Monday, February 20, 2012

DIY: Shoes

This year's Back-to-School Shoes
Hi, guys! This is just an update...I recently created more DIY shoes, this time Platform Sandals (eep!), that you can read more about here.

I never really thought I had a thing for shoes. But the enormity of 'em in my closet (and under the bed, in the once-linen closet,  and stacked in the bathtub) begs to differ. So apparently I have a weak spot. Some people adopt little lost abandoned animals and give them a home...I like to think that I do the same. Just for shoes.

Now the prob with being a shoe hoarder is that it could easily become a costly venture. I found this out at the beginning of the school year when I saw the cutest pencil shoes at Modcloth...for about one hundred bucks. Being the thrift shopper that I am, I constantly experience sticker shock when shopping retail. After studying the pencil shoes, I realized that I just might be able to recreate them myself.
The kids love these shoes. Most frequently asked question: "How do you sharpen those?"
So off to the thrift store I went in search of a pair of shoes to use as my canvas. With a black pair of slip-ons, I drew out my design in white colored pencil. It was simple enough: a curved line for the lead, a scalloped line for the wooden part, a couple of straight lines for the end of the pencil. I used several coats of acrylic paint and covered the shoes in Modge Podge. 

Now, I'm not so sure acrylic paint is the best bet. I've worn these shoes a half dozen times (turns out pencil shoes don't  go with everything) and they have cracked at the crease of the shoe. I recently read that Martha Stuart makes an all-purpose paint (of course she does) that might have worked better. Any ideas? 
There's a reason I don't have many pairs of pointed shoes in my closet. Because putting my Big Foot-esque feet inside something dainty and small is like forcing my big bump-ited head into a hat: it's just not gonna happen.
After painting the pencil shoes, I was bitten by the shoe-painting bug. My next thrift store/shoe restore purchase was this pair of foot-torturing pointy black shoes. I went about painting them the same way I did the pencils: draw out design in white pencil, add coats of paint, seal in Modge Podge. Bind feet and wear.
My Crayola-inspired outfit: crayon barrette, made by me; thrifted shirt; skirt picked up off of etsy. Most frequently asked question: "Can you color with those?"

A couple of months ago, DIY glitter shoes seemed to be all over the blogs I frequent. And I just knew I had to have a pair for the countless Christmas parties I would attend (which was, like, two). Now, I have this inability to read directions. I see them, I understand their importance, my eyes glance over them and I think "oh, yeah. I got this." Well, before you follow suit, read these directions, friends: 
  1. Spray paint any areas of your shoes (er, outside) that will be unglittered. I used high gloss spray paint over these once-gray thrift store shoes.
  2. Use glitter dust (which I did not do) and Modge Podge
  3. Mix a large amount of glitter with a small amount of 'Podge. Attack shoes with said Glitter Podge.
  4. Allow to dry (duh) and wear.  
Notice the key words: glitter dust. Turns out regular ole glitter is just too big. After several wears, I've had to replace chunks of glitter that have fallen off. Being smaller, glitter dust seems to have a little more give.
My dear P.E. teacher friend had me glitterize her basketball shoes from high school!
I was attached several times while wearing these my cat. The feather boas drove her nuts. And got her permanently placed on the Naughty List.
Okay, these are seriously cheesy. But I teach the littles, so I can get away with it. Using these thrifted never-worn red t-strap shoes, acrylic paint, Modge Podge, felt and boa, I Santa-ized these shoes. Because the design is on the toe of the shoe, these shoes have not had the design-cracking problem like the pencil and crayon shoes.

My favorite thing about these shoes? Being able to say, "Are you making good choices? Because," with a glance down at my feet,"Santa is watching." Worked better than Elf on a Shelf.

My Valentine's Day can read the complete, unabridged how-to here:

My latest, and easiest, DIY involved thrifted shoes, broken clip-on earrings and a hot glue gun. I betcha can guess how I did it.

Not sure what's up next on my shoe DIY list...I contemplated leprechaun shoes for St. Patty's Day...but now I'm leaning more toward bunny shoes for spring. Oh, the thoughts that fill my head. It's like a look inside Einstein's brain, isn't it?


