Reported by Jenny Barnett Rohrs
I few months ago I reviewed a hot-fix crystal setter, so when I had the chance to try out the Glitz-Up by Viva-Decor, I jumped at the chance. I love glitz and glimmer, and was really excited to try out this kit, which came with:
- Vacuum pump/regulator unit with wand
- 3 “tweezer” tips to accommodate different size rhinestones and studs
- a gazillion rhinestones and studs!
Now, a bit about the concept of the unit. It works like a standard hot-fix crystal setter- which means there’s a wand that heats up. When placed over a rhinestone or stud, the adhesive on the back side of the embellishment heats up and melts, so that when you place it down on your surface, it will adhere without additional glue.
The Glitz-Up is unique because it’s the only hot-fix crystal setter on the market that also uses vacuum suction to keep the crystal or stud securely positioned in the wand tip. The suction is created by the regulator unit, and when you cover the hole in the wand the crystal is “sucked up” and stays there until you remove your finger and release the embellishment into the desired position.
Before I even turned the unit on, I tried screwing in the tips. They are specially made so that there’s a little hole in the tip for the suction to work. The tips were nicely threaded and easy to swap out. Good! I turned the unit on, and waited for it to heat up. I have to admit that I thought the unit was kinda loud- I could still hear my radio with it on, but you’d want to turn it off if the phone rang, if you know what I mean.
I waited a good long time to get going- it took about 10 minutes for it to really heat up! That’s kind of a long time, in my opinion, but once it was ready, it was really good and hot. So I followed the following steps to adhere my studs to the tag above:
- Place the stud/crystal right-side-up on a heat-resistant mat.
- Place the tip of the wand straight down over the top of it.
- Move your finger to cover up the hole in the wand to activate the suction.
- Place the embellishment where you want it to be on your project.
- Remove your finger to de-activate suction. Ta-da!
And there it is! This feature is really an improvement over traditional setters, in that the embellishment doesn’t leave any sticky residue on the tip and you don’t need a pin to dislodge it from the wand. One hand operation, baby!
I continued by adding some studs to a coffee cuff…
And then to my son’s embellished shirt. Those studs in the eyesockets really jazzed up a commercial tee!
Now I have to say there was one BIG problem. The cord that attaches the wand to the regulator unit is bulky and hard to straighten out. I kept wrestling with it, and I did notice my hand getting tired after about a half hour. There is also no resting spot for the wand, and when I set it down on the table it kind of snaked around and moved to resume it’s coiled-up shape from being in the box. I kept thinking that it needed a rest or a prop to put the wand on, and…sure enough, when I wasn’t paying close attention, this is what happened:
Crap! Melted tubing & icky plastic smell. I’m not sure if it’s ruined for good or if it just melted the plastic sheath. This was totally my fault for not attending to it, but it kind of proves a point that there needs to be a wand rest included in the kit!
Now for the nitty gritty…
- Vaccuum regulator is really amazing, and ensures accuracy
- Love the full kit, with the 3 interchangeble tips
- Good heat once it warmed up
- Nice that you can adjust the suction on the regulator depending on the size of the embellishment (for example: more suction for larger rhinestones.)
- Studs included in the kit are colorful good-quality
- Regulator is kind of loud
- Wand handle got uncomfortably warm after about 20 minutes of use
- Your hand may get tired holding your finger over the suction hole
- Cord attaching wand to unit is bulky, and you may feel like you’re fighting it
- NO WAND REST!
- Not inexpensive- $90 to $120 USD
- Crystals in the pack look cheap (I’m spoiled by Swarovski!)
So there you have it! If you love bling, this may be the tool for you. Do you already have a hot-fix setter? Love it? Let us know!
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