When I first saw cap toe pumps, I knew I wanted a pair. But before I could buy new shoes, I had to go through my closet and purge–I had to get rid of wasn’t being worn before any new stuff could come in! When I went though my shoes I realized I had three pairs of plain black pumps, two of which were pointy toe versions, and I knew I could just make a pair. So that’s what I did. Here’s a step-by-step.
Measure Twice, Tape Once
I chose shoes I had–black suede Nine West pumps (a $14.99 TJ Maxx impulse buy)–for this project. After making my glitter boots and wearing them awhile, I figured the suede would take the paint better, and I wouldn’t have to worry about peeling or flaking as the shoe flexed. If you don’t have a pair, Steve Madden has a couple options that could work (and bonus, they’re on sale), along with these flats, if heels aren’t your thing.
Using my grandma’s old sewing tape measure (though any one will do just fine), I measured from the point of the shoe to about where I wanted my cap to begin. To make sure I was doing it even, I started my tape measure at the very bottom of the point, lined up with the sole. I made a faint mark with white tailor’s chalk on each shoe, which is easily rubbed off when everything is done. Then I measured from the top of the shoe to my mark, to make sure they were even on both shoes. Where you make your mark, and the size of your cap, is ultimately up to you. Just make sure you’re happy with it, because you can’t undo it once it’s painted, and if you paint over it you may have a line where the original cap was, which won’t look good.
Once I was satisfied with the size of my cap, I used painter’s tape to mask off the area I was going to paint. I did quite a few layers and made sure the tape wrapped all the way around the sole of the shoe. I didn’t cover the whole shoe, since I was brushing on my paint. If you’re going to spray, use plastic bags to cover your shoes, and tape them down at the front.
Mix It Up
At this point, I thought about color. While I liked the idea of gold, it seemed a little plain to me. Silver was too similar to my glitter boots (though the shoes won’t necessarily be worn in the same situations, I like diversity). I looked at my paint selection and decided for a rose-gold color. Rose gold is really trendy right now, and I love it, so why not, right? Right! I started mixing, using an iridescent copper puffy fabric paint, silver and hot pink fabric paints, pale pink all-purpose paint, and gold acrylic paint, which were all paints I already had (silver and hot pink courtesy of Plaid Crafts).
Paint, Paint, Paint
Once I was satisfied with the color (which I did compare to my rose gold watch), I started painting. I didn’t bother masking off the sole of my shoe, and just painted right down onto it. I figured it would wear off eventually, and no one would really see it anyway. I have a nifty Mod Podge Silicone Craft Mat (thanks again to Plaid Crafts) which meant I didn’t have to worry about paint getting all over my work surface or paper sticking to wet paint. I highly suggest picking one up, but if you can’t, newspaper is fine… though you may want to mask off the bottoms of your shoes so if the paper does stick you’re not stuck trying to cut it away.
I did a total of 4 coats of paint, letting each one dry to the touch between coats. It took awhile, but because I didn’t prime the shoe, and just painted directly onto the black, I needed more coats for coverage. Why didn’t I prime? I only have a spray primer, and didn’t want to spray. It is totally up to you if you prime or not. I probably could have done less coats with a primer, but I’m ok with more coats of paint.
Waiting is The Worst Part
When I was totally done painting I put them in a safe place to dry completely for a couple days. I didn’t want to have to worry about smudges or anything when I did my final coat. I strongly suggest doing this, and making sure that you don’t accidentally touch your shoes together or to anything else when you put them in storage. While they may be dry to the touch, they may be tacky if they touch another painted surface, or anything else.
What seems like ages ago, Plaid Crafts sent me an awesome box full of new Mod Podge products (including the aforementioned Silicone Craft Mat). One of the things in my box-o-podgy-goodness was a new formula of Mod Podge, Super Gloss. I knew the second I decided to do this project I’d seal my shoes with it, because I wanted as high a shine as possible. It didn’t disappoint! Like most of other Mod Podge formulas, it went on easy, though it was surprisingly clear, compared to other formulas that are really milky. I did a single coat on each tip and left my shoes to dry on the mat for another day and a half.
When I was sure they were dry, I took a look to decide if I wanted a second coat. I opted not to do one… I just didn’t see a need. I also opted not to seal them with an acrylic clear coat, but they weren’t tacky or anything (sometimes Mod Podge can be). Plus I really wanted to wear them for a certain look.
Done! Rock Your Face Off!
I pulled the tape off slowly and carefully, making sure not to lift any edges or anything. And then I wore them pretty much right away! While I scuffed one, I’m sure it would rub off if I cared to try. But I figure I’ll just do it again–it’s because of how I walk and happens on lots of other shoes I own. I got a TON of complements on them, and at temple, my mom and my dad kept pointing them out to their friends, which was pretty awesome. They were a little uncomfy because I’m not quite used to pointy shoes anymore, but I’ll wear them more and my toes will get used to it… and they’ll like it or I’ll cut them off! Ok not really.
So There It Is, DIY Cap Toe Pumps
What do you think? Will you be giving this one a shot? Let me know in the comments. But, if you don’t wanna risk makin’ these? GoJane has similar pumps for pretty reasonable.