A little DIY weekend: dazzling shoes
We've had an overwhelmingly positive response and requests for advice on my enchanted Swarovski wedding wedges, so there you go! This was my first time doing something like this and the more crafting experience you have, the higher the quality of your work will be, but even if someone who hasn't done any craft project in years like me, the results were surprisingly satisfying 🙂 It took a while to learn, so everything I've learned I've included in this guide.
I'm no expert at this and this was my first attempt. I was inspired by a fewGucci heelsthat I saw last month in Vegas. These were probably the most stunning and breathtakingly beautiful shoes I have ever seen. I will definitely try to do something with black crystals. Thought I'd try it on satin high heels first (BP Fae$59.95, also available in black) that I purchased for my wedding. They weren't too expensive, and even if they weren't perfect, you couldn't really see them because the dress went all the way down to the floor.
What you need
- A pair of shoes
- Crystals/rhinestones with a flat back (approx. 15-40 gross, depending on the size of the crystals/area to be covered)
- Glue (I used E6000, GemTac is a good choice too)
- Tray (for storing crystals)
- A plastic stick
I bought all my materials fromThe creativity of dreams. I haven't had any issues with service through them, although there are other crafting sites out there as well. This shopkeeper happened to be having a sale at the time, so I went with them.
Step-by-Step Guide/My Experiences and Conclusions...
Step by step guide
- Clean the surface of the area you want to cover.
- Uniformity or random pattern? It's up to you - it's totally a preference really. I like the look of different sizes randomly placed, so that's what I did. If you want a more uniform look, it's best to apply line by line rather than over a small area (like a patch).
- Start at the edge of the shoe or the back of the heel. I felt the only area that needed real precision was up and down, which I wanted to get right. I still used different sizes to make these borders, but you can choose one stone for easy uniformity.
- Apply a thin layer of glue to a very small area. The glue sets so quickly that I was able to penetrate an area of 1 cm x 2 cm before it loses its stickiness. You can still push the stones here and there for a while as they lose their grip, but applying the stones is much easier when the glue is tackier.
- Grab brick by brick with the tweezers and place on the glue. The best way was to release the crystal just before it touched the glue, so that the glue did not get on the tweezers. The E6000 was very easy to wipe off with tweezers (and my hands), so it's not a problem if you get some glue on the tweezers.
- Use tweezers or a plastic stick to press and push the rhinestones into place. I wanted a fairly tight pattern, so I used a plastic stick to place the stones as close together as possible.
- Leave to act for 24-72 hours. This is based on the directions of the E6000 adhesive.
- Residual or excess glue can be removed with acetone or alcohol. I suggest layering it with a few loose extra stones to make sure you don't experience any side effects. You don't want to saturate the area you're working on as this will also dissolve the glue underneath the stone. You just want to clean a mountain of bricks of glue.
- Enjoy! 🙂 Your feet will shine!
My experience and lessons learned
I used about 15 gross (just over 2000 bricks) and used sizes 5ss, 10ss, 12ss, 14ss and 16ss. The stones I used were Swarovski 2058 flat backs in Crystal AB. I bought it for 30 gross and I still have that much left! I wouldn't recommend using the same sizes as me as they are really unnecessarily small. Next time I plan to use 10ss, 12ss, 14ss, 16ss, 18ss and 20ss. I like to have 5ss or 10ss available to cover any odd spaces as you can cram 5ss into almost any area where larger stones cannot fit together. I would buy more 14ss and 16ss stones and less 5ss/10ss and 20ss sizes. I liked the look of at least four different sizes together (I used the 5ss mostly as filler where the seams weren't as close together as I wanted).
I also thought I'd need a ton of glue, so I bought 3 ounces. size E6000 but 1 oz. it would be okay. However, it is a glue so widely used in craftsmanship that it can be reused elsewhere. Maybe next time I'll try Gem Tac as it seems to have a slower drying time. But I definitely want to grab a syringe so I can apply more accurately. I ended up applying bits of glue at a time and I wonder if it would be cleaner if I could apply a dot of glue and then press the rhinestone on top. However, it may not be that much of a time saver - so we'll see if the results are better, and if so, whether it's worth the extra time (if at all).
I tried the "Magic Tray" for sorting and it's not very useful for this type of project. Apparently it's only suitable for sorting down to 12ss, and even then it only mines 70% of the stones. I plan to buy five inexpensive sorting bins so I can pick exactly what I need for an area instead of looking for the next time. This also makes it easier to put the stones back into their original pockets if you have extras. I ended up with a generic bag filled with a mix of all five sizes.
I bought Jewel Setters, which are plastic sticks with a tip on one end and a wax ball attached to the other. The laundry just didn't help me pick up the stones; the stone stuck to the wax ball too often. I liked the pointy end for repelling rocks and ended up using one stick (it came in a pack of two) to scoop out the glue from the E6000 and spread the glue over the area I was working on. The tweezers I used were the ones my fiancé had in his toolbox, but they weren't sharp or pointed (I didn't want to scratch the rhinestones because all my eyebrow tweezers are pretty sharp!) and they were a good length, which worked well for this project.
It is not necessarily a cheap and fast project. I spent about $125 on consumables (most of it on stones) - but it's much, much cheaper than most other crystal-covered shoes. It took me six hours (three and a half for the first shoe, two and a half for the second). I bought a pair of Enzo Angiolini's "Show Me" shoes with black rhinestones on a black shoe and while I'm generally a fan of the brand's shoes, the build quality and rhinestone placement leave a lot to be desired: lots of extra space A few stones were missing which were regular rhinestones not Swarovski and they were much less shiny. I think that if they had less space on the shoes, plain rhinestones would sparkle the most.
But I am excited and hopeful; I plan to wear a pair of heels (3-4 inches).Streamand a pair of shoesVolcano. I would like to make apartmentsVolcanobut finding the right pair wasn't that easy. I hope you enjoyed it, and if you made this project yourself, please advise!