DIY Fashion

Little Red Sparklers

July 6, 2011

I love shoes.

In fact, I used to have a bad habit of “collecting” them. I’d see a cute pair of shoes at a really good price and decide that I “needed” to get them. I wound up with a lot of cute (but sometimes terribly uncomfortable) shoes this way. Once I got to college and had to walk all over campus, I realized pretty fast that “cute-but-uncomfortable” shoes weren’t exactly practical. Having big gnarly blisters on your feet from your shoes rubbing wasn’t exactly the most attractive thing either. And hanging on to a bunch of shoes that you don’t need or wear very often just adds to all the things that you have to move when you switch dorms or move out of your apartment at the end of the year.

So I decided: I wasn’t going to buy anymore shoes that I didn’t need. If I was tempted to buy another cute pair of shoes, they had to be comfortable. And I couldn’t keep any shoes that weren’t comfortable. I went through my closet and Mr. Sweet was very excited that we could see the floor again. I donated all of my shoes that had given me blisters and that I didn’t absolutely need anymore.

Well, almost.

I ended up keeping a few pairs that were “borderline” comfortable. I’d seen a few tutorials online where people re-vamped their old shoes, so I thought that these pairs of shoes might be a little fun to play with. They were a little worn, but not in terrible condition. I decided that it would be fun to play with a pair and make something festive and fun for the Fourth of July.

I started with these:

They’re pretty cute on their own, but are a little scuffed up on the toes and a little more dusty/grungy than you can see in the photo.

This little guy was really curious about what I was up to:

The first thing that I did was wrap and glue some ribbon around the top part of the shoes. I didn’t want the glitter to go all the way to the tippy top because I was afraid that it would rub and give me blisters. The ribbon also ads a nice contrast in texture and color. You can see that the dachshund was still very curious what I was up to! He likes ribbon. To bite it, that is…

Make sure that all children and/or animals are in a safe place when you pull out the glue gun to add the ribbon to the border of the shoes. Try not to get too much of it inside the shoe in clumps or when it dries it will be hard and will rub your foot and might give you blisters. Remember: Getting blisters from wearing cute shoes = Yuck. Not worth it!

Next you will need to gather a few supplies: Fabric Mod Podge and some kind of glitter. I bought the Martha Stewart kind at Michaels (with a 40% off coupon! Yay!) because I wanted a more subtle sparkle (nothing too “Wizard of Oz” Dorothy-ish), but you can use any kind that you want! Just find one that you like!

Oh yeah, and you might want to grab some of those foam disposable brushes too! They are pretty inexpensive and are really handy to use to paint on the Mod Podge and glitter!

Start painting the Mod Podge onto the shoes. If you added a ribbon border, you might want to use some craft tape to tape around it first if you don’t want to get any of the glitter on the ribbon. I did that in the next step, but it is better to do it now.

While the Mod Podge is still wet, sprinkle the shoes with glitter!

This potentially makes what is known around the Sweet household as “A Very Big Mess.” Seriously, be careful or the glitter might get everywhere. On furniture, the floor, your pets, your husband… Even after you vacuum the house, you might still find it! In fact, you might even want to do this part outside. But make sure that you save all that extra glitter! You might need it for another layer!

If you missed a few spots on your shoes or want a thicker layer of glitter, then let your shoes dry for a few hours and repeat layers of Mod Podge and glitter one more time. Let that dry, then add one more coat of just Mod Podge on top of everything to sort of seal all of the glitter in. Don’t worry, the Mod Podge dries clear!

After this, you can either add another layer or two of Mod Podge in the finish of your choice (Matte, Satin, Gloss, etc.) or you can use some Diamond Glaze to seal everything in and to add a sort of glossy, laminated effect. you basically just want to add enough layers to keep the glitter on your shoes and to give them a smooth finish. I added two coats of Diamond Glaze and let the shoes dry for a few hours in between coats.

And voila! You’re done! Wear them out and go have some fun!

You could really make these for any holiday, or even to show your school spirit! My alma mater’s colors are actually red and navy, so I could wear these and be festive on days other than the Fourth of July. Yay! Go Wildcats!

So what do you think? Have you done any fun craft projects lately? Are you going to make some glitter flats?