First, a quick note about the blog. Starting this week, I will be posting Monday, Wednesday and Friday only. I have some long-term blog projects I’d like to get done, plus I tend to go off in a million directions posts-wise, the result being that nothing gets finished. By limiting the number of days I intend to post, I hope it will allow me to focus and deliver. Okay, onto the post!
I’ve been considering potential D.I.Y. tutorials, and one idea that stood out was a tutorial for wrapping shoes in floral fabric. It helped that I already had shoes to revamp:
I bought these Target wedges long ago because I loved the shape, but haven’t worn them much since. The blue color (which is a bit darker than the photos) doesn’t really go with anything, being too blue to blend in, but not bright enough to make the shoes a statement piece.
Luckily, it turns out many bloggers have wrapped shoes with fabric before, meaning there are many inspiring tutorials for guidance. Here are the ones I referenced:
- a fabric-covered wedge tutorial at Whipstitch Sewing,
- a floral espadrille tutorial at 14 Shades of Grey,
- a denim wedges tutorial at What I Wore, and
- a floral wedge tutorial by Burdastyle’s Alison Dahl.
And here’s how it came out:
Floral Wedge Tutorial
Ta-da! Much brighter and more fun than the original.
Here’s What You’ll Need:
- shoes that need a face-lift
- fabric (amount depends on shoe/area covered; I’d say at least ½ a yard)
- tissue paper
- pencil & pen
- fabric glue or Mod Podge (link to tutorial)
- optional: trim
I already had everything but the fabric and fabric glue, so my out-of-pocket cost was $10.37 (the flower bloom fabric was $3.37 at Hancock Fabrics & a 4 oz. bottle of Aleene’s Fabric Fusion permanent glue was $7.00 at Michaels). I also bought leather trim, but ended up not using it. Trim is mainly used to hide raw fabric edges; instead, I folded mine.
1. Take the tissue paper and wrap it firmly around one shoe, using tape to secure. You want the tissue paper to be wrapped as smoothly as possible (no major creases or folds) across the area you’re going upcycle.
Obviously, precision isn’t key.
2. With a pen, lightly outline the area to be covered. I prefer using pens over pencils here, since marking with pencil requires more pressure & can tear the tissue paper.
Remove tissue paper from shoe. Cut out the pattern along the outside edges only (leave the middle hole for later). Test the cut tissue paper pattern on the shoe; if it’s a good match, keep going.
Obvious note: Artistic photo notwithstanding, you’ll want to stretch your fabric out on a flat surface during this step. I actually did this on the floor.
3. Place the tissue paper pattern on your fabric. Before you mark anything, think about the fabric’s pattern’s placement on your shoe: do you want a large bloom on the toe box?, etc. Place tissue paper accordingly.
With a pencil, lightly trace the border of the tissue paper cutout onto your fabric. Be sure to trace about ¾ centimeter out from the tissue paper. The reason is it’s better to have more fabric to work with than too little; I also wanted more fabric so I could fold the fabric in at the heel (again, eliminating the need for trim).
4. Cut fabric along the new penciled line. Test fabric on the shoe. If it looks good, then flip fabric over and test the flipped cut-out on your other shoe. It should be a match. Use flipped cut-out to make your other shoe cover (again, taking into account eventual fabric pattern placement on shoe).
6. Now to cut out the middle part. I stacked my two fabric covers (make sure the edges line up!) and placed the tissue paper pattern on top. I then drew a heavy line in pen inside the original shoe outline on the tissue paper (see above). The pen will mark the fabric below, so you know where to cut, and drawing inside the original line gives you enough fabric to anchor the wrap inside the shoe.
7. Time to start gluing the fabric. Most of the tutorials I used suggested completely covering the shoe with glue before applying the fabric. I found, however, that the glue created a slight, dark discoloration on the fabric, even when I thinned the glue by brushing it. I’m not sure if it’s the glue or the fabric, or just inevitable, but it is unappealing.
As a result, I decided to glue the fabric only at the edges of the covered area, where any resulting discoloration and warping would be less noticeable. I glued the top edges first, then the fabric inside the shoe, and finally the edges around the heel. I saved the heel and toe ends for last.
Go slowly. You will need to cut notches into the fabric to help it wrap around curves.
Note: I’ve only done one shoe so far, but I wanted to post the tutorial today. I’ll try & update with more “finished” photos by next week.
I saved my scraps for rag rollers.
Make It Your Own
What I like best about fabric wrapping is that, in addition to breathing life into old shoes, it opens up so many shoe refashion possibilities. For example, here is more floral shoe inspiration:
Clockwise from top left: floral saddle oxfords @ Free People (part of Rachel Antonoff’s Bass collection) // floral men’s shoes by Doc Martens // tan floral platforms from Dorothy Perkins // another floral wedge tutorial* // floral flats by Camper.
And, if floral fabric isn’t your thing, keep in mind the sky’s the limit on the patterns you can use:
From left: colorblock heels from Zara (sold out) // Dolce & Gabbana S/S 2011 wedges; BHLDN polka dot pumps.
*I’m still missing two credits: one, for the floral heel photo at top, and two, for the floral wedge tutorial at bottom. I have tried Tin-Eye & Google Image Search with no luck, but will continue searching. If anyone knows who to credit, let me know.