I know that isn't the most fascinating shoe you've seen all year, but hey, you try to find a New Year's greeting that's no longer under copyright AND has a shoe in it!
Today, besides wishing you a richly creative and interesting year to come, I want to show you a shoe that one of our fans embellished to wear on New Year's Eve.
Her inspiration was this Christian Louboutin hidden-platform heel. It is covered with crystals, triangular spikes and taller cone spikes. Plus it has the Louboutin signature red sole and underside. It is called Highness and it costs ... **trumpet roll** ... $3,995!
Heather wrote to us in early December for tips on recreating this design, and I want to share with you our dialogue and her results.
I have never embellished shoes before. I wear a size 13 so it is hard to find fabulous shoes in my size. That being said, I purchased some Payless shoes made of faux suede.
I also bought flatback rhinestones and metal studs on ebay to glue onto the shoes to create my own version of the Louboutin shoe in the top picture. Those shoes cost nearly $4000 and my version will cost a total of $70.
What is the strongest glue I can use to apply all of the stones and studs that won't melt the fabric and will stay on strong? Your advice is greatly appreciated. Thank you!
What a great project! You can glue flatback rhinestones to faux leather (which is actually fabric) using Gem-Tac glue. As to the spikes, that's a whole 'nother challenge. You might try a glue gun, which I don't usually recommend for gluing stuff onto shoes because it's not flexible when it dries. But since the bottom of the spikes aren't flexible either, it shouldn't matter.
Whatever glue you decide on for the spikes, test it first with a single spike and a similar (polyester) fabric. Let it dry completely then try to pull off the spike.
Last week Heather emailed me this picture. Wow!
This is the final shoe. I have been gluing on rhinestones for countless hours but they are turning out beautifully! I used G S Hypo Cement on the smaller stones and a glue gun on the larger studs and spikes. I thought you would like to see!
I am going to a masquerade with a Mardi Gras theme on New Year's Eve. That will be where I showcase them. I have a sexy metal laser-cut mask embellished with rhinestones, a gorgeous textured shimmery black dress and fishnets.
I got a kick out of noticing that Heather had painted the undersides of her Louboutin "dream shoes," as she called them, in that startling Louboutin red. Then, the other day I came across a product on the Internet called Walk on Red that is made for coating the bottoms of your shoes red! It's made by Angelus, which makes excellent leather paint, so it's probably a good product.
Now, I have to mention that Christian Louboutin recently won a lawsuit preventing other manufacturers from making and marketing shoes with red soles, so I don't recommend going into production with this stuff. But one or two pairs of Louboutin-lookalikes, just for special occasions? I'd risk it!
P.S., dated January 1 -- I just got an email from Heather, who discovered a glitch in her process:
FYI, the glue gun felt sturdy, but, the spikes are coming off already. If I had to do it again I would have found a way to screw them into a sturdy ribbon or strip that could be glued onto the shoe and then rhinestoned over that so that they would stay.
Normally the manufacturer would have screwed the studs onto the leather upper, but, since I had to improvise I should have known this would happen. I will most likely fill in the lost stud zones with rhinestones because they stay on perfect! I am getting lots of compliments though ;)
What a good idea to screw the studs onto something you can glue to the outside of the shoe! (I did just see a tutorial online where a young woman takes a hand drill and drills holes into her shoe so she canuse screw-in spikes.... If you did that, you could always cushion the flat screw heads on the inside by gluing suede or faux suede over them.)
You know, sometimes "mistakes" make us think of new solutions, ones that turn out even better than the original idea.