Sunday, November 6, 2011

Cosplay: DIY Tutorial: Glitter Heels!

When I can’t sleep at night (or more likely the reason I don’t sleep at night), I surf the internet.  Sometimes it’s random you tube videos, sometimes random cosplay tutorials, and sometimes one thing just leads into something completely different that I have never known before.  I like to learn, I like to read, and I can browse the Huffington Post for hours until a subject comes up and start digging into a new topic.  So often I have absolutely no clue how I find the things I do online.  Like last night, why on earth did I wind up watching videos of items being destroyed in a microwave?  It was one topic leading into another.  I have to say the microwave videos are pretty awesome just make sure to turn your volume down at the end because he gets crazy loud in the microphone.  Youtube: Dovetastic

So late Friday night I came across a tutorial for Glitter Heels and after reading it and then watching a few you tube tutorials (all but one were poorly done) I thought this is something I can do this weekend!  Since I don’t have anywhere to wear glitter heels to anytime soon I thought it would be the perfect test run to make Dorothy’s Ruby Slippers!  I don’t have any plans to cosplay Dorothy anytime soon but she is always a possibility.

Oh and this is an EXCELLENT idea for bridesmaids.  If only I had been this crafty last spring when my girlfriend was searching for silver heels!  Silver glitter would have solved that easily.

Materials Needed:
A Pair of Shoes that you don’t mind ruining.  I suggest shoes without embellishments.
Fine or Extra Fine Glitter
Mod Podge in Gloss Lustre
Sand Paper, Sanding Sponge, or an Emery Board
Sponge Brush in small or medium (not bristle brushes)
Matte Clear Acrylic Sealer
  1. Make sure you have a large clean working space that is covered with newspaper or in my case brown bags.  Glitter gets everywhere.  I had it on my face by time I finished. 
  2. Take your shoes and start sanding the areas that will be glittered.  This is to give the Mod Podge extra texture to adhere to.  You don’t need to get to crazy sanding.  I chose to use a sanding sponge because it fits better in my hands, but sanding paper or emery boards can work just as well.
  3. In small sections use your sponge brush to paint and dab on Mod Podge.  Mod Podge takes up to 20 minutes to dry so take your time.
  4. After each small section has been coated in Mod Podge take the glitter shaker and generously sprinkle (or pour) glitter onto the Mod Podge.
  5. Keep repeating steps 3 and 4 until the entire shoe is covered.  For my shoes I started at the toe and worked my way to the back of the shoe.  Then I did the straps and finally the actual heel.  Don’t worry if the glitter is spotty or coated thinly let it be.
  6. Let your shoes dry at least 20 minutes.
  7. Check the shoes for thin spots and start repeating steps 3 and 4 on top of the already adhered glitter.  Make sure to dab the Mod Podge on and not brush.  Just in case the first coat is not completely dry you have less risk of brushing off your first coat.  This is why sponge brushes are a must over a bristle.
  8. Keep repeating this for however many coats you would like.  I felt like more then two coats would not have made a difference but with different colors or textures it might.
  9. After all your coats are done and the Mod Podge has completely dried, take the shoes outside with the arcylic sealer.  Put something on the ground to protect the working area.
  10. Stuff the inside of the shoes with something.  I used plastic shopping bags.  Since I still have some lose glitter inside the shoe I do not want the sealer spraying into the sole and making those loose pieces permanent.
  11. Spray the shoes in a light coat of the sealer.  Make sure to get the inside of the heel.  Do not worry if the glitter looks less glittery right after sprayed.  It’s just wet.
  12. Let your glitter heels dry.  I didn’t take note of how long drying took but it was close to 20 minutes possibly less.

And there you have it GLITTER HEELS! 

Glitter Note:  I chose to use fine glitter because I wanted a seamless shimmer.  I don’t like when each piece of glitter can be seen.  To me glitter should be noticed when the light hits it right.  Just a little extra sparkle.  Larger types of glitter can be used but they will have a more gritty appearance and I assume feel.  It’s also good to mention that I purchased a 130gm bottle and only used about a tablespoon for the entire project.  So you do not need the large bottle as long as you keep funneling the lose glitter back into the bottle.  I did this by shaking the glitter on to the shoes over a paper plate.  You can also create custom colors by mixing different glitters.

Mod Podge Note:  A small bottle of Gloss Lustre is more then enough for this project.  You do not need to purchase any of the fancier varieties of Mod Podge, ie: glitter or shimmer.

Project Cost:

Thrift Store Shoes: $9.99
Martha Stewart Fine Glitter in Garnet: $9.99 with a coupon only $5.99
Mod Podge in Gloss Luster: $6.30
Sanding Sponge: $2.00
Sponge Brushes: $0.00 <= I already owned them but they cost between $.30 and $.60 each
Matte Clear Acrylic Sealer: $0.00 <= I already owned this as well but I imagine it costs $6 a bottle

Total cost for this project: $26.50 (that’s with tax)

This project could have been a little cheaper had I purchased the smaller bottle of glitter and keep in mind this project does not use all of the supplies.  You will have plenty of Mod Podge, glitter, and sealer for future use.  Plus the brushes and sand paper/sponge.

Enjoy and Happy Cosplaying!

My cute thrift store shoes and other materials I purchased

Sanding the shoes

Mod Podge before glittering this section

After glittering the section.  Notice the thin spots, not to worry.

Mod Podging the straps
After the first coat of glitter before glittering the heels
Starting the second coat.  Mod Podge over the glitter
after spraying the sealer.  I did this outside I brought them inside for drying.
All Finished!

This is a great easy one day project!

For more in progress pictures and better photos of the materials visit my album on facebook: Allycat Alisha: Glitter Heels Album

This is the original tutorial that gave me this idea: Glitter Heel Tutorial
And here is the only good youtube tutorial I found: Pink Beauty Bliss: Glitter Heel Tutorial

There are lots of tutorials available online and a did a combination of these two.  In the video she uses Elmers Glue and mixes the glitter with the glue.  This is fine, but you won't be able to save any extra glitter or glue that you don't need.  You will also need to work faster because this glue dries faster.  To apply extra coats you will have to mix a separate batch for each coat.  I also question the durability of Elmer's glue as a fabric glue.  Though I do think the youtube is a good tutorial I might suggest it for shoes that you don't intend to keep or use much of.  I also suggest using a fabric glue or craft glue, not the washable school glue she uses in the tutorial.  All can be found under the Elmer's brand.

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