Inspiration

I stumbled across these shoes the other day while searching for awesome shoes to bling.  Although I’m not a huge fan of the cage or gladiator sandals, I can see these being a beautiful and very awesome pair of shoes.  They are called Momento by Chinese Laundry.

At first glance I thought that doing these in a Jet or Jet Hematite crystal would be ideal, but also predictable.  I think these should would be fabulous with deep blue accents, specifically Cobalt.

I wouldn’t cover the whole shoe, I would cover the platform, the heel and do an accent outline on the straps.  That way the shoe can be more of a statement than a predictable black on black.

New Project March 2012

These shoes will be the perfect example of Aurum Crystals (the expensive ones) various Gold crystals.

I will confess that these shoes are my absolute favorite style and pair of shoes!  I currently own three, but one pair became my wedding shoes, the other always be black leather, just like these, and these will be blinged with Aurum yellow crystals, specifically Jonquil AB and Sunflower.  The gold paint is more translucent than the bronze paint of the Volcano shoes.  Right now I’m waiting to start my third layer of the gold paint.

Second layer

The one thing about the Volcano shoes that I regret not doing is taping the shoes to keep the paint from getting everywhere.  I want these shoes to be the perfect example of how beautiful the Aurum crystal gold colored crystals are.

Volcano In Progress

Black Patent turns into bronze!  The great thing about the paint I used is that it didn’t scratch or chip when I put it to the test on these shoes!  I was very impressed and can now match most of the crystal colors to paint so that the color of the crystals doesn’t get muted by the underlying shoe color.

 

Here are the shoes after the final layer of paint.  It took two layers to cover the black.  It’s such an amazing transformation!!

I think these look beautiful as is!  I almost stopped here, but I wanted maximum bling.  This picture I took with my phone, so it’s a bit over exposed, but you can still see the color of the crystals and how well they work with the bronze.

Better picture of detail and the richness of the crystal color.

Another view of the edging detailing with the full heel.  It’s very stunning, I love it!  This is a great picture to show the problems with cheap-o shoes!  You can see in the side of the shoe, right in the arch, is a bulky seam.  It was very hard to bling that to look seamless with the crystals.  It looks ok, but I wasn’t pleased.  You can also see on the shoe showing the back of the heel that there is a weird ridge and bump with a dark hole.

The ridge is where the fake leather became unglued from the foundation of the shoe.  I tried inserting a needle to get glue between the layers to glue them back together, but it didn’t work.  Don’t settle for a pair of shoes!!  Wait for the right one.  I love them, but hate the flaws of the shoes!  Scratches and small dents can be covered with crystals, but weird bubbles and seams are more difficult to hide.

Edging detail on the toes.

Beginning the long process of blinging!

The First Pair

Back in 2002 I wanted to be Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz for Halloween.  Naturally, I needed a pair of Ruby Slippers!  I scoured the internet and found an awesome website of fans who had re-created their own shoes.  These awesome people created amazing replicas using an actual blueprint for THE Ruby Slippers!  Using this blueprint and the strings of sequins you can buy from any craft store, I created this beautiful pair of shoes.  Keep in mind that this was a long time ago and I know SO much more now.

As you can see, the shoes are a bit ragged around the edges, but considering I didn’t know what I was doing at the time, they turned out very nicely!  Since the sequins were in a string, the string edges did not cooperate at the edges.

If you check out the detailing of the bow on the shoe, you can see the glue smudges from the hot glue gun.  I didn’t have any other adhesive at the time to glue the sequins to the shoe so I used what I had.  Knowing what I know now, I plan on remaking these someday with swarovski crystals with the awesome glue I use now. I also have a better way to place individual crystals in a straight line.

 

The Process:

First I found the supplies I needed and then began the hunt for the perfect pair of shoes.  I scoured eBay in the hopes of finding a perfect 1930s-40s pair but came across a big question: How would I know if these expensive shoes in perfect condition would actually fit?  I ended that nearly impossible search and scoured shoe stores for dyeable shoes and finally settled on a cheap-o pair from Payless.

Since these shoes were dyeable and I had no idea how to dye them the right color, I bought red glitter spray paint and used that to color the shoes.  Then I spent hours and hours with a glue gun and cutting and gluing strips of sequins.  (I do not recommend, and will never use a glue gun for crystals!!!!)

 (Cat Photobomb!)
They look pretty darn good if I say so myself 🙂
It’s safe to say that these shoes were the beginning of something beautiful.  10 years later and I’ve grown a lot and understand that quality goes a long way.  I love these shoes, but I can’t wait to use crystals to make another, even better pair!!

 

Volcano Finished!

This pair is my pride and joy! It represents the refinement I have developed since my first three pairs. Felix was very helpful with the pictures I was taking. I would like to note that I hate watermarking the photos, but it needs to be done to prevent people from stealing my photos and using them as their own.

Volcano is a crystal with a special effect that I like to call iridescent like mother of pearl or abalone. These crystals are all one color but change depending on the angle they are viewed. If they made a crystal like the back of a cd, I would be all over it!!

These shoes took quite a bit of time to get them just right. These shoes were originally a black fake patent leather. You couldn’t tell it by just looking at them!

(Felix likes to help!)

(He wants to know where his shoes are)