Back in the day of the dinosaurs, well maybe not that far, but close, wedding shoes for the bride and wedding party were basically dyed to match monstrosities. Many of them were low, squared off looking heels with equally squared off toes. Bridesmaids' shoes were dyed in colors like seafoam green and aqua to match their equally hideous chiffon or taffeta uninspired frocks. The bride always wore white or ivory shoes, mostly white since very few brides wore ivory unless it was a second wedding or the bride was of, ahem, questionable reputation. As far as shoes showing up in wedding pictures, unless you consider the toes showing up, shoes were not exactly the stars of the show.
Fortunately for shoe lovers everywhere, big name shoe designers began rising from the depths of wedding shoe mediocrity and bringing joy to brides and bridesmaids everywhere. With designers like Jimmy Choo, Christian Louboutin, Manolo, and other amazing shoe artisans, showing your shoes in your wedding pics has become as common as showing your garter during the garter toss. Brides are blinging, pimping, and "strassing" their shoes and wearing...gasp...brightly colored shoes underneath their gorgeous gowns, even lifting their skirts to reveal sneakers, adorable flip flops, and cowboy boots. You really don't have to spend a small fortune on expensive shoes for your wedding to get a designer look or to make your wedding shoes picture worthy. Read on for 10 super amazing ways to make those tootsie covers one of the highlights of your wedding!
Sequins For The Soles Of Your Shoes
(1) "Strass" Your Shoes
For those of you who don't know about strassing yet, strassing is simply (or maybe not so simply) taking a shoe and blinging it out with crystals, preferably expensive ones like Swarovskis. How did decorating shoes with crystals get to be called "Strass-ing?" Well, simply put, Samira Strass is a high heel pump in Christian Louboutin's line that is absolutely covered in Aurora Boreale crystals.You could go the easy route and buy this pre-Strassed version of Christian Louboutins for a mere $6395 or you could decide not to spend the equivalent of a used car on your wedding shoes and bling them out yourself instead.
You'll need crystals, lots of them. Although you can buy them at places like Hobby Lobby or Michael's, it would be extremely expensive since the crystals (called AB crystals) aren't sold in very large packages and they're not cheap. Try Ebay or other online sources to buy the crystals in bulk. The 5mm size is a good size, not too big, but not so small it's impossible to handle them. You'll also needs a strong craft glue like Gem Tac, E6000 and some sort of applicator. They actually do make an applicator that looks like a bent syringe, but you can use a toothpick in a pinch. A small dowel with one end tipped in wax comes in handy for picking up the crystals or there's a really handy too called a jewel setter that you can use to pick up each stone and set it in place. You need a lot of time to do this one, so don't rush. However, the end result is nothing short of amazing! If you get a little glue on your rhinestones, dip a Q-tip in nail polish remover and very carefully rub it off. Seal your shoes with some cheap unscented hair spray to set the stones and voila, you have your very own Samira Strass's! Now show those shiny shoes!
DIY "Strassed" Shoes
(2) Shoe Stickers
Not so amazingly with the shoe bling-out craze, some enterprising people have come up with some handy things called shoe stickers that are basically sticky back paper which you can put on the soles of your shoes. They come in adorable prints like polka dots and stripes, even leopard and zebra prints. However, what is sticky back paper in the World of The Real? It's called contact paper, people, and you can buy it practically everywhere in lots of different prints. You can even find it online in even cooler prints like the ever popular damask or in chalkboard, so you can write fun messages on the soles of your shoes. With one roll for about $12-$15, you can do the bottoms of the shoes of your entire wedding party! All you have to do is take a pair of either brand new shoes or clean the soles of some old ones thoroughly and stick the paper to the soles. Place your shoe on top of the paper and draw a rouch outline of the bottom. It doesn't have to be perfect, because you can go back and trim later. Start at one end of the sole and stick the paper to the sole. You want to kind of work slowly pulling off a little of the backing paper at a time, so you won't get bad bubbles. Use an old credit card or popsicle stick as you go to make sure it's sticking well and press out bubbles. Trim any bad edges with an X-Acto knife. There you have it, fun prints on the soles of your shoes that everyone can see as you are kicking up your heels at your reception!
