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October 14, 2009

Project Twinkle Toes

As the white linen oxfords I got deeply discounted a few weeks back were slowly collecting stains and scuffs, they were rapidly becoming a little too bland for my taste. Seeing as I purchased them with the intention of possibly customizing them in the future, I decided that now is the time to turn them into induct them into my small family of mutant DIY footwear.
I was somewhat inspired by this pair of suede and pearlized metallic leather Lanvin lace-ups, but I wanted a bolder contrast than just white suede and pearlized lavender leather. After a while of brainstorming, consultations with friends, and a long chat with the lovely lady at the arts supplies store, I decided on what to do: I would make cap-toes out of copper glitter. I think copper is highly underrated. The underdog of the metallics, copper is warmer than cold chrome silver and less garish than gold.
You can adapt this procedure to create cap-toes out of beads, confetti, perhaps even feathers, human hair, or macaroni, knock yourself out. Here’s what you’ll need:
paintbrush, glitter, water-based glue, paper plates, measuring tape, masking tape, pencil
and here’s what I did:
I marked off where I want the cap toe to end, taking the exact measure so I can evenly replicate it on the other shoe. (A good cap toe would go roughly half way between the tip of the shoe and the end of the flap on which the shoelace holes are punched, slightly closer to the flap than to the tip.)
I then taped off the area to be graced with glitter, making sure to cover the soles too. I painted the glue on thinly and evenly, waited a few moments for it to dry partially, and started showering it with glitter.
The first sprinkling of glitter was dazzling, hundreds of tiny mirrors were beaming variedly with the slightest twitch of the wrist. It helps to hold a paper plate under to catch the excess glitter, which you could then sprinkle on to the shoe in the following coats.
I allowed the glue to dry completely after each coat. Use a hair dryer if you’re as impatient as I am.
I did three coats of glue and glitter to eliminate bald spots, and then finished it off with a light sealant (roughly two parts glue one part water) to keep the glitter from shedding.
I was so tempted to keep the glitter in this freeform flame-like shape, with the masking tape as an absurd contrast trim. But I stuck with the idea of the rigidly defined cap-toe to retain some semblance of masculinity in an otherwise theatrical pair of shoes.
Freshly un-taped, here’s a sneak preview of my twinkle toes.
Though I still haven’t figured out the social situation where the wearing of these shoes would be deemed appropriate, I quite like what came out of this project. The copper glitter makes for an unexpected, warm contrast to the plain white fabric, and I think the cap toes were sized perfectly proportional to the rest of the shoe.
Here they are worn, in a silly attempt to recreate the feel of Tommy Ton‘s shoe pornography shots.


  • Gon
    October 14th, 2009 at 11:12 am

    the shoes turned out amazing ! Excellent choice of materials ;)!


  • Isabel
    October 14th, 2009 at 1:19 pm

    These are completely fantastic! Years ago I did a similar DIY of red glitter all over a pair of faux-leather shoes. But the glitter started to peel off after the first wear. I hope you have better luck with canvas.

  • Frederic Betancourt.
    October 14th, 2009 at 6:26 pm

    I loved to see the preview hahaha
    Great !

  • Style Salvage Steve
    October 15th, 2009 at 4:39 am

    You really do have the best DIY projects! So inspiring…I must get off my ass and do some!

  • Mat
    October 15th, 2009 at 4:52 am

    ha this is just great, Dandy's done it again! you are right, copper is underated, i used copper foil for a project at college one time to cover some metal structure thing and the colour was brilliant.

    social eh, well i guess you could hold of to some fancy event happens in your town, or just bust them out when you go to the supermarket, see what reaction you get.

  • chauss
    October 15th, 2009 at 10:13 pm


  • Tom Tuttle from Tacoma
    October 17th, 2009 at 2:24 am

    copper's a unique choice indeed. i gotta agree i'd like the rendered edges instead of the stark straight lines across the toes. curious to see how you'd wear them.

  • up and down town
    October 22nd, 2009 at 8:11 pm

    those shoes are fan-freakin'-tastic!!!!!!

  • myrrh goldframe
    November 1st, 2009 at 1:30 am

    You're Genius. I love this idea!! And i love your blog. <33

  • Noelle Chantal
    November 1st, 2009 at 10:26 pm

    hi Izzy! how have you been? its been ages since my last visit here. been busy lately. i see you have tons of new things going on with you. that's so exciting! its really nice to see your so creative posts again.

    and this DIY project is my most fave of all. yes, you always have the best DIYs! the materials used is so right.

    thanks for sharing this one Izzy!

  • hard liquor; soft holes
    November 2nd, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    that came out REALLY WELL.

  • YekkY
    November 3rd, 2009 at 5:07 am

    WOW! I must admit I am not a fan of glitters…now I am hoarding! I LOVE IT! ;D

  • Lotte
    November 3rd, 2009 at 6:23 pm

    these are effin gorgeous!

  • luxury ties
    November 10th, 2009 at 6:35 am

    Briliant idea!i wouldnt try it cause i would probably make a mess !!!

  • tiltumaria
    November 13th, 2009 at 6:30 am

    wow this is so fabulous and creative! love it!

  • Lola
    November 14th, 2009 at 11:36 am

    They look fantastic! :)

  • Modelizer
    November 22nd, 2009 at 11:11 am

    Fantastic idea! I kind of want to do this to converse or vans [I find both to be really boring but in this case it might work] how are they holding up in terms of not leaving glitter every where you go?

  • Izzy
    November 30th, 2009 at 3:15 pm

    modelizer: I sealed them with a diluted coat of Mod Podge, so the specks of glitter are holding on to the shoe pretty well.

  • Chip
    January 11th, 2010 at 1:45 am

    soooo trying this

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