It may be May, but where I live — on the central coast of California — not every day is sandal weather yet. Which is why I raided my local Payless store recently and scored two pairs of black canvas slip-ons for painting, embellishing, and keeping my toes warm on foggy spring (and summer) days.
Here’s a before and an after of the first pair I did. Payless calls these Gilly Canvas Slip-Ons and they cost $17.99. I decided they needed pimping up!
I started by looking at the lines of the shoe to see if they would give me some ideas about what to do with them. Here’s a photo that I’ve lightened considerably so you can see the detail clearly.
I decided to do something unusual with the trim around the opening and to experiment with a few things along the way. I started by taking this slip-on right out of the realm of ordinary with a coat of Starlet Glitter It Glaze. Starlet is a holographic glitter that looks beautiful over solid black. It is a mixture of black and silver glitter that reflects tiny fragments of color along with the silver. I hope this closeup gives you an idea.
Next was a little experiment in color mixing. The leather/fabric paints I prefer, Lumiere, seem to lend themselves to tinting with a VERY LITTLE bit of flat black from their sister line of leather/fabric paints called Neopaque. I have had beautiful results mixing Lumiere’s Citrine, Pearl Turquoise and other colors with Neopaque Black, so I thought I’d try darkening the Pearl Magenta and see what happened.
The result was a toning down of the pink and a slight heightening of the violet undertones. I painted the binding around the opening of the slip-on in the tinted Pearl Magenta, then took the Neopaque Black and made little stripes. I liked the idea of painting pinstripes on pink — a conservative line on a non-conservative color.
At this point (sorry there are no interim photos!), the shoe looked okay, but the toe looked really long, an effect that was exacerbated by the canvas extending so far up over the instep. I took my problem to Destiny. She recommended painting a toe cap, like on a sneaker, and suggested it be striped in a different direction.
We also decided to go for broke and add some pink Swarovski crystals while we were at it. Part of our motivation was that the folks who make our Lumiere paint have just come up with a new product that is a 3D paint that works as a glue for beads, crystals, etc. We have had a heck of a time finding a glue that would successfully hold stuff like this to shoes (which bend and flex and make beads pop right off) so we were excited that this might work!
We used the Lumiere 3D Black. It went on a little blobby, but we were able to press the Swarovski crystals into it. I think they will stay on, since the 3D Lumiere gives them a slightly flexible cushiony nest to sit in.
Finally we turned our attention to the back of the shoe to see what kind of pizzazz we could give it. Here’s what we ended up doing — a different version of the striping and more crystals.