Sunday, 11 May 2014

Upcycled Alice In Wonderland Shoes

Alice In Wonderland Shoes - Up cycling Project

My friends daughter approached me and asked me to make some shoes for her 21st birthday party! So I'm going to talk you through how i did them! Although I didn't realise i was going to do a tutorial till after finishing them, so the photos aren't very expressive, but I hope they tell enough of the story!

She was in love with a pair of Nicolas Kirkwood shoes but of course, budget was an issue so we created a homage to his wonderful pair of shoes with a bit of a Gemzie twist!
Nicholas Kirkwood Alice In Wonderland Shoes

Now, not only are these shoes GORGEOUS, they are also a little impractical to wear and are considered as art rather than fashion! Although I think the 2 categories do combine quite well! So i took these shoes as inspiration and made a pair that she could wear for her 21st birthday.

Here Goes!

Firstly, I got her to find me a pair of shoes that she found the most comfortable to wear. Personally i prefer wedges but they are her shoes after all! She chose these size 4 black velvet shoes.
I was a little concerned as i wasn't sure if Mod Podge was going to stick to the velvet... but it does!

On the original shoes, they seem to be made with a beautiful silk floral material.. I didn't have any of that! I did try to glue some satin to the shoes but this REALLY didn't work! So decided to improvise with an old Alice In Wonderland book! 

I used matt Mod Podge to glue the paper to the shoes. The shoes weren't very bendy to start with, but I sanded the paper back with fine grade sandpaper just enough to thin the coating and blend the edges, but not enough to lose the text.
 I then needed to paint the heels. I have discovered a paint called Giotto! It basically sticks to everything, BUT it takes a few coats to get a solid colour and it dries shiny! Bear this in mind when you are designing your shoes.
I used masking tape to create the checker board pattern. Wasn't overly impressed with how the edges turned out, i think it was because i'm hugely impatient and blobed the paint on quite thick!So ... dont do that, build it up in thin layers.

Next i wanted to add some height to the shoes. The design requires a bit of height to balance out the large elements on the shoe. I did this by making a card template and mod podged some book pages onto felt, then using the template cut out my shape.

To glue it onto the shoe, I used 2-part epoxy resin and put it into place with clothes pegs. I left it to dry over night.

I then got a bit carried away with the creative process so the pictures aren't as detailed (Sorry!!) I then used the Giotto paint to make a think blue wash. Its consistancy was almost coloured water. Build it up in layers until you reach the desired colour. Its best to do it in thin layers, it is less likely to crack off when worn.

As for decorations, i found some silk flowers and stripped the leaf layers off of the plastic form. Then i sewed them onto a felt circle. I then stripped petals from the flower and sewed them onto the leaf base. I glued them onto the shoe with 2-part epoxy resin.

As for other decorations i drilled holes into the shoes and sewed them all on. Try to keep the knots on the outside to minimise discomfort to the shoe wearer! I also glued ribbon onto the heels to cover up my wafty edges and painted the soles with modpodge and red glitter.
So here are the finished shoes! If you have any questions please feel free to ask me in the comments section! Thanks for reading this far!

Would love to know what you think! This is my first tutorial so be gentle!

Thursday, 24 April 2014

New Range Of Personalised Jewellery

Recently at Gemzie's, we have introduced a range of personalised jewellery! We discovered the wonder of hand stamping! Its a wonderful way to express meanings and sayings without the expense of an engraving machine! We would love to know what you think! We will also be posting some tips and tricks once we get the hang of it!

Hand stamped with your own message

Welcome to our new blog!


We have recently updated our website and have decided to go for a new look blog too! On our website we have a dedicated jewellery Blog but we felt that this was quite limiting! We will be updating this blog with our new items and ranges of jewellery, but we will also be telling you about our other craft projects that friends have commissioned us to do and my work as a scenic artist.