Like a small child or animal, I am attracted to all things sparkly and shiny. Glitter is one of my many guilty pleasures in life. I secretly miss the days when body glitter was passed freely around the college dorm bathroom as we all got whore'd up for a frat party.
Sadly though, I retired the body glitter along with my "Mrs. Timberlake" tank top years ago. I have resigned myself to wearing glitter only on the most special of occasions (Halloween!) ... UNTIL NOW!
Inspired by the shoes I have seen at Kate Spade and Miu Miu - OR, more honestly, the racks at DSW and the websites of Kate Spade and Miu Miu...I realized that my lifelong obsession with glitter need not be confined to Halloween and drunken nights in college: I can wear glitter on my feet everyday!
Glitter shoes have expanded beyond the night club and the holiday season and is not on ballet flats and converse and oxfords! However, all those glittery dream shoes are out of my price reach for now. (Hey! Parisian vacations and converting your basement into a speakeasy aren't free, you know!) I decided that if I want them enough, I would have to figure out how to make them myself!
I now present you with....
- Shoes (duh!) : I purchased a couple pairs of shoes from the clearance rack at DSW. For me, the color didn't matter because I planned to envelop my new shoe completely in its very own glitter coat. I considered buying cheaper shoes at Target - but opted for manufacturers that I trust not to give me blisters. (I got these Steve Madden ballet flats for $24)
- Mod Podge : I recommend the original formula, called Gloss Lustre. I didn't want the to dull the flash on my new glam'd up shoes. (approx. $5)
- Foam Paint Brush : I actually tried both a foam brush and a regular bristle brush, but I chose the foam because it applied more evenly and quickly without leaving stray hairs behind. I didn't think hairy shoes from a cheap paint brush would be sexy. (4 pack for $1.99)
- Painters' Tape or Masking Tape : This works well to protect the areas of the shoe you would like to be glitter free, like the sole or the inside. (I had some laying around so I don't know how much it costs...but I bet it's cheap to buy)
- GLITTER!!! : You can either go with your gut once you are in the glitter aisle OR pick out an inspiration shoe in advance and buy your sparkles accordingly. I personally was inspired by this J. Crew flat (for $135 plus shipping! no way, I'll make my own, thanks.) so I picked both silver and gold. I also chose two sizes of glitter in each color (fine and coarse) for added depth. ($6 for the multiple tubes of glitter, on sale)
Step 1: The Mis-en-Place of Glittering! (Culinary reference...I once took a cooking class)
Pour a glass of wine...(brie and baguette optional) And have another activity or hobby lined up - tv, magazine, phone date, real date....trust me! You will need something to do in between coats of glitter glue.
Lay down newspaper or some other coverall for your workspace. You are about to create glitter glue...and as much fun as that will be on your shoes, you may not like it so much on a table/couch/floor/dogbed.
Use the painters' tape to protect any areas where you don't want glitter - rubber soles, the inside of the shoe under grommets, the edges. I applied the tape to the tip of the toe, for a two-tone look.
Step 2: Making the Magic Goop
Using a plastic cup or bowl, mix Mod Podge and Glitter. A good rule to start is 2 parts Mod Podge to 1 part glitter, and then add more glitter as desired. The consistency should be creamy enough to spread evenly - not chunky or pasty. 3oz was enough for my shoes.
Step 3: The First Coat
Start painting your shoes with fabulousness! BUT - the first layer will feel like a failure. The glitter will be sparser than you imagined, the glue won't be clear yet, and you will be tempted to not follow my next instructions... don't fall victim! Just trust me...and drink your wine!
- Paint a THIN, EVEN coat of your glitter goop on the shoe.
- Notice the bald spots and the thin glitter streaks. Then remember, this is not like icing a cake - laying it on thick will not make it more attractive! Marathon not a sprint. Yadda yadda yadda.
- Take a drink of wine.
- Once the shoe is coated in ONE thin, even layer, set it down on the newspaper.
- Walk away. (a watched pot never boils)
- Leave the shoe, leave the cup of goop.
- Bring your wine.
- Do something else for approximately 20-30min. (watch TV/talk to girlfriends/have a quickie AND finish that glass of wine)
- Once the first coat has dried (you can tell because the white glue will be clear and glossy) - pour another glass, and sit down for round two.
Step 4: Glitter Until Your Heart's Content
Repeat step 3. The next coat will go on much better! You will be ecstatic - you will toast to yourself and brilliance for weathering that storm! BUT this layer of glue will take slightly longer to dry...so impatience is the enemy and wine is your friend. (note: the painters tape also helps keep your paint job looking precise even when your motor skills get a little fuzzy)
Keep repeating until you have achieved your desired coverage. Just remember to stay busy during the 35+min hiatus between coats...otherwise you will literally be watching glue dry...with wine in your hand.
My shoes only took 3 coats. BUT because I was creating 2-toned shoes, I had to remove the tape after the final coat of gold glitter was dry and repeat both step 3 AND 4 with the silver toe tip.
And, THIS is where I messed up. I didn't budget for the extra silver time. By the time my TV shows were over and my bottle of wine empty - I resorted to listening to sad music on repeat. I ended up crying...with glitter on my fingers and face. Not pretty. (well, sort of pretty...it was silvery!)
Step 5: Finish 'Em (optional)
For a more protected shoe that doesn't leave a trail of glitter behind it, use a cleaned foam brush to distribute one final thin and even coat of PLAIN Mod Podge on top of the Glitter.
(note: by protected, I just mean protected from glitter shedding. Mod Podge is not a waterproof sealant - these shoes are ok to get a little wet, but I won't wear them in the rain or anything)
For a more "store-bought" looking shoe, skip the clear coat finisher. I don't know why, but most of the shoes in the stores have a rough, glitter dandruff-y surface that sheds.
Finish your wine. Go to bed.
Step 6: Wake up to stunning new shoes!
(then take pics of your shoes and email them to me!! email@example.com)
Note: My glitter converse are coming soon!