Let's talk for a hot second about how I turned a trashy old pair of $12 flats... into these gorgeous re-imagined can't-live-without shoes!
If I'm being 100% honest... I can't have nice things. I literally just destroy everything that I have within 5 seconds of use. Take these cute orange suede flats for example... I thought, oh wouldn't it be fun to wear these to work?! And then after a week they're covered in grime, ink smears and globs of spray adhesive that somehow got under my foot while wearing them. Idk....
While I still "invest" in quality denim, and a good winter coat, my everyday work shoes I now get from DSW because let's be real, I'm going to trash them and I don't want to throw $100 away every time I enter the printshop. There's a brand I like with a comfy fit, sleek almond toe and lots of variety in style so I stock up twice a year and don't look back.
I'm a big fan of color so bright orange suede was a HARD YES... but I really always hated the lace-up back. The first step of this makeover was to remove the lacing and bow from the back.
Even though the shoes were clearly not acceptable for everyday wear anymore because of my feckless care-taking, I felt like they still had a lot of life left in them... and I was looking for a satisfying weekend project.
I dug out a scrap of some gorgeous patterned fabric I'd had, and been obsessed with, for over a decade. But I literally only had two small scraps. Still, I thought i could stretch it and make it work.
I ran over to the craft store and picked up a 3 pack of Aleene's Fabric Glue in a variety of specialties and I got to work. I mixed up the fabric glue and the stretchable glue and painted a heavy coat over the original suede flats. Then I firmly pressed my scraps of cotton over it. To keep the fabric overlay in place while the glue dried, I wrapped the shoe like a mummy, using more fabric scraps from my studio.
Over the next few days I finished up my hack job but naturally didn't take any photos (sorry). You'll see below that while the fabric was nicely adhered to the shoe form, I needed to clean up the edges and prevent fraying.
I used some tiny embroidery scissors to trim the fabric overlay around the sole of the shoes and used a tiny paintbrush to coat the edges with the anti-fray glue. I did the same for the inside edge of the shoes as well. Each time I cut and glued fabric, I mummified the shoes and waited 24 hours. The entire process took about 4 days to complete but in the end....
TOTALLY WORTH IT!! I'm in love with how they came out and am so pumped I could find a use for this lovely fabric yet again. And I've promised myself not to wear them to work on days that I have a lot of printing. I'm not sure how well the glue will hold up over time with weather and walking, but given the low cost commitment and overall excitement, I'm super happy with how this project turned out.
Leave a comment below and let me know what you think, or share pics of your own DIY shoe projects!