My DIY Dancin’ Shoes

I’ve got my glass slippers!

Okay, so they’re not glass and I couldn’t see myself wearing them with my pajamas, but I’ve got my wedding shoes. It took a few weeks of “sole searching,” but I finally found the foundation of my wedding get-up.

I originally wanted to do blue shoes, but my mother encouraged me to stay away from that route. My dress has a lot of lace on it and she worried that an air-force-blue shoe may take away from the delicate, classic look I have going. She wanted me to strive for a princess shoe. And I agreed.

The shoes I bought are “Diana” by David’s Bridal. You can’t get more princess than Diana, right?

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They’re so classy and, above all, comfortable. However, I still wanted to step it up a bit.

I had seen an idea to decoupage the sole of the shoe with glitter on Pinterest and thought, “This is it.” After gaining favor from my mother, I set off to Michael’s for a little DIY shopping. I picked up some seal-and-set decoupage glue from Martha Stewart’s collection, fabric tape, glitter and some foam brushes.

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Then I covered my dining room table with some old ads from the paper. I didn’t use the actual newspaper, for fear of the black running on my shoes. I found the ads had more of a magazine-like finish.

I knew I wanted extra fine glitter that really caught the light. I was unable to find glitter in my exact wedding color, but found two colors that I could combine for the perfect shade. I mixed equal parts to begin and then eyeballed a little here and there.

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My biggest fear was getting the decoupage on the actual shoe. The satin finish would never release the glue so I wrapped my shoes for protection. Using old grocery bags and fabric tape, I covered every part of the shoe except the sole. Yes, the sole is actually cloth-like but I wasn’t too concerned about the glue not sticking. All of my research said there is nothing you can’t decoupage, so I ran with it.

IMG_3694Wrapping these babies was time consuming, but is arguably the most important step.

I mixed about half of a bottle of the decoupage glue directly into the glitter. I mixed it with a popsicle stick. This I also eyeballed. I wanted a mixture that was equal glitter to decoupage. Almost as if the glitter was the decoupage.

Then it was painting time.

I realized quickly that this was not a job for the impatient. I gave up on the foam brush and instead opted for a regular thin paint brush with a square head. It was much smaller and took more time, but I liked the sturdiness of the bristles and felt that I had more control over the decoupage that could have easily become a goopy mess. I stayed within the tan part of the shoe leaving the brown portion as a border.

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I painted one layer and set them up to dry. I gave them a day to dry before adding a second coat. This coat was more of a filler. After the first coat dried, I found little parts that weren’t evenly covered. The second coat fixed that. I was also able to clean up my edges. Again, I let this layer dry for a day.

Once the second layer was dry, I painted a layer of plain clear decoupage over the entire sole, including the brown border for a better seal. I chose to do this because the decoupage I bought was labeled a sealant as well. I let that dry for a day, then went over the entire sole with a second layer of clear decoupage.

Keep in mind these are not thick layers, just enough to cover the glitter. Again, a day to dry. Call me crazy, but I wanted that stuff to stay!

Then I peeled off my fabric tape and ghetto covering. I had a little issue where the heel meets the actual shoe. The tape pulled up a little of the decoupage. I did a little “steady handwork” to reinforce and seal those edges. It doesn’t concern me because that is a part of the shoe that is almost never touched. I had saved my decoupage-glitter concoction in a sealed container. In this case, a muffin cup container.

Hey, use what you have, right?

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The end result is stunning! And no matter how many times my fiance says, “No one sees the bottom of your shoes,” I still love them. And you know what? Wedding planning has made me realize that you can’t control everything, so if this peels off before I even get to the chapel…

Well…

No one sees the bottom of your shoes.

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