First are some wedding boots that Lauren created with emailing advice from Destiny and myself. Lauren had never painted shoes before, but that didn’t stop her from taking on this project! “I was shocked how easily the lines and stitching held the paint,” she wrote. “The snakeskin (the lower section of the boot) painted flawlessly, and I adore that it held the texture so evidently beneath the Copper paint.” Each boot took about six hours, Lauren said, “Not a quick project, but relaxing.”
Here’s another take on painting cowboy boots. These were done by Heather, who started them in a class Destiny and I taught in the Silicon Valley area. These boots started out a well-worn sand color and ended up not only new looking, but quite dramatic.
At the same class, Angela partially sponge-painted these booties to coordinate with a longtime favorite Papaya! handbag. If you click on this photo to enlarge it, you’ll see she added some subtle “stitching” along the seamlines. I went to the Papaya! site to see their designs, and they don’t seem to be doing handbags anymore, but they have some nice totes and other accessories.
We have quite a few Sassy Feet followers in Australia, and lately I’ve been in touch with Kathy Guerts, who is a mixed media artisan and teacher working mainly in textiles and jewelry from her Studio Amara in New South Wales, Australia. Kathy sent us several photos and some great descriptions of what she’s done.
Kathy says these black espradilles had been sitting in her cupboard for some time and not been worn. She started their transformation by going through her stashes (notice the use of the plural — a woman after my own heart!) and choosing fabric scraps that would work with black as her base color.
“I also found some gorgeous Czech vintage glass beads which were begging for my attention,” Kathy wrote. “These formed another inspiration for my shoes and so I arrived with the black, cream and rust color scheme. I used scissors and sometimes pinking shears to cut shapes which were then glued down with Helmar’s fabric glue straight onto the material. Then I added lace and trims. That’s it. Very simple, yet I hope you would agree the shoe now has a strong personality of its own.” I do agree, and I love how many different things are going on — harmoniously – -in this design.
Kathy also sent photos of a “cork clunker” she upcycled. “I generally find brown shoes quite boring.These shoes with their ugly cork wedge cried out for some loving. After prepping the shoes with 100% acetone, I sponged Lumiere on the front and sides. After this dried I did the soles in the same way. I followed this by dabbing circles in silver, purple and blue in a random pattern all over the shoes.
“When the paint was thoroughly dry, I applied masking tape strips diagonally across the front of the shoe. Taking the same small circular sponge tool, I dabbed paint on in between the masking tape strips and in some areas over the strip. When the paint had dried, I gently removed the strips. This gave me the stencilled effect. The next part of sponging was the purple all over the cork wedges.
“I now needed to add one final point of attention. I found an old necklace and twisted the cords together, then sewed them onto the shoe following a diamond shape already there. I used the remaining cords by tying them up and knotting them on the ends and sewing this at the top center of the vamp. Voila, a new shoe!”
You can’t eat just one — or two. About a week ago, Kathy sent photos of another project that I’m delighted to share with you.
Next comes a pair of walking shoes transformed by Mary Ann. These are color-blocked, and Mary Ann said she chose pastel colors that would go with her clothes. She topped them off with brightly colored peace-sign shoelaces. I love the cool-tone effect of the shoes with the HOT laces tying them up!
Our last pair of radically upcycled shoes comes from Sandy D., whose work you have seen here before! (If you want to see her earlier DIY shoe designs, use the search box at the top left of this page and type in Sandy.)
These are a pair of purple suede flats from Coldwater Creek that Sandy needed to wear to a wedding. She used Lumiere paints to give them interest and pizzazz. She also painted each shoe slightly differently. I love the way the Lumiere made those purple pompoms shine!