Tuesday, July 12, 2011

{ My "New" Pair of Shoes }

For today's post, I'll show you how I took these old and worn out shoes

and made them look like this pair of shoes 

Image from Nordstroms.com
for only $8, instead of the $100 Nordstroms is charging for these Halogen Frisco Flats.

To transform my shoes I used a few tools from around the house:

-shoe polish & rag
-thread scissors
-a box cutter (if you are cutting a hole in your shoes like I did, use what you've got; this is what I had that could do the job)

and I bought

-zipper flowers.

My shoe make over idea started when I saw Dana from Made's shoe makeover, she spray painted a pair of black shoes a fun yellow. If you don't have a pair of leather shoes, but you want to make over some shoes of your own, check out her post { Yellow Shoes } and see if this might be a fun way to give new life to some of your old shoes. 

For me though, spray painting my shoes didn't seem like the greatest idea since my shoes are leather, not synthetic material; but all the same, Dana's post got me thinking. Then it hit me, I just wanted to dress up my shoes so that they weren't so plain. So I headed to JoAnn's to find pre-fab leather flowers to add to my shoes. I didn't find exactly what I was looking for, but I did find these:

pre-fab zipper flowers. I decided that these would do the trick and I bought the pair for $8.

Once I got to work at home, I went to the garage to see what would cut through leather; you see, I had already decided that I was going to sew on my flowers. In hindsight, I think that a less permanent approach should have been the first step, i.e. making flower clips to attach to the shoes so I could change them out or even go plain again if I wanted to. But before I thought too much, hind sight is 20/20, I took a box cutter and a random round tool (I have no idea what it is) and made holes in my shoes. There was no going back after that.

Once the man-handling of making the holes was over, I got to work cleaning them up. I started by cutting those white strings off of the right shoe. I used my small thread scissors, they were perfect for this job.

Next I polished the shoes. Umm, why hadn't I done these two simple steps before? Minus the new holes, my shoes looked like new!

And now that I had a like new base, it was time for some new style too. So on went the flowers. 

I used a needle and thread to attach them, which turned out to be trickier than I anticipated. I would recommend any other way you can think of to attach them. If you have any ideas on an easier way to attach them or more stable way, I would gladly cut my strings and try out your ideas. I feel like the flowers are a little wobbly. I've thought of glueing them, but 1) I don't know what would be the best glue, 2) I'm a little messy with glue and therefore 3) I don't want to cheapen the look of the shoes with glue strings. But if you know a good glue that will bond felt to leather and that's not too hard to work with, I'm game - please share.

All that said, I still think they turned out cute. I wore them to church and a concert at the Crocodile Cafe in Seattle. I felt cute in them so that's all that really matters, right? Oh! And the flowers stayed on, that's important too. They made it through kiddo attacks, my girls really wanted to touch them, long walks and dancing. Sturdy enough.

The flowers are a little more "zippery" than the Halogen ones and they're silver zippers not bronze in color, but the overall look and effect is similar enough that I know I'm not too far off from what's actually in style.

I hope that this post gets your creative thoughts going. What can you make "new" for yourself?

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