Friends, it is an honor to introduce you to my blog pal, Allison. After leaving my millionth comment on her blog saying, “Oh my goodness. I LOVE this!” I decided to invite her over here to one of her amazing refashions here with y’all today. Allison, they’re all yours!
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Hi, everybody at The Thinking Closet! Let me introduce myself, I’m Allison and I’m a blogging craftaholic over at Dream a Little Bigger. I’m a huge fan of Lauren’s and kind of feel like we might be crafty soul mates, which is why I’m so excited to be sharing a post over here! Thanks so much for having me.
My favorite crafty endeavor of all time is the shoe make over. In fact, I did 33 shoe restyles in my first year of blogging! I absolutely love taking something that is overly worn, generically simple or just plain ugly and making it something that I don’t just want to wear, but am willing to make room for in my closet. And if you’d ever seen my tiny closet, you’d know what a big deal that is!
So I was strolling through Wal-Mart knowing good and well that I needed to work up a smash up project for Miss Lauren when I saw these shoes hanging all by their lonesome. I went over to find that they were the last pair left and in my size. Seriously, when does that happen? They weren’t a size 5 – they were my size! I instantly knew what was going down with these babies snapped them up and headed on over to the craft department for my other supplies.
For this project you will need:
- crochet style shoes
- acrylic paint (a beige or a gold is great) & paintbrush
- liquid gilding & a stiff, junk paintbrush
- spray polyurethane
- masking tape (optional)
- gloves (optional)
- good ventilation (or really good headache medicine)
Here are my shoes before. I mentioned that these were the last pair on the rack, but I found tons of them at two other stores, so I think the chance of you snagging your own just like these, if you want them, are pretty good.
When using liquid gilding, you’re always supposed to apply a base coat of acrylic paint so we’re going to get that taken care of first and foremost. If you’re not comfortable painting freehand, use some masking tape to cover the rubber soles. This type of material is incredibly porous, so you should do 2 coats of acrylic before moving on and you can get after with a heavy hand. Don’t be shy!
If you’re wondering why we bother with this step, place a small drop onto a piece of white paper and let it sit for a little bit. Notice how this strange, red stain appears around the gold? Anything that is porous will have this happen if you don’t use acrylic paint first.
When your acrylic is totally dry to the touch, go outside or open some windows and turn a fan on. Proper ventilation when working with liquid gilding is 100% necessary because the fumes off of this stuff is nasty and headache inducing. Also, if you’re a messy painter, gloves are a must. Liquid gilding has a strange, greasy quality that makes it really stick. That means that you aren’t going to be able to just scrub this stuff off of your skin and the brush you use is going to be trash when finished.
Take your stiff brush and give your liquid gilding a good shake until it no longer appears to be separated. I always have a difficult time opening up these little suckers and I wind up using a wrench to open them – just keep that in mind in case you find it difficult, also. Start working on the heel and work up to the front, so if you find any problem.
My initial instinct when painting these shoes was to keep the beige backing fabric beige but halfway into the project I decided to go big or go home and started gilding these suckers up front, back and center. The only problem with my impromptu change in plans is that I didn’t paint the backing fabric with acrylic to prime. As a result, the fabric literally sucked up my gilding and I used the entire jar for my shoes, instead of the quarter a jar I had anticipated using on the project. This also made my shoes much more stiff than they should have been, but a little wear will help break them back down to being more comfortable.
By the time you get around to the front of your shoe you should be totally comfortable with working with the gilding and pretty used to the drippy consistency. Continue painting these suckers up until fully covered and leave a few hours to totally dry. Since this stuff still has fumes, put them outside if at all possible to finish drying.
Because there really is gold in this liquid gilding, these shoes will tarnish if you don’t seal them up. The easiest way is by hitting them with some spray polyurethane, but you can also use Mod Podge and a brush or any brush on sealer to finish this project up.
Look at those sweet feet! Except for the fact that I am incredibly pasty, don’t they look totally Bollywood? To be honest when they finished I danced around the house like a Bollywood lollipop man making my own soundtrack and it was awesome. I know because my boyfriend told me so.
Thanks for having me at The Thinking Closet and feel free to stop by my little piece of the internet, Dream a Little Bigger, where you’ll find shoe fashions out the wazoo like these coral and teal tribal tennies or these sweet lace flats. Or check out my new obsession with making jewelry with this Chanel inspired tons of pearls bracelet. And if you’re don’t have a passion for the style refashion you can always take a peek at crazy cheap no sew curtains, adorable granny square pillow shams or tips & tricks for crafty crafters! See you soon…