When I first got excited about DIY shoe design, I tagged along on a trip to Southern California that a dear artist friend was taking to attend an altered book workshop. My destination was the very upscale mall, the South Coast Plaza in Cost Mesa. My plan was to comb the fancy shoe stores looking for ideas. I would wander in, claim to be shopping for a gift for my daughter, and take a close look at the merchandise. Then I’d duck out the door and scribble notes to myself in a little notebook. I did that at Roberto Cavalli, Ferragamo, Stuart Weizman, and — my favorite — Steve Madden.
Since that time I’ve been on Steve Madden’s email list, which means I get emails about his great sales. The result? A small collection of Steve Madden shoes (in my size) that I’ve been altering when inspiration strikes. I wrote about two of these in earlier blogs, Margot Does Steve (G Rated) and Margot Does Steve, Part 2. My latest project started with these black-and-white patchwork sneakers (named Irwing, for no discernable reason).
I wanted to use glitter for the project since my old glittered low-tops had never been the same since I threw them in the washing machine. (The glitter paint survived just fine — the glue holding the canvas to the rubber sole didn’t.) I chose a palette of four colors of glitter, along with four colors of Lumiere paint with which to cover the black-and-white prints.
(Our glitter paint adds sparkle, but it won’t change the color of a shoe, so you paint it first. To figure out which paint colors work best as the backdrop to our various shades of glitter, go to the Glitter It! page in our Sassy Feet store and scroll down to the bottom of the page. You’ll see a chart with all the information you need. Not that you can’t apply purple glitter over red leather pumps if you want to! It’s just hard to make the glitter come out even, so using a similar color as your background hides a multitude of sins…including the well-worn look of some shoes.)
Here are the colors I used:
Glitter It! in Copper, Garnet, Royal Purple and Honey Spice
Lumiere in Super Copper, Crimson, Pearlescent Violet and Sunset Gold
I also chose Starlet glitter paint (a silvery color with extra shimmer to it that looks GREAT over black) to apply to the black canvas, which is the first step I took. Next, I painted the squares with the Lumiere (as in the photo above). The nice thing about this project is that the squares were already marked off for me by the patchwork in the original design. Plus, since the shoe was made of fabric, I didn’t have to prep the surface, other than to be sure it was clean.
Once the paint was good and dry, I patted on the glitter paint. The only trick to doing this is not to put on too much at once because, unlike Lumiere, it can run if it’s heavily applied. This is because the addition of the glitter to the paint makes it heavier. So the best strategy is to apply two or three light coats of Glitter It!.
Unfortunately, the photos I took make the Royal Purple glitter look blue and the Honey Spice look too yellow. They’re not, but I couldn’t convince my photo editing program to fix that without messing up the colors of the Copper and Garnet glitter.
Here’s the completed pair. If you come to one of my classes or visit me at a craft or quilting show, don’t look for these on display. They’ll be on my feet instead!