I met Nicole from The Everyday Runway last year when we started following each other on Instagram, and she’s been a great person to connect with - has to be my favourite part about Instagram! A few weeks ago Nicole shared a shoe upcycling hack by using old earrings from her mother to embellish a pair of plain sandals. After some quick discussion we decided this was a perfect upcycle project to collaborate on. The two main parts of the challenge was to upcycle a pair of thrifted shoes and use tissue paper to do so. Hence this post :)
I love a good shoe upcycle. In the past I’ve dyed shoes, and made my own pom pom shoes; recently I came across the idea of decoupaging your shoes. If you don’t know what decoupage is, it’s the art of decorating an object by gluing colored paper or material to it. Definitely something I’d done as a kid. I saw this method applied to shoes, and I was really keen to try it.
Update to last weekend, after finding a pair of $6 heels from my local Brotherhood of St Laurence in Brunswick. I attempted this exact method. And wait for it…I failed miserably! The biggest lesson learnt here is that the colored paper needs to be quite different from the original shoe color; instead of a shoe with hearts on it, I ended up with something that looks like peeling skin!
I couldn’t find a tissue paper that I wanted on these shoes as I really liked the color and was after something subtle. I’m still keen to try this method, but next time I’ll use paper that’s bolder and I think it's suited to a pair of strappy heels or sandals. (I did however learn how to make my own Modpodge with regular PVA glue, and I’ll post that info up in another blog post.)
Back to the drawing board it was. I love an interesting shoe, and one of the trends I’m keen on at the moment is the inclusion of embroidery. Under some time pressure, I made a trip to Lincraft and came out with some pretty embroidered butterflies I could use, and searched around for materials I had at home.
I grabbed my handy hot glue gun, and went to work. The butterflies were fairly straight forward to attach and I discovered the best way to stick the embroidered butterflies on was to put the glue on the shoe. The black bow ribbon was taken from a necklace which I never wear. It's the fake pearl one :). If I had more embroidery embellishments I would have probably used then, but as they are I think the shoes turned out great! From plain to fab!!