Big initial M Last spring, I played around with adding pre-packaged embellishments to shoes and blogged about my experiments. In one of them, I started with a green faux-leather wedge from Payless. Last month, when Destiny and I were packing up shoes to paint as a demo at Day With Creative Women in San Luis Obispo, we threw in the other shoe in the pair, which was still in its original retro-looking state.

DSC03560 @ 72dpi

Once at the craft show, I ruthlessly cut off the bow, set it aside for possible use on another project, and decided to experiment with Glitter It! paint. The way our glitter paint works, you paint the background as close to a matching shade as you can, then pat on Glitter It! in the corresponding color.

What would happen, I wondered, if I painted the back 2/3rds of the shoe black, and the front Metallic Silver, but then used the same color glitter on top of them both. The glitter color I had in mind was Starlet, which is a mixture of black and iridescent silver flecks. You can see it (just barely) in the far lower right of the palette below.

Glitter palette with color names

Well, the result was … not so hot. The two areas of the shoe looked too much alike. Back to the drawing board. I decided to cover the Starlet Glitter It! paint with Sparkly Silver Glitter It! paint.

That worked! Take a look.

DSC03512 @ 72dpi DSC03514 @ 72dpi As you can see above, I had also decided to paint the inside Super Copper. An interesting thing happened while I was doing that: I slopped over the edges a bit and the copper showed on the outside of the shoe — and it looked great! Here’s a closeup. Because of the texture in the glitter, the result was sort of smudged edge, which seemed to work well. I also chose to paint the insole itself black, to provide more contrast.

At this point I thought the shoes looked fine and was going to stop messing with them. But then I went to a bead store that sold dichroic glass and fell in love with a couple of little pieces (the little ones were the only ones I could afford!).

I decided to make my own embellishment out of three of these, two little lozenges and an open square.

DSC03515 @ 72dpi I got stumped trying to figure out how to hold the pieces together. Finally I realized that I could just line up the blue lozenges right side up, put a line of E6000 on the back of of the open square and set it on top.

DSC03516 @ 72dpi When the glue dried, the pieces were sturdy enough to turn them over. Then I put a big blob of E6000 on the back and pressed a dome button back converter onto it.

When that was thoroughly dry (I always wait 24 hours as it says in the E6000 instructions — one of the few times I actually follow directions to the letter…), I stitched it onto the toe using Fireline and a leather needle.

Here’s the finished shoe. Quite a difference from that retro wedge I started with — and a huge improvement, if I do say so myself!

DSC03523 @ 72dpi

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