Stoning a Competition Suit


Something no one tells you when you decide to compete is how expensive it can be. For as little clothing as we wear on stage, I think I’ve spent more money on competition gear than I have on work clothes in the past two years. The bikini alone (which is about 3 inches of fabric) can easily cost $600, and professional-level suits can be up to $1,500! Now, they are completely custom-made to your body measurements, and while the NPC says that you can wear on “off the rack suit”…we all know that you would stick out like a sore thumb on stage. To an extent, paying a premium is worth it, but not $600.

Last year I had a beautiful suit made, but it no longer fits (because booty), so it was time for something new. I absolutely fell in love with completely blinged-out, rhinestone-covered bikinis…that also come with a premium price tag. I’m pretty crafty (and frugal), so I knew I could find a way to DIY my dream competition suit for this season for a fraction of the price. After tons of research, I’m successfully crafting my dream suit, for only around $230 – and you can too, for even less. 
rhinestones blog

To figure out what color stones and bikini I wanted, I ordered fabric swatches from Ravish Sands, and a Swarovski crystal sample card. You absolutely can use regular rhinestones, which would be much cheaper. However, Swarovski crystals REALLY shine under the lights, and I found a fairly good deal buying them wholesale.

USE - Swatch blog

I went ahead and ordered the basic Ravish Sands competition bikini (well, two because I’m competing three times this year and wanted to mix it up). Once you have your “plain” competition bikini, the other supplies you’ll need are:

I have a blue suit that is a work-in progress, but this give a bit of the Before & After impact that stoning a suit can have!

PicMonkey Collage

The gaps are going to be filled with a gorgeous indigo stone that was on backorder – I can’t wait to finish this one!

To start your own stoning project, first use the ball-head pins to secure your suit to the styrofoam half-sphere. I stretch it a bit, as it will stretch when you put it on.

purple before

Next, squeeze a dime-sized amount of the E6000 glue onto a paper plate.

WARNING: I learned the hard way that E6000 glue will eat through a styrofoam plate. It does not eat through paper, so I use a stack of printer paper or a paper plate to work off of. Also, this glue is toxic, so make sure you wear a mask, open windows, and only use it in a well-ventilated area.

Dip a toothpick end into the E6000 glue and then “dot” onto fabric where you want a rhinestone. The glue dries perfectly clear and won’t be noticeable from the stage, so don’t worry if there’s some excess.

Using the wax-covered end of the “pick up stick”, gently tap the top of a rhinestone. It will stick to the end. When you press the back of the rhinestone onto the glue spot, it will come off the wax-tip and stick to the glue.

I then like to flip my “pick up stick” around and use the unwaxed end to press the rhinestone into the glue. This is also when you can slide the stone into place before the glue dries.

purple after

Once you get the hang of it, stoning your suit shouldn’t take long. I spent an hour today and was able to get half-way through one bra cup.

I’m just scattering the two purples together, but it would also be fairly easy to do different patterns and designs. I’d love to see other competitor’s creations if you’ve ventured into stoning your own suits as well!

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19 Comments on Stoning a Competition Suit

  1. Cadence Giddings
    June 1, 2015 at 3:44 pm (2 years ago)

    Thank you for making this tutorial! I found it on Pinterest. I too am crystallizing my own bikini for an NPC competition this November. Thanks for of the tips!

    • Megan Johnson, 6ft Fit
      June 25, 2015 at 9:18 am (2 years ago)

      My pleasure!! Send me pictures of the finished product, I’d love to see how it turns out! And good luck this fall with your competition! :)

  2. lesley
    June 12, 2015 at 3:08 pm (2 years ago)

    Thanks so much for this!!!!! Where did you order the swaroski sample card?

    • Megan Johnson, 6ft Fit
      June 25, 2015 at 9:18 am (2 years ago)

      It’s my pleasure! I ordered it from a company called Dreamtime Creations. I did not buy my crystals from them, but I found they had the best Sample Card. It’s also on clear plastic sheet, so you can lay it over your fabric and get a better idea of how the stones will look!

