Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Shoe Hack

I'm deep in the midst of several DIY crafty projects, some of which will soon make it to the blog with tutorials and photos. The fake taxidermy elephant head is still a work in progress, but is coming along. If I don't kill my blender first, we should be done by mid-March. It takes things forever to dry in this humidity!

Being a multi-tasker, I decided that a two-foot papier-mâché elephant head wasn't ENOUGH work for these hot days. So I pulled a shelved project out of the cupboard over the weekend. Let me present: The Shoe Hack.

Several years ago, I bought a pair of light grey suede booties, similar to these:

They were always uncomfortable; the pitch was always off, so I was constantly balancing on my tiptoes. This is fine for short wears, but really reduced the usefulness of the shoes. Discomfort aside, I no longer found them cute. In fact, I couldn't find anything to wear them with, so they were just languishing away in the back of my closet. I thought about just giving them away, but I don't know anyone that's my size. So at some point in the last few months, I decided that I would attempt an experiment. From time to time, I run across clever wardrobe hack ideas online, ways of repurposing and renovating things that would otherwise be given or thrown away. And I thought, why not turn them into a respectable pair of neon pumps? Something bright and cheery?

So I transformed them. Here's a photo of the half-way mark:

I used several coats of regular fabric paint until they were the color I wanted, then smoothed on a coat of ModgePodge to seal. Carefully wielding a craft knife, I trimmed away the ankle cuffs, angling into the shoe so it wouldn't be obvious that I'd cut something off, since I didn't have anything thick and gummy to make a proper seal along the cut edge. You can see there's still a lot of loose ends and rough spots from this picture; I glued, then cut a second time, as the glue helped harden the leather and fabric, making it easier to clean up.

When it was trimmed up, I sanded the edges, re-glued the inner liner where it had come loose, then sponged on more paint and ModgePodge until the cut lines blended in with the rest of the shoe.

And, the mostly finished project:

They could use another coat of paint, as I started with teal and decided to go green after the first coat, so there's a little bleed-through. And I have the clean the green paint off the soles. But otherwise, I'm pleased. Even my husband was pleasantly surprised. Sometimes he looks at my projects and you can tell he's thinking, "This is never going to work." (And sometimes, he's right!) Not this time. Now, granted, these are still uncomfortable, but I'll probably wear them to liven up a black dress, or peeking out under a pair of slacks...

Now, about that elephant...excuse me, but I have some papier-mâché-ing to do!

1 comment:

anne said...

you are as always amazing! so so cool. And green! Lovely MARCH color!