One afternoon I was lounging around at home with my sisters and my boyfriend. I don’t remember how the topic came up, but shoes entered the conversation. I’m very much a tank-top-and-flip-flops, cheap, maintenance-free sort of girl when it comes to fashion, so I know very little about name-brand…well, anything. My sisters are more fluent in the name-brand language than I am, which I’m used it. It came as quite a surprise, though, when my boyfriend joined in the conversation. He and my sisters were talking about these things called red-bottomed shoes, apparently made by a person named Christian Louboutin. What caught my attention most was when my boyfriend mentioned that he thinks they are cool-looking shoes (red and black being his favorite colors, it makes sense). I like to do what I can to make him happy, so when a special event was coming up I decided to look into these mysterious but awesome red-bottomed shoes…
AND YIKES THE PRICE TAG
Remember I like cheap? I don’t like to spend more than $20.00 on a pair of shoes – $30.00 if they’re really nice, or MAYBE a little more for the right pair of boots. So I’m sure you can imagine my reaction when I saw the prices of these Christian Louboutin shoes. CRAY-ZEE.
Then, as is natural for me when I see something I want that I don’t want to spend the money for, I thought, “I bet I could do this myself.”
And thus began my journey to acquire my own pair of red-bottomed shoes (which everyone likes and no one knows they were DIY until I, in my excitement about the project, tell them all about it as I’m about to tell you).
DIY Red-Bottomed Shoes
Shoes – I got a decent, but inexpensive pair of black heels from Payless
Flexi-Dip in a spray can – I went looking for Plasti-Dip at Home Depot, but they only had Flexi-Dip in red. Whatever, it worked.
Tape – I had painter’s tape but I’m sure anything would be fine.
First things first – tape up the part of the shoe you don’t want to be red. I didn’t tape the inside because I would be lying my shoes upside down, but I taped everything else but the sole and the heel. I opted to color the entire heel to give the shoes more color and make it easier with less to tape up. Plus the heels I got were not super tall and I wanted to make sure people could see the red.
Shoes, taped up and ready to go
After the shoes were ready, I set up a place in the shed to work on the project. Ideally, this should be done outside or somewhere with excellent ventilation. Let me tell you, Flexi-Dip vapors are strong. I made it work in the shed because of weather and time of year, but would have preferred to be outside. One good thing is the smell goes away overnight for the most part. I covered the area I was using in newspaper and laid the shoes upside-down.
The painting has begun
After you have everything set up, get to spraying! Read the directions on the Flexi-Dip can. I had to do several coats over the course of a couple days to get the shoes really red. I still would have liked to do a couple more coats but I ran out of time. It also probably would have worked better for me if I did lighter coats and more of them. But I’m still pleased with how they came out!
Painting is finished – time to remove the tape
When you’re satisfied and everything is dry, you can remove the tape. Be careful you don’t pull off any Flexi-Dip with it because the Flexi-Dip all wants to stick together. I had some red get under the tape, but it rubbed right off just with my fingers. Again, if you have to do this, be careful not to take off any Flexi-Dip you don’t want to.
After I rub off the red that leaked under the tape, the shoes will be finished!
This is where I stopped. In the time since then, it’s been recommended I look for a top coat/sealer type of thing that is used over Plasti-Dip/Flexi-Dip. I haven’t tried that yet, but I imagine it’s probably a good idea. The red did start wearing off the bottom where the shoe touches the ground after only a couple of wears. But most people don’t see that part of the shoe anyway and since I like low-maintenance, I haven’t done anything with it. The rest of the shoe and heel still look good and red. I wore the shoes to work and got a lot of comments on my cool red-bottomed shoes. It was exciting for me to be able to tell people I did it myself! See, I can be stylish if I try!
Probably this would be a fun project to try on different shoes in different colors. It’s not likely that I will, but it’s nice to know that I can if I want to!
Have you ever tried something like this? What did you do differently? Or what do you WISH you had done differently? What other fashion DIYs have you tried?