Pop quiz! What's the difference between this...
If you said $275, you are correct! But if you said "glitter" or "pink bows" then you are also correct!
Sometime around the age of ten, I received a large jar of multi-colored glitter. Looking back, this simple object became the hallmark of my young life. I loved crafts and if there was any way to include rhinestones or glitter then all the better. Between ages 11 and 16, one of my favorite things to do was spend lazy summer afternoons adding glitz to t-shirts collected at dance competitions and sporting events. On my first day of high school in August 2000, I wore my student council t-shirt. I was certainly the sparkliest student council member wandering around the building that day. (In case you don't believe me, come over and I'll show you the shirt. It's still in my closet, still full of glitter.)
When I stumbled upon a blog post by the girls of "We are Not Martha" about how to make your own glitter flats, I was fixated. I left work promptly at 5:45 to head to Target and find a cheap pair of flats. Fortunately Target is next to Michael's, where I purchased glitter (yes I have glitter at home, but any excuse to buy more still makes my heart beat fast), Krylon acrylic sealant, and a foam brush.
Everyone who knows me well knows that I love glitter. When I revealed my latest project to my Dad, he literally said "I can hear the excitement in your voice you when you talk about glitter!" While he has always been a good sport about my affinity for glitter, I could hear the relief in his voice that I would be all the way in California this time. I'm 100% sure that there is glitter still wedged in the basement carpet thanks to some of my past pursuits...
I started by using PVA (polyvinyl acetate) adhesive. I've had a jar of this around for a couple of years and while it is sold at Paper Source as a book binding material, the reality is that it's purposes are many. If you want to make your own glitter flats and you don't have a Paper Source store in your city, most craft or hardware stores sell Modge Podge (which is also PVA). I blended 9 colors of glitter with a small amount of PVA in a plastic cup (easy clean up later - just throw it away!).
I covered my desk in the Wall Street Journal and got down to painting glitter glue on my shoes. My 12-year old self was so so so happy! I ended up using about 3 and a half coats. I put two of the coats on before falling asleep around midnight. (Bonus: I woke up so excited to see how the first two layers dried, I felt like a kid on Christmas bouncing out of bed at 7:30 am). This morning I added another thick coat and then another half coat filling in any places that seemed uneven. If making glitter flats in one session you could probably get by with three coats in 30 minute intervals. The PVA is white (like glue) but will dry clear.
Here's what the shoes will look like when the final coat of PVA dries! Now head outside with the acrylic finishing spray to give the shoes a final gloss. (Think of it like top coat for your mani-pedi!) PVA dries a bit rubbery so the top coat is important to make the shoes a a bit smoother. The acrylic layer should dry quickly. I put tissue inside the shoes when I sprayed them to make sure the acrylic only coated the outside of the shoes.
But we're not quite done. Now it's bow-making time...
I used some beautiful fuschia colored satin ribbon from Paper Source. After looping the ribbon to make a double bow, I stitched it together. Then I used another small piece of ribbon to cover the stitching and to secure the bow. I also used a small button (lips facing out) to secure the back. It was a bit tricky to stitch the button on without going through the top layer of ribbon but no one ever said arts and crafts were easy! Having the button on the back side allowed me to use a nice dot of PVA to tack it on top of the shoe.
Now leave your bows to dry for several hours. You're finished!
I am extremely satisfied with my new shoes! I can't wait to wear them to the office on Monday. I spent $10 for the shoes, $0.39 for the foam brush, $12.99 for a 12-pack of glitter, $7.95 for the ribbon, and $6.99 for the acrylic spray. I already had buttons and PVA. Not the cheapest project ever, but much cheaper than spending $285 to buy the Kate Spade "nell" glitter flats at Nordstroms! Plus, I have enough glitter and ribbon to make potentially 6-8 more pairs of shoes. Not that I need that many pairs of glitter flats, but if you'd like to pay me to make you some... leave a comment with your e-mail address and we can negotiate :-)
I'd say Operation Sparkle was officially a success! Now go forth and glitter!
Pop quiz! What's the difference between this...