Is It Christian Louboutin Or Is It Contact Paper...Hmmmm
(3) Just Add Glitter
This one's pretty straightforward, albeit a little messy. Well, OK, a lot messy, but the effect is amazing! Just take your shoes and for this bling-out, they can be a pair of old and scuffed ones where you love the style and they are nice and broken in, but have seen better days. You're about to fix that! Take some super fine glitter in the color of your choosing, you could even mix a couple of colors to get the color you want, and some Spray Mount or Elmer's glue. Thin the glue down a little if you are using white glue and brush it on with a flat paintbrush to get it easily. If you leave glops, guess what, your shoes will have glops...not pretty! Pour your glitter onto a plate or into a small bowl and using your fingers starting patting it carefully into place. Work in small sections at a time or the glue will dry before you can get to it. With spray glue, this is best done outdoors or on top of a sheet or tarp, because spray glue has a tremendous overspray that you will be finding on you, your countertops, your floor, etc., for a long time if you're not careful! Spray the glue on your shoe according to directions on the can and begin sprinkling a light coat of glitter until you don't see the original surface anymore. The good part about spray glue is you can continue spraying over what you just glued to cover any places you might have missed. When finished, let dry for 24 hours and go back with some cheap hairspray (remember Aqua Net?), and lightly dust your shoes with it to seal the glitter. Some brides only do the soles, some only the heels. Whichever you choose to do, your glittery masterpieces will be the talk of your guests and will make for some amazing pictures!
(4) Spray Paint Your Shoes?
Maybe you've found the perfect pairs of shoes, so comfortable, and you love the style. They could already be in your closet right now! But sadly, they're the wrong color for the look you're after for your wedding. Don't despair, DIY Bride! Get thee to Wal-mart , Home Depot, or Lowe's and look over their vast array of spray paint. You're sure to find something you love. They even have metallics, stone look, and mirror finish if you're really adventurous. Just make sure you tape off all the areas of your shoe you don't want the paint to touch, stuff newspaper inside your shoes, and spray in a well-ventilated area. Wear gloves to protect your manicure form overspray. It's amazing how well spray paint adheres to shoes and if you ever get a scuff, you've got a whole can of touch-up at your fingertips!
A Little Spray Paint Can Change Your Life!
(5) Be An Artist! Handpaint Your Shoes!
This technique can take a little talent, so for the hopelessly non-artistically gifted folks out there, pass this one along to a friend who can share your vision, just not your lack of talent! If you are using an old pair of shoes and want the base color changed first, use spray paint as pictured in #4 above to change the color. Allow to dry before starting your masterpiece. You can use inexpensive acrylic craft paint for this project and some thin paint brushes. You might want to play with your design a little on paper with colored pencils before you start painting on your shoes. If you're having a Day Of The Dead theme wedding, study some Day of The Dead or some Ed Hardy artwork. You can even lightly sketch your design on your shoes before you begin painting, so you won't get completely off track. Paint your design and spray with a good, non-yellowing sealer. Voila...original artwork...for the feet!
(6) Add Some Beautiful Shoe Clips
Yes, you can buy beautiful shoe clips all day long, but where's the adventure in that? Why not design your own shoe clips? You'll need metal shoe clips, some strong glue like E6000 that will work on metal, ribbon, feathers, buttons, bubble gum machine toys (!), literally whatever strikes your fancy. Decide on your design before beginning to glue. Use a toothpick to dab glue and place items or you will have some very messy and smelly fingers. Use this glue in a well-ventilated area, because brides who have inhaled E-6000 have been known to do some even stranger than normal things! Once you have completed gluing, let your new shoe clips dry for 24 hours. Don't overlook the idea that you can clip your new decorations on other parts of your shoe other than just the middle front! Try the back or to be really unique, the side.
