Here is the quick low down on how to do rhinestones
Shape your gem picker-upper. This is a purchased one but it is just dental wax on a stick. A toothpick or skewer would work fine. I need new wax, not because it no longer works, but because it is looking rather disgusting after five gowns. Make a nice point. If you are using very fine stones, 10 SS or smaller, make a really fine point. Bigger stones are not as fussy.
Put on the glue. The fabric I have here is chiffon, so I have put a firm surface and a sheet of waxed paper under it. That way I don’t get rhinestones glued through layers I don’t want them glued to. Ideally, you do your set of stones and wait maybe ten minutes, then lift the fabric off the paper gently. They will be adhered to the fabric, but still release well from the waxed paper. If you forget and wait too long, the waxed paper will still save you, but may be a bit harder to get the fabric unstuck.
Because of the way the glue works, you can do quite a few glue dots before you start stoning. Just watch out for being over-enthused and doing too many in areas where you might be putting you hands or elbows etc. Aside from leaving a glue mark, it is a pain to have to go back and re-dot. I am sure there is a solvent to remove it, but so far (crossed fingers!) I haven’t made a mess big enough for needing it.
Pick up your stone. It is obviously easier on a bigger stone, but you can see (I hope) that I am touching the wax to the side facet of the stone. Other people have different methods, but this works best for me. You do develop a touch/feel for how hard you have to push onto the stone to make it secure, but able to dislodge from the wax easily. The stones are usually in a tin (see previous post) but I put it on the fabric for viewing.
Place the stone. If you touch the side farthest from the tip of the wax to the glue first and lightly press down the applicator, the stone usually pops right off. It is a bit of a prying action. The glue will have a certain amount of “grab” and tends to sort of pull the stone toward it. If you have too tight a grip into the wax, have a pin, skewer, toothpick nearby and help it out a bit. I don’t have enough hands to show this and also take photos:)
Use the other end of the picker-upper to press the stone into the glue, if necessary. It is good to have the glue squish out around the sides of the stone a bit. It dries clear and the excess glue acts a bit like a fitting for a stone on a ring and keeps it nicely attached.
Then on you go and do more and more until the tin that looked impossibly full is pretty much empty!