DWe usually teach others how to DIY their own items. Classes are the most fun we have. But, on occasion, we will take up the job and transform a pair of shoes for someone else.

Leanne dress SKIRT ONLYThis is what we did recently for Leanne, a creative, all-around wonderful woman, and very dear friend of Margot’s. It was her 20 year anniversary celebration of living with Rex, her highly significant other, and they were going party it up. But not until Leanne had shoes worthy of the occasion!

Leanne had a wonderful pale pinky beige dress with spangled chiffon overlay that shifted color to a deeper tone at the hem and wanted shoes that would work with the two tones. She also wanted something spangled and sparkly to go with the occasion, but was hoping they could be unspangled for future dressy occasions when she was wearing something different. Aha! A challenge!!

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Being a dancing fool, Leanne chose comfortable professional dance shoes (sometimes called character shoes) and left it to us to transform them. Margot painted on a couple coats of a color she mixed herself using Pearl White liberally tinted with Pearl Ex pigment in a shade called Mink.

002ToothpickPainted

After the paint was dry, Margot mixed a custom glitter color by using Crushed Crystal and Cognac to make a warm, dusty color. She stirred this mixture into our clear Glitter It! glaze and turned it over to me.

I applied the glitter glaze in a filigree design using a toothpick and a lot of patience. I chose to make the design denser at the toe and more spread out as it moved toward the back of the shoe, morphing into just a few flowing dots. This would echo the color transition in the dress.

003Embellishment

Now to add the sparklies! Since Leanne didn’t want to limit the shoes to use with just this dress, Margot engineered removable embellishments of cascading iridescent scales that could slip on and off the ankle straps. The scales came from a piece of fabric trimmed off Leanne’s dress when it was shortened.

Margot measured the width of the ankle strap and decided to stitch the sequins in a fringe shape onto a piece of net that would have a channel at the top, through which the ankle strap could be threaded.

She sketched out the shape of the fringe on the netting and mounted it in an embroidery hoop. Then she sat down in front of a stack of DVDs to stitch and hand-tie each little sequin (with love!).

004Fin

If we do say so ourselves, the result was fabulous! The shoes went with the dress perfectly. Leanne was thrilled to glide about the party in them as she and the love of her life entertained their friends and family. Who wouldn’t have a good time walking around with so much love on her feet?

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