DIY Strass Louboutins Project, Part I

For the first post of the new year, I’ve decided to share my loves with you all.

The first love, of course, being fashion. My second (though more actually a sub-category of the first), shoes. And lastly, photography (which was the reason for the blog re-vamp to begin with, if you recall).

It’s time to be completely cliche and pop in a quote that has been inspiring this month (and oh yes, my friends, it is from none other than fashion-girl-cliche-idol: Marilyn Monroe). It’s okay if you need to roll your eyes.

Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world.
Marilyn Monroe

Ahh, Miss Marilyn. She rarely lets us down, amirite?! With that quote in mind (and my 13th wedding anniversary around the corner), I set out to create a pair of unforgettable shoes to wear to our anniversary dinner. I, like most women in the world, have vied for a pair of strassed Louboutins. All heels and red soles and crystal encrusted glory. But no matter how much money I ever make in my lifetime, nothing will bring me to spend that much on shoes (now, bags on the other hand are a completely different story…)

christianlouboutin-daffodilestrass160-1110903_cn06_1_1200x1200_3

I digress.
Armed with my credit card and Google, I set out for the tools. A perfect match to the red  paint used on the famous sole, some glue that would withstand the apocalypse and roughly ten thousand teensy-tiny-itty-bitty resin crystals. Going with resin on this first project was a strategic choice – if I screwed up, I would only be out about $35, plus the shoes. There are various types of crystals: Swarovski being the best known (and naturally the most expensive), Czech Presiosa, a few domestic brands that mimic the Czech ones, glass and finally acrylic/resin. Each bringing it’s own level of spanglyness to your project. Once everything arrived in the mail, I set out to work.

*This post will cover part 1, which is painting the soles. For more info on the actual strassing portion, check out DIY Strass Louboutins Project, Part II. 

Step One: Gather your materials.

I ordered crystals from Bling Gasm, roughly 3000 of each size: 2mm, 3mm, 4mm, 5mm. I used nearly all of the 3mm, and had plenty of 2, 4 and 5 left over, with a massive surplus of 5. I would order roughly 300-400 of the 5mm next time, and about 1500 of the 2mm and 4mm.
The glue is E-6000, which I selected after much online research. I picked up a 2oz tube at Target for around $5. You can also get it at Walmart and Michaels.
The red paint is from Angelus, which I sourced via Amazon, for roughly $10. You’ll also need a paintbrush.
Next, you’ll need household items, a paper plate to put your crystals on, a pair of tweezers, a boat load of movies or a TV series you’ve been meaning to get in to (I would suggest the Walking Dead – or if you’re feeling vintage, Perfect Strangers – Cousin Larry Appleton!) and finally, your shoes.

Step Two: Painting The Soles Red

The first step was to paint the soles. I cleared off the back porch table and set down some snail mail spam (thanks for the coupons, Little Ceasar’s!). Next I used some rubbing alcohol to clean the soles. This is SO important! Just grab some tissue paper and rubbing alcohol and get to work making them as clean as possible so the red paint will be as pure as possible. Then, tape off the sides (I didn’t do this, and I had a mess to clean up!) with blue painters tape. Then, grab your paintbrush and get to work! You’ll want to take your time, making long clean strokes with the red, all over the sole – don’t forget the heel! Do two coats, wait for them to dry (overnight is the best idea here) and then the next morning, do another two if you need it.

TIP: This will produce best results on NUDE soles. Black soled work okay – but would definitely be better with a primer. How do I know this? Well…

strass-part1-redsole2

I mayyy or may not have gone red-sole crazy on a bunch of shoes. But they turned out gorgeous and best on my Ann Taylors with the nude soles.

Next up! Strassing!