On April 29th, FabSugar
posted a very inspiring "Guess Who
" that featured an absolutely gorgeous pair of painted wedges.
The sale price was still a bit too rich for my blood but - still - I felt inspired and set about to create my own, artful pair of hand-painted wedges. As luck would have it, I got very busy with work and didn't get to Payless to pick up the canvas shoes that I needed to start this project until that past Sunday. Yes!!! They were on sale and it [really] doesn't get much better than that.
Once I took a look at the shoes I was a bit concerned. The canvas uppers are great - not a problem. But the faux cork wedge is of a composite material that had a hand much like synthetic rubber. Unless you're using paint, specifically designed for plastic, this creates a very serious issue with durability of the finished design.
With this in mind I painted the canvas uppers a bright fuschia. I used textile paint but, honestly, any acrylic paint would do. Since the finish on the soles was still intact it made clean up easy and I was able to wipe away any errant brush marks with a dampened cloth.
I let the painted uppers dry over night as I considered the issue with the soles. What I needed to do was mar the somewhat shiny satin finish - just enough to create a tooth in the material - and I was sincerely hoping that the raw product would be a bit porous in order to hold the paint.
First I tried using a 3M scouring pad. This definitely degraded the finish but the printed "cork" was still a bit too dark for my tastes and I didn't feel that the material was degraded or porous enough to hold the media. 120 grit sandpaper proved to be the perfect fix. With a light hand I distressed the covering just enough to open the pores of the material and lighten the cork printing.
Once this was done to suit my personal tastes, I wiped them down with a damp cloth, dried them well, and tested my Prisma Color markers in an inconspicuous place. The art gods were with me because the marker took to the material and, once dry, was permanent despite repeated and agressive rubbing with micro fiber cloth. Yes! Ladies, I was in business and in less than an hour later I had my very own swanky sweet pair of artful wedges!
I started with a cheap-o pair of Groove sandals that I picked up at Ross for $9.99
To begin the project I masked the Groove tag with a bit of blue, low-tack tape. I could have cut it off, I guess. I simply chose to preserve it and not run the risk of cutting into the webbed upper or spoiling any of the seams.
Using regular acrylic paint, I painted the outside and edges of the webbed upper a deep fuschia, my fave color of choice for this spring and summer season. I left the inside natural so it would retain its softness.
Once the uppers were dry, I painted the base of the shoes white. This helped to seal the foam and aided in preventing a color-shift in the final design. I dried the white base coat with a blow dryer and dry brushed unbleached titanium for texture and to relieve some of the absolute whiteness.
Once the texture was dry I sketched the hibiscus and leaf details, painted them as shown, and now they're ready to rock.