(7) Decorate With Lace
Lovely lace is one of my favorites and couldn't be much easier to apply. You'll need bits of many different kinds of lace to match your dress, white or ivory, and some white glue, as well as some scissors and a sponge brush. Just remember how you used to make collages back in your elementary school days, and brush on a layer of glue and apply a piece of lace. Continue on applying pieces of lace, overlapping them or butting the edges up together until the entire shoe is covered. Let dry for 24 hours and coat with a craft sealer like Mod Podge. Mod Podge will give the lace a hard clear coat once it dries and keep your lace from falling off, as well as smooth down the edges of the lace pieces. The result is so elegant and if you're really inspired, you can add tiny pearls or sequins here and there to really dress them up.
(8) Embellish Your Wedding Shoes With Ribbon
Another method that is just beyond crazy-easy is decorating your shoes with ribbon. Suppose you already have some basic peep toe shoes that just needs a little something to give them some zing. What do you say about finding some wired ribbon and looping it around the front of the shoes just below the peep toe and making your plain, ordinary shoes one-of-a-kind with a big ribbon bow? You'll need wired ribbon and some scissors and that's it. Seriously, when I said this was a crazy-easy project, I wasn't joking! Wired ribbon is the coolest thing every invented as far as crafts go, because once you make a bow with it, it will hold it's shape forever with a little fluffing. And it comes in so may amazing colors and prints and even sheer looking organza which makes it perfect for wedding shoes. You can use double stick tape or some glue dots to keep your bow in place.
Make A Removable Fabric Bow For Your Shoes
(9) Sole Autographs, An Old Custom
A fun custom which actually comes originally from Turkey, has to do with your bridesmaids, but can be extended to include all the unmarried female guests at the wedding. Simply have the women sign their names to the bottoms of your shoes with Sharpie marker before the festivities get underway at the reception. After you've danced the night away and before you do your get-away, look at the bottom of your shoes. Legend has it that the name of the girl that has rubbed away the most will be the next one to be married...cute, huh?
(10) Flirty Wedding Flipflops
Suppose the thought of spending several hours in three - five inch heels sounds about as appealing as spending your honeymoon with your parents. Or maybe you arenot really the high heel kind of girl and would rather be in your Rainbows or Converse All Stars than any fancy Jimmy Choos? Just get a pair of white or ivory flipflops and some glue, again the E-6000, yes, I know it's smelly, but it truly works, and some pretty lace. If you're in a rush, and what bride isn't, you can buy some pre-beaded lace and simply glue it to the straps. Add a pretty jeweled button in the center where the straps meet or a gorgeous little silk flower. Don't forget to add a little bling to the soles if you have bought the flip flops with the thicker soles, by adding rhinestones to them. There now, don't your feet feel so much better than they would squeezed up into a point in those roach killers all night?
And That Is 10!
Although there are ten ideas here for how to bling out your wedding shoes, there are countless others to do. You're limited only by your imagination and your stock of E-6000!
agentmomo from South Carolina, USA on October 10, 2013:
DIYweddingplanner (author) from South Carolina, USA on April 03, 2012:
DIYDiva, that's a new one on me...a posiible hub, maybe? :)
Kay Mitchell from California on April 02, 2012:
I've also seen women use nail polish to create louboutin look
DIYweddingplanner (author) from South Carolina, USA on March 02, 2012:
Thanks, RC. You know we women love our shoes and once you find a pair that fits right and doesn't hurt your feet, we hate to throw them out! This will give some new life to everyone's shoes!
Rose Clearfield from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on March 02, 2012:
Great suggestions! This is perfect for brides to be, bridesmaids, and any women who just want to add something different to their shoes.
DIYweddingplanner (author) from South Carolina, USA on March 02, 2012:
Thanks, CraftyMom. I've actually used a lot of these for Halloween costumes and in a pinch, spray painted some scuffed up boots I wanted to wear to work!
shesacraftymom on March 02, 2012:
This is so creative! I love the hand painted idea, autographs and the strassing. I'm already married, but I will find a way to use at least one of these!