She's Got Words

December 15, 2011

Who Needs a Pair of $200 Glitter Shoes?

Filed under: dyi & projects,fashion & glamour — Gigi @ 3:37 pm

Three weeks ago I found two simply amazing dresses for our two wedding receptions next year.  They are both stunning visions of raspberry pink, almond, cream, and snow.  (after writing that I have an overwhelming craving for raspberry almond snowcream!)  These dresses say “baby, you are special”, so I knew I had to have an equally special pair of shoes to go with these pieces.

Christian Louboutin Glitter Pump

Unfortunately, though, my champagne taste was quickly drowned by my water budget. It turns out the closest I was able to ever get to finding my equally special reception shoes was either by fussing over the ‘not perfect colour/style’ of shoes within my budget or by pining away at the ‘nearly, but still not perfect colour/style’ of shoes way outside of my budget.  Some pairs were the right colour, but not the right style.  Some would come close in colour and style, but be so expensive just looking at them would give Kasper a heart attack.  Eventually I started contemplating the idea of dying a pair of inexpensive shoes that sorta fit the look I wanted, but still I wasn’t satisfied.  What is a gal to do, y’all?

Now I admit it- I’m an extremely picky fashionista.  I will hem and haw over an outfit for a particular event for weeks, but the pay off is always there:  envious glances and awed compliments from men and women alike.  I want our receptions to be no different, folks.  Even though I am not wearing my wedding gown for these events, I still want to stand out and be the lovely bell of the ball.  Kasper doesn’t get it.  Mom doesn’t get it either, but some of you do.  Some of you understand my plight in not being able to find the perfect pair of shoes for these big days and have been extremely helpful.  I’ve received dozens of messages on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest  from ladies with ideas and comments on where to look for my perfect pair of shoes.  But it wasn’t until I made a suggestion to my friend Rebecca, whose cat gnawed her silver pumps into oblivion, that I found the perfect solution.

I have a few pairs of ‘great but ruined’ pumps in my collection and even though I can’t bring myself to wear them out any more I also can’t bring myself to chuck them either.  Some of them cost me a very pretty penny and others have sentimental value I just can’t toss away.  So when I suggested to Rebecca that she follow in Teresa’s footsteps (hehe!) and glitter-ize her kitty crunched stilettos I knew I had my answer to several problems.

A pair of lepoard print pumps I purchased long ago used to be a favourite of mine until the suede became damaged in several spots.  They are so comfortable, even for a full 4″ heel, so I couldn’t ever bring myself to throw them out even though I wouldn’t wear them either.  I knew, one day, I’d find a way to repurpose them and give them a new life.  Well, darlings, Monday was that day!  Following a combination of Teresa’s instructions and Geneva’s tutorials from pair and a spare, decided I’d give shoe glitter-izing a go.  I was also pretty lucky to have my friend, Nancy, help me with some pointers as I started.  For those of you who are interested in my process here’s what I did.  

  • First I taped off my pumps around the soles and heels.  I feel pretty lucky that the pair I chose to glitterfy have chic wooden heels and platforms, making them easier for me to handle.  
  • Second I mixed the two different glitter colours I chose to make the perfect seafoam/aqua green shade.  This ended up not being as difficult as I imagined it to be, but if I had it to do all over again I would have mixed the entire batch together at once to make it easier.  Making sure each glitter batch matched in tone and shade was an unnecessary hiccup.  
  • After the glitter was mixed I then mixed a portion of the glitter and glue together to make a base adhesive.   
  • With a paint brush (not sponge… sponge is bad) I liberally applied the glitter/glue to one shoe.  Make sure you have a thin mixture otherwise your glue will clump up and become a mess.  Unfortunately there is no ratio for this, just eye ball it and when you have a still runny, but glittery glue you are there.  
  • Once the shoe was covered in the adhesive, I then generously doused the shoe in glitter and pressed the glitter into place with the back of a plastic spoon.  I worked in sections, pouring, pressing and then pouring the excess off each section until the entire shoe was covered.  This process gave me plenty of time to go over the shoe in detail, making sure the inside seam was well glittered and that the toe area was well covered, too.  
  • I then repeated the two steps above to the remaining shoe.  The second time around it went faster as I felt more confident in my application and wasn’t so worried about accidentally rubbing off glitter glue.  
  • After all was said and done I left the shoes to dry over night and came back the next morning and repeated the process again.  
  • Periodically I would come back during the night and tap off any excess glitter that didn’t stick to the glue.  I found that by doing this I kept the glitter from clumping up during the following step.  
  • Finally, after an entire day of drying I took the remaining glitter/glue mix and applied a light coat to both shoes and left them to dry again in order to seal the glitter into place.  This created a matte finish which, while nice, is not what I was going for.  I haven’t decided yet if I am gonna try another coat with a different sealant to get more glitz and glitter shine.  

And voilà!  A perfect pair of glitter pumps for less than $10 in supplies.  The original shoes cost me $65, four years ago, so I think I am getting my money’s worth.  Honestly the experience was a ton of fun, extremely rewarding and very satisfying.  Instead of giving in and paying nearly $200 for a pair of pumps that didn’t even meet my expectations, I created a new purpose for an old, beloved pair of worn shoes with little effort and are exactly what I want!  Who says you can’t have it all?  Now, with all this being said and done, and knowing now what I didn’t know then, there a few things I’d do differently:  With these leopard suede shoes I should have painted the material white first to make sure the spots didn’t ‘show’.  It really isn’t noticeable to anyone other than me, and it really doesn’t matter in the end, but when I do another pair in the future I’ll make sure I take that step.  Secondly, I would have ordered the perfect shade of glitter online instead of mixing my own.  Sure, I ended up with a perfect shade, but the fuss of mixing glitter has left my living room floor looking like the inside of of a drag queen’s jock strap.  Next time I’ll know better.  Also, make sure you don’t rely too much on the tape as a buffer.  Sure it will keep the glitter/glue from getting on areas you don’t want covered, but it is terribly difficult to remove without peeling up your hard work.  Oh and do note, if you don’t already know, that glitter comes in a variety of textures.  I opted for ultra fine for this project, but next time I might go for a chunkier texture for a different look.

So there you have it!  A perfect pair of pumps for the perfect pair of reception dresses!  I can hardly wait to wear them on our big days.  In fact- I won’t wait!  I think I’ll wear them on NYE for our big plans in the city.  Even if I do knock off a bit of glitter, at this rate, I can afford to glitterfy them all over again and still come out on top!  

It’s all just so fabulous, darlings!  

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