Use Glitter Vinyl instead of Rhinestones {Silhouette Project}


glitter vinyl_createandbabble

Are you like me and LOVE the look of rhinestones but not all the tedious setting of all those little stones? There is a way to get the look WITHOUT rhinestones. Let me show you these tank tops that I made for my daughter, her bridesmaids and me.

They look and sparkle just like rhinestones but it’s glitter heat transfer vinyl!

When I set out to make these tops, it was my intention to use rhinestones. I bought the kit from Silhouette and thought I was all set to go. But I learned one thing: I DO NOT have the patience for this! It seems that some people have absolutely no trouble using rhinestones – not me. I thought I followed the directions, but I just didn’t have the patience. Very few of the stones went into the little holes, and the ones that did were upside down. I got so frustrated! Anybody want my leftover rhinestones??? Maybe I’ll try again at some point but in the meantime I’ll stick to glitter heat transfer vinyl. I love it!

My favorite glitter HTV (heat transfer vinyl) is from Specialty Graphics. I have tried other brands, but this is my favorite. I’m telling you, this stuff is amazing. If you try it, you may never go back to rhinestones! It is soooo easy to weed. You just peel back the negative space. I’ll show you later in this post.
As you can see on the tanks above, I didn’t change the all of the fonts to “rhinestones”, just cut out the letters as they are. (MOB = Mother of the Bride – in case you were wondering!) Another great thing about using glitter HTV is that you don’t HAVE to just use certain size holes to match the size of your rhinestones! That means you can adjust the size of whatever file you’re using without worrying about the size of the holes!!! I love that!

Here’s a step-by-step:

First, I chose a rhinestone file or if you have the Designer Edition of Silouette, you can create your own. For this tutorial, I am using a simple bicycle. (I love riding my bike and am so excited that weather is finally warming up and I can hit the trails soon!)

I resized to the size I wanted and to fit the scrap of glitter vinyyl that I had. Using the box tool, I drew a box around the shape (to make it easier to weed). Lay your vinyl (shiny side down) onto the cutting mat. If your design has text, you will need to “mirror” your image. I used the HTV cut setting, but changed my blade depth to 5, speed to 8, and thickness to 15 for this vinyl.


Look at how easy the weeding is. Just pull up a corner and pull the negative stuff away!
It comes off in one nice piece! Now all that’s left to do is iron it on!

I use the highest setting on my iron and lay a pillow case over the vinyl and press down for about one to two minutes. Let it cool a few seconds and peel away the plastic.
And you are left with what looks like stones! The look without the fuss and time! So much sparkle, I love it!

And because I love it so much, I made another tank top with a pretty, sparkly butterfly!
Linking up to these great parties:

Creations by Kara

The 36th AVENUE

504 Main


  1. 1


    Hi, Jeanie. How much glitter HTV did you order from Specialty Graphics? I noticed that it comes in feet. Thanks! I’m thinking of making a Minnie Mouse shirt for my daughter, so I was curious how much I’d need.

  2. 3


    Very clever and very pretty! Thanks so much for sharing at Project Inspired linky party – I pinned this to our group party pinboard! Tx! Heather xo

  3. 7

    LinhC says

    What a good idea! I’ve stayed away from the Silhouette rhinestones too because I thought they would be tedious to work with. Question: what do you do with the negative “template” you’re left with?

  4. 8


    Found you via the Silhouette linky party at Under the Table & Dreaming. These turned out so cute. I have just started working with my Cameo and so far I absolutely love it. I think rhinestones would be too fiddly for me too, so I will give this a try. Thanks so much for sharing it :)

    • 9

      Jeanie says

      Thanks and thank you for stopping by Sandy! No more rhinestones for me! I’ll stick with glitter vinyl all the way!

  5. 10

    Tonya says

    I have looked at the web site to purchase the glitter vinyl, but their is no mention about how this holds up to washing. Any special instructions?

    • 11

      Jeanie says

      I recommend hand washing just to be safe, but mine went through the washer (turned inside out) on the gentle cycle and came out fine.

  6. 12

    Hayley says

    Hello– I went to he specialty graphics website and noticed some other products they have like fashion flex. Do you know if these can be used with the silhouette too?

  7. 19

    Anne says

    When using the glitter vinyl with rhineatone setting do you use a transfer material to get the cutouts off your cutting mat to iron on? I don’t see that mentioned.

  8. 20


    I just have to tell you thank you so much for this tutorial. I ran across it while googling how to use rhinestones with my silhouette. I have done this and will never ever even try to do rhinestones. This is amazing. I needed to make a shirt for my daughter for her sister’s birthday party and what I did was amazing with your help!! I used your settings exactly and it has never been easier. Even way easier than the silhouette vinyl. When I placed my order and they asked me where I heard about them, I said your blog. Thanks so much!!! P.S. Their product is amazing as well! :)

    • 21

      Jeanie says

      Thank you so much Angie! I’m so glad that the post was helpful to you! Thanks so much for taking the time to let me know, I really appreciate it.

  9. 25

    Sandy T. says

    I am finally going to do this project! Would you recommend I was the new t-shirts I bought prior to adding the glitter vinyl?

  10. 29

    rosalind says

    I love Love LOVE the butterfly… it is a “negative” shape, surrounded by “crystals” or your glitter paper. How did you do that design with the designer software? Or was it a file? I was interested in doing something similar with a vector that I have and pushing it thru the sofware. Is there a “spotlight” or “backlight” tool that you use in the software to surround the “negative” image with the crystal cuts? Any insight would be helpful!

  11. 31


    I was wondering what font bride was done in? Someone ask I make some of the tanks in that font. I think I may have it already but wanted to confirm.

    Your stuff is AMAZING!

  12. 33

    Teri says

    First, I love your site, valuable info!! My problem – I followed your instructions for cutting the glitter vinyl. My test cut was perfect but when I sent the project to my Cameo only parts of it cut. This was my first glitter vinyl attempt.

    • 34

      Jeanie says

      Hi Teri! First ; ) Thank you so much!!! That means the world to me!!! Secondly, try slowing down the speed even more for the glitter vinyl. And if your blade is a little older, then I would bump it up by one. Hope this helps!

  13. 35

    Debbie says

    Great post! Are you using the “Specialty Glitter” vinyl? I have the description it says you need to use a “60° vinyl cutting blade”. I’m using my Pazzles machine and I’ve never had to switch blades for vinyl. Did you just use your regular blade? Thanks!

    • 36

      Jeanie says

      Hi Debbie. Thanks! And yes, I just use the regular cutting blade. I don’t even know what a 60 degree vinyl cutting blade is ; )

  14. 38


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