DIY Fashion: How to Stud Clothing

Updated on November 21, 2019
a beautiful mess profile image

I enjoy fashion and looking trendy on a budget. I also create art, take photos, and save money by doing things myself.

Lookin like a road warrior.
Lookin like a road warrior.

Don't Spend Tons of Money

Seriously. Pre-studded clothes are way overpriced. I'm all about buying something boring on sale and making it fabulous. And studs are so cheap! You can buy a bag of 100–200 for under $5 and stud up your clothes on your own.

Oh, the choices!
Oh, the choices!

Kinds of Studs

So there are a few different kinds of studs that I've used. The difference is in how they fasten. Some have prongs, and some have fastener pieces, some you'll need glue for.

I recommend lightly marking where you want to place your studs before you start unless you're good at eyeballing it. Once you've decided what sorts of spikes to use and where to put them, you have to figure out how to put them on.

Normal studs—pyramids, stars, hearts, etc.—have prongs on the back. Just push the stud into the fabric so that the prongs poke through to the other side, and then fold them down. I usually do this by hand, but you can use a studder or maybe some pliers to make it easier.

Anything shaped like a spike will typically have a fastener. You push the fastener through the fabric from the inside, and then place the spike on top. Then, you'll have to lay it flat on a hard surface and use a hammer to attach the spike. Some spikes have screw-on fasteners, and I imagine this is easier than ones that need to be hammered.

Some studs have flat backs, and you'll need to pick up some E-6000 bonding glue. Don't use hot glue, it won't work. I haven't tried flat-backed studs yet, because I'm thinking that using pronged studs is easier.

These are for intimidating people.
These are for intimidating people.

So... What to Stud?

There are so many choices! Jackets, shirts, pants, purses, even shoes! Here are a few of the things that I've experimented with, along with links to the studs I've used.

Stars and spikes.
Stars and spikes.

1. Stud a Jacket

You know those punk jackets that are covered in studs? I decided to make one. They look awesome! You could do this with a leather jacket, a jean jacket, a vest, whatever you like.

You can do like I did and stud the shoulders and the collar, or make up your own design. I used 8mm and 12mm silver pyramid studs, gold spikes, and black and silver 10mm star studs. The pyramids and stars have prongs on the back that you can stick right through the fabric and fold over.

I did face some problems with the star studs because they only have two prongs on the back and tend to fall off easily. To secure these, I ended up sewing over them. Once properly fastened, they look awesome.

2. Stud a Shirt

So I guess it's the "in" thing to have a shirt with studded shoulders or collars. Instead of paying $20+ bucks for this, just buy a $5–10 shirt and stud it yourself.

I've done several shirts, and I plan to do a few more. These ones are for my radio show, The Vinyl Countdown. I decided it'd be cool to personalize shirts for my listeners, so I studded each one differently. For these shirts, I used 8mm gold pyramid studs, 10mm red star studs, and silver bullet studs.

The bullet studs are like the spikes I used on my jacket—you have to hammer them down.

It's a pretty cool radio show.
It's a pretty cool radio show.

3. Stud Pants

There are some pretty cool photos floating around out there of pants with the back or front pockets studded. You can do like I did and have a fading effect of studs, or stud the whole pocket.

Another option is to do a line of studs down the sides of your pants. Or you could stud the belt loops. OR you could cuff the bottom of the legs and stud that!

You can really stud anything, I think you get it by now.

It doesn't stab your ass, I promise.
It doesn't stab your ass, I promise.

4. Stud Shoes

I've found shoes to be the hardest thing to stud, at least by hand. They're pretty thick around the toes and heels, because, well, they're shoes. But they just look so cool! Flats and boots are usually more difficult, but a pair of canvas sneakers can be studded easily.

If you want to try studding shoes, be sure that the area you want to stud is thin enough. You don't want to ruin a pair of shoes by stabbing holes into them.

What's the difference between a ginger and a shoe? A shoe has a sole.
What's the difference between a ginger and a shoe? A shoe has a sole.
Painstaking work.
Painstaking work.

5. Stud Accessories

Have a plain purse? Add some studs around the edges, or down the shoulder strap. Boring headband? Glue some rhinestone studs to it. You can add studs to a belt, a bra, a scarf. Find some average, lame pieces and revitalize them with a little glimmer. There are so many things in my wardrobe that I've stopped wearing, and all it takes for me to start wearing them is a little something special.

Try It

Now that you know what and how to stud, here is a video to help you if you are having trouble! Also, some different studding ideas and patterns to spark your creativity.

Once you've found a piece to stud, experiment with different techniques and patterns! Studding the shoulders looks really awesome on sweaters and jackets. Beware what you put spikes on. If you spike the shoulders of a sweater, you probably won't be able to wear a jacket over it. If you spike the shoulders of a jacket, you may have to carry a clutch instead of an over-the-shoulder purse!

Shirts with collars and pockets are really fun to stud. You can do 100% stud-coverage on these areas, or space the studs out to tone it down. Another option is to stud the buttons or sleeve cuffs.

If you're feeling creative, stud a picture. You can do this by varying the color or type of stud you're using. Stud a flag, a cross, a heart, anything you think you're capable of.

Another option is to stud text. It could be your favorite band, your name, a group you're in. Outline the logo and text and stud away.

Got an idea? Let's get bedazzled.

Shoulder Studding a Jacket

© 2013 Alex Rose


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    • profile image

      Ellery Duncan 

      5 years ago

      I have plastic rivet spikes and hammering them in is ruining the tips - anyone know how to get around this? if you do.


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