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Hello hello hello!
This is so exciting!
I have been wanting to show you how I made my wedding shoes for so long and FINALLY I've had the time to go through the photos.
I got the idea a long time ago, I wanted to upcycle a pair of converse style shoes for fun and to match my dress and, frankly, to get out of wearing uncomfortable heels that I just can't walk in. I don't wear high heels and since our wedding was going to be held on top of a hill among (pooping) sheep I needed my shoes to be comfy!
I decided early on to take photographs as I worked on the shoes so that if they turned out as good as I hoped they would I could show you all how I did it.
So, lets do that!
This is what you need for the dying of the fabric. I bought textile paint at the art and craft supply shop IN-EX here in Gothenburg. I found an old cotton fabric tote in my wardrobe and tested the colours on that before I started working on the shoes. The first time I had a synthetic sponge that was too sharp around the edges because you could see the exact shape of the sponge on the fabric. So I went back to the supply shop and bought these two natural sponges instead. They were perfect!
I definitely recommend that you "rehearse" on a piece of fabric and not get too daring.
I got the shoes really cheap at Primark in Glasgow when I was there in may. I thought that if I failed with these I was going back there agin in august and I could always find similar ones in Sweden too if everything went really bad.
I didn't have to worry though.
When it was time to get working on the shoes I cut up a garbage bag and spread it out on the kitchen floor. I started with taping the rubber parts of the shoes with electrical tape so that no paint would smudge the white edges.
Looking neat and ready to be coloured!
The first touch of colour was so scary to make!
In addition to two containers (jar lids) with paint I also had two bowls of water to blend the paint with. I wanted an irregular and splotchy look and the two green paints were just too rich and thick to use as they were. That was something I learned in the Great Tote Rehearsing Part of this.
I used the lighter colour first and just sponged all over the shoes but left white spots everywhere to blend in the darker green later.
And here's what I look like when I think really hard.
I shifted a lot in how much water I used to get an irregular colouring.
And then I started with the darker green straight away. I wanted the colours to blend together so it was important to not let it dry in between. The darker green paint had a metallic shimmer to it that looked so good over the brighter yellow green paint. I used one sponge for each colour to not mix them up to much from the start and have more control of where the colour ended up.
A break in my work to speak with my mother who chose this moment to call me.
Talking on the phone about my shoes and looking at them fondly at the same time.
Back to work!
I went back and forth with the paints in the end to make sure that they were covered completely.
First shoe finished!
This fabric paint is meant to be ironed for the colour to be permanent but the lady in the supply store said that I could use a hair dryer instead because the important thing was heat. So here I'm blow drying my shoes with my grandmothers old hair dryer that is extremely slow but it did it's job anyway.
When both of the shoes were ready and dried it was time to look at the studs. I bought lots of different studs on ebay. Square, triangular, spiky, small and large ones.
I didn't make my mind up until this moment and I actually started with the large triangular studs but realised after a while that they didn't look good on these shoes and they where very hard to attach because the spikes in the back was too short for the thick fabric.
I went with the smaller square rivets instead.
That was a good choice! I loved it straight away.
It took some time with all the studs...
When I was finished I realised that the inside of the shoes weren't smooth anymore and my socks were going to be ripped and my feet would bleed. NOT good. I wanted comfy shoes!
I solved that when we were in Glasgow with epoxy glue and felt. I simply glued pieces of white felt over the rivets on the inside of the shoes and they were soft and lovely again! When Jennie made my dress I got some help from her assistant to find the strongest glue the theatre had and I applied that to my shoes. I don't think it needs to be THAT strong but yeah, it was good working glue, alright.
Here's what they looked like when they were finished but with the wrong laces. These are the white ones that came with the shoes. I squeezed some paint in them but it was just to have something until I had my real laces.
Photo by Hanna. You will get to see more of her lovely photos another day!
Pieces of the same fabric my dress was made off! I wanted the laces to look rugged so I just made a knot in the ends of them and left them be.
Photo by Hanna.
I am so incredibly happy with how they turned out!
I'm going to change the laces for something more sturdy so that I can wear them a lot because I will use these until they fall to pieces!
I have already bought another pair of white cotton fabric shoes that I'm going to re-do soon. This might turn into an addiction!

So what do you think about my green, sparkly, studded wedding shoes?

Oh, and have you upcycled any shoes? Let me know in the comments, send a link if you've blogged about it, I want to see!

OH! And today we've been married a month exactly! Already!
Married life is good. I like it. :-)

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