April 9, 2012

Nerd Shoe Craftacular

After seeing so many awesome decoupage Star Wars shoes around the internet and these amazing handpainted R2-D2 Toms, my friends and I decided we had to figure shoe customizing out. There were plenty of tutorials, and we all needed nerdy shoes in our life. Thusly, I had a dozen or so ladies over to my house Saturday for the purpose of making geeky shoes. 1) I am beyond grateful to have friends who get excited about the idea of painting Artoo onto shoes, and 2) I've never been this excited about footwear.

I dug around for some tutorials and supply lists for various types of shoe customizing - painting on canvas or fabric, glitter covered shoes, decoupage - but everyone came up with so many ideas and different styles. It was inspiring, and even though I'm not a crazy good crafter like some of the ladies, being in an encouraging group makes all the difference. The hours spent working and chatting make the glitter that's still on my floor totally worth it. Now, on to the shoes! SO many shoes.
Also, I've linked everyone's Twitter names if you want to ask questions about their shoes or compliment them!

You can't craft without proper fuel. @justjenndesigns brought and set up an Admiral Ackbar Snack Bar. YUM. 
Shoes in progress:

My glittery TARDIS flats:
I wiped the shoe down, decoupaged the police box sign on with Mod Podge, waited for it to dry, put down masking tape for the stripes, and covered the shoes in fine blue glitter following this tutorial. Then I painted in the white stripes with acrylic paint, took the shoes outside, and sprayed them down Mod Podge clear acrylic sealer.

My Clone Wars heels:

Clone Wars heels

Decoupage is wonderfully easy, just a bit time consuming. First I cut out all the images I liked and thought I might use from the official Star Wars: The Clone Wars magazine (I had a pile of them). Then I wiped down the shoe and started thinking about what would go wear. I used Mod Podge to paint the back of the magazine and then carefully placed each piece on the shoe. I used the end of a different paint brush to smooth out wrinkles; I wiped off extra Mod Podge with a paper towel. Rinse and repeat until you're happy with the shoe.  Let all the Mod Podge dry and either cover everything with a layer of Mod Podge or use a glossy varnish like Duraclear (or matte if you prefer). Tada!

@ladimcbeth made two pairs of fabulous shoes, too!

R2-D2 glitter flats:
The shoes are pre-glittered from Payless, and Beth made a stencil out of transparency sheets for R2. She traced it on with permanent marker (I believe) and then painted color by color with glittery acrylic paint.

TARDIS shoes:
Beth decoupaged the public call box strip on first with Mod Podge. After it dried, she pulled up a reference photo and drew on the window panes with a Sharpie. Then, she filled it in with white acrylic paint. She made it look so easy (the brat). The blue heels are from H&M.

@thestephthorpe made a bangle and sparkly Star Wars shoes:

Teen Titans bangle bracelet:
This was made using the same basic instructions as my decoupage shoes above. You can get bangles from Target, Forever 21, Claire's, etc. I recommend cutting long strips to wrap entirely around the bracelet.

Battle of Yavin stencil shoes:
Yay pre-glittered flats from Payless! Jenn made the stencil for her Battle of Yavin blouse (see at the bottom of this post), and Steph decided it was perfect for her shoes. She painted the stencil on with acrylic paint.

@scruffyrebel also made a bracelet and shoes.

Supergirl bangle bracelet:
It was bedazzled later, but I didn't get a picture.

Bat heels:
Victoria cut the bat out of gold leather fabric and glued them onto the heels. I'm not positive what type of glue she used.

@nedopak made some stylish R2-D2 heels!
These shoes started out navy or black, and Kristen added layers and layers of paint. The lady didn't even start out with a stencil! She used acrylic paint and little micro beads (by the glitter in the scrapbook section at Michaels) for the silver part. She sealed these with Mod Podge clear acrylic sealer, too.

@ladysteam13 also took the R2-D2 plunge.
She drew R2's general shapes on the canvas shoe with pencil beforehand (I think she freehanded it, too). Then she painted each color in carefully with either acrylic paint or fabric paint. The canvas shoes are from Payless!

@thatelenagirl went in the Game of Thrones direction.
These House Targaryen shoes were painted onto canvas shoes. @autumnbuck painted on the three-headed dragon, and Elena used a letter stencil for the house motto.

@arkhamasylumdoc decoupaged Star Wars heels.
She wrote up a how-to at her blog!

@chrissypedia made two pairs of shoes.

Adventure Time and Robin!
The Adventure Time characters were painted right onto the canvas with either acrylic or fabric paint.
I believe she followed this tutorial for Wonder Woman shoes to make the Robin heels.

@misscecil covered her Toms in nerd symbols.
Do you recognize all the symbols?

Finally, @sarahkuhn made showstopping Dark Phoenix heels.
She also used the Wonder Woman tutorial I linked above.

Whew! That's a lot of footwear. Other ladies brought craft projects with them and either worked on those or just helped everyone out. It was a WONDERFUL day. If you want to throw your own shoe crafting party just remember that everything takes longer than you think it will. Leave plenty of time.

See more pictures at Jenn's blog!


  1. I love the glittery TARDIS and Artoo flats! I'd be afraid to wear them out of the house in case they got wrecked though. :)

  2. That is so awesome! What a talented group!

  3. Wow. This makes me want to make some rad geeky dude shoes.

  4. Customizing shoes is addicting... and I don't normally go crazy over footwear.

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. You all are nuts!! (In a great way!)
    Just shared your link with my daughter. She'll be all over this stuff.
    Thanks for sharing all the geeky craziness.

  7. Love the Bat Heels!

  8. I figured since everyone's sharing theirs, here are my Rebel Alliance heels I made a few months ago: pic.twitter.com/wGIhLIEY

    Super easy to do by painting with puff paint!

  9. I adore those Rebel Alliance heels!!

  10. awesome shoe's I had no idea decopage shoes were so easy to make can't wait to try it!!

  11. you are so talented! Love the TARDIS shoes. You need to go into production and sell on ETSY!

  12. Question - I made a pair, but the acrylic spray seems to be cracking all over the fake leather portions of the shoe, making them look gray and marbled instead of black. Any ideas on how to save my shoes?! They're really wonderful otherwise... *sigh*

  13. Oh no! My Clone Wars ones are some sort of fake leather from Payless, and they held up okay. Then again they were pretty much covered in images. Perhaps if you very carefully take a Q-Tip to the exposed fake leather and try to remove the spray with warm water or alcohol?

  14. Could you please provide me the links you used in your learning of how to do this? It all looks freaking fantastic!

  15. I included a bit a decoupage how-to and linked to the glitter logo tutorial in the post, but other than that, everyone was doing her own thing and just knew the skills to do it. I'd suggest looking up shoe-painting tutorials and such on the 'net though to start. :)

  16. Are you selling any of the shoes? I like the Doctor Who ones

  17. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  18. My husband sent me this link. I think we have some decoupage in our weekend plans!

  19. Amazing! Each shoe shows some much of each one of you and what you love. (:

  20. your shoes are fantastic!! love "geek craft". i'm imspired to make up some adventure time shoes for my kids... robin shoes for me. hehehe. (glad I found your post - i was looking for adventure time fabric!)

  21. These are so great! I will have to try the shoes soon, but in the meantime I was inspired by the bracelet and made my own using a Serenity comic. See my blog post on it: http://multiplenerdgasms.blogspot.com/2012/11/the-creation-of-my-new-favorite-thing.html

  22. I need a How-to for those Tardis glitter shoes! All of them are amazing and I'm definitely doing my own Star Wars ones.

    1. I pretty much used this tutorial for the TARDIS shoes!

  23. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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