Saturday, 28 May 2016

D.I.Y: Painting Satin Shoes

This is a bit of a different post, but I painted my best friend's wedding shoes! It was a really fun project (and a little terrifying too) but I'm pretty pleased with the results. My friend had seen lots of custom painted wedding shoes, which all looked really fab, but where oh so expensive. She really like the idea of turning her shoes into something she could keep as a reminder of the day, and it became my bridesmaid duty :) I thought I would share the process as I struggled to find any advice for painting designs onto satin shoes at the time.
-Fabric paint (I used Marabu Textil paint)
-Small paint brushes (I used a size 1, with a size 3 for mixing)
-Tissue paper (for protecting the inside of the shoe)
-White pencil (optional)

I started by talking to my friend about what she wanted. She pinned lots of designs on pintrest, and let me know the colours, text, and sort of designs that she liked. I went away and did some sketches, and then I got the all clear. There's very little room for mistakes when painting so the more you practice what you want to draw before, the better.

Preparing the Shoes 
The shoes I painted were brand new so I didn't have to clean them. If yours aren't definitely clean them first, as there may be grim that stops the paint from absorbing into the fabric. I don't know how to do this, but there are lots of internet guides out there, and dry cleaning shops can often do it for you. I did place a small dot of paint on the shoe where I knew a design of the same colour would go to test if first and make sure the colour didn't bleed. This all went fine so I stuffed the inside of the shoes with tissue paper to protect them when painting.

You can't really draw on satin and remove it so most of the design was painted straight on to the shoe. I did however, sketch on the lettering first to make sure it was spaced correctly and this gave me something to follow. To do this I used a white pencil which only showed up in certain angles. I still had to be very accurate, but it gave me a little more room for error.

In progress: adding shadows to the design 

In progress: adding shadows to the lettering 

I got my fabric paints and went for it! You need to use a dry paint brush or water will cause the paint to bleed across the fabric.This means its quite slow, detailed work, but its all very therapeutic, and I was able to get a good way through my Sherlock Holmes audio book. I started by painting all the designs in a light colours, and I then when back into them and added shadows, and then white highlights.

The paint I used is set (to make it machine washable) by ironing the design through thick fabric. I wasn't going to do this to shoes, and they weren't going to be machine washed, but I did want to make the design as hardy as possible so I used a hairdryer to apply heat to the design instead. This seems to have worked well.

Overall it was a really fun project, and I was so honored to be able to contribute to my friends wedding day in a creative way :) If you have any shoe painting tips do share them in the comments!

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