wearable sculpture + unique fashion

Morgan Culture DIY Tutorial: Cheap UGLY Shoes into HOT Wedding Wedges!

Part of the wedding outfit (unless you’re having a barefoot beach wedding or a ceremony that requires bare feet) is shoes. Experts estimate the average cost of moderately-priced bridal shoes is $100-$250. Even David’s Bridal shoes can run $40-$100, and many couples shopping on a budget might balk at these numbers when they have plenty of perfectly good shoes lying around already.

In my case, though I did have lots of perfectly good ones lying around (ok, probably too many), some of which were quite fancy, I wanted to get more creative with my duds and feel like I’d really chosen and/or made every part of my look.

Cost of this project: Shoes: $14 at Ross; fabric spray paint: $16.50 (used partially); Swarovski crystal appliques: $36. Total: $66.50.

My partner is super-tall, so I wanted to be at least marginally tall- you know, so we’d even end up in the same pictures. We were having

a beach wedding, so my search almost exclusively contained wedges. I knew I could change up the final appearance of the shoes as much as I wanted since I’d read an entire shoe-altering magazine called “Sassy Feet” and since I’d used Simply Spray for so much, so
I started looking for wedding shoes just based on shape. Check out THESE BAD BOYS, which are exactly my size, exactly the massive platform I wanted, and made my long feet look ever so slightly smaller. Also notice: they are HIDEOUS with that floral pattern and floral bow! Remember- we’re only looking for shape here. I tried on every shoe I thought would work for my purposes, despite any issues with its surface design. If you’re following my tutorial, look for a fabric-covered shoe: this method works only on fabric.

First I removed the hideous bows, never to return. They were simply hand-stitched in, so a simple tiny scissor worked.

Then, I taped off the non-fabric parts of the shoe. The top is a faux-suede microfiber material, so I made sure to tape it off tightly. I used old plastic bags (recycle!!) and masking tape for this. I also taped off the bottom lip of the shoes and made sure none of the inside would get painted either.

I painted the flowered part with Simply Spray upholstery paint in grey. I used only two layers, letting them dry in between, and I used barely a fraction of a can. Though I’d planned to cover the flowers entirely, I noticed that having them show through a little in a total grayscale looked really interesting, so I kept it. Make sure you really let the layers dry, as too much wetness can cause the fabric to loosen from the glue on the shoe.

As a final touch to the paint, I added a light layer of Simply Spray silver stencil paint. It was basically like spraying glitter all over them!

Though I was too excited to let the paint dry completely and part of it came off the bag wet and onto the shoes, I was actually able to remove it with “LA’s Totally Awesome Stain Remover” (I know, I know- but I got it at the 99Cent store and it IS AWESOME). You can remove many mistakes, even with fabric dye or paint, from those shoes with this somehow cheap stain remover.

I realized the stitching from the formerly attached terrible bows had left holes/marks on the top fabric of the shoes, and that though the bottom looked awesome, the top wasn’t quite complete yet. Looking through my studio, I found some of the amazing one-of-a-kind Swarovski crystal and natural stone appliques I’d bought. Though it took me a LONG time to choose the ones I wanted, for the tops of the shoes I used a general applique, and for the backs I actually used a neckline applique. Since the neckline one is slightly curved, it fit around the curve of the shoe easily.


These appliques are actually meant to be carefully ironed on to a garment from the inside. I obviously couldn’t iron from the inside of the shoes, so I simply hot-glued the appliques to the shoes with tons of glue. I found it difficult to peel off the glue portions, so I left them on and glued the whole applique on. I actually would *NOT* suggest this method if you plan to use the shoes in any kind of humid weather. Our wedding was in Riviera Maya, Mexico, which was so humid that the iron-on portion (which I had glued) separated from the real applique!! If I’d done it again, I would have removed the iron-on glue from the appliques before putting them on the shoes.

And, without further adieu… the final products! (final images courtesy of Too Much Awesomeness… they are indeed AWESOME, even more so than LA’s Totally Awesome)

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