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Help! I want to mosaic a pair of shoes! Specifically, how can I stiffen them so that I may apply tiles and grout?

How can you stiffen shoes to use them as a surface for applying mosaic tiles and grout??? Plan to use the finished project in my sunroom or enclosed porch as a decorative item. I would like to use an old pair of ladies high heel pumps...please share any ideas. Thanks,

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bamboochik7 years ago
Get some of the embedded gauze used for making casts and cut up into small squares about one inch by one inch. You can find this at some drugstores or a medical supply store.  Wet and cover the shoe inside and out with this smoothing as you go along. Allow to dry thoroughly.

You can now put your mosaic tess.on . with either thinset or silicone adhesive. Allow to dry thoroughly and then grout with either plain colored grout or tinted. This is how we mosaic artists make works of art out of shoes!

I know you wrote this year's ago, but question. Can you fill the shoe with plaster of paris to use it for a pencil holder, and then follow your instructions for mosaic with the embedded gauze?

thysmama5 years ago
I did this over the summer... Being all about recycling...I used left over grout each time I did a mosaic project to fill the first one... it worked but it took FOREVER to fill it up. Once full & dry, I used the cast materials to cover the outside, dry again, then mosaic as usual then I sealed it several times with clear coat spray.. it is still in perfect condition & is used as a door stop at my friends store. The next time I did it, I used concrete to fill & follow the same casting procedure & so on.... They are really cute.. GOOD LUCK ! ! ! !
bayarts6 years ago
Magisculp (available online at Douglass and Sturgess.) works very well. It is a two part epoxy clay that dries hard. I fill the interior of the shoe with plaster of Paris unless it is a cloth shoe, such as a ballet slipper. In that case, I use that spray stuff that expands. It's made to fill in cracks and tighten joints. You can buy it at any home supply store.
lemonie8 years ago
mikeasaurus gives you a good answer. I'll suggest something else: use silicone sealant instead of grout. You'll have some of the flexibility, and not need to otherwise modify the shoes. Either way these are going to be harder to walk in.

L
Thanks for your ideas...sorry, I did not clarify this...I want to use the mosaic shoes as a "decorative" item in my sunroom or enclosed porch. Will not be wearing them.
I think good glue (or silicone sealant) will do this. Grout may be too brittle if the temperature / humidity is subject to variation. For the purposes of applying the mosaic just stuff the shoes with something, e.g. paper. L
mikeasaurus8 years ago
I think any method of hardening the shoe prior to tile application will render the shoes unbendable, meaning you will have a difficult time being comfortable while walking. However, I think you'd be looking for something that completely hardens the shoe, you have options from fibreglass to exopy. Consider some stiffening agent inside the shoe as well. From there you will need to prepare the new surface for tile application. Rough it up with some course sandpaper, 100 grit or less. Wipe clean the surface. you'll probably want to apply the tiles using a dab of epoxy under each, tile is porous and epoxy should hold . wait. grout. wait. wipe. It would probably be a good idea to seal the tiles again to give it a solid look and feel. If you used exopy to harden the shoe there's no harm in applying some more on top, maybe thinned out a little. Just a suggestion. Hope it helps!