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Shoe Embellishments

Photograph by Emily Nathan

Eunice says, "Adding a little flair to a pair of simple shoes is a piece of cake. I wanted really fabulous shoes, but at the same time wanted to be able to dance well into the evening without hobbling. Unfortunately, I found that really exciting flats -- or even kitten heels -- were not so easy to come by." The solution was a simple pair of very Audrey Hepburn-esque gold flats from Steve Madden and a pair of vintage rhinestone shoe clips found at the local flea market. Vintage shoe clips are available at lots of sources, but if you aren't finding anything you like, or if you want to create yours yourself, this is an easy do-it-yourself project.

There are endless possibilities here: a ribbon bow, a pretty button, vintage millinery flowers, a cool buckle. All can be used to transform a Plain Jane shoe into something that is one of a kind and extra fabulous!

You can find shoe clips on Etsy (one source there is Toii), at vintage shops, or on eBay, but it's also quite easy to make your own from vintage earrings (one Etsy source is Hollywood Spotlight) or cabochons (from sellers like Snapcrafty), a bit of ribbon, shoe-clip blanks, and a glue gun.

If the earrings are big and flashy enough, you can use them as is -- just clip off the posts or pry off the clips, and attach them to some shoe-clip blanks (some good sources: Ornamental Beads; Craft-Supplies-Online.com; the Etsy shop of The Creative Seed; and M&J Trimming, 1-800-965-8746, ext. 377, item #13689). The clips of clip-on earrings are not flat enough to slip over your shoes while they're on your feet, so you might find them to be quite uncomfortable. If the earrings need a little additional girth, or they look too small against your shoes, you can easily add a ribbon rosette or bow behind them to increase their size so they are proportionate to your shoe.

Slippers for Tired Feet

You'll need:

Ink-jet printer

8 1/2-by-11-inch self-adhesive label stock (we used Strathmore writing label in Natural White; 8 labels per sheet, calculate quantity accordingly -- we recommend allowing a few extra sheets for misprints and other mistakes)

Craft knife

Metal ruler or straightedge

Cutting mat

Corner-rounding punch (optional)

Slippers in various sizes (Eunice got hers in San Francisco's Chinatown)

1. Fill out the labels.

Download Eunice's label design, and open it using Adobe Acrobat Reader. Fill in your information. (You will need to install the fonts Rosewood and Buckle-Bold, available from MyFonts, on your computer. If you don't have them, a default font will be used.) The software will automatically duplicate your text in every label.

2. Print labels.

Print out the labels on your ink-jet printer. Be sure to set the printer so that it prints at full size, instead of shrinking to fit the printable area.

3. Trim labels.

Use the craft knife and ruler to cut out the individual labels, aligning ruler with crop marks. Do not cut all the way to the edges of the paper; this will leave the crop marks intact for subsequent cuts.

4. Round corners (optional).

Round all four corners on each label with a corner-rounding punch.

5. Apply labels.

Peel the backing from each label, and apply to the center of the insole of each slipper (Eunice applied the label to cover up the branding on the slipper's insole).


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