Gladiator sandals both designs

Big initial MSince the warm weather is teasing us to bare our toes, I thought I’d give you a tour of the blogs we’ve done on sandals over the years. Sandals are wonderfully easy to customize and upcycle, whether you are painting, stitching on a few flowers or adding more unusual embellishments. If you click on the link in any description below, it will take you to the original blog with its how-to instructions.

Aslo the top of this page are the results of a challenge Destiny and I set ourselves to transform a pair of plain gladiator sandals. Destiny did the black sandal on the left, called Gilded Greek Goddess. I did the color blocked one on the right, called Shades of Turquoise.

Tropical slides before resized Tropical slides after resized

These little slides got a major makeover that involved using the shape of my fan brush in two different ways. It also used one of our original embellishments. Check out Taste of the Tropics.

Practically paisley before and after.tif

These wedge sandals by Destiny won a place in a juried wearable art show at the airport in Los Angeles. They are called Practically Paisley, and in her blog about them she tells how to paint those tiny lines.

PenWag silde-4a at 72dpi

These were the first shoes I painted. They started out as pale pink faux suede with tan-colored footbeds. The little leaves on them were stenciled and then touched up with a tiny paintbrush. I call themn Gypsy Summer — and they were also the first shoes of mine accepted into Altered Couture magazine.

Flower trim shoes before and after @ 72 dpi

At the other end of the design spectrum are these strappy wedge sandals. All I did to them was stitch ribbon rose trim to the ankle straps and across the toe, then hang a swag of the trim along the side. These may look confusing to the eye, but they look GREAT on the foot!

Carmen miranda sandals before @72dpiCarmen miranda sandals after @72dpi

Here’s a variation on the theme above: black sandals with bright flowers. These rose-bedecked satin heels were also in Altered Couture. Called Carmen Miranda Sandals, they feature surprisingly EASY TO MAKE rolled roses using wired ombre ribbon.

Stamped sandals pair angle @ 72 dpi

Here’s another pair of sandals that we made over without using paint. I stamped these using alcohol ink stamp pads and little number and letter stamps.

Judi before 2 @ 72 dpi Judi bridal shoes side @ 72 dpi

We used the lines of the shoe to guide our design for these dramatically improved sandals, worn by our friend Judi at her outdoor wedding.

DSC01804 72 dpi Red glitter wedge after 72 dpi

These formerly nautical-themed wedge sandals got the glitter treatment, plus some unusual red snap tape around the sole. I also painted the insole black.

Margot's blue sandals pair 72 dpi

Apparently Mephisto sandals cost a fortune, but I found these in a local shoe store’s bargain bin for $20. They were red, but since I already had red sandals, they needed a paint job. Destiny came up with the formula for this beautiful color.

Burnished gold before @ 72 dpi @ 72 dpi

DSC04196 @ 72 dpi @ 72 dpi Last of all, these two-tone sandals — a snap to make! – alternated their original black with a gold glitter to go with a chiffon top I’d bought.

So grab a pair of your old sandals and see what your beautiful brain comes up with. Spring is a time for new ideas and great new adventures!

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