How To: Glitter shoes

March 31, 2012

I've had this project planned for months and I've just had the materials lying around since January but it wasn't until this week that I got around to it. University work and a lack of furniture is to blame. I've already seen a few tutorials on the web for glitterizing, as it were, shoes of various kinds but I thought I might share my spin, I've documented a few variations on applying glitter, choose whichever suits your needs. Plus, this sets a good precedent for documenting projects in the future. I hope someone finds this useful.


You will need:
  • Shoes
  • PVA/White glue (I hear modpodge works well, though I've never used it)
  • Glitter
  • Paintbrush
  • (Optional) A pen or pencil or other writing implement
  • (Optional) Glitter glue
  • (Optional) Painter's tape
Step 1: Preparing shoe for glitterizing

Remove anything attached to the shoe that you don't want covered in glitter. My shoes had horrible bows on them and I didn't want them, so I just tore them off. If any of the attachments are sewn, use scissors to cut the thread. Also make sure to remove any laces. If at this point there are any of the parts of the shoe you don't want covered in glitter that can't be removed, such as the heel, cover these parts in tape.

Step 2: Draw on any details

My shoes looked a little plain so I decided to give them toecaps, for this I just drew an approximate curve along the front of the shoes. You can add wingtips or stripes or any other pattern, as you wish. If you're super neat you can then tape off the sections to be done in another colour of glitter so that the glitter doesn't go over the line. Taping means a neater line and more defined sections but it works fine without it too. Tip: If you're working with multicoloured glitter and then a single coloured glitter like I did, use the multicoloured glitter first to avoid getting multicoloured glitter in the second portions, it's okay if you get single colour glitter in the multicolour though, because it's just one of the many colours.

Step 3: Glitterize!

Mix some glue: I decided to mix some glitter into my glue before applying, just to increase the coverage. This   isn't necessary. Also, make sure to test any mysterious glitter glue before using, mine turned out to be very slow drying so I decided to stick to plain ol' PVA for the shoe painting. 

Method One
Mix some PVA and glitter, make a small quantity to begin with - you can always make more - then paint it onto the shoe. This method gives and light coverage, depending on the glitter:glue ratio. If you want full coverage you'll need to make several coats and you must wait for each coat to dry before moving onto the next. This method would look great with silver glitter on black shoes, a galaxy effect without covering entirely.

Method Two
Squeeze a little glue onto the shoe and then spread it thinly across the shoe with a paintbrush. Then, making sure you're floor/table is covered, dump some glitter straight onto the gluey area. Shake vigorously to remove excess glitter and then let continue with other sections of the shoe. This method gives the fastest results but it's the messiest and it can lead to small bald patches, these can be fixed by waiting for the glue to dry entirely and then putting a dab of glue on the bald spot and dabbing glitter onto that spot, à la method three.

Method Three
Glue up the shoe as in method Two. Then load up the paint brush with loose glitter and pat it onto the gluey bit of the shoe. Once one section of the shoe is entirely glittered, move on to the next. This method is faster than One because it gives better coverage but less messy then method Two because the application of glitter is controlled. I found that this method worked best for me but there were still some bald patches when all the glue dried, this was fixed in the same was as method Two. I recommend this method of achieving full coverage quickly, it also works best if you're working with areas of different glitter colours, to prevent mixing.

Step 4: Top coat of glue

To seal the glitter and prevent it knocking off easily, paint over a top coat of glue. Squeeze glue straight onto the shoe or onto something else and then spread a very thin layer onto the glitter. You can also use any form of spray sealant that you like but I just had glue on hand.

Step 5: Allow to dry

Could be somewhere sunny, but it doesn't have to be.

Step 6: Wear with pride!

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  1. looks so fun! love how they turned out!

  2. These are amazing! Beautiful tutorial. :)

  3. Aww, the shoes are so pretty! ♥ I'll definitely have to try it sometime soon! And I adore your dress by the way! :3

  4. They look so so great! Great job you did ;)

  5. cute dress!

  6. Great tutorial. I love your dress and all your photos! I'm a new follower. :)


  7. Woohoo! Glad to see you doing a DIY post <3 Great results here, I'm impressed by how solid the glitter looks. Did you know you can buy a can of spray-on glitter? I just got some, I'll let you know if it works :)

  8. Great tutorial! :)


  9. such a creative idea! love the result :)


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