With glitter shoes and boots being all the rage right now, and DIYs on how to mimic popular (yet expensive) trends, I figured I’d give glittering a pair of boots a shot. At first, I thought about getting a new pair to glitter, but decided I didn’t want to spend a lot of money, and wasn’t able to find anything suitable at the thrift stores. So I turned to my closet, and dug through my 70-something pairs of shoes and found these cowgirl-inspired boots, which would be perfect. I picked them up at Forever21 for around $18 about a year ago, and while I wore them a decent amount, I figured it was time to give them a facelift. I’m working on not wearing as much black as I used to, and decided adding a little sparkle to an otherwise plain black boot was a step in the right direction. And it turns out, the straps around the ankles were removable!
Once I got my glitter and decided what colors I wanted to add to my boots, I masked off the area that I wanted to glitter. I also tucked the ends of the non-removable straps back into themselves. This way, I didn’t have to worry about being perfectly neat with my application. I also took a few minutes to brush them off (just with my hands) and remove any fuzz or dog hair I could see, just because I didn’t want to have to worry about it affecting the glittery goodness.
As you can see, I actually brought the masking tape down into the inside of the boot, to cover the part of the front that stuck up a bit. I wanted to make sure I didn’t get any glitter on that front part at all.
Once I was done masking, I mixed my glitter with Aleene’s Permanent Fabric Glue. Since the boots were faux suede, I figured fabric glue would be a better starting point than Mod Podge, and I knew I wanted to mix glitter with the glue instead of just doing the spread glue-apply-glitter method. Not only is it neater from a crafting standpoint, but I figured sealing the glitter in directly with the glue would result in less fallout as I wore them.
I mixed 3 different types of Tulip brand Fashion Glitter together: a silver, a coppery color, and a fine silver holographic (this shimmers rainbow!). It wasn’t a very exact process, and I just kind of added glitter and stirred until I felt it looked pretty (and then added more, at the urging of Christin). I mixed the glitter together in a small plastic pot that came with a cover, so that I could cover it and not worry about it drying out between coats (which ended up not being an issue, since I had very little left after doing both boots and just washed out the container). I did make sure to make more than I thought I’d need, because I didn’t want to have to try and mix up the same mixture of colors if I ran out. I wanted the amount of glitter and the colors to be the same on both boots.
Once the glitter was mixed up I started painting. I used a smaller, angled brush for the edges, and then filled in with the biggest brush I had. It took almost no time at all, and I was able to watch TV while painting. I did one coat on each boot and let them dry overnight.
As you can see, my single-coat coverage was pretty good. But that’s because Christin kept yelling “MOAR GLITTER!” as I daintily dumped glitter into the mixing pot. Had I gone with my initial instinct, I’d have most likely had to have done 3 coats to get this coverage. The lesson? When it doubt, MOAR GLITTER!!
I then applied a second coat, mixing a fresh batch of the same 3 glitter colors. Again, not a real exact process, and I made sure that I’d have enough to do both shoes so that the colors were the same on both boots. I left the masking tape where it was and let them dry again for a couple days. After a couple days, I sealed them with one coat of Satin finish Mod Podge, letting them dry (again) for a couple days. Once they were completely dry, I carefully removed the tape and re-wrapped the straps around them, buckling them up like they were when I got them.
I’ve only worn them once since I made them, but I got a lot of complements! And I’ve had absolutely zero glitter fallout too, which is awesome (especially because my husband threatened swift removal of glitter-shedding items from the house). I’m super happy with the way they turned out, and plan on rocking them more in spring, when there’s less threat of salt-damage (we’re finally getting some real winter weather here). As I wear them more, I’ll be interested to see in how they hold up otherwise, because I couldn’t find a single tutorial that had a followup regarding wear and tear on glittered items.
All in all, I spent about $17 on the glitter, glue and Mod Podge, and have plenty left over for other projects (and oh, have there been other projects!), so this wasn’t a very money-intense project either. Yay!
Overall, I’m really glad I decided to bite the bullet and glitter the backs of these boots. I love the way they look with the strap running across the back, and how the sparkle is subtle but still there. They’re no longer just a plain pair of cowgirl-inspired boots. Now they’re unique and something no one else has! If you’ve got a pair of boots or heels you’re looking to give a little extra oomph too, this might just be the project for you!
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Here are some other glitter DIYs for shoes, if you’re interested in giving this project a shot. I used them all for inspiration and technique ideas when doing my boots. They also show a few different places to apply glitter, such as the heel or the sole of a high heel!
- This Is Glamorous: Style Inspiration: Glitter Ankle Boots + How To
- Restyle, Restore, Rejoice: DIY Glitter Pumps
- Wobisobi: Project Re-Style #47 Glitter Heel Fix
- Annie Spandex: How to Cover Your Shoes in Glitter Without Making a Mess
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