Tag Archives | Fashion

Vendor Spotlight & GIVEAWAY: Imaginisce i-rock Tool

Reported by Julie Tiu

recently announced their newest product, the i-rock, a handheld heat-setting tool that will affix studs, crystals, rhinestones, pearls and mirrors to paper, fabric and more. I was lucky enough to test drive this innovative tool, and found it to be quite useful.

The tool itself comes on its own (gems are separate), and you will need 3 AA batteries. Cordless! Very convenient.

Check it out on the kitchen scale: One-quarter pound. It’s fairly light… and easy to hold.
Okay, we’ve established some stats, but does it work? Yes it does, and pretty well. The instructions are easy to follow and also online, however, I did not like that it made no mention of a little red light that is on the tool. Does the light indicate that the tool is hot and ready to go? No, it doesn’t. The light only turns on twice: 1) when you flip the switch on, and 2) when you depress the button as you hold the tool to affix a gem. I would almost prefer that the light stay on, so you know the tool is hot.

Otherwise, it’s simple to use. Because it is a heat-setting tool, be careful that you don’t lay it too close to plastic or paper while you are working. And keep a small bowl of cold water nearby in case you do accidentally burn yourself, just like when working with a hot glue gun. This is definitely not a child-appropriate tool.

The i-rock has a good variety of accessories, the studs and stencil kits

Plain crystals and Multi-colored crystals in Hot Rocks Compacts

Glam Rocks Rhinestuds in five different styles (picture courtesy of

Along with the i-rock and accessories, I received a fantastic assortment of paper, embellishments and stamps. The style is so reminiscent of childhood birthday parties, but with a contemporary twist.

Animal Crackers collection by Imaginisce

Reverse side of the pages

Let’s get testing

Instructions say to heat the i-rock for at least 15 seconds. I found that was not enough time, more like 30-45 seconds. The stud (first on left) is the quickest setting at 2-3 seconds with a completely heated tool. As you continue right, the glam rocks and smaller crystal adhered quickly also at 4-5 seconds. The larger crystals took as long as 10-15 seconds to adhere.

Sizes range from 2.3 mm to 6 mm.

Love the added dimension and texture!


The stencil kit in place on a child’s cotton t-shirt

Working with the template is easy!

Rhinestuds fit perfectly in the template

Pulled off the template after marking remaining spots with a pencil. The crystal sizes left in the kit (in that color) were too large for the template.

Finished t-shirt for a special little girl

Backside of the t-shirt: adhesive can melt through, be careful and use a protective layer (brown paper bag, for instance) when applying the studs or crystals on your fabric projects

Store-bought cards embellished with rhinestuds and crystals (Cards by Paula Deen designs)

Cute card with studs (paper by Imaginisce: Animal Crackers)

Stamp by Imaginisce

Hard to imagine just how tiny those studs are!

The paper was cute enough, but the studs just add a little more dimension.

Taking a simple, business card sized foam frame and decorative paper and turn it into something cute… will the Glam Rocks adhere?

“Glam-ming” up my foam frame…

Voila, finished! (flower embellishment by Imaginsce)
More studs on foam (sticker and ribbon embellishments by Imaginisce: Animal Crackers)

Studded magnets “rock” the refrigerator

  • Easy to maneuver in small projects
  • No mess
  • Quick heating time
  • Lots of accessories
  • Exposed heating tip poses a safety hazard
  • Even though heating time is quick, it didn’t seem as fast as quoted in the instructions
  • Preferred tweezers to the jewel-setter stick that comes with Glam Rocks
I never would have thought this tool would be as versatile as it is, and would recommend it for your embellishing needs!

Want to win this great product? Our friends at Imaginisce are giving away an iRock Tool to one lucky reader. To win, just leave a comment on this blog answering any or all of these questions, we love to hear your opinions!

Will the i-rock tool rock your world? Do you use gems and rhinestones on your projects and how do you adhere them? What do you love or hate about your current method? Share your gem-tastic projects and stories!

You have until Friday, February 18th at 6pm CST to comment.


Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!

