Introduction: Sparkly Desert Boots (Chukka)

My boyfriend loves a good amount of sparkle, and he also has a great pair of desert style boots. For New Years Eve this year, we decided to go a little bit different and made him a special event shoe--a pair of desert boots covered in the herpes of the craft world---Glitter. 

These are the step by step directions for how you can get your own pair of super sparkle boots. 

What You'll Need: 
1 Pair of Desert Boots* (I purchased mine from Target)
1 pot of primer (I use Martha Stewart brand, but only because I had it left over from a previous project)
1 pot of sparkle paint, silver (again, Martha Stewart left over from a previous project) 
1 large container of red glitter (or whatever color you use)
1 can of clear coat lacquer 

What I also used: 
1 small container of iridescent glitter
1 can of  Krylon Glitter Blast Ruby Red Spray Paint

These last two things are simply useful--I liked being able to fill in the more flexible areas with a sparkly layer of spray paint, or to get those areas where the glitter simply wouldn't stay. I did have issues with my first can, but Krylon sent me a replacement can as soon as I asked, and I didn't have a problem the second time around. The iridescent sparkles was to make the glitter a little more dynamic--I considered originally going for an ombre effect but instead just mixed the two types of glitter for a more varied sparkle. 

*Theoretically this instructable should work on any pair of shoes that is a bit stiff--I think the amount of glitter might not work as well for cloth like materials. 

Step 1: Base Coat

These are the boots I purchased to work with. I was hoping for a grey, but they only had brown in his size. 

First step is putting down a coat of the primer. I wasn't sure the suede could hold onto the sparkles, but the primer really helped create a good texture for the following coats. 

Step 2:

Next I laid a level of Martha Stewart glitter paint. The paint goes on grey, but when it dries it is clear with silver sparkles in it. I thought this would add a little complexity to the sparkle on the shoes. 

While the paint was still wet, I laid a coat of red glitter. 

Step 3:

After the first coat of glitter  (which will be a bit spotty as the nature of glitter is to be entirely unmanageable) I put down a coat of clear lacquer. My hope was to limit the amount of glitter that made it off the table, so I used the laquer often and liberally. 

I did a second coat, again with the red glitter (also a light dusting of incandescent), while using the silver glitter paint as a base. Because of the base coat of red glitter, I had to apply a liberal amount of the silver glitter paint. 

I found during this project that you can never  be too liberal with the glitter. I used a few paper towels to collect the remnants and honestly it made it so I didn't have a huge clean up afterwards. 

Step 4:

Once I had sprayed the final layer of glitter with two or three coats of clear lacquer, I went back and poked out the shoe lace holes with an exacto knife. It was easier to clean them out afterwards then it would've been to paint and glitter around the holes. 

Step 5:

One final finishing tip which I probably should've done is to keep a clean edge, I might in the future clean up the bottom of the shoe so that the glitter doesn't run off towards the sole. It's not unnattractive unless you're right top of the shoe, but it's one of those things where it's just nice for it to look a little bit better. 

Right now, after a single wear, they need a bit of a touch up along the bend. As a shoe for uncommon events, this is not entirely detrimental, but it creates a crease in the middle of the shoe where the foot bends for steps. I would definitely not suggest this treatment for a commonly worn shoe. 

I also kept the brown laces which came with the shoes, because I happened to like the way they looked with the red, but have considered switching to black laces. 
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