DIY Custom Rockabilly Wedding Shoes

Introduction: DIY Custom Rockabilly Wedding Shoes

About: I am a mixed media artist living in the Ozarks with my family. I have been published in many magazines including the cover of Sew Somerset.

My husband and I will be celebrating our 20th anniversary this year. And because we never got to have a honeymoon, or much of a wedding the first time for that matter, we are going to renew our vows and have some fun in Las Vegas. Now we still have two kids living at home and we don't make all that much money, but we are determined to make this work. So we are saving every penny for our trip this July. With that said I have to find ways of creating a very personal, yet fun, wedding while in Vegas on a very strict budget.

Even if you don't have the money for all the bells and whistles of a fancy wedding it doesn't mean that you can't have it all. Just a little creativity and a small budget can go miles toward creating the personalized wedding of your dreams.

This tutorial will show you how to create a pair of custom Rockabilly Style wedding shoes for only $14! Custom painted wedding shoes online can run you anywhere from $200 and up, but here I will show you how to do it yourself and save some cash.

Step 1: Cheap Shoes...wash, Bleach, Rinse, Dry...

First you need to find a pair of shoes. I found a pair of platform Keds at a Goodwill thrift store for $4.

I have been looking for months for an affordable pair of shoes that were also comfortable. Since we will be in Vegas there will be lots of walking and I want to be able to dance and party after our vow renewal so I didn't want a pair that were stiff or hurt my feet after five minutes. When I tried these on it felt like walking on clouds and I knew I had found "The Ones". granted they didn't look much like "The Ones" but hey for $4 I figured I could afford to try my hand at altering a pair of shoes.

1. First wash the shoes, scrub them up and down, and then sideways. Rinse.

2. Bleach any fabrics that are dark so that when you paint over them they won't show as bad and won't require as much paint to cover the dark areas. I used Clorox Precision Pour, it's not quite a gel but not as thin as liquid and is very easy to use and brush over rounded areas. It's also quite strong. Brush on and let the bleach sit for about 5 minutes.

3. rinse the bleach off the shoes very well and let dry thoroughly.

Step 2: Base Coat and Painting...

1. Mix some all purpose craft Acrylic paint with water to thin it out.

2. paint a thin coat of the thinned watery paint onto the fabric of your shoes. This allows the paint to really soak into the fabric allowing it to adhere well and act as a primer. Let dry.

3. Paint on two more thin coats of paint letting the paint dry between each coat. Using thin coats of paint instead of one thick coating is important because the paint stays on much better and won't crack up and roll off the fabric when walking.

4. Repeat these steps with the white paint for the bottom portion of the shoe. One thin coat, dry then two more thin coats. Let dry.

Step 3: Tranfering Your Designs to the Shoes...

1. Measure the parts of your shoes that you want to add graphics to.

2. Create graphics using image software of your choice ( I used Photoshop) and print out

3. Cut the graphics into smaller more manageable pieces.

4. Use a #2 pencil to color over the lines on the BACK of each printed design.

5. Place the printed design over the shoe and tape down.

6. trace over the design with your pencil. Use just enough pressure to transfer the design to the shoe without pressing a hole through the paper.

7. Continue coloring the back of the graphics then tracing the designs until all your design have been transferred to your shoes.

Step 4: Paint Pens and Paint...

1. Using a fine tip Paint Marker trace over the designs your transferred to the shoes. Let dry.

2. Carefully paint your designs with acrylic paint and a fine paintbrush.

3. At this point you can spray a coat of clear sealer over your entire shoe to set the design and protect it.

Step 5: BLING It Up...

1. Using hot fix rhinestones and a hot fix wand, adhere the crystals to your shoes in the desired pattern. I chose to stagger the crystals, partly to use less crystals, and partly because I like the polka dot pattern.

2. Add crystals to your design wherever you like to accent the designs.

Step 6: Finishing Touches...

1. Use a white broad tip paint marker to paint over any discolored rubber that shows on the shoes. This is what really punches up an old pair of shoes and polishes the whole look off.

2. Add accessories. Shoe clips, bows, etc are a great way to really punch up the design for a rockabilly look. I found some little girls hair bows for $1 each at Wal-Mart. I bought two white ones and two red ones then stacked them together and stitched them onto the shoes.

All in all I'm very happy with these easy to alter shoes, the price, the comfort, and the style. When my husband saw the shoes before alteration he was very skeptical but now he can't believe they are the same shoes.

This is a great way to get that extra bit of personalization out of your wedding without spending a fortune to do so. Stay tuned, I will be creating an altered Rockabilly Wedding dress Instructable soon.

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    6 years ago

    So wow! I love your costom shoes! <3


    Reply 6 years ago

    Thanks so much! They sure were fun to wear.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    The shoes turned out so cute! That will be a fun piece of memoriabilia to keep from your vow renewals as well. Thanks for sharing!


    8 years ago

    Great job! Very good description and method for us rookies that may have an idea, but not the know how.
    Hope the delayed honeymoon is as much fun as you anticipate.