Big initial M Last week I wrote about copying a high top sneaker by a ritzy designer. This week I want to give you some web sites you can explore for ideas that you might like to try or adapt for your own sassy shoes.

Louboutin-turquoise2 Let’s start with a color. Pantone, the company that is an authority on color and color-matching, has announced the color of the year for 2010. It’s turquoise. There’s an interesting post about it on, which includes photos of several turquoise colored shoes.  I had to laugh at the price of one of them — a turquoise glitter peep toe pump by Christian Louboutin — they’re $725. Now, this is a beautiful shoe, and he’s a great designer. But you could find your own shoe, paint it with Pearlescent Turquoise Lumiere ($5.19) and glitter it yourself with a light coat of with Powder Blue Glitter It! glitter paint ($7.99). Or you could mix a little Shamrock Glitter It! glitter paint into the Powder Blue. Whatever way you did it, you’d save at least $600, assuming you spent no more than $110 on the shoes…. (Oh yes, you could also get some Crimson Lumiere and paint the breast of the heel, just like on a Louboutin.)

Next topic is the NikeiD, a range of fairly affordable Nikes that you can customize for yourself without adding to the cost. They have a fun site to play with. I chose a style called Cortez and gave it a purple and red upper with a gold swoosh and black laces and trim.  Unfortunately, the image of your custom design is in flash, not a format I can cut and paste into this blog, so I can’t show it to you. It’s a good site for trying out color combos for shoes you are going to paint yourself.

If you missed our Sassy Feet holiday newsletter, you might not have heard of another site for creating custom shoes, called Shoes of Prey. You can pick your toe style, back, heel height, decorations and colors (which you can “paint” into various areas of the shoe). Of course, they’re hoping you’ll then order the shoes from them, but that part’s optional.

Klimt clog I also enjoy browsing sites where people who can really paint have painted shoes.  Now, I’m pretty bad at painting things that look like things, but I get a real kick out of seeing the work of people who can.  Gives me ideas, too! First stop is Icon, a company that makes shoes, purses and small leather accessories with reproductions of art on them. They started out only using famous artists — Monet, Klimt, Gauguin, Botticelli, Modigliani, Miro, van Gogh — but now they have a lot of contemporary artists as well. Here’s one example, a clog with a detail from Gustav Klimt’s Water Serpents I on it. Now, I will never be able to paint a reproduction like that, but it interests me to see what they’ve done and, even better, when I scroll to the bottom of the page where the shoe is displayed, I can see all the other products they sell with that image worked into it. Gives me plenty of design ideas.

Cocopunkz There are a couple of shoe painting artists on etsy whose work I admire (thanks to Sandy for pointing out this first one!). Cocopunkz creates one-of-a-kind handpainted shoes, which she sells on her site. Here’s one pair I thought was really cool. They’re called Window Flower and the designs painted on them are influenced by Chinese paper cutting mixed with modern graphic elements. They’re a size 7, if you’re tempted. 

Last of all (for this post), take a look at Crafttastrophe on etsy. The artist describes herself as “an Art School drop-out with unquenched painting desires.” Her shoes are quite inexpensive and have been featured in Altered Couture magazine. I was especially taken by the simple but SASSY painted detail on a pair of high heel peep toe booties called Glamor Curves. They’re for sale in a size 7.5. A similar bootie, size 8.5, is also very nice. It’s called Autumn Glamor.


Hope this gives you lots of ideas of places you can go surfing for great DIY shoe designs and lots of inspiration for painting your own, too.

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