Martha Stewart Crafts Studio: Stencil Fashion Class

Reported by Simone Collins
Photography by Chris Foresman

During our Martha Stewart Craft Getaway Weekend, we all got our hands on the fun projects available in the classes available at Beaches.  The Stencil Fashion Class, which features stencils from Stencil 1, was the perfect man-craft project for our trip photographer, Chris Foresman.

In this class, participants have the choice of stencil(s) as well as a plain fabric item such as bags, t-shirts, or even a bandana. You can recreate this project at home with these few easy steps.

Plain Fabric Items
Fabric Paint
Sponge Brushes
Masking Tape
Paper Towels
Bin for Soaking Stencils
Choose your Fabric Item and place a piece of cardboard inside so that the paint or glue does not seep through the fabric.  Layout your stencil or stencils in your own pattern or design. These cool music stencils, including a jambox, cassette, and headphones, are designed by Ed Roth from Stencil 1.  There is a large variety of designs you can choose from depending on your style.

Using masking tape, attach the stencil(s) to your item, making sure to secure all edges. Try to keep the stencil(s) as flat as possible.

Use a small plastic bowl to hold your fabric paint.  We used Liquitex Black Fabric Paint for this project.  Dip your sponge brush into the fabric paint, getting a moderate amount of paint but not too much.

To paint your stencil, simply pounce your sponge brush over the complete image, reloading with paint when necessary.  Work at a slow and steady pace, being sure to cover the entire image evenly.  You can work with several colors or just keep your design monochromatic.

Allow your image to dry for at least seven hours. The acrylic should be fully cured within three days.
To launder your project, use cold water and turn item inside out when possible.

Read all about our entire Martha Stewart Trip at the Beaches Resort including more project tutorials and our Martha Stewart Craft product reviews.  And don’t miss the daily giveaways!
Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!

CHA Supershow Contests: America’s Next Top Crafter & Fashion Fever

Two exciting contests kept the crowd entertained while wandering from booth to booth at the CHA Supershow on Saturday.

The first of which was America’s Next Top Crafter hosted by the Modern Surrealist, Marisa Pawelko, sponsored by Westcott.

This fast-paced competition pit three crafters against each other in a race against the clock to decorate a scissor holster in the way they felt best represented their crafting style. Each individual had an array of supplies to work with, but only 10 minutes on the clock before each piece was judged by a panel of celebrity judges, which just so happened to include Craft Critique’s very own Editor-in-Chief Sarah Moore! The Double Stitch Twins were also there to lend their expertise as well as Stephanie Girard, author of Sweater Surgery.

After 10 minutes had flown by, each of the contestants explained a bit about their piece. And the winner, Cami, explained that her holster was representative of her home in Mexico. She went home with a very generous prize from Westcott. Great job Cami!  Here’s a shot of all the participants, judges and host of America’s Next Top Crafter:

Another contest that actually began way before the Supershow even started was Fashion Fever. Sponsored by the National Sewing Council, this contest involved having a great imagination and concept of design, not to mention some killer sewing skills. In the months proceeding the show, 7 finalists had been chosen to compete during the show for the grand prize of a trip to Los Angeles for the Winter Supershow in 2011, including hotel and airfare.

Their mission? To create a fantasy themed clothing piece in under 48 hours with just $100 to spend. The piece was to represent Macy’s upcoming Glamorama Fashion Show which will take place August 13th at the Chicago Theatre. This year’s theme for the show is Fashion.Fantasy.Music.Magic. and will star Macy Gray. The finalists were to design a piece with this theme in mind, and imagine the final product being worn on the runway by Macy herself.

Each of the finalists remained hard at work right throughout the show (they began at noon on Friday, and had to be done by 4:00pm on Saturday):

While a couple were professional seamstresses, most were just starting out in the fashion world as students.

Once the pieces were complete, each contestant either wore her own piece or had a model wear it for a highly anticipated finale fashion show before the winner was announced.

After the fashion show all contestants came out for the big announcement. I am in awe at all the designs, what a wonderful job.

The grand prize went to Vanessa from Evanston, Illinois for her dragon inspired design. She said the billowing fabric pieces on the side of the dress represent dragon’s wings. Congratulations Vanessa!

There was so much more to do at the Supershow than I had thought, these contests made it all the more fun. I can’t wait to see what they come up with for next year! What kind of contests would you like to see or participate in?

Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!