It seems my latest DIY is making up for what my five year old tom-boy self didn’t revel in enough – sparkles!
I’ve never been one to associate the word ‘glitz’ with my personal style. So, when I first noticed glitter tennis shoes at the end of last year, I didn’t bat much of an eye. But, then, I continued to see them; and in ways that really spoke to my style. When worn with a casual outfit of an oversized sweater and denim, they didn’t feel glitzy. Instead, they felt playful and intriguing against an otherwise casual and androgynous outfit. The subtle interest sold me, and my hunt for a pair began…and then continued, and continued. What drew me to them was the subtlety of their interest, but every pair that I found felt like too much of a statement. Whether it was the glitter itself, or that the entire shoe was covered in it – they all felt too sparkly.
Naturally, this is when my idea to DIY usually start to kick in. Having ‘a vision’ can sure be time consuming! Thankfully, once my mind turned DIY, I wrangled up the materials fairly quickly. I found the perfect level of understated sparkle in this matte gray glitter fabric, and an inexpensive and simple pair of tennis shoes to act as the canvas. The steps themselves are straightforward (see the details below), but I warn you that they can be time consuming. I like to think of this as a silver lining opportunity to catch up on shows in the background – oh hey, ‘behind the design’.
While the weather was still cool, I styled these with high-waisted boyfriend jeans and an oversized funnel neck sweater. Over summer, they were worn alongside cutoffs and a muscle tank. Now that it’s fall, I imagine styling them with a long sleeve t-shirt dress and a baseball cap. Whether the trend is fleeting or not, I imagine that these guys will be a part of my wardrobe for a while.
Cut out a rectangular piece of tissue paper, that is roughly the size of your shoe (this makes the tracing more manageable). Place the tissue paper over the area of your shoe that you want to cover with glitter fabric. Trace the area. *Tip – trace slowly, while holding the tissue paper in one position. You may need to retrace areas, and that’s ok. Just make sure to keep track of which line is the correct line. You can place a little ‘x’ over the incorrect tracing lines to help keep them in order.
Cut out your tracing, and lay it over your shoe. Hopefully it will be a perfect tracing, but if not don’t worry! If you find that there are areas where it’s needs further trimming, just re-trace the line with your pen. If you find that there are areas where you trimmed too deeply, simply cut out a slim piece of tissue paper and tape it to the area where you need to add more to the pattern (see the above picture). Lay the pattern back on your shoe and trace a new line.
Once the pattern is complete, trace it onto the back side of the glitter fabric. Make sure to trace it in the right direction that it will be positioned on your shoe. *Tip – I laid the fabric against my shoe, and then sandwiched the pattern between the two, as confirmation that I was tracing it onto the fabric in the absolute right way. Once traced onto the fabric, mark a note as to what part of the shoe it goes on. For example, between the left/right and inside/outside, I had four pattern pieces. I marked ‘LO’ for left outside, etc.
After you’ve traced your first pattern piece onto the fabric, you can then use that tissue paper pattern as the jumping off point for your next pattern. With my shoes (and probably all shoes), you will need to tweak the pattern slightly for each section that you are covering with glitter.
Lay your first tissue paper pattern over the next area that you want to make a pattern for. Note where tweaks need to be made, either redraw a line, or tape additional tissue paper to the pattern to fill in portions (like I mentioned 2 steps back). Repeat the process until you have made and traced patterns for all areas that you are covering with glitter.
Once all of your pattern pieces have been cut from the glitter fabric, apply them to your shoes. Completely cover the backside of the fabric with tacky glue (or another strong glue), and press it into place. You may need to hold portions of the glitter fabric in place for a minute or so, until it begins sticking on it’s on. Let your shoes completely dry before wearing.
Now get out there and dazzle ;-). If you end up making this DIY, or a variation of it, I’d love to know!