I've mentioned before that my best friend Susan and I like to do crafternoons and try new crafts. It started with my hen do, when we all spent a very enjoyable afternoon making paper flowers, which then adorned the chairs at our reception.
Well, it's her birthday this month and mine next, and a post I chanced to see on Facebook led me back to the page of the lovely lady who ran that hen do crafternoon, Claire Mackaness, and the perfect craft for us to celebrate with; Comic Book Shoes.
This one required a bit of preparation to find the materials. I got the shoes on sale for £9 (bargain - they only had one pair in my size otherwise I'd have got more!) then headed for a comic book shop. I think the guy there was quite upset at the idea of cutting them up (hubby wasn't particularly happy either) but they both helped me find a few - including 3 for free - that might be suitable.
So yesterday we headed over to Brentwood to Claire's studio.
The process is basically decoupage. Having said a few weeks ago that I hadn't tried the dedicated decoupage glue/varnish, yesterday I did. Although this itself was a stand in for mod podge, which Claire would usually use. It's a lot thicker and quicker drying than the PVA and water I'm used to. But it reduces the bubbling, so I think is particularly suitable for use with thicker papers.
We first went through the comics to cut out specific images we liked and wanted to use. Having seen "The Force Awakens" last week, I went for the Droids magazine - plus C3PO's gold colour matched my shoes!
We then cut some pages into random small squares for the background. These we applied to cover the whole of the body of the shoe. The glue went onto the shoe first, then the square of paper, then another layer to seal the square down. The glue softens the paper a bit so it curves with the shoe, although some areas were a bit trickier and required much smaller pieces. And some pieces of paper just refused to stick for no apparent reason!
I didn't think to take photos of the shoes before I started, but here's one partially covered.
This is what they looked like with the background layer complete.
I've glossed over the process a bit - this took us at least three hours to do!
The next stage was to place the images we'd selected over the background, again applying glue under and over the paper. This went relatively quickly, although you could take ages deciding on the layout you want.
And, with a short drying time, my shoes were finished!
I'm so pleased with these - so here are lots of pictures showing them off!
The glue doubles as a varnish, giving a slightly glossy finish. We could add a coat of yacht varnish to make them splash resistant as well.
|(Must take the stickers off the soles!|
You can also get glue/varnishes with sparkle in, which would give a slightly different look.
There's enough flex in the glue/varnish that they feel like normal shoes to wear, although they probably won't stand up to too much wear.
The odd crack etc could be covered by adding another piece of paper with the glue.
There's also the option to add glitter to the heels and/or strap - I haven't decided whether I'm going to try this.
And here are Susan's Catwoman shoes - how gorgeous! I love the colours, and the speech bubbles she's added to them.
She's planning to wear these on the school run this week!
I'm definitely on the look out for an occasion to wear mine - my days of heels everyday are behind me!
But I am keen to try another pair - more practical flats or a low heel this time - after all I have 4 comics untouched, as well as some of the droid one left.
You could use all kinds of papers. Another woman at the workshop used magazine cuttings, which looked amazing, or wrapping paper, or even decoupage papers!
I wish I'd seen this technique before I got married, as this would be an amazing way to make bespoke wedding shoes.
And of course, the technique isn't restricted to shoes - I have quite a collection of items to be decoupaged that I haven't got around to yet, so maybe I shouldn't get carried away, but this does open up the possibilities.