How to Decorate a Bland Swimsuit

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Things You'll Need

  • Washable markers or fabric chalk
  • Elastic glue
  • Paper towels
  • Glitter
  • Newspapers
  • Strip of fringe
  • Pins
  • Scissors
  • Needle
  • Thread in the same color as the swimsuit
  • Rhinestones
  • E6000 glue
  • Paper plate
  • Tweezers
  • Toothpick

Swimsuits aren't just functional suits for swimming -- they're fashion statements! Instead of tossing out a bland swimsuit, you can update it to fit with the latest trends or just give it a personalized touch by decorating with glitter, fringe or rhinestones.

Glitter It Up

Decide what type of a design you want on your bathing suit. Stars, hearts, birds, cats and swirls are just a few ideas you can use for the design.

Lay the bathing suit out flat. Use a washable marker to draw the design on the desired location of the bathing suit.

Open the elastic glue bottle. Turn it upside down on a paper towel and tap the opening on a paper towel a few times. This will help remove any air bubbles in the bottle.

Trace the washable marker design with the glue while applying consistent pressure to the bottle and maintaining the same speed. Try to avoid frequent stopping when tracing with the glue.

Sprinkle the glitter abundantly over the glue. Make sure the glitter completely covers the tops as well as the sides of the glue line.

Lay a newspaper out flat on a level surface. Hold the bathing suit over the newspaper and gently shake it to remove the excess glitter. Carefully fold the newspaper in an open V-shape. Pour the excess glitter back into the container.

Place the bathing suit in a safe location where it won’t be disturbed and let dry for at least 24 hours.

Top It Off with Fringe

Lay the fringe strip out flat along the neckline of the swimsuit. The fringe should run from armpit to armpit along the top seam.

Secure the fringe in place with several pins. Cut off any excess fringe with a pair of scissors.

Thread the needle and begin hand sewing a running stitch along the pinned fringe’s neckline. Continue in this manner until you have securely attached the fringe strip to the swimsuit. Secure the last stitch with a knot.

Dress It Up with Rhinestones

Lay the swimsuit out flat on a level surface.

Decide where you want the rhinestones to be placed. Mark the desired location on the swimsuit with a washable marker.

Squeeze a drop of E6000 glue onto a paper plate.

Pick up one of the rhinestones with a pair of tweezers. Grab a toothpick in the other hand.

Dip the tip of a toothpick in the glue and rub it on the back of the rhinestone. Avoid applying too much glue to the back of the rhinestone. Applying too little glue, however, will result in the rhinestone falling off.

Place the rhinestone glue-side down on the desired location. Press down on the rhinestone and hold for a second or two. Continue in this manner until you have added all the rhinestones.

Allow the swimsuit to dry for at least 24 hours.


  • You can use only one color or many different shades of glitter. If using multiple glitter colors, apply the darker glitter first and then the lighter-colored glitter. Make sure to shake the excess dark glitter off before applying the light glitter.

    An altered swimsuit should be washed gently by hand only to prevent the decorations from coming off while laundering.


About the Author

Amanda Flanigan began writing professionally in 2007. Flanigan has written for various publications, including WV Living and American Craft Council, and has published several eBooks on craft and garden-related subjects. Flanigan completed two writing courses at Pierpont Community and Technical College.

Photo Credits

  • VladimirFLoyd/iStock/Getty Images