Margot blogged a few weeks ago about “Recycled, Up Cycled, Re-Purposed Clothing, A Slow Fashion Movement,” the wearable art show that Sassy Feet! will be a part of this summer at the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles. We have been working closely with Darcy Fowkes, the show’s brainchild, to create perfectly complementary accessories for all the wonderful outfits she is putting together.
Many of the shoes and bags we upcycled were items that we already had in our stash. But not all of them! Darcy gave us a great pair of knee-high, lace-up, brown leather high heel boots she imagined as the perfect companion to her Petroglyph Pants (photo below and — get this — the pants are made from a recycled t-shirt, a Darcy specialty). She was looking for us to do something simple with these boots, not match the pants exactly, maybe use the same mustard color, but alter the boots in a way so they obviously belonged with the outfit.
Immediately, I noticed the great stitching around the heel, toe, and boot’s nice thick platform. I asked Darcy and Margot what they thought about an uneven, sponged layer of a custom-mixed mustard-color paint. “Go for it!” they said.
I prepped the areas of the boots that I was going to paint by rubbing them lightly with a cotton ball dampened with rubbing alcohol. After the surface was totally dry again, I used blue masking tape to tidily block off all the areas I did not want to get paint on. Then, I mixed Lumiere’s True Gold with a drop of Metallic Rust to make my mustardy color and dabbed it on unevenly with a wedge-shaped cosmetic sponge. PRO TIP: When creating a faux antiqued finish like this, make sure to tamp the extra paint off the sponge (on a sheet of paper or paper plate) before pouncing it on the shoe or bag.
Once everything was dry to the touch, I peeled up the masking tape, and used Metallic Olive Green and a small round brush to paint a little hieroglyphic-looking snake that slithers up the back of both heels. It’s not an obvious detail, but IMO, it gave the boots a nice final touch.
When Darcy came to pick up all the accessories two weeks ago, she raved over the boots. They were an instant hit. I can’t wait to see them displayed along side her fabulous upcycled pants this summer!