From Trash to Treasure: White Wedges

May 7, 2012 in Joanns, Pinterest, Projects, Reuse, Shoes, Shopping Your Home, Simply Designed, Simply Living by Andrea

I love shoes. They are one of those magical things that always look amazing. It doesn’t matter if you had hours to do your hair or make up that day, or if you are just barely fitting into your fat jeans, you can rest assured that your feet will be awesome.

Thus far, I have been blessed to have no pregnancy swelling in my feet during pregnancy (something I fear more than labor itself) so I have been able to keep my current collection. However, my missing sense of stability has severely limited my collection of wearable dress(ier) shoes to a few flats and one pair of worn white canvas wedges from last year in an unsightly condition. I usually purchase my inexpensive white summer wedge at the beginning of each spring, wear it every single day possible, and then toss it when it becomes so dingy in the fall that no amount of spot treating could save them. Still, last year, I loved the style and fit of my last summer shoe so much, that I somehow “forgot” to put in the toss OR donate bin, but it’s visual state kept me from ever slipping them on out of embarrassment. I knew one day I would find the answer to my problem, and my prayers were answered **cue angelic hallelujah chorus**

In the past few weeks, I’ve been thinking more and more about those shoes as the weather gets nicer. My budget doesn’t allow for a purchase of NEW summer shoes when I still have the old ones, no matter how dingy and gray, so I jumped on pinterest for a solution and found this:

I have coveted some glitter shoes for a while but can’t bring myself to pay the huge cost (almost pulled the trigger on these for $250) for a shoe that I may only wear occasionally, but this seemed like a perfect solution! So after assembling a supply list and a few coupons, I was off to Joanns for a fun little project. I get to the glitter aisle and, wouldn’t you know it, I find another piece of inspiration:

The instructions for these were somehow simpler and the supply list was shorter and even less expensive than the original project idea, so I made a few modifications to my shopping list. Total cost for needed supplies (one tube of “brilliant” glitter and one bottle of bonder/sealer) was about $6 with coupons. Not to shabby for a new pair of stunning shoes!

After putting down some newspaper and foil (easier to get the extra glitter back in the tube) I was ready to get to work. This is what I started off with:

Not so pretty, and this is AFTER a good washing. I had some leftover gesso from painting and other projects so I first did a coat to essentially prime the shoes. For those of you who don’t know, gesso is typically used to prep painting canvases and make them bright white before you start your artistic masterpiece. After a few minutes of working I started to feel ashamed that I had never thought to do this before: who would have thought about brightening canvas shoes with a canvas brightener!?!?

Such a huge difference! I almost just stopped at this step and skipped the glitter entirely! However, I was dying to see what effect the glitter would have. After a full coat of gesso, I started painting on the bonder/sealer in small section and applying the glitter. Just press the glitter into the bonder and tap off the extra for later use. Be sure to get the “fashion glitter” rather than using whatever is cheapest that day because it really makes a difference. If you look at the original inspiration photo from pinterest, you can see that the glitter is very large and almost chunky. It makes for a thicker application, and from what I’ve seen at some ratail stores, the larger glitter flakes tend to “shed” a bit more. The “fashion glitter” on the other hand, is probably one of the softest glitters I have ever seen, and looks and feels more like a powder than what you would typically think of as “glitter.” It also gives the final look a gentle shine or even pearlesence rather than a full on disco ball effect, which I personally like for more day to day use.

After the bonder and glitter coat dried for an hour or so, I used a foam brush to seal the glitter in with another coat of the bonder/sealer (yeah for multitasking products!) and let the finished product cure overnight. The sealer offers some moisture protection, but mostly keeps the glitter from flaking off all day. I wore them for the first time yesterday and I must admit that it felt good to wear them again! Think of it like buying new shoes, but never having to break them in!

As you can see, I only did the exterior of the shoe and the toe. Anything that isn’t typically visible when being worn was left as is. It makes for a comfy shoe, but a slightly distracting finished photo. Feel free to paint the interior if you wish with your color of choice, I know I might do so just to get a better finished photo. I already have set aside another pair of shoes for a similar treatment, but in either red or silver. However, those need a new heel pad before I can really get to work on them so it will be a week or two before I can start on that project. As soon as I do though, you can be sure there will be photos!