Ruby Slippers Update!

Remember when I posted about my experience in buying ruby slippers to wear for the wedding to pay homage to my childhood obsession with The Wizard of Oz?  In case you need a refresher, here’s the short version:  I bought some ruby slippers made from red sequins from a seller on Etsy, and they weren’t what I was expecting in terms of quality, particularly for the price.  So, I sent them back.

Okay!  So, after sending the original shoes back, I started brainstorming on ways I could make them myself.  My first inclination was to just glitter a pair of shoes with a mixture of fine red glitter and Mod Podge, but after thinking it over, I decided I wanted something with a stronger effect.  After all, The Wizard of Oz and my obsession over wanting to be Dorothy as a kid is a HUGE part of who I am today (I collect Oz memorabilia, have all the books, etc.) so I wanted these shoes to be show stoppers.  I traveled over to the DIY section of Weddingbee for inspiration, and there I found multiple ladies who had strassed their shoes using different sizes of rhinestones and industrial adhesive called E-6000:

DIY Peacock Bling Shoes from Weddingbee user miss_n_hope

DIY Peacock Bling Shoes from Weddingbee user miss_n_hope

Swarovski Cobalt Crystal Shoes from Weddingbee user Aure

Swarovski Cobalt Crystal Shoes from Weddingbee user Aure

You guys, I saw these and I knew I had to do the same thing for my slippers.  I just had to.  So after perusing the dozens of shoe strassing DIY tutorials on Weddingbee, I bought the supplies I needed to get started:

-A bottle of E-6000 industrial strength adhesive (they had this at Wal-Mart for about $4)

-6000 red rhinestones in sizes 2mm, 3mm, 4mm, and 5mm from a seller on eBay (all total they cost me around $25)

-A pair of red leather Aerosoles heels (on sale for $39.99 from Aerosoles.com!)

To pick up the rhinestones and glue them on the shoes, I fashioned my own jewel pick up tool using the handle of a small paint brush and a wad of Sticky Tack resusable adhesive:

Easier to pick up rhinestones than with tweezers, in my opinion!

Easier to pick up rhinestones than with tweezers, in my opinion!

I started with a pair of red leather heels I found on sale from Aerosoles with a 2 1/2-inch heel.  Aerosoles are notoriously comfortable, so I’m hoping I can wear them for most of the reception:

The shoes that would become the ruby slippers...

The shoes that would become the ruby slippers…

I started by lining all the edges with the 3mm stones to give the shoes an overall polished look when they’re done:

IMG_1533

Starting to fill in the gaps!

Starting to fill in the gaps!

As far as placing the rhinestones go, there really was no rhyme or reason to it.  I would put a few of the 5mm ones on kind of scattered-like, and then just fill in the gaps with the smaller-sized stones.  One tip I will add to make your shoes look better:  use less glue than you think you need to, and let the glue dry for a few seconds before you try to stick it on the shoe.  The glue gets nice and tacky after a few seconds and will stick much easier if you wait just a bit! 🙂  Using less glue also keeps it from gushing out from underneath the rhinestone too much.

I finished the heel, first:

Look at that sparkle!

Look at that sparkle!

And then I moved on to the rest of the shoe.  All finished:

20130110_224356

A close-up of the rhinestones

A close-up of the rhinestones

Model shot!

Model shot!

Overall, I’m super happy with the way these shoes are turning out.  The only major bummer is how long they’re taking to finish!  I really underestimated the amount of time these were going to take, and if you’re thinking about taking on a similar project, make sure you allot yourself PLENTY of time to finish.  You should also probably develop some patience, since the gratification is slow-developing. 🙂  But in the end, the effect is fantastic and I really can’t wait to wear these on my wedding day!  Not only are they leaps and bounds better than the version I purchased, but they’re also less expensive AND made with leather heels.  And I think the best part of all is that I get to claim I made them!

Anyone else strassing a pair of heels to wear on their wedding day?  Did I make the right choice in going the rhinestone route?

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