Monday, May 2, 2011

How to: glitter shoes

The other day I was watching Wizard of Oz on TV with my sister.  When I was little, I used to have this pair of red sparkly ballet flats.  I called them my "parkle-parkle" (I couldn't say "sparkle") shoes, and I wore them literally EVERYWHERE along with a blue flouncy leotard thing.  Dorothy's awesomely sparkly ruby slippers reminded me that I actually miss them a lot.  A few google searches and price checks later, I decided it would be pretty fun (and cheap) to make my own.
In the end I came up with these lovelies:

Turned out well, don't you think?  Pictures don't do justice to how ohmygosh sparkly they are.  I'm really excited. :D  And for once, it was way easier than I expected it to be.  I actually made these to match my prom dress, which is why they're not red, but I'm thinking I might make a few more pairs in different colors in the future...but for now, here's a how-to so you can make some yourself.

DIY Glitter Shoes

Here's what you'll need:

1. A plain, unembellished pair of shoes.  Any style of shoe works.  I got a pair of plain black ballet flats from Payless for around $10.  It's best if they're made of leather, or something that the glue won't soak into.  The color doesn't matter since they will be covered in sparkles anyway.

2. GLITTER!  Use absolutely any color you want.  I used a pretty fine glitter.  Finer glitter is good because you can get away with using more coats, but your shoes will look less spangly and more metallic in dim light.  Coarse glitter looks really sparkly when you're done, but I imagine you might have trouble covering all the cracks, and too many coats might make your shoes look bulky.  If you're using a coarser glitter, I think it would be best to make sure the shoes you get are close, if not the same color as the glitter so you can get away with using as few coats as possible.
EDIT:  Upon reading this post, a friend of mine asked if you could first coat the shoes in fine glitter, and then do a thin layer of coarser glitter on top for spangle.  The answer: absolutely.  In fact, that's pretty darn smart.  Yay for my pretty darn smart friends!

3.  Mod Podge.  This stuff is magical.  My mom was worried that the glitter might come off the shoes with too much wear and go all over the place.  I think the trick is to mix the glitter into the Mod Podge so that it creates a seal over itself.  That way, it doesn't even flake off when you scrape it with your fingernail, and the shoes still stay nice and flexible.  Also make sure you get the gloss kind, NOT matte.

4.  Foam brushes, for painting stuff on.

5.  Small bowl, for mixing stuff in.

Ready?  First, glop about a tablespoon of Mod Podge into your bowl, and pour in roughly the same amount of glitter, maybe a little more.  You'll definitely want to add in more than you think you'll need, more glitter just means less coats, therefore less bulk.  Once you mix it all together, you should get a lovely, goopy, shimmery mess that looks something like this:

If you're anything like me, resist the urge to turn into a five year old and mush it around with your hands.  Instead, brush an even coat onto your shoes.  If you want, you can use masking tape to protect the soles of your shoes.  I didn't, but it would have made it a whole lot easier.

Next: don't panic.

It will look pretty terrible at first.  The Mod Podge dries clear and shiny though, so that weird milky surface will soon be gone.  As for the patchiness, that will go away once you put on more layers.  For now, just wait for the first layer to dry.
Once it's dry, all you have to do it to just keep painting on even layers until you've got the whole shoe completely covered in glitter.  And that's all there is to it!  Let them dry overnight, put them on, and have fun dancing around the house.  When you have sparkly feet, all arguments are invalid.

Even though I made these for prom, I think I'll definitely be able to wear them again with more every day things.  They would look downright snazzy paired with black tights and an oversized sweater.  I could also see this project done with a pair of oxfords instead of flats, now how cool would that be?
Enjoy. :)

See you later!

1 comment:

  1. I think I'll do that to my current boots once I get new ones.
    Just need to find red/silver glitter and Mod Podge...