DA few times a week, I get emails from my friend Robin with all kinds of cool, trendy shoes. I usually file the ones I think are the coolest and most easily recreated. She often thinks she is bombarding me, but I always say “Bring ’em on” and even share my very favorites with Margot as designs I think we should attempt. I want to share with you a few and give you my tips on how to shoe-it-yourself.

001JimmyChooLet’s start with something simple. Take this pair of “Myth” strappy suede sandals by Jimmy Choo, only $895.  All you would need is a pair of black strappy sandals, a medium square tipped brush, and a pop color like Citrine or Bright Gold.

Just mask off the criss-crossing straps you don’t want any paint to get on and follow two straps up the shoe, painting as you go. After two, or three, coats, you’ll have your own graphic design.

Next up is another fairly easy pair of 002RedRibbonPumpsshoes to mimic. If you have red pumps, all you need do is tie a big floppy bow with dual-colored satin ribbon and stitch it onto the back of your heels with a leather needle and some Fireline Thread in Smoke color.

When we advise people to stitch on embellishments, we always recommend leaving the knot on the outside of the shoe, hiding it within the embellishment. This will prevent the knot from rubbing against your feet. Also, if you have trouble finding ribbon that is a reversible red/black like this one, you can use two separate colors of ribbon tied into one bow.

003ChainChain makes a marvelous embellishment. It’s usually inexpensive and comes in a lot of colors and shapes.

To do something similar to these black pumps, all you need is Fireline, a leather needle, a couple lengths of chain, scrap leather to make tabs, a few jump rings and an embellishment of your choosing. An embellishment with a place to attach the chain would work best.

Cut two strips of leather, 1/4″ wide and 3/4″ long, to make the tabs. Fold the tabs in half around the last link of chain and stitch them to the throat of the shoe, on the inner ankle side. Attach a jump ring to the other end of the chain and to the embellishment. Then stitch the embellishment to the shoe.

004MusicalMotifThese next shoes are a little trickier in that they require the ability to paint with a semi steady hand. If I were doing these, I would probably lightly sketch my design onto the wooden platform with pencil, then use Neopaque Black, applied with a toothpick.

I’m a huge fan of the toothpick painting method. This is dipping the tip of the toothpick into the paint and stippling the paint onto the shoe, in a motion like the needle in a sewing machine. If you have the hand control of a pin striper, a fine line script brush will also work very well.

005flipflopsLastly, a fun pair of thick-soled beach flip flops. I bet just about any message can be carved on the bottoms, in reverse, with an Xacto knife. Hmm…. I wonder if these work?!

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