How to Make Sparkly DIY Rhinestone Sneakers in a Few Simple Steps

by Sophiesophss
7 Materials
1 Hour

Ever wanted a pair of rhinestone sneakers? In this DIY, we’re going to be adding rhinestones to a pair of Air Force 1s. This is such an easy transformation to do; it does take some time, but you’ll be blown away with the professional-looking result at the end.

Tools and materials:

  • Air Force 1s
  • Rhinestones
  • E6000
  • Paintbrush
  • Tweezers
  • Mini iron
  • Parchment paper
Air Force 1s before the DIY



First up, you’ll need some rhinestones. There are two types - you can either go with hot fix stones that are activated with heat or non-hot fix stones which have no heat-activated backing. For this DIY, we’re going to be using hot-fix rhinestones to get the best durability possible. 

To get our rhinestones to stick in place initially, we’re going to be using some E6000 glue. This stuff is pretty heavy-duty when dried, but we'll also have our backup method of heat activating our stones later.

Applying E6000 glue to the sneakers

1. Apply glue to the sneakers

Pretty much all you need to do is grab an old paintbrush, glob a good amount of glue onto the brush and apply it to a small area of the shoe. 

Sticking the rhinestones on the sneakers

2. Stick rhinestones on

Once you've done that, you can grab your rhinestones one by one using tweezers and place them onto the area you applied the glue to. I would start with the outline of the shoe first and then work your way into the center for a cleaner look.

This part is going to take a while, so make sure you set aside some time to get the job done.

How to make rhinestone sneakers

Once the toe box is done, you’re going to do the same thing with the swoosh. Again, I'd recommend outlining the shape first and filling it in with the stones after.

Ironing the rhinestones with a mini iron

3. Iron the rhinestones

Once the stones are fully glued in place, grab your mini iron and set it to medium or high. You can use a regular iron for this as well but a mini iron will be a lot easier to work with.

Place a piece of parchment paper over the stones to avoid any burning and run the mini iron over them for a few minutes. Be sure to apply pressure to every area and keep the iron on the rhinestones long enough for the backing to really activate and stick down.

DIY rhinestone sneakers

DIY rhinestone sneakers tutorial

Check out these bling rhinestone sneakers! I love how they sparkle as the rhinestones catch the sunlight. Also, because we just added rhinestones to the toe box and swoosh, as opposed to all of it, the rhinestones don’t look excessive; there is just the right amount of dazzle.

Let me know what you think of this transformation in the comments below!

Suggested materials:
  • Air Force 1s
  • Rhinestones
  • E6000
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