  3. Presley
    August 27, 2015 at 8:21 pm (2 years ago)

    This is so helpful, thanks so much! I did have a question though, about how many gross did you end up purchasing in order to stone your entire suit?



    • Megan Johnson, 6ft Fit
      August 30, 2015 at 8:06 pm (2 years ago)

      Oh gosh, I think 5 gross per suit if 1 gross is 250? But that was for it to be FULLY covered, and I used a 20ss size…you could always go bigger!

      • Presley
        September 2, 2015 at 7:52 pm (2 years ago)

        Okay awesome, thanks again for the great article, most helpful one I’ve found by far! I’ll leave a picture for you when I’m finished :)

        • Megan Johnson, 6ft Fit
          November 2, 2015 at 10:45 am (2 years ago)

          Excellent! Good to hear it was helpful – have you stoned your suit yet?? I’d love to see!! <3

  4. Audrey
    September 7, 2015 at 11:53 pm (2 years ago)

    where did you find the best Swarovski deal? Was it the I have no idea what hot fix means either as some day that!

    • Megan Johnson, 6ft Fit
      November 2, 2015 at 10:36 am (2 years ago)

      Hello!! Yes! That’s where I purchased mine!! Be warned – their customer service is non-existent. I called about a million times when a color I ordered & paid for was out of stock (it’s run out of Debbie’s Dance Store or something…) and only got the answering machine. I got them just in time, but yes – it’s the best deal.

      “Hot fix” stones can be used only if you have the heated Hot Fix tool…the stones have a glue already on the back of them that’s heated with the tool. So if you plan on using glue or don’t have the Hot Fix tool – get the regular flat-back.

      Hope this helps!!

  5. Michelle
    September 11, 2015 at 7:44 am (2 years ago)

    Love the idea!! And your suits are beautiful, I’m doing it! But i need some help :( … How many rhinestones aprox did you use for the top on both sides?? And what size are you? Im not sure how many of them i should buy…

    • Michelle
      September 11, 2015 at 7:46 am (2 years ago)

      I mean how many gross… And for the other part how many? (The bikini panties)

    • Megan Johnson, 6ft Fit
      November 2, 2015 at 10:44 am (2 years ago)

      Hi Michelle!! Well, the suit bottoms don’t really go by size since it’s to my custom measurements, but my typical sizes would probably me a S/M bottom and a S top (or 34B). I think to get a FULLY encrusted top and a partially stones bottom, I used 10 gross total (5 gross of one color, 5 gross of another color). So for both top and bottom I would budget for 1,400-1,500 rhinestones in the 20ss size. I hope this helps!

  6. Kathy
    February 17, 2016 at 12:22 pm (1 year ago)

    Hi there,
    great article, thank you!
    Please could you tell me where I can buy E6000 glue onlibe?
    I live in South Africa, so im hoping they can ship internationally?!

    • Megan Johnson, 6ft Fit
      February 27, 2016 at 6:32 pm (1 year ago)

      Thank you, I hope you find it helpful! It’s sold on Amazon – I would check there first! Otherwise, any craft store should sell it online. Let me know if you have trouble finding it!

  7. Hazel
    February 21, 2016 at 10:02 pm (1 year ago)

    Can you use 30ss instead of 20ss??

    • Megan Johnson, 6ft Fit
      February 27, 2016 at 6:30 pm (1 year ago)

      Absolutely – they’re bigger, so it may have a slightly different look when you’re finished. Also, you’ll need to purchase less stones. Let me know how it turns out!

  8. katherine
    April 16, 2016 at 12:03 am (1 year ago)

    did you buy both suits for 230?

    • Megan Long, 6ft Fit
      April 17, 2016 at 2:07 pm (1 year ago)

      Hi there! No – the $230 mentioned is the approximate cost of purchasing the bare bikini & purchasing the rhinestones & supplies to bejewel it myself.


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