[the DIY Files] overlay, under-lay, and a new paint job.

Like many of the 20-something American women out there, I have a disease called ‘I Can Make That’-tis. Even though my skill sets may be nowhere in the same ballpark as what’s needed to make something I can more-easily buy… I would much rather make it. It REALLY becomes a problem when I see a high-end item, or a runway trend, and the wheels begin turning in my head. That’s where The DIY Files come to the rescue.

Hot Glue crisis… AVERTED!

There’s a hilarious line in The Devil Wears Prada when Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep), in a quieter moment, responds to her staff posing ‘florals’ for the April issue of the magazine with “Florals? For Spring? Groundbreaking,” with just enough dripping sarcasm to cause a uniform tremble to travel through the room.

This spring and summer have been floraled-up, for sure, but the incorporation of print-heavy apparel from last year cannot be ignored. Merging the two fabric characteristics — floral themes + mirroring effect = texture that is unexpected.

printed pants f21

rose print skinny jeans [f21]

Fullscreen capture 6132013 13325 AM.bmp

daltrey oxford, floral [nastygal.com]


vertical symmetry clockwise: dorothy perkins top/ topshop dress/ urbanoutfitters silky top/ jcp Alyx front-tie blouse.

…on to the project!

I had purchased these bright orange flats from an Old Navy Outlet a few months ago — the original intention was to wear them as is. BUT I kept thinking to myself, “these guys can’t just be plain flats. They can be SO. MUCH. MORE.”


ah, a blank canvas. well, two blank canvases.

Materials list:

  • a pair of plain/unadorned flats or fabric shoes (no leather/patent/suede).
  • masking tape or Scotch tape to mark off edges and attach texture pieces.
  • two or three different textures of lace with large patterns to allow for the paint to seep through.
  • two or more fabric-safe paints in no more than two color families. [I used a darker navy for the first layer of color, then added a lighter blue, then finished off with a silver and bronze layer.]
  • a flat surface for mixing/keeping the paint colors, such as a paper plate.
  • a glass or dish with water for brush cleaning and diluting.
  • multiple sponge brushes. SUPER DUPER cheap at Hobby Lobby, like a nickel for one.
  • blow dryer to heat seal the paint.

1. Make sure the surface of the shoes are clean and dry, and mark off one half of one side of each shoe with the masking tape. I chose to mark straight down the middle of the flat, leaving the outer half exposed to be painted.

IMG_6766 IMG_6763 IMG_6762

2. Put small quantities of each paint color on the plate or disposable surface, and have it ready to be used.

Quasi On Stilts-017

3. Cut a piece of the ribbon or lace fabric with the largest holes/negative space for the first layer, attaching it along the side points of each shoe.


horizontal aerial view of first flat. ready for layer 1.

4. Taking a sponge brush, dip into the paint and dilute as desired with water. Squeeze out the excess water and begin slowly dabbing the diluted paint along the surface of the shoe. Make sure you don’t have too much water on the brush, otherwise the color will become muddy.


layer 1 with the black ribbon lace.

5. Dab in random spots, creating a field of color that isn’t completely solid. You will layer the other colors on top of this layer.


the reveal after layer 1 is completed.

6. Allow the paint to completely dry. You want the paint to be applied in layers, which is only possible if each layer dries 100% before the next is applied. Use the blow dryer to speed up the process.

7. Tape another piece of the lace onto the surface of the shoe, rearranging it so the paint creates random abstract patterns with some negative space.

8. Repeat steps 5-7 until you have some colors used as highlights and some as low lights, giving the abstract painting depth.

IMG_6787 IMG_6788

9. Once the final layer is completed, go over the entire painted area with the blow dryer for 15-20 minutes on the outside surface of the shoe.

10. Heat the painted area from the inside of the shoe for 15-20 minutes as well with the blow dryer.



Quasi On Stilts-018

Well, off to pack now! I’m off to the Golden Gate/City by the Bay/San Francisco for the next week or so. I’ll probably post musings and ramblings and random photos here, and maybe another project.

Promising to get the ball rolling on more projects after I return!



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s