You are a Dancing Queen! Bringing sexy back to your shoes

Last week, I wrote about an unexpected discovery at Sushiya when we were there for dinner. The lady at the table facing me had on the most amazing pair of glitter T-strap heels! I mentioned it to the OH and couldn’t take my eyes off them…until I noticed they had a low, chunky block heel.

I have a thing about the style of the shoes themselves. If it’s a pair of boots, they would be fine with a block or Cuban heel depending on it’s design, but T-strap and Mary Jane heels are something of an obsession for me – they have to come with a tapered/slim or stiletto heel. I scoured high and low for a pair T-strap heels that I can customise into a pair of mood-lifters and eBay did not disappoint.

It seems whenever I’m in dire need of a cheap find for my DIY projects, New Look seems to read my mind and knows what works and always has the kind of shoes I’m looking for. Armed with bags of glitter and a pair of T-strap stiletto heels, I was ready to get started.

Tools of the trade

I already wrote glitter shoes tutorial last year. It was proving very difficult to find a pair of dark raspberry red coloured shoes suitable for our upcoming wedding, so I had to take matters into my own hands and customise my own pair! Luckily learning from my experiences last year, I was able to somewhat work on my technique for these T-strap heels.

DIY glitter wedding shoes – Glitter shoes tutorial

I still had leftover glitter from painting my wedding shoes, but they were more from the red colour family with some gunmetal and silver for contrast. I wanted more texture to the glitter this time, so I bought a 20g bag of Silver Based Christmas mix chunky glitter so I can mix this with what I’ve got to give it a more colourful silver base. Otherwise the mixed bag is really too…Christmas-y.

My glitter selection for this project

As I did with my wedding shoes, I primed the leather first by quickly rubbing down the polish on the shoes with a piece of 800 grade sanding paper. There are more nooks and crannies on the T-straps themselves than the court shoes so I needed to pay this process a bit more attention.

There was a bit of a glitch when I started which was a bit annoying: we seemed to have misplaced our roll of masking tape. I couldn’t tape off the tip of the heel, buckle and soles to keep these clean, so instead I ended up using normal sellotape to tape off the heel tip, but used an old eyeshadow makeup brush I got for 99p so I could apply the glitter glue to the leather with more care and precision.

Starting to get excited already with the first few applications!

With the shoes being black, I spent quite a bit of time applying the glue to hide the black leather, but it was also useful in that I could see where the glitter glue hasn’t been applied very evenly. I pretty much spent time painting one shoe, putting that down to paint the other, then picking the first one up to apply the next layer. It took a good few hours to do this, but only because I didn’t want to leave a huge amount of glitter glue sitting in a plastic cup overnight, so I was determined to use it all up.

I left the shoes drying overnight to let the layers of Modge Podge glue completely dry out and sprayed the top matte coat the next morning. Again, after the top coat was applied I left this to dry for the whole day to make sure it’s thoroughly dried out before handling them further – the coating is quite sticky and sticks like superglue to your skin if you try and touch it before it’s dry!

I’m really happy with how they turned out! It seems like the shoes have somewhat of a pink undertone to them, but when I look at photos of other chunky multicoloured glitter shoes this seems to be the case. Either way I like the little subtle pink colour 😛 One of my favourite things is how the fine glitter compliments the Christmas Mix glitter I bought without making the shoes too textured. The DIY mix of glitter means you get to add as much (or as little) of one colour as you like until you get it to the exact colour you want, whether to match an outfit or your personal choice.

Close up of the glitter mix

I haven’t got a close up of the T-strap itself, but I thought to keep with the continuity of colour, I also applied glitter glue to the top part of the loop where the ankle strap is inserted. The entire length of the ankle strap was also liberally covered with glitter, so I had to go back and use the scribe tool (you can also use a needle or the tip of the pen) to poke the buckle holes back into the strap. Make sure you do this from the back though so it’s easier and you don’t end up with funny hole placements.

While hunting for shoes, I realised how many shoes come in patent rather than smooth leather. Although I’ve been lucky enough to find smooth leather heels for my glitter projects so far, don’t let the idea of patent leather put you off! It might seem daunting to try and get the shine off the leather so you can start painting glitter on, but it’s not difficult at all. To prepare smooth leather you’ll need a low to medium grade piece of sanding paper, but for patent leather you’ll need to use either acetone or white wine vinegar to remove the shine. Which primer you use will depend on whether your shoes are made of real or synthetic leather. To see which works, you can test both on a small patch of leather to see which works best.

For my DIY glitter shoes tutorial, click here.

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