  1. Yay, they are all so cute!! I was really hoping for a post like this from you. I think I might attempt a shoe painting project sometime soon :)

  2. Well, I wrote this post with you in mind! You definitely should try painting some shoes, it's too fun...keep me posted on the type of paint you use. I know there must be something out there that won't crack!

  3. Hi Cassie! So first up I am in love with your shoes, particularly as I have rather large feet (ok, that's a bit of an understatement!) too so these pretties make me really happy! And secondly thank you for the email you sent me it was so lovely! However, I tried to reply and I keep getting blocked by a spam/virus wall or something! So I thought I'd just send you my reply here if that's ok, for lack of a better method! So here is my reply:

    Hi Cassie,

    Thank you so much for your lovely message, I'm such a fan of your work and your belts that it's a real pleasure for me whenever I feature something you've done on my blog, no thanks is necessary I can assure you! I love sharing talented people and beautiful things on my blog, and what you post about often includes both of those things :)

    I'm really happy you want to take part in the UFO project, yay! as for your questions, I originally started the project with just garment making in mind, sewing and knitting clothes etc, because this is what I do most of the time, but I don't see why it should be restricted to just this. After all, the project it all about using up your stash and completing UFOs, so go ahead and do whatever you want to, all crafts and ideas are welcome. Plus I want to start posting about things you can create with scraps and off cuts in your stash, so I'm sure that I'll be branching out into other crafts soon too!

    And I'm thrilled you want to add my button to your blog too, don't worry about being computer challenged because I really am too! It's taken me so long to get to grips with the technical side of blogging, and I'm still nowhere near as good as I want to be! Anyway, to add the button just take the picture from this first UFO/Stash Busting post and save it to your computer. You then need to go to the design screen of your blog on blogger (accessed through your dashboard) and then click on the add a gadget link on your side bar. This will give you several options, one of which is add a picture. Add the button to this and you can also link it back to my blog by adding the link that I also included on my first UFO/Stash Busting post. And that's it, the button should be added to your sidebar :)

    One more thing, if you want to be included in this month's UFO/Stash Busting Round Up then you need to blog about the project or projects you have completed and then send me a link by the 24th February, and I know this is quite soon now so if you don't have anything to share yet then don't worry because the Round Up is going to happen every month, so there's no pressure at all to get stuff finished in a mad panic :)

    I hope that this has helped and I really look forward to hearing from you again!

    Katie xxx

    Sorry I couldn't reply via e-mail!

  4. Hi Cassie! Thanks for our lovely comment on my blog, you are so sweet! Your shoes are incredible! You have some imagination to come up with those designs and being Irish I think Leprechaun shoes would be so cute! :)

    Emma x

  5. Dear Cassie, I love, love, love your colourful shoes. In the shops in our town most of the shoes are black, brown or grey, so your shoes mean so much fun to me. Maybe I'll try that DIY project myself. I'm following now! hugs from Germany!

  6. Can I just say . . . WOW!! These shoes might just possibly be the best D-I-Y I have ever seen!!! They are amazing, I want them all:) Now I am going to be raiding my wardrobe for old shoes I can paint over!
    Jess x

  7. Goodness me these are all utterly FABULOUS! I think my shoe obsession has gone to a whole new level...I need Crayola shoes!

  8. Hi Cassie,

    You are way too adorable!
    I stumbled upon your blog and I've posted your pencil shoes on my blog (linked to your original post, of course) and it's already been reblogged / liked more than 300 times.
    Keep sewing and making children happy!

    Peilin from Singapore

  9. Very cute, so u could switch to cutting up leather, get colored scraps or pu, use glue for shoes look under, shoe facts and findings most companies I've used are in my rough up base with sand paper put glue both sides of pieces top join wait the proper time and burnish on. This will help the cracking.

  10. Anonymous8/13/2013

    You are just too adorable Cassie. Saw you in school arts and had to find out where you got your shoes. I will be making a pair very soon.

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  16. So the secret stuff is Mod Podge . Do you clean the surface with anything or rough the surface ie with a fine grade sand paper etc.

  17. So the secret stuff is Mod Podge . Do you clean the surface with anything or rough the surface ie with a fine grade sand paper etc.

    1. I did not...but that would prolly have been a great idea!

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