Wednesday, November 30, 2011

How-To: From Bland to Bling in one Hour!

A Shoe-Make-over Tutorial

Sewing a garment can be a lengthy process sometimes. Yet I am up for instant gratification very often, so a quick project it has to be...

I love shoes, and I would like to wear amazing high heels on a daily basis, yet I move around a lot and I like to walk fast, so all too often I grab this pair of dull, dreary, bland boots...
But wait! Do they have to be bland? No!

I turned them into "Bling" within one little hour. 

Look, it even has a little gemstone in the heel!

Here's how I did it:

What you need:

  •  A pair of shoes
  • good glue, suitable for leather/textiles (one that dries up elastically and translucently)
  • Cord
  • Glitter and gemstones
  • Scissors
  • Mosaic pieces
  • a marker (not in the picture above)
  • Toothpicks or something like it
  • Optional: Tweezers
  • Optional: Shoe Polish and a rag
 Here is a close-up of my embellishments, you can obviously use whatever you fancy!

First, give your shoes a good shine and waterproof them if you can:

Even though my mosaic pieces had a sticky side on them already, but I used glue additionally. I used a special glue for shoe soles - whatever glue you use, read the instructions. Some glues need to be let dry a little bit after applying it, some don't. As stated before, take a glue that stays elastic when dry. Apply it to the heel and spread it evenly - I used a piece of paper for that:

Start sticking the mosaic pieces on from the outside - the most visible part of the heel.

I had smaller and larger pieces and I tried to come up with a good way to fill up the shape of my heel:

For the gemstone, I added an extra amount of glue, with the help of a toothpick:

I used my tweezers to set it in:


For the toe glitter, choose where you want it to be, spread a piece of cord over the shoe:

...and mark that line with a light marker:

If you want to try out the glitter first, find a place on your shoe that is not very visible and try it out first, as I did here:

Apply glue to the marked area. Do it as precisely as you can!

Sprinkle the glitter over it. Be generous, apply a lot, dab on it with your fingers and shake the excess off.

Along the line you drew earlier, apply glue - I used a textile glue here:

Put your cord over the glue line. Don't pull and stretch it, just lay it over without tension. Use a toothpick to press it down into the glue. If you use your fingers, you will soon stick to everything and make everything dirty (believe me...):

Do the same for other places you want the cord:

 For the cording along the edge, I used my shoe-sole-glue again. I did the front part first:

Then the heel. This way, I could smooth over all the other cord endings.

Ta-daa! Now let the glue dry. All the whiteness will go away. Be patient. Textile glue can take up to 20 hours to dry completely...

In the meantime, after admiring your new bling shoes...'s a good time to clean up the mess you made...

Now put them on!

These shoes, worn with regular jeans, bling up any old outfit. They are not as flashy as you might think, but they add that extra kick. It's amazing how the glitter sparkles, and the little gemstone in the heel is fabulous.

They will make you smile. And the great thing is: they will make other people smile, too!

This is the first project I am adding to a new page on my Blog:

Quick Projects and Gift Ideas.

I will be posting a bunch of them in the next few weeks, right in time with the season... as much as I'd like to, I just can't make coats and knit sweaters for everybody...
There will be sewing and crafting projects, none of which will take longer than 3 hrs at the very, very most.

Next up - very soon - will be this leather passport wallet I made for my husband recently:

Stop by again soon if you are looking for gift ideas and inspiration!

Have fun blinging up your life!


  1. I love this idea. I've got o few pair of shoes, I need to up cycle. Thanks for sharing this tutorial.

  2. I actually didn't know whether I like them or not, but seeing the whole outfit convinced me that I really like them! They look so cool matched with jeans! Very interesting idea and a very nice result:)

  3. Fantastic! They are WONDERFUL with jeans!!! I'm in love with them!

  4. I hope you don't mind, but I shared this on my blog with a link back to yours, I love your boots!

  5. Love these! They look fabulous with jeans and have just the right amount of bling.

  6. this is perfect, great idea :D