I love it when DIY shoe lovers email me with questions about doing shoes. Here are some excerpts from the last month or so with answers about painting shoes and gluing embellishments that may help you or give you a few new ideas!
Question: I have been wanting to paint stripes down the heels of some pumps, but I don’t know how to get them to come out straight and even. Any ideas?
Yes! If you are painting wide lines, you can use masking tape from the hardware store to block off the areas that you don’t want to paint.
If you are applying the masking tape over a part of the shoe that you’ve already painted, be sure to let that first color of paint dry for at least three days before using the masking tape. While Lumiere dries to the touch in about 15-20 minutes, depending on how thickly it’s applied, it continues to “cure” for several more days.
If masking tape is too wide for your purposes, you can cut narrower strips by pressing it onto a cutting mat and using a straight edge and rotary cutter (or Exacto knife) to cut narrower strips.
If you want REALLY narrow strips, take a tip from my ingenious colleague, Destiny, and use 1/4″ or 1/8″ detailing tape from an auto parts store. Here’s a white satin heel that she painted using detailing tape to block off the satin so she could paint pink stripes on a bridal shoe.
Now, when you are using anything to block off an area of a leather or manmade leather shoe — whether it’s masking tape, detailing tape or a stencil — you have to expect that there will be a little leakage of the paint underneath the edges. This is because leather and manmade leather don’t ABSORB paint the way fabric or paper do. Instead the paint adheres itself to the shoe like glue. So be patient and be willing to do a few touchups when you remove your tape or stencil.
Question: I was babysitting my friend’s granddaughter and we decided to do flip flops. My question is, what is the best way to make sure that the things we glue on don’t come off? We used a glue gun because that was all we had.
Answer: Glue guns seem like a simple solution for attaching stuff, but they’re not too good on shoes. That’s because the glue dries hard, stiff and white. I don’t recommend it.
There IS a glue made especially for gluing decorations to flip flops, however. It’s called Flip Flop Glue and it’s made by Beacon. I experimented with it a couple of months ago and it really really holds stuff onto flip flops or to the rubber parts of shoes (like around the soles of sneakers). However, it’s not sticky when it’s wet, like some glues (especially E6000). This means you’ll probably need to clamp things in place until the glue dries. It also dries clear and flexible, which is a MUST for gluing anything to shoes.
I don’t carry Flip Flop Glue in the Sassy Feet store, but my local Michael’s craft store carries it. I’d recommend calling before driving anywhere to buy it.
Question:I have a pair of bright pink “patent leather” clogs that have served me well but are now riddled with cracks. What glue would work to fabric collage them? Or what can I do to the hard shiny surface so that it will accept paint? Sand? Acetone did nothing.
Answer: As to the acetone, you may find that it’s working even if it seems like nothing is happening. All it’s doing is removing a layer of finish that may be invisible to the eye. I’d recommend painting a small area that you’ve cleaned with acetone, waiting a couple of hours until it’s good and dry, then trying to scrape off the paint with your fingernail.
If that doesn’t work (or if the cracks in your shoe are too deep for paint to cover them), try fabric collage. I prefer using The Ultimate glue by Crafter’s Pick when gluing fabric to manmade leather. But, since I haven’t seen your shoes, I can’t tell exactly what they are made of so I’m going to recommend that you test the glue.
Using The Ultimate, apply a narrow strip of fabric to the shoe, being sure to leave one end of the strip unglued. This will give you a little tail to pull on when you are testing how well the glue worked. Let the glue dry overnight, then try to pull off the fabric. If it’s hard to pull off, you’ve got yourself the right glue!
That’s it for today! If you have questions on DIY shoe design, painting, or embellishment, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll answer your email promptly and may post it later in this blog.