The BeDazzler is a tool that resembles a stapler, designed to make it easy to attach rhinestones and other studs to fabric. It's similar to the GeMagic, also advertised in TV infomercials. The BeDazzler has a wheel-shaped base with various settings for affixing studs to fabric. Once you select a design, you place a plastic plunger on the base and a stud or rhinestone at the top of the BeDazzler. The fabric is inserted between the plunger and the base. When depressed, metal spikes on the underside of the stone penetrate the fabric and affix the stone to it. The BeDazzler kit includes an instruction booklet, 15 transfer patterns, 50 clear rhinestones, 50 colored rhinestones and 150 studs.
Reviewers judge the BeDazzler a useful tool if you have enormous patience and can follow directions very exactly, but note that results may be inconsistent. It's hard to apply even pressure, and the plunger and baseplate are often misaligned. For both reasons, the studs and rhinestones often aren't securely attached and have to be pried off and redone.
Results seem to be easier to achieve on thin materials such as paper (for cards and scrapbooks) and thin fabrics like cotton T-shirt blends. Applying studs to jeans and leather is a lot trickier. Even if you succeed in making your design on a piece of clothing, the studs or stones may fall out when the item is washed.
We found the best evaluation of the BeDazzler in a comparison review at the website of Allstar Plastic Industries, a manufacturer of plastic rhinestones. This review is especially useful because it also covers the similar GeMagic stud-setting tool. A brief review at KCBD (Lubbock, Tex.) tests the BeDazzler on four different fabrics. We found useful owner-written reviews at Amazon.com, along with helpful hints and brief evaluations published at Yahoo Answers and RhinestoneGuy.com.
1. Allstar Plastic Industries
This review compares the BeDazzler with the similar GeMagic, as well as three more expensive tools. No testing is documented, but the differences among the five tools are discussed in detail, with helpful information about sizing replacement studs. Both the BeDazzler and GeMagic are described as "toys" that are poorly made and tricky to use.
Review: Stone and Stud Setter Review, Editors of Allstar Plastic Industries
2. KCBD (Lubbock, TX)
Tests here find that it's difficult to use the BeDazzler to attach studs securely to thick materials like jeans or a leather purse. It works better on a handkerchief and T-shirt -- leaving the reviewer inconclusive about whether or not to recommend it.
Review: The BeDazzler: Does It Work?, Oct. 26, 2006
Only a small minority of owners reviewing the BeDazzler are happy with it. Most of the reviews are angry and very negative, citing prongs that hurt the clothes wearer, having to reset studs with pliers, and flimsy construction. The small number of rhinestones in the kit also comes in for complaint.
Review: The Original BeDazzler Tool, Contributors to Amazon.com
4. Yahoo! Answers
Two users reply to a question in this forum. One says the BeDazzler works but is tricky to use, requiring some practice aligning the tool, finding out how much pressure to use, and handling the tiny rhinestones and studs. She recommends hand-washing items or machine-washing them inside a pillowcase, in case studs fall out.
Review: Is the BeDazzler or GeMagic Easy to Use?, Contributors to Yahoo! Answers, 2006
This long, detailed article recommends the BeDazzler as a cheap but useful tool for setting rhinestones on jeans. It also includes a lot of specific information on which sizes and models of rhinestones to use.
Review: Decorating Jeans and Pants, Phil Brandt, Not Dated