Fancy Shmancy Shoes Tutorial

This isn’t particularly cosplay related, but I made myself a pair of Sailor Moon shoes over the weekend and got a lot of questions as to how they were made.  It was really straightforward so I figured I’d just post the information here for anyone who might want it.

I’ve seen a lot of people making comic book heels lately, and I really wanted to try and make a Sailor Moon pair.  These shoes were originally a terrifying grey snakeskin-y print… I like to think this is an improvement.

What you need:

– Shoes
This pair was only $10 in some clearance section, they don’t have to look good- in fact, the uglier the better.  Then you don’t have to feel guilty about destroying them.  Just make sure they don’t have too much of a raised texture.

 - Paintbrush

 - Bowl of water

 - Modge Podge
I like Modge Podge- partly because I have a few big bottles of it lying around the workroom- I have a feeling you could use white Elmer’s Glue as a substitute though, they seem to be basically the same thing.

- Whatever you want to design your shoes with. 
If you’re doing comics, most stores have quarter bins where you can get some pretty cool stuff for only $.25/book.  Or you can just print stuff out.  Just make sure that whatever you print out isn’t going to bleed if it gets wet.  I printed my stuff out onto completely average printer paper.  Maybe something a little less sturdy would’ve worked better, but it seemed to turn out fine as it was.

-Scissors

-Exacto/Knife

-Ribbon (to finish the inside of the shoe)

First you should probably make sure that your shoes are clean.  That may be stating the obvious, but then again maybe not.
Cut out your source material- smaller shapes will work better over big curves (like the toe area).  Try to decide where you want the different pictures to go (I started at the heel and worked my way forward).  When you’re ready to start gluing, put your first cutout piece into the bowl of water for a few seconds to soften it up and then stick it on to the shoe.  The water alone should hold it there pretty well if you want to mess around with different pictures and see how they fit together- once it looks alright, paint over it with a layer of modge podge.  You’ll probably want to make sure you have some overhang on the pieces so that you can tuck them into the top of the shoe afterwards.  Sometimes cutting or scoring the pieces with the knife will help them fit around the curves of the shoe.  Do this to the whole shoe.  And the other- because you probably have two feet.  DOES IT LOOK AWESOME NOW?

Maybe not.  Mine looked pretty ridiculous at this point- but they were at least looking less snakeskin-y.  To finish off the shoes I scored and folded the flange/overhang bit into the top/opening of the shoe and glued a bit of ribbon over it (on the inside of the shoe) so you didn’t see the strange paper edges.  I cut along the sole of the shoe with my knife to remove the excess paper/decoupage bits and to give it more of a finished edge.  It might’ve looked better if I’d done this as I went and sort of pressed the finished edge into the gap between sole and shoe- ah well, hindsight.

After all of this I went over the whole thing with another layer (or five…) of modge podge in the hopes that it would stand up to a bit of wear and tear.

I hope this was sort of kind of helpful in some way and that it leads to there being more swanky well-loved shoes in the world.  <3

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