for rhinestones! And this is where my “little helper” came in. I started the correct color of rhinestones for each section, but she made sure they were all in their proper place, right-side up. She thought she was pretty cool using my special pick-me-up tool.


Rhinestone placement


Rhinestone placement 2


6-      Once the rhinestones are all in place, place the rhinestone transfer tape on top of the rhinestones and lift the whole design out at once and place it on the shirt.


Rhinestone transfer tape


7-      Use an iron with a thin cloth between it and the transfer tape to iron on top of the rhinestones and activate the glue backing of the rhinestones. Start with a “wool” setting, and adjust hotter as necessary. Keep ironing until the rhinestones want to stick to the fabric instead of the transfer tape. (You’ll want to keep your “little helper” away from the hot iron.)


  • TIPS: Based on my experience, the rhinestones stick sooner and more securely to cotton/knit fabrics more than something like denim, but they do stick to denim with a little more heat and time.
  • The rhinestone transfer tape is heat resistant, so I’ve actually ironed directly on it without ever melting it (but be careful!).
  • Once the rhinestones are sticking to the fabric pretty well, I flip the garment inside-out and iron on the back side to make sure the glue is sealing well to the fabric.
  • I usually let it cool before pulling the transfer tape away completely. If some of the rhinestones still stick, you need to iron some more.


Rhinestone iron on transfer tape


I hope you found this tutorial helpful for adding some colorful sparkle with rhinestones to your kids’ clothes. It’s a great activity to do some “bonding” together! 😉



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Shape Used:

Owl (#10488)

Kelly Wayment

Hi! I'm Kelly Wayment and have loved working with Silhouette America on their design team since 2013 and contributing to their YouTube videos since 2017. I live in Utah with my husband and four kids. The Silhouette machine has literally changed the course of my life as it has turned my simple hobbies into ways to push the boundaries with my creativity, along with innumerable opportunities to teach and share that joy with others. You can find my blog at www.findingtimetocreate.com.

Products Used:

New Silhouette CAMEO®




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  1. This turned out great Kelly! And thank you for the in-depth tutorial – I haven’t tried the rhinestones yet so I read every word. 🙂

    1. Thanks, Annie! I hope it’s helpful when you try them out. 🙂

  2. Kelly, what perfect timing, I just ordered the rhinestone starter kit and some extra 10ss plus the rhinestone setter for strays. I should have ordered a pick me up too, but I will get that another time. I think it is wonderful that you are crafting with your eight year old daughter because I have been doing that too with mine and still do and she is 29 now! Thank you for the terrific tutorial I am looking forward to shining up my world soon with some glittery projects.

    1. That’s great to hear, Susan! I hope to enjoy crafting with my girls for many years to come, like you. Have fun with the rhinestones!

  3. Fun! A perfect project for tweens 🙂

  4. “Bonding”, grin. I see what you did there. Thanks for the tutorial, I haven’t played with rhinestones yet. Can the iron get too hot and melt them?

    1. LOL. I’m glad you noticed my pun. 🙂 I don’t think the iron can get hot enough to melt the rhinestones; they’re pretty solid. I think your fabric would burn before the rhinestones themselves would be affected. The first thing to melt would be the plastic transfer tape, but I haven’t heard of that happening to anyone.

  5. So cute! Your daughter did a wonderful job on it!

    1. Thanks, Analisa! This is currently her favorite shirt, although we’re working on the next one…

  6. What are the washing instructions for items that you have added rhinestones on?

    1. Felicia, I just follow the temperature recommendation on that article of clothing but always turn the clothes with rhinestones inside-out. I haven’t had a problem with rhinestones coming off in the wash unless it’s after many months of repeated washing. (And you can put back on new individual rhinestones if you just lose one here or there.)

  7. Love your tutorial! I have a question about a rhinestone template that I purchased on the Designer Studio and was wondering if I still have to choose the trace area and the rhinestone size to make my template?

    1. Cynthia, if you bought a rhinestone template through the Silhouette Design Store, you shouldn't need to do anything to it.  The design in the store should tell you what rhinestone size to use, and it's ready to cut at the size it opens at.  If you're referring to the rhinestone window in the DE version, you don't need to worry about any of those settings for a purchased design.  That window is for creating your own template.

      If I misunderstood your question, please let